It's essential to measure our users’ behaviour: Where do they click? What are they interested in? How do they interact with the content? The most popular choice for advertisers has been Google Analytics, as we can set up events and measure the actions that could potentially lead to a conversion. However, tagging every button or action will take a lot of time and effort.

Google has developed Tag Manager to make tracking easier and faster, with multi-platform support. Completely free of charge!

Don't rely on web developers

With Google Tag Manager (GTM), everyone can set up conversions, remarketing tags and even analytics tracking without changing the website code.

As a result, we rely a lot less on the web development team and we have more flexibility when deciding which events or actions we track. This is useful when there are lots of changes on the website or there are lots of elements to track (PDF downloads, bookings etc).

Manage everything through a single platform

Facebook Ads, Twitter, LinkedIn…every platform has developed it's own particular tracking solution. As a result, it's highly recommended to implement all of them on our webpage in order to have as much insight as possible. With Tag Manager, we can use a single piece of code to launch them all.

But… how does it work?

Google Tag Manager is based on three essential components to make everything work:

·         Tag: A piece of code that will allow us to track and measure user activity. By default, GTM includes several pre-set tags: Google Analytics, Ads, Hotjar, Bing, Twitter or LinkedIn being the most popular. However, if a particular platform is not natively supported (Facebook for instance), we can create a custom tag to deploy it. The process is as simple as creating an HTML Custom Tag, forget about limitations.

·         Triggers: A set of rules that will cause the tag to fire. For example, a trigger can be something that will cause the tag to fire in “Every Page” (useful for Analytics), or only when an event happens: a transaction, a click on a certain button, time, a video reproduction, scrolling down to the bottom of the page…are just some of the options.

·         Variables: Dynamic or static values that can be used in triggers and tags. An example of a dynamic variable is a transaction value (as it will change in the event of every purchase), a constant variable is the Analytics tracking ID (which always remains the same).

This is how we can reference a constant variable (the Analytics UA) in a tag.

Let’s put this in practice

This is what a trigger looks like. We have created this example trigger to count a click in a 404 page as an event. In this case, the trigger is called “Click Trigger”, the variable is a click class that equals “error-btn button”, and for the moment is only used by a single Tag called “404returnEvent”.

By using this, we track how many people decide to go back to the homepage after a “page not found” error.

Another useful feature that GTM offers us is the “preview mode”. By using this preview mode, we can double check whether the tag triggers correctly or not in real time.

If you've not tried GTM, now is the time to test it out. It's a great time saver, and as marketers lets us focus on what we do best, without bombarding our web development friends with emails!

"Another GA event tweak?! Please install Tag Manager already?!" Image: HBO