How To Set Up & Use Google Tag Manager in 2024

January 19, 2024
Thais Alberichi
SEO Manager
Whether you're a seasoned marketer or new to the digital scene, Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a powerful tool that simplifies the way you implement and manage tags on your website. No more endless lines of code or waiting on developers — GTM puts you in the driver's seat.

Whether you're a seasoned marketer or new to the digital scene, Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a powerful tool that simplifies the way you implement and manage tags on your website. No more endless lines of code or waiting on developers — GTM puts you in the driver's seat. 

More than being just another convenience, GTM is a game-changer. By allowing you to update tags and code snippets quickly — like those used for traffic analysis and marketing optimisation – it saves both time and resources. It's an agile tool that adapts to your evolving marketing needs.

Today, we'll walk you through setting up GTM. So, gear up for an insightful journey into the world of Google Tag Manager!

The Benefits of Using GTM on Your Website

Before we jump into the setup process, let's first look at why GTM is such a vital tool for businesses of all sizes. Google Tag Manager not only makes managing your website's tags a breeze, but it also significantly improves your site's loading speed. By handling tags efficiently, it basically reduces the risk of errors and the headache of dealing with multiple code snippets.

Okay, So What Exactly Are Tags?

Tags are snippets of code provided by various analytics, marketing, and support vendors. These code snippets serve specific purposes, such as tracking user interactions, collecting data, or enabling third-party functionality on websites or mobile apps. 

In the context of Google Tag Manager (GTM), tags are components that allow you to implement and manage these code snippets without the need for direct manual coding. GTM provides a user-friendly interface for configuring, deploying, and controlling when and how these tags are executed on your website or app. 

This simplifies the process of tag management, making it more accessible to non-technical users while providing greater control and flexibility for webmasters and marketers — helping better understand user behaviour, measuring performance of marketing campaigns, and integrating third-party services.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up GTM

So now that we've covered all of the above, it's time to set up and install Google Tag Manager (GTM) on your website. Whether you're a beginner or need a quick refresher, these instructions aim to make the GTM setup intuitive and manageable, ensuring your website harnesses the full power of GTM for better tracking and performance.

1. Create a New Account and Container:

  • In Tag Manager, select the 'Accounts' tab and click 'Create account'.
  • Enter an Account Name and choose the country for your account.
  • Provide a descriptive Container name and select the type of container.
  • Click 'Create' and agree to the Terms of Service.
  • Upon loading your new container, you'll see a dialog that varies based on the container type:
  • Web and AMP: Receive the installation code snippet for your website.
  • iOS and Android: Get a link to the developer documentation.
  • Server: Choose to provision a server automatically or manually.
  • Install the container now or later by clicking 'OK'.
  • Create additional containers for each platform if collecting metrics from multiple sources like web and apps.

2. Install the Container (For Web Containers):

  • In Tag Manager, click 'Workspace'.
  • Near the top of the window, locate your container ID (formatted as "GTM-XXXXXX").
  • Click your container ID to open the 'Install Tag Manager' box.
  • Copy and paste the provided code snippets into your website:
  • Place the <script> snippet in the <head> of your web page, just below any dataLayer declarations.
  • Insert the <noscript> snippet immediately after the opening <body> tag.
  • If existing tags are on your website, migrate them to your GTM container. Ensure tags do not fire twice by removing hardcoded tags.
  • By default, the Tag Manager snippet uses HTTPS for security.
  • For non-secure page support, adjust the source URL protocol in your container snippet to // instead of https://.

3. Add Tags

  • After installing the container on your website, you're ready to add new tags.
  • In your Workspace, click 'Tags' then 'New'.
  • Name your tag and configure it:
  1. Under 'Tag Configuration', choose the type of tag to manage. Refer to the GTM guide for help with Google product tags.
  2. For unmatched tag types, create a custom HTML or image tag.
  3. Set 'Triggering' to govern if a page tag is fired or blocked.
  • Optionally, add a note to your configuration for reference.
  • Save your settings and create additional tags as needed.

4. Verify That Your Tags Work

  • Click the 'Preview' button to launch Google Tag Assistant in a new tab.
  • Enter the URL of the website with the installed Tag Manager container.
  • If errors are detected, use Tag Assistant for debugging.
  • Edit tags by clicking on their names to change settings, such as updating triggers.
  • Save any changes and re-launch Preview mode to confirm the fix.

5. Publish Tags

  • Once your tags are working correctly, it's time to publish them.
  • Click 'Submit' at the top right of the screen to open the 'Submit Changes' screen.
  • Choose 'Publish and Create Version'.
  • Review the Workspace Changes’ section for accuracy.
  • Enter a 'Version Name' and 'Version Description'.
  • Click 'Publish' to make your tags live.
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Pros and Cons of GTM

Every website streamlining tool has its advantages and areas for improvement, and GTM is no exception. To help highlight how it can work for (and maybe against you) here are a few pros and cons to be aware of. 

Pros of GTM

  • Efficiency: GTM simplifies the process of adding and updating tags. It's a time-saver, especially for marketers who need to quickly adapt strategies based on new data.
  • Error Reduction: With GTM, the likelihood of errors decreases as you're less dependent on hardcoding tags directly onto your site.
  • Flexibility: It supports a wide range of tags and integrates seamlessly with various platforms, making it versatile for different business needs.

Cons of GTM

  • Learning Curve: For beginners, GTM can seem complex. Understanding how to set up tags, triggers, and variables requires some learning.
  • Dependency: Over-reliance on GTM might lead to challenges if the service experiences downtime or if there are issues with tag firing.

Best for Which Businesses? 

Google Tag Manager is incredibly versatile, making it a valuable asset for a wide array of businesses. Whether you run an e-commerce site, a content-rich blog, or a corporate website, GTM can offer significant benefits. 

E-commerce sites can track conversions and customer behaviour more efficiently, while blogs can gain insights into reader interactions and preferences. Corporate websites can utilise GTM to track engagement and optimise user experience. 

In short, any business looking to gain a deeper understanding of website interactions and improve digital marketing efforts can benefit from GTM.

Setting up Google Tag Manager can initially seem daunting, but its benefits are undeniable. 

Getting to Grips With Google Tag Manager

Need help setting up Google Tag Manager or optimising your digital marketing strategies? Reach out to our expert team at Talk Agency for customised strategies and marketing actions designed to take your online presence to all new heights!

Need a helping digital marketing hand? Talk to us and let us help you setup, install, and master the power of GTM in 2024.

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