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What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a FREE Solution from Google that allows anyone to manage all their TAGS (or scripts) in one easy to use interface. Not only that, Google Tag Manager allows anyone to "trigger" advance setups of tracking and analytics without writing code.

In this guide, you'll learn the what, why and how to use Google Tag Manager on your websites to make your tag management a lot more efficient, faster and easier.

Why use Google Tag Manager?

Have you ever had the problem where you needed to add a new script on your website, and the only option to do that is to use a plugin, or to fiddle with the source code of your site. 

Of course, if you're technical enough, that's really easy to do. But what if you're afraid to 'break' your website if you accidentally break the "source code"?

These are just some of the most basic reasons that I can think of on why you should use Google Tag Manager. 

Of course, there's also the other reasons of being able to manage your scripts and tags more efficiently. Instead of adding comments to your source code, and adding them in your header/footer sections, you can easily use Google Tag Manager to manage all of them inside your account.

Then what you do is you setup variables and triggers on "when" you'd like the scripts or "tags" to "fire.

If these words doesn't make sense, I'll try to explain much better in the How-to section below.

How To Setup Google Tag Manager?

Setting up your Google Tag Manager account for your website is fairly easy. This is just a beginner's guide, so we won't deal with custom variables, event triggers, cross-domain etc in this guide, but basically my goal here is to be able to help you setup your first tag by the end of this article.

Let's get started.

The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you've created a Google Tag Container. It will be your website's Google Tag Manager account. 

Like GA, it starts with this acronym : GTM-XXXXX

This will be your GTM Code that you'll need to ADD on ALL The Pages of your Website.

This is usually the ONLY step that you'll need to fiddle with your website and add some lines of codes.

Once you've added the Google Tag Manager script to all the pages on your website, you won't need to do it again and all the configuration of tags/scripts/codes will happen inside your Google Tag Manager account.

That's why I love to call GTM, the "One code" that rules them all (sorry, can't resist the Lord of The Rings analogy - obviously a fan!)

Once you've installed the GTM Code on your website, it's time to setup your very first Tag with GTM.

Let's continue to the next section.

What Are Tags, Triggers and Variables?

Tags are your scripts and codes. This is where you'll want to add the script that you want to 'trigger' on your website.

There's two types of ways you can use tags. You can use the built-in tags and just enter your unique ID, or the other method is to use the CUSTOM HTML setting to "embed" the code inside your Google Tag Manager container.

For example, for BING Ads, you can use the built-in Tags, but for Facebook Pixel, you'll want to use the CUSTOM HTML option and embed your Facebook Pixel script there.

Triggers are where you'd like the tags to fire. The easiest way to understand this is when your like creating your Custom Audiences on Facebook. You can create different triggers based on pages visited on your website. You can create combination triggers like : show only to visitors who visited URL www.domain.com/this-url without www.domain.com/thank-you which can be used to segment your website visitors based on what they did on your site.

Variables are the value that are either automatically or manually configured for use with your tags. Let's say you have a Total purchase value variable. You can then use this variable to be triggered or collected on your purchase page. This variable can then be used in a datalayer variable which can be fired to provide values to your dynamic remarketing pixels and Facebook Pixel (conversion values).

Don't worry if these things doesn't make sense,  you can definitely reach out to me anytime you have any questions or if you got stuck.

About Ryan Cruz

I help people deal with tech-overwhelm and information overload so that they could focus on what really matters to build, optimize, grow and scale their online business.

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