Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our 4x a week insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.

Free Guide: The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Read the Guide Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our 4x a week insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.
Learning Center
Learning Center
Close

Learn

Access the Learning Center

Free resources to help you master inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer

Access the Learning Center

Blog / Newest Insights

Jump straight to the latest inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer insights

Access the Learning Center

Free and Pro Courses

Take your knowledge to the next level with free and Pro courses inside IMPACT+

Access the Learning Center

Recordings on Demand

On-demand recordings from past IMPACT events and livestreams

Access the Learning Center

Featured

Inbound Strategy Playbook 2022

Learn 7 foundational principles that have proven to set inbound marketing strategies up for success

Access the Learning Center

Free 5 Min. Inbound Marketing Assessment

Take this free assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales

Access the Learning Center

Blueprint for a More Profitable Agency

See why coaching, not implementation, is the key to happier clients and better profit margins

Access the Learning Center

Case Studies

See examples of companies working with IMPACT and thriving with They Ask, You Answer

Access the Learning Center
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Services
Services
Close
Navigation_8_2021_taya

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training
They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop
Navigation_8_2021_workshop

Inbound Marketing Services

Inbound Marketing Services
Navigation_8_2021_website design - monitor

Website Design & Development

Website Design & Development
Navigation_8_2021_hubspot implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation
Navigation_8_2021_virtual selling

Virtual Sales
Training

Virtual Sales <br>Training
Navigation_8_2021_swell - paid ads

Paid Search & Social Services

Paid Search & Social Services
Become a Certified Coach
Become a Certified Coach
Close
... Inbound Marketing Search Engine Optimization
Close
The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Free Guide:

The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Read the Guide
The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Free Search Engine Optimization Guide
View The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Free Guide:

Generate more traffic, leads, and sales with search engine optimization

In this free guide, you will learn:

  • What search engines are and who uses them.
  • What search engine optimization is and how it works.
  • Best practices for search engine optimization.

What Is Google Tag Manager & When Do You Use It?

By Marc Amigone

Marc Amigone also recommends this free guide, The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization.

What Is Google Tag Manager & When Do You Use It? Blog Feature

If you’re a marketer here in the back-end of 2019, you’ve probably had to deal with a tracking code or two in your time. Whether it’s for a marketing automation tool like HubSpot, a tracking pixel for an advertising platform like Facebook or Google Ads, or the code for behavior-tracking software like Lucky Orange, Hotjar, Crazy Egg, or even just Google Analytics, tracking codes are the street signs of the web — they’re everywhere and most people just take them for granted.

Free Guide: The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Tracking codes are so ubiquitous because they’re essential to the core functionality of all digital marketing: they enable all of the various software platforms marketers employ to track website visitors’ behavior.

Most marketers don’t think much about these tags beyond when they initially install them. Once we’re collecting the data from the tracking codes, they’re in set-it-and-forget-it mode — and we only really worry about them if something all of the sudden stops working.

You may be thinking, yup, sounds familiar, what’s wrong with doing things that way?

Well, first of all, what if I told you each of those javascript tracking codes you’ve installed costs valuable load time. Every time your browser has to deploy javascript when loading a page, it slows down your website slightly. If you’ve got 10 different tracking codes installed, all that script can really add up and make your website load time drag as much as 7-8 seconds (which has a deleterious effect on your SEO).

Secondly, not all marketers have the same technical expertise when it comes to manipulating code, even for simple tasks such as adding or removing snippets of javascript to a header.

If one tracking code doesn’t play nice with another, it could disrupt the data you’re collecting or, worse, temporarily prevent your website from loading altogether. What do you do if the person who regularly manages the technical side of your website is unavailable (or just charges you by the hour for everything they work on)?

What if I told you there was a tool that could deploy all of those tracking codes for you without you ever having to get into the code of your website, and without slowing down your site performance? Imagine it would let you activate and deactivate individual tracking codes, test them before they go live, and give you a deeper, more granular capability to trigger them in response to specific behaviors people exhibit on your website.

Sound like a useful tool, right? Well, the smart folks at Google agree with you, which is why they created Google Tag Manager!

Google Tag Manager (GTM) gives marketers three distinct capabilities:

  1. Manage and deploy tags (think: tracking codes like Facebook Pixel, Heatmapping, Google Analytics, or HubSpot)
  2. Manage triggers for those tags, or program-specific timings for when those tags fire or don’t fire
  3. Manage variables for those triggers or program-specific criteria for those tags to fire or not fire

One tracking code, easy management

GTM will make it a lot easier to install, test, and deploy tracking codes on your website. The more of these tracking codes you install, the more taxing it can be on your website performance, and the more value GTM provides. 

Instead of browsers having to deploy every javascript tracking code individually, they can deploy one tracking code and still get all the benefits from the variety of tags you have installed (saving you valuable load time).

Additionally, instead of installing all of those individual tags, you can just install the one GTM code and manage everything through its interface instead of breaking into the header tag again and again.

Beyond the time saved, it’s also a big help to have one centralized place with a running tab of which tracking codes are installed.

