Marketing Analytics

How To Understand & Configure Google Tag Manager

Successful marketing campaigns require coding to be installed across the website to track the performance of your campaigns. A few examples of these codes are:

  • Google Analytics
  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads Conversion Tracking
  • Bing UET
  • Google Ads Retargeting
  • Marchex DNI Call Tracking
  • Lead capture pop-up
  • and so many more!

As a digital marketer, I often have to send marketing tags to my clients with instructions on where to place them. Then I have to wait until they get to it and hope they do it correctly.
Why not have one central “container” to keep all the tags with triggers assigned to each one to automatically be placed in the right pages? That’s the point of Google Tag Manager and I personally won’t move forward with any campaign until I know that Tag Manager is properly configured.

This tool is made to be easy to use, so let’s go over the basics.

What’s a tag?

Although not all the same thing, tags are often called codes, scripts, or pixels. To the layman, they mean essentially the same thing. They are the fancy computer language coding that collects and sends data.
Example Google Analytics tag

What do you mean by triggers?

Triggers are how you tell a tag where it should be placed. For example, the trigger you would use for Google Analytics is “All Pages” whereas the trigger you’d use for the Google Ads Conversion is Page URL Contains “thank-you”, or however your URL identifies the confirmation of a lead capture. See your webmaster for your confirmation URL.
Example tags with their associated triggers

What’s a container?

A container is a central place for your tags to be uploaded and for their trigger to be assigned.

  1. Install container on all pages of the website.
  2. Save tags inside the container in your Tag Manager account.
  3. Assign triggers to each tag.
  4. Publish container.
  5. #winnnig

Find your container code &gt Admin &gt Install Google Tag Manager

Save the two codes in separate TXT files. Use Notepad for Windows or TextEdit for Mac. Use the following file names:

  • Tag Manger 1 of 2 – Paste this code as high in the HEAD of the page as possible.txt
  • Tag Manager 2 of 2 – Paste this code immediately after the opening BODY tag.txt

Install The First Code Snippet

Paste this code as high in the &lthead&gt of the page as possible:
Example HEAD tag

Install The Second Code Snippet

Additionally, paste this code immediately after the opening &ltbody&gt tag:
Example BODY tag

Setup Tags & Assign Triggers

Now that you’ve either installed the container or sent the instructions off to your webmaster to install them, it’s time to load it up with tags and triggers! Tag Manager holds your hand through this process, so I’ll give a simple example and then you should take some time to dive in yourself and try it out. It’s easier done than said!

Save A Tag

Most tags have templates that you’ll discover while setting this up. If no template exists, you can choose Custom HTML and paste any tag you’d like into the HTML window.

Workspace &gt Tags &gt New Tag &gt Choose a tag type

Assign A Trigger

Click on Choose a trigger from the tag editing screen. You can select the All Pages trigger if you want your tag on every page or you can click the little blue plus button on the top of the screen to configure your own trigger.
Example confirmation page trigger

Don’t Forget To Publish

The changes you make don’t go live until you publish your container, so don’t forget to do this.

Let Ethical Digital Do It

Ethical Digital believes in great reporting and tag management is vital to that. Get started by clicking below and let Ethical Digital come up with the plan and do the work for you.

Let’s get started!

By Kevin Frei

Kevin Frei is an entrepreneur, paid media specialist, and intermittent nomad from Arizona. Ethical Digital is his third startup after and an online traffic school company. An avid traveler and economics hobbyist, Kevin's goal is to revolutionize the way service companies are organized so that more people can achieve the dream of professional (and locational) independence.

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