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What is Google Tag Manager and why use it? The Complete Guide about Google Tag Manager

Data collection is a useful tool to expand the online reach of your business and increase conversion rates. When you have access to user information with detailed analytics, it becomes more straightforward to promote and sell your products. With the advancing technology, SEO Tools such as Google Analytics have started becoming more productive. The credit goes to Google Tag Manager (GTM), which allows you to quickly and effectively manage all your tags. You can add tags for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Analytics, Adwords, etc. with the help of tag manager. Using this tool, you can easily track the advertising performance of your website.

Before you get to know the what and how of GTM, let us gain insights about Google Tags.

  1. What actually Google Tags are?
  2. What is GTM (Google Tag Manager)?
  3. How Google Tag Manager Works?
  4. What is the use of Google Tag Manager?
  5. What are Tag templates in the Google Tag Manager?
  6. What are the Triggers?
  7. What is Tag Firing?
  8. What is a variable in Google Tag Manager?
  9. How to setup Google Tag Manager?
  10. Are you confused between Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics?

What actually Google Tags are?

In the words of tech experts, Google Tags are pieces of code that you can insert in the HTML and JavaScript code of your website. Such code snippets allow you to extract information from the site and send it to third-party solutions for better analysis. The information that you get from such tags may include:

  • Form submissions
  • Time spent by a user on a webpage
  • How a user landed on your site
  • Scroll tracking
  • The links clicked by the visitors
  • Removed products from the cart


Once you know how Google Tag Manager works, you can utilize meaningful information about your visitors with the help of Tags.

What is GTM (Google Tag Manager)?

To control the tracking and tagging processes of your website, there is a no-code solution, Google Tag Manager. Using this tool, you can install and manage all your analytics and marketing tags. Also, there is no need to edit the code of our website while adding tags. That is, you can just embed the GTM code into every webpage and avoid manual creation of tags. Every time you construct a new tag, use the same GTM code. 

How Google Tag Manager Works?

In simple terms, Google Tag Manager follows a series of steps:

  • Your website (an information source) collects some information with the help of tags.
  • It sends this information to Google Analytics (another information source) or a third-party tool using GTM to gain insights on the dataset.
  • The Google Tag Manager handles all the tags with JavaScript code and tracking pixels.

There is more to understand about the working of GTM. Let us move ahead, step by step.

What is the use of Google Tag Manager?

Unmanaged tags create problems for your website. Too many tracking tags flood your site. Moreover, the JavaScript code for each tag slows down your website performance. Therefore, a tag manager allows you to manage all your tags in one place. You can use the tag templates of GTM, rather than adding a new tag code.

Here is a list of reasons for why use Google Tag Manager:

  1. Your marketing department has complete control over their tags. They can monitor and manage tags, thereby enhancing the efficiency of their work.
  2. There is no repetitive task of editing the website code. Instead, adding one GTM code and placing it on every webpage works. This GTM code is a storehouse of all the marketing and analytics tags.
  3. You can achieve an agile work environment with GTM. It, therefore, allows your developers to concentrate on other significant tasks rather than indulging in coding each tag individually.
  4. Advanced analytics tracking is much more comfortable with Google Tag Manager.  You can Hire SEO Expert if you wish to go to the next level.
  5. Let us see an example:

If you want to track the outbound links on your site, you can do it with the help of GTM.

  • Choose the category name as Off page Link, followed by action and label as Click and Click URL, respectively.
  • In the Google Analytics section, go to Behavior -> Events -> Top Events -> Off  Page link
  • Just move to Event Action/Event Label to get the complete report.


6.You can even try the GTM tool on a sample basis.7..Google Tag Manager allows you to add, edit, remove, enable, and disable all the tags from one place. This efficient tag management process improves website speed substantially.

8.Google Tag Services ensure the cleanest execution of JavaScript codes. The script works in harmony with each other with the help of tag templates in the GTM. 

What are Tag templates in the Google Tag Manager?

Tag templates are the already designed code snippets of JavaScript that you can add to your website. These tag templates allow you to create your tags quickly with just some inputs. Whatever template you select, you have to add your account ID (different inputs in every template). Tag templates do most of the work in creating tags.

9.The Google Tag Manager governance system allows you to publish tags without JavaScript errors. It is possible with tag templates of GTM. Also, you can select the members who would hold permission to publish tags.

10.The development team behind GTM is very active and keeps updating the product according to the demands of the marketplace. You can even borrow scripts from other users to make your tracking code more advanced.

11.There is a preview mode available in GTM, which enables you to view live data about tracking. Before you publish your tags and triggers, you can check their working with Google Analytics Real-Time reports.

12.Google Tag Services also provide you with a feature to keep an eye on the members who have access to your GTM account. In this way, you can track who all are making changes to the tags and in what sense.

13.There is a separate workspace for every member. They can work separately without colliding or overriding the scripts of other members. In the end, while publishing the GTM containers, they can combine the individual sections of their work.

14.With GTM, you can control the triggers based on certain conditions when you choose to prevent them from firing. If the purpose of the trigger is met, you can suppress that trigger with another one.