More trigger control

Triggers are specific instances that tell GTM when to fire those specific tracking codes. 

This is where GTM starts to flex its muscles a bit.

Let’s say you want to run an experiment and only want your behavior-tracking software to fire when someone visits a certain page. Or, maybe you want to measure what happens immediately after they do something very specific like watch a video, download a PDF, or see the results from a pricing calculator.

Using triggers in GTM, you can define these specific actions to allow for the desired tracking codes to fire.

Say a visitor watches a video on your pricing page and you’re hoping they click on the CTA that says ‘Request a Quote’ right after the video ends. With GTM triggers, you can program a behavior tracking software to fire and measure whether that’s happening or not.

You can also define negative triggers. For instance, if you want a tag to fire on every page on your site except for a specific few, you can tell GTM to prevent tags from firing on those specific URLs.

Using variables for greater detail

Tags define what tracking codes will fire, triggers define when they’ll fire, and variables go a level deeper to create more specific situations when a tag will fire. 

For instance, let’s say you’ve installed a behavior-tracking software tag and programmed it to fire when someone lands on a specific page, but you’d also like to measure what happens when someone lands on a page referred by a different specific page.

In other words, you're measuring what happens when someone exhibits a specific behavior you’re attempting to encourage on your website.

You can create a ‘referrer’ variable that gives you that extra level of granularity in your reporting.

How is GTM different than Google Analytics?

GTM is a tool for installing and configuring third-party code on your website, not for analyzing the data those tags collect.

GTM is designed and built to complement Google Analytics. All of the custom events you create in GTM are visible in Google Analytics once you configure what data you want to send to Google Analytics.

Should you install Google Tag Manager on your website?

Before you ultimately decide, see if you answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Would you like to manage third-party tracking codes on your website without touching any code?
  • Would you like to reduce the load time of your website, improving SEO performance?
  • Would you like to collect data and run experiments around specific actions people take on your website?
  • Would you like to customize the data you send to Google Analytics?
  • Are you okay with learning how to use a new tool?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, I would highly recommend leveraging Google Tag Manager. 

If you’re interested in exploring some resources to learn more about how to use GTM, here are a few great resources to check out:

As with most Google tools, there’s a bit of a learning curve involved, but don’t let that scare you. The more you learn, the more you’ll unleash the power of GTM and make marketing magic happen!

The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Free Guide:

The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Generate more traffic, leads, and sales with search engine optimization

In this free guide, you will learn:

  • What search engines are and who uses them.
  • What search engine optimization is and how it works.
  • Best practices for search engine optimization.

Topics:

Inbound Marketing
Search Engine Optimization
Reporting & Performance
Published on October 4, 2019

Recent Articles

How Much Does Inbound Marketing Cost in 2022?
January 24, 2022 • 12 min read
Inbound Marketing for Insurance Companies, Agencies, and Agents
January 21, 2022 • 7 min read
4 Signs Your Revenue Team Is Slowly Failing
October 23, 2021 • 9 min read
17 Examples of Inbound Marketing That Drive Sales
October 11, 2021 • 13 min read
HubSpot and Data Privacy: How to Collect Contacts the Right Way
October 4, 2021 • 4 min read
5 Key Elements of a Winning Inbound Marketing Strategy
September 14, 2021 • 14 min read
The Fundamentals of Inbound Marketing
September 9, 2021 • 13 min read
Inbound Marketing Strategy: 7 Steps to Success
August 11, 2021 • 8 min read
How to Learn Inbound Marketing in 5 Easy Steps
August 4, 2021 • 7 min read
What is the Inbound Marketing Funnel? (+ Examples)
July 26, 2021 • 7 min read
How Can the StoryBrand Framework Be Used for Inbound Marketing?
July 21, 2021 • 6 min read
I’m a word-of-mouth business: How can inbound marketing help me grow?
July 20, 2021 • 5 min read
5 ways you can use the StoryBrand framework to make a better website
June 14, 2021 • 5 min read
9 ways to get the most out of IMPACT+ in 10 minutes a day
June 4, 2021 • 8 min read
Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing in 2021: Which is Better?
May 18, 2021 • 10 min read
Green energy marketing strategy: The DIY approach to getting more customers
May 17, 2021 • 9 min read
Who Should Use Inbound Marketing?
March 9, 2021 • 9 min read
What is the Inbound Marketing Methodology? (Updated for 2021)
March 3, 2021 • 17 min read
How to manage your online reputation and reviews in today's marketplace [Free IMPACT+ Course]
January 28, 2021 • 6 min read
Marcus Sheridan: 'Virtual Sales Can Work in Any Industry'
December 14, 2020 • 4 min read
New Pinterest weighted ads have better CX customization
December 8, 2020 • 3 min read
7 Inbound Marketing Strategy Mistakes that Will Cost You in 2021
December 3, 2020 • 8 min read
4 simple inbound marketing tips that will get you big results in 2021
December 2, 2020 • 6 min read
Why You Need a Content Manager On Your Digital Marketing Team [+ Video]
November 5, 2020 • 9 min read
Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing: What's the Difference? 
October 28, 2020 • 9 min read