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An Introduction to Google Tag Manager

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By Christi Liongson |June 28, 2018

Google Tag Manager logoIs your organization’s website performance aligned with your business goals?  Without properly leveraging your website’s data, it is difficult to know how you can improve your web presence and improve your users’ experience.  We recommend using Google Analytics, a powerful free web analytics service, to track and report your website traffic.

If you manage your organization’s website, you may already have Google Analytics installed on your site to track the number of pageviews, unique visitors, and the general bounce rate of your site.  But you may find that you have some specific questions about your website that Google Analytics cannot address alone: Are members fully reading our blog posts?  What elements are website visitors clicking on when they are on the homepage?  How many members are downloading our resources?

By implementing Google Tag Manager on your website, you can create tracking tags and triggers to answer these questions in your analytics dashboard.  You can also use Google Tag Manager to help you create retargeting, remarketing, and Google Adwords campaigns.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool that allows you to deploy snippets of code or tracking pixels on your website or mobile application without a lot of development work.  Through GTM, you can set up and track for specific user actions such as:

  • Website events such as PDF or resource downloads, form submissions
  • Cart abandonment
  • Scroll tracking
  • Video tracking

To first install GTM onto your site, you may first need some development help to install the GTM code snippet to your site.

Once GTM is installed on your website, you can create new tags and triggers through the GTM dashboard without having to touch your website’s source code.

Key parts of Google Tag Manager

Once you are set up with a GTM account and installed the code snippet on your site, you can use the GTM dashboard to configure tags, which you can set up to collect specific information and send to Google Analytics.  You can establish triggers that cause your tag to fire when certain events occur and use variables to simplify and automate your tag configurations.  Tags are snippets of code that are added to a site to collect information and send to a third-party, such as Google Analytics.

A collection of tags, triggers, variables, and related configurations installed on a given website or mobile app is called a container.

Reading Your Analytics

Once you’ve deployed your first set of tags, simply go to your Google Analytics dashboard and on the left-hand side, navigate to Behavior > Events to see your event tracking results.

Screenshot of Google Analytics Event Reporting

Christi Liongson
An Introduction to Google Tag Manager

Christi Liongson is a Senior Digital Strategist at fusionSpan, where she helps associations and non-profits design dynamic and user-friendly experiences in an increasingly connected world. She joins fusionSpan with almost 10 years of experience working with associations and non-profits to transform their online presence.

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