Google Tag Manager

What Is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a free tool that enables you to oversee and create marketing tags.

So, what are tags?

Well, they’re essentially these compact snippets of code or tracking code on a website (or mobile app). And with the Google Tag Manager or GTM, you can manage these without modifying the code itself.

This may seem a bit tricky to understand, but in simpler words, the Google Tag Manager takes information from one data source like your website and shares it with another data source such as Analytics.

So, the GTM sends valuable data to Google Analytics from where you can then analyze it, understand trends, and have all the information you need in one place. 


How Google Tag Manager Works

To understand how the Google Tag Manager works, we need to look into its components - and how they come together.

So, there are three core parts of this Google tool:

1. Tags

In this context, “tags” are essentially pieces of code (Javascript) or tracking code that collect information and send it to third parties. 

You can use tags for various purposes, such as conducting surveys, scroll tracking, managing form submissions, creating heat maps, tracking how people arrive at your site, or even remarketing. 

They can also monitor very specific user actions such as file downloads, link clicks, or products being dropped from a shopping cart.

And tags guide GTM on precisely what to do.

Examples of common tags within the Google Tag Manager include:

  • Google Analytics Universal tracking code
  • Adwords Remarketing code
  • Adwords Conversion Tracking code
  • Heatmap tracking code (Hotjar, CrazyEgg, and more)
  • Facebook pixels

2. Triggers

Triggers give a kind of signal to the Google Tag Manager when or how to “fire” a tag that you’ve set up. You may want to fire tags on a specific link click, a page view, or something similar. 

So, triggers can tell Google when and where to do this.

3. Variables

The third part, “Variables”, includes any extra data that Google Tag Manager might need for their tags and triggers to function properly. As the name suggests, variables can mean that you may need to take other aspects into account.


Advantages of Google Tag Manager

Now that we’ve seen how GTM works, let’s talk about how it can benefit site owners or managers. Using GTM, you can:

  • Customize the data that is sent to analytics
  • Set up and track simple processes such as PDF downloads, button clicks, or outbound link clicks or button clicks
  • Track outbound links on a website by category and action
  • Help your site run faster depending on how many tags you deploy
  • Use it with non-Google products 
  • Organize and manage all third-party code in one place
  • Preview your tags before anything goes live

Disadvantages of Google Tag Manager

Meanwhile, there are also some downsides to using the Google Tag Manager to help with web analytics.

  • Users will need technical knowledge

Let’s admit that despite all the details available on how GTM works, it’s still fairly technical. So, one downside is that you’ll need to have at least some technical knowledge to take advantage of the tool. Or you’ll have to hire professionals who know how to use it.


  • It takes up some time

Also, unless you’re a pro developer, using GTM can take up a considerable chunk of your time. After all, looking into analytics, managing how tags are placed, and advanced understanding of data can all be very demanding!


Key Takeaway

Google Tag Manager is an efficient tool for coders, website designers, developers, or even marketers - when it comes to making your site data more visible and accessible to users. 

By deploying marketing tags, you can choose how specific parts of a website act, and have a bit more control over your data.