As online marketing becomes more multi-faceted and diverse, companies must cope with tons of different pixel tags for advertising, affiliation, testing, analytics, monitoring and more. This reality calls for a centralized management to bring order and control, and to avoid a host of potential problems and pitfalls. Fortunately, Google offers Google Tag Manager (GTM), a free and powerful solution to do just that.
By marking different types of user interactions with a site, we are able to tie each interaction to specific tags. With Google Tag Manager, marketers can streamline the management of large amounts of tags all from the one place. For example, when a user makes a transaction on an ecommerce site, we might fire the conversion code of either AdWords, Facebook, Bing or an affiliate network, as well as a Google Analytics e-commerce transaction code- all within Google Tag Manager. Instead of coding all this logic from scratch and maintaining the code heavily in the dynamic marketing space, we let the marketing team handle it directly through the robust interface of GTM.
This process is displayed below. We configured a Trigger (Conversion)- a condition based on users’ interactions with the site, which in this case is a typical conversion. We then tie this trigger to three different Tags- when the user arrives at the Thankyou Page we will fire all three tags. The trigger is now set, so the next time a new tag for this conversion is fired, we do not need to redefine it.
GTM Will Speed Up Your Page Load Time
Instead of manually pasting code-snippets (within the page’s source code), we can use Google Tag Manager and speed up your site for the following 2 reasons:
- All scripts automatically run asynchronously.
- We have the ability to fire remarketing tags after the page finishes loading.
Working With Variables in GTM
GTM allows you to define any type of data (known as variables) you can think of, such as:
- Environment: website, mobile site, blog.
- Language: English, French, German, Dutch, Russian.
- User Data:
- User ID
- User email
- Shipping data
- Transaction Data:
- Transaction total
- Transaction ID
- Transaction tax
These types of variables give us control over the data being managed within GTM. Now it’s just a matter of what we would like to do with them: we can use the variables to set triggers or use their value inside of a fired tag.
Check out our recent case study on Lamaloli, where we used the above variables in our Google Analytics and GTM implementation for their e-commerce site.
Google Tag Manager Events
Google Tag Manager can receive and handle signals after page load (basically called ‘events’).
The Manual Method:
A simple example:
event: ‘Transaction Success’, → the signal
revenue: 500 → the data
The Automatic Method:
GTM can fire events automatically, called listeners. When a listener event is applied, GTM automatically pushes the event that we will later tie into a trigger. The following is a list of different types of events:
- Click Listener – listens to almost any clicks on page
- Click Link Listener – listens to link clicks on page
- Form Submit Listener – listens to form submits
- Timer Listener – an event firing timer
- History Listener – listens to the HTML5 history object (mostly used for AngularJS apps)
In GTM V2, the listeners-based triggers are more effective. Let’s take a basic example of a user that clicked a link with a “my-class” class, inside a div with an ID of “my-widget”.
<a class=”my-class” href=”http://www.site.com”>my link</a>
In the past, GTM allowed us to only test the clicked element itself: we could check if this element had a class of “my-class” but we couldn’t check the ID of the parent div and be more specific.
Now, with GTM V2: we can check if the user clicks on a certain element using a CSS rule (e.g #my-widget a.my-class) which allows us to be more specific and reach the parent div #my-widget.
Other Benefits of Using Google Tag Manager
- Relief of IT department bottlenecks – once the Tag Manager is deployed, new tags can be implemented directly by your marketing department with no IT involvement. This is a huge benefit for large websites, where IT is at oftentimes a bottleneck.
- Cleaner HTML, no forgotten old tags that were never removed.
Seperia helps companies implement and use Google Tag Manager, a free application. Contact us to learn how.