Join Corey Koberg for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding Google Tag Manager (GTM), part of Google Tag Manager (V2) Essential Training.
- I remember, very distinctly, the first time I heard about Google Tag Manager. Several years ago, I was at Google in Mountain View in a meeting with the head of Google Analytics, when the topic changed. And he asked us, point blank, "Do you think there's a need for Google "to provide a tool to manage tags?", and the answer from and many others was an emphatic "Yes". And that's because the tags, from Google alone, AdWords, DoubleClick, Google Analytics, AdSense, and so on, are getting very difficult to manage, let alone the other myriad of other marketing technology scripts and tags. To give you a sense of how complex this has become, let's take a look at a few popular websites.
Here I've got ESPN open. Let's go ahead and just refresh one of these pages. And if I use the WASP tool, that will tell me which of these scripts and tags they've got running. We can see they've got 20 different tags that are loading. They've got ones from Scorecard Research, from Google and their ads, we've got Chartbeat, we've got DoubleClick, we've got Visual Revenue. All these are marketing technology tags that help ESPN better understand their site. Looking through here, let's take a look again at some of these tags that we're loading from here. We've got several loading from The Economist themselves, we've got Trustee, we've got more Scorecard Research, Google themselves, again loading this, DoublClick tags, we've got different ad networks, Yahoo, Twitter, BlueKai, DMP, more marketing tags that are on here.
So we've certainly got a lot of these different tags that are coming through here, and it's not just publishers, although they tend to be pretty heavy, due to the ads that they're loading on there. Let's take a look here at something like Coke. 17 here on Coke. Or for b to b brand, 18 on SalesForce. Something that's more of a commerce brand, like Expedia. We see Expedia running dozens of these things, as well. Nearly every marketing technology company has at least one, if not multiple, tags that they want you to install in your page, and often in very specific ways, and under very specific scenarios.
Now, this won't be news to many of you who run sites. You know how complex it is, trying to manage all of this. So, having a central tool that controls, not only which of these tags fire, but where and under what circumstances, is simply a necessity for site owners moving forward. But Centralized management is just one of the advantages of Google Tag Manager. We have a client that transacts millions of dollars online. And their website releases new code once per quarter. And their backlog is months long. If you have a tag that needs to change on the site, it gets in a queue, and it's prioritized against every other change that's trying to get into that release.
If you get bumped out or you miss the deadline, it could be as much as 12 months before you have another shot. Oh, and if the name of the form you were tracking or the URL you were tracking changes, well, you're just out of luck, because it's gonna be months before that change is even considered for inclusion in that next code release. Sorry, these days waiting 12 months to make a tweak in you analytics or marketing tags is simply a non-starter and puts you well behind your competition, when it comes to digital marketing. Google Tag Manager offers you the ability to place the base container code on once, and then manage nearly all of the other changes, remotely through the management tool.
Corporate governance and process. The ability to not be held up by IT doesn't mean this is a tool to bypass your corporate governance standards. The permissions model in this, and similar centralized tag management tools, can actually help enforce corporate standards. We'll take a look at that in detail in the video on users and permissions. Data accuracy. For as much as those of us who work full time in the digital analystics business focus on the advanced topics, such as predictive modeling, attribution models, and lifetime value calculations. All of those are worthless if the underlying data's flawed.
And the truth is the data's often quite flawed. And as we saw earlier on the website, most of that data's collected via tags. Improving the process and tools, by which we manage those tags, can affect everything that will be generated from the data it collects. Proper tag management is simply table stakes for an effective website and digital marketing that utilizes that data intelligently. Increased automation. In the bad old days, if you wanted to get any information from the page, you had to hardcode it in. This required way too many of dev resources, it cluttered up the page, and it was subject to those long release cycles.
This caused all kinds of problematic intermixing of presentation and content layers. As we'll see in this course, Google Tag Manager allows you to dynamically do things, like track links, forms, and more. It automatically listens for a whole host of common web interactions. There's not need to hard code, in most cases, which keeps your code clean and up to date. Increased performatnce. Like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager takes advantage of Google's data center infrastructure, which is legendary. Servers are geo-distributed such that your users will always gets the closest and fastest option.
For those of you who are Google Annalytic's Premium customers, Google Tag Manager, is covered by Google Analytics Premium SLA, so you can be sure of its high speed and high reliability, which is important for a mission critical tool. Google Tag Manager's also designed to be fast. It's architected a way to load tags in an efficient way that doesn't impede page loading and can reduce the amount of tags that need to be loaded and improve the performance of the page. Reduced cost and increased value. Centralizing and simplifying the release process that manages tags improves efficiency and reduces work load.
Improved accuracy creates more valuable and timely data. Performance increased translate to a better experience for your users. All of the above translates into less cost and more value. It is truly a win win. Oh, and for the cost, that is about zero dollars and zero cents, which is a pretty good bargain. So, as you can see, tag management is the way of the future. And there is no time like the present to get yourself familiar with this free and powerful tool.
This course provides the skills to get up and running with Google Tag Manager quickly. It explores how to set up Tag Manager accounts and containers, use turnkey tags, create rules and macros, control versions and user access, debug tags, configure custom tags, and add code to capture specific Google Analytics events. Authored by GTM expert Corey Koberg, this course also provides crucial, time-saving best practices for working with Tag Manager.
Note: to keep the training as universal as possible, we use the nonmobile version of GTM, and configure it for a generic WordPress site. Your specific implementation will be dependent on how your site is coded.
- Creating an account and container
- Installing containers
- Using built-in tags from Analytics, ClickTale, and other services
- Working with variables
- Firing events with triggers
- Creating versions
- Using custom tags
- Implementing a data layer
Skill Level Beginner
Q: Which version of Google Tag Manager is used in this course? Does it support V2?
A: Yes. 2015 brought Google Tag Manager a brand new interface (known as "V2"), which will be mandatory starting June 1, when all accounts will be forced to migrate. You can learn all about how to create and use V2 containers in this course.