What is Google Tag Manager?
You may have used Google Analytics (GA). You asked your developer to install GA code snippet on your website. And then you have found cool heat map service (or some another service you can’t leave without), and again asked your developer to install code for it. And then it repeated again, and again. GTM manages all these code snippets in one place, so you don't need to disturb your developer.
These code snippets are called tags in Google Tag Manager.
So, Google Tag Manager is a system that allows you to manage tags with user-friendly interface. And it’s done without the need to edit your website every time you want to add or change some code snippet. This makes marketing process more efficient and convenient.
Benefits of Google Tag Manager:
GTM removes the need to make changes to your website over and over again
You install tag manager code snippet once and can forget about editing your website every time you need to install code for some service or make a change to existing one.
You are in control of tags
You don’t depend on another people to install code snippet and can make it on your own. Besides, GTM interface is intuitive and easy to use.
You can see how your tags work before applying changes for every client of your website.
By using GTM, you can improve website loading time
Google Tag Manager tags are loaded asynchronously, which means all tags are loaded in parallel, without waiting while previous tag is loaded.
GTM have versions of configuration. So, you can see what was changed, when and who made that change. This also allows you to revert changes, in case something went wrong.
You can configure which people have access to read, edit tags or approve and publish changes.
Google Tag Manager have many predefined tags, which is super easy to configure. All is needed to do is to insert your tracking id and save the tag.
GTM tags can be reused for another website. Because there is tags export/import. So, once you’ve configured some tag, you can copy it to another project with minimum efforts.
It’s not a big deal for big companies, but for small company it may play the role.
The steps to get GTM working is simple:
1. Create google tag manager account
In order to use Google Tag Manager, it’s needed to create account for your website. It’s a simple process where you set your country, account name and container name.
2. Install GTM code snippet into your website
After you have created a new account, GTM shows you snippet which is needed to install into your website. You may install it by yourself or ask your developer.
3. Add needed tags in GTM
It’s easy to create a new tag. You do it in a few clicks.
There are plenty predefined tags, such as Google Analytics, Google Ads Remarketing, Hotjar, Twitter Universal Website Tag and much more. And, of course, you can create custom tags, which are not listed in GTM.
You can configure through GTM everything that you would configure without it.
4. Publish changes in tag manager
And the last step is to submit changes. This creates a new version of Google Tag Manager configuration. So, you can revert changes or see when a change was made, who made the change and what was changed. It’s very convenient.
After you’ve submitted changes, all created tags are added to your website.
In order for GTM to know order id, transaction total or any information, it is needed some way to pass that data from your website to Google Tag Manager. There is dataLayer to handle this. It’s filled with data on your website and than GTM reads that data from it.
As an example, let’s see how this works with Google Analytics transaction (purchase) tracking. You create a tag, tell it to read transaction’s data from dataLayer, and send that data to Google Analytics. And then GA displays that transaction. The image above shows how dataLayer for transactions tracking looks like.
Also, you can use that dataLayer’s data for another tag. For example, send conversion to Google Ads. Once generated data can be used for different tags. Without tag manager you would set that information for each code snippet.
Google Tag Manager and Magento
There are plenty of CMS and other systems which have extensions/plugins/modules for Google Tag Manager. So, you even don’t need to install GTM code snippet by yourself. All you have to do is install extension and set your container ID to extension’s configuration. Besides, such extensions generates dataLayer, which makes your life even more easier and allows you to track purchases, checkout steps, product clicks, adding products to shipping cart and so on. Some plugins have additional features, like tracking refunds. We provide google tag manager extension for magento 2, which supports all previously mentioned benefits, including refunds tracking.
We’ve seen what google tag manager is and what can be achieved with it. It’s a powerful tool and, in fact, it’s a standard tool to install on every website.
In case you use Magento, it’s definitely worth to consider using GTM and use our extension which makes all work for you.
Will you use Google Tag Manager?