You will better understand this use of Google Tag Manager when you get to know about triggers and tag firing in GTM. These are the two crucial aspects of the GTM. Let us know the nitty-gritty of the Google Tag Manager trigger or condition in detail.

What are the Triggers?

Triggers tell your tag when to fire. They are a set of rules that instruct your tag at the time of firing. The instructions include the time of firing and the task you allocate to the tag. Within an event, you can fire a tag multiple times with the help of triggers.

When an event like button click, form submission, or page view occurs on your site, the trigger listens to it. It then tells the tag to fire when it detects the event.

There are two types of triggers:

1.Firing Triggers

Firing triggers instruct the tag to fire when certain conditions of a trigger are met.

2.Blocking Triggers

Blocking triggers block the ability of another trigger to fire under specific conditions.

Google Tag Manager enables you to fire tags on the many events like page views, link clicks, etc. You can even create a custom event.

Some basic Triggers

  • All pages trigger – This trigger for all your webpages. It tells the tag to fire every page when it loads. You can usually use it with the Google Analytics tag.
  • YouTube trigger – If you want to collect information about the actions that users take on your YouTube videos on the site, YouTube trigger helps you. When a user starts, stops, pauses, or buffers your videos, you can fire the tag using this trigger.


Google Tag Manager enables you to fire tags on the many events like page views, link clicks, etc. You can even create a custom event. Let’s now get to the underlying process.

Let’s now get to the underlying process.

What is Tag Firing?

In layman terms, tag firing is the action of tags collecting data from the website and transmitting it to the target destination (for example, Google Analytics). A tag firing schedule is a feature of GTM that enables you to set specific conditions for firing tags. These conditions tell the tag when it should fire and when it should not. Therefore, you can decide when a tag should be active by setting its start and end date.

There is another component that works with tags and triggers – Variables.

What is a variable in Google Tag Manager?

Variables are extra information for GTM that it needs to manage the tags and triggers. They are named placeholders, which are used in both tags and triggers.

  • In the case of tags, variables capture dynamic values.
  • In triggers, variables specify when and where the tag should fire.


Again, you can classify the variables in GTM in two types:

1.Built-in Variables

These are already created and non-customizable variables. They are available throughout the GTM when new containers are used as they do not have user-defined variables in the beginning.

You can enable built-in variables in the following way:

For containers, go to Variables -> Built-in Variables -> Configure -> Enable/Disable variables.

2.User-defined Variables

If built-in variables fail to cover some requirements, you can create custom variables or user-defined variables. You can use these variables to meet specific conditions.

To create a user-defined variable:

Go to Variables -> User-defined Variables -> New -> Variable Configuration -> Complete the options -> Name the Variable -> Save.

Google Tag Manager provides many different types of variables:

The most common one is the Google Analytics UA number.

Examples of GTM Variables

  • Video View Variables – Based on user interaction with your video, the trigger would fire a video event tag. Dynamic data from Category, Action, and Label fields of the tag would tell what is happening during the event. Entering variables in these fields allow you to do so.
  • Data Layer Variables – These variables allow you to enter dynamic values into the GTM from your platforms like CMS, eCommerce, or back-end. The GTM then passes these values to reporting interfaces like Google Analytics, Bing, AdWords, etc.


By now, you may have gained an adequate stream of information. But if you feel you are not able to manage it on your own, you can take help from tech experts or SEO services.

Now comes the real task. Do you know how to set up GTM? No? Then, continue reading.

How to setup Google Tag Manager?

1.Set up a free account

  • Go to Google Tag Manager
  • Select “Sign Up for Free”
  • Input your information
  • Click “Create”
  • Apply the codes and click OK


2.Set Up a new Tag

  • Go to Google Tag Manager dashboard
  • Click “Add a New Tag”
  • Give a title to your tag
  • Click “Tag Configuration” box
  • Choose a Tag type
  • Link your tag to the tag type your selected
  • Select a trigger
  • Save your tag
  • Activate the tag by hitting the “Submit” button
  • Container Version Description -> Add name and description to your tag


3.Check your tag in the “Version Summary” report.

  • Congrats! You have created your first tag successfully.

Are you confused between Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics?

Google Tag Manager works differently from Google Analytics. In fact, you use Google Analytics in conjunction with GTM to ease your analysis tasks. You can only store and manage your third-party code with GTM. There is no option for analyzing data in GTM. But Google Analytics allows you to do reporting jobs like conversion tracking, time on page, eCommerce sales, bounce rates, engagement reports, etc.

To use GTM in conjunction with Google Analytics, follow these steps:

  • Remove the Google Analytics code from all the pages of your website to avoid the mess. Just keep the GTM code embedded into it.
  • Create a variable for the tracking ID of Google Analytics.
  • Save your tracking ID as the variable to avoid looking at it every time you create a new Google Analytics tag.


Google Tag Manager is a handy tool to improve the performance of your website. It helps in understanding customer behavior efficiently. Along with SEO, GTM can make your site useful. You just need the right assistance. Contact F5 Buddy to hire SEO expert for all your website needs. We offer the best Digital marketing services to boost your brand across the web.

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