Even if you’re a newcomer to SEO, you’ve probably heard of Google Tag Manager (GTM). Because it’s one of the most helpful free SEO tools in the world.
Not to be confused with Google Analytics, a powerful but separate service that helps track and report web traffic for SEO, GTM is an autonomous tool that can help take your SEO strategy to the next level.
And if you’re not already using it – you should be.
What is GTM?
SEO is data driven. The more data you’re able to collect, the more insight you have about how users interact with your website.
So while tools like Google Analytics are great for getting started, you can collect even more useful data by tagging your site and adding GTM to your ongoing SEO strategy.
And because its possible for a single site to use many different tags at once, the amount of code required to manage them all can add up quickly. That’s where GTM steps in to simplify things.
GTM replaces the need to directly embed tags into your source code with an easy-to-use interface that allows you add and edit tags without touching the source code at all. Just specify the tag you want executed and say when. GTM handles the rest.
With GTM, you’re able to use different marketing tags, like tracking pixels, without modifying code. It’s easy to transfer information from one data source to another. And your data sources all stay connected. With codes often stored in a single location. Which simplifies managing multiple tags, linking data and sharing data across diverse sources.
Imagine being able to easily manage a large amount of data without help from developers. That’s the greatest advantage of GTM: not needing to change code every time you want to share data from your web page with Google Analytics.
GTM makes it easy to manage large amounts of data on your own. Which saves time and money. Whilst delivering big improvements to SEO results. Not bad for a free tool, right?
Why should I use GTM?
There are plenty of reasons why a business, regardless of size, should be using GTM. But number-one-with-a-bullet has to be ease.
Few tools make it possible to achieve so much, so easily.
GTM removes the complexity from adding, updating or disabling tags. It connects your website with other websites and analytical tools that boost SEO effects. Leaving developers free to focus on more complex tasks.
And it’s customisable. Which means GTM lets you focus on important data that boosts traffic like downloads, page clicks and outbound links. It’s a window into what matters most to users. And a blueprint for creating strategies that keep users on your site longer, converting them into leads and ultimately customers.
GTM is intuitive and secure. It recognises threats like known malware domains. And gives you complete control over account access and user permissions.
Other benefits include faster website loading times, greater flexibility, improved testing, advanced debugging, easier managing of tags, and targeted Google Analytics reports. GTM lets you track page views, link clicks, time spent on a page, form submissions, Facebook likes, outbound links, and much more.
But GTM is not a replacement for Google Analytics. It’s an additional tool that helps yield better results out of Google Analytics; an alternative to the Universal Google Analytics upgrade by way of GTM migration.
An alternative that many users are claiming provides up to a 600% improvement in tag implementation time.
How to use Google Tag Manager
Using GTM requires only basic technical knowledge. Like setting up GTM elements such as tags, triggers and variables and knowing which of them to choose, how to manage each of them, and understanding what to expect with each choice.
A little knowledge about the websites and web tools you want to share your tags with goes a long way too.
So before getting started and setting up a GTM account for your business, you’ll want to get familiar with these three core components of GTM:
- Triggers: Triggers release the tags you have set up. They instruct GTM when and how to release tags, what needs to be done with them and what you hope to achieve. Triggers can be set on page view, custom events or clicks on links.
- Variables: Variable additional information for GTM regarding tags and triggers. There are two types of variables – user-defined variables and built-in variables and the basic constant variable is the Universal Google Analytics ID tracking number.
Setting up a GTM account is easier if you already have a Google Analytics account. Just log in with Google, and you’re ready to get started and begin setting up tags, triggers and variables.
For example, if you want to track outbound links on your website and send that data to Google Analytics, enter the Universal Google Analytics ID tracking number, choose ‘Event’ as a track type, ‘Offsite link’ as a category, and ‘Click’ as an action.
After that, Google Analytics will provide a report for outbound links on your website.
As a tool that works in tandem with the Google Analytics you may already be using, GTM is hard to beat. It’s free, secure, effective and easy to update.
GTM is filled with great features. And very few limitations. It’s the DIY model that lets you track more with less hassle. And improves SEO with minimal complications.