Google Tag Manager

What is Google Tag Manager and why is it essential for every Website?

Target Audience is one of the main factors when creating a business plan or campaign. Knowing our customers means we know how to reach them.

Whether it’s Age, Location, Gender, Device, Operating System or something else, Analytics has the tools to decipher information about your website visitors straight from your website. But this involves some understanding of coding as multiple pieces of tracking code must be added into the site in order to monitor results, which can cause a number of issues including site speed and reliability. However by using Tag Manager, we can eliminate these issues, without the knowledge of web development or coding.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics has been one of my favourite analytics tools for the last 3 years. There are a wide range of settings available which enable you to find out who is visiting your website such as Location, Age and Gender, Devices and Operating Systems used to access your site and more- these are essential tools when defining your target audience and creating successful campaigns around this.

To use Google Analytics you have to set up the account with your website information and adding a tag into your website code which is used to track the data, you also have to do this with any other tracking code such as social media Pixels, ads tracking and more which eventually starts to become problematic. After installing GA code, measurement of your website begins, and all seems to be going well until one of the apps you are using to measure results has an update and subsequently the tag no-longer works- meaning code changing and updates to the source code of your website to continue tracking correctly. And this is where Google Tag Manager comes into its own.

SO… What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is my new best mate, that’s what! Okay so I might be a little excited about this but let me tell you why.

Tag manager produces a small piece of container code which is placed in the head and body section of your website- once! After the code has been added to the site you can head over to GTM and begin adding tags to monitor traffic from many places, defining triggers for each tag. For instance, I have added several different tracking tags to our site with several different triggers, but only 1 piece of code remains on our website- and this never needs to be changed. This has already allowed me to remove plug ins and improve our general website speed as well as being able to monitor conversions from social networks, adwords, campaigns, and more using one piece of tracking code, and without being a web developing genius and without having to email my web developer every time I need to update or change this.

Another amazing thing about GTM is that it saves every version I make meaning I can roll back at any time if I find that the tags aren’t working or if I have changed my time about the information I am tracking. Many standard templates and triggers are available via tag manager which hugely reduces the need to have any coding knowledge, whilst allowing us to fully monitor interaction in a simple way.

Tag Manager also includes a debug mode which allows you to check that each tag fires successfully on the right page, at the right time- this lets you know that you are tracking traffic from the right places. Not only does TM let me track each page that I set a tag for, but it also lets me analyse button clicks, media clicks and file links.

Why should you use GTM?

  • Site speed
  • Ease of use
  • Add social networking pixels
  • Monitor ads and campaigns
  • Flexibility for non-developers
  • Version control

There are many benefits to using GTM, and I cannot profess at this point to have discovered them all, but I do recommend you to head over to GTM and take a look… I really think it’s a very powerful analysis tool!

AWOL Team Member Heather Hodsdon


Heather Hodsdon- Marketing Manager

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