google tag manager

Google Tag Manager: Discovering the tool

The Alphabet group has developed a plethora of tools for webmasters. If Google Analytics remains the most widely used to date, Google Tag Manager is also a powerful utility for expanding your site’s audience. Unfortunately, this creation from the Mountain View firm remains relatively little known. If you are looking for new avenues to get your online business off the ground, we suggest you discover Google Tag Management and learn how to use it to understand the behavior of visitors to your site.

Google Tag Manager, what is it and what is it for?

Like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager is a free tool widely available to webmasters. This utility allows them to create various events for tracking. Note that GTM continues to evolve until today. To write this post, we relied on the version dating from November 2021.

That said, whatever the version, GTM allows you to organize online events to facilitate the collection of data concerning Internet users. The tool thus provides the means to keep an eye on what visitors are doing. Enough to improve the effectiveness of your communication actions.

Still, GTM should in principle be used in addition to Google Analytics. GTM will allow you to have precise statistics on the number of people who click on a button, on the average viewing time of advertisements published on your platform or even the time spent scrolling a specific page. However, to collect this valuable information, you will need to configure Google Tag Manager correctly.

Google Tag Manager: Instructions for use

If Google Tag Manager is not very successful, it is certainly due to its somewhat difficult handling. Indeed, the user must understand fairly precise terms to be able to configure the tool correctly. We therefore suggest that you discover the lexicon specific to Google Tag Manager to help you use it.

GTM Glossary

Here is a non-exhaustive list of terms to know to effectively use Google Tag Manager:

  • Container: the container corresponds to a website or an application. This brings together the tags, triggers and other elements that we will present below.
  • Tag: these are really the trackers to install on your site. They therefore allow GTM to track the actions of your visitors. They are essential for events to trigger under a certain condition. The tags measure, for example, the number of views and transmit this information to GTM to possibly trigger an event.
  • Trigger: This is the action chosen to trigger the envenoming. The trigger can be, for example, watching a video, scrolling to a certain element on the page or even clicking on any banner.
  • Variable: It will determine the triggering of the environment. The variable allows you to rely on elements external to your site. It is therefore possible for you to target visitors from Linkedin from the variables for example.
  • Event/tag: this is all its parameters brought together to create an animation or for effective monitoring of the behavior of your visitors.

By using tags, triggers and variables wisely, we can effectively target customers who view a presentation video at more than 60%. It is thus possible to present a form, promotional offers or other content to these people. The event corresponds precisely to the display of these elements

Update on variables

Understanding the full importance of variables is crucial to mastering GTM. These elements define the rules which will condition the course of the event. Technically, these variables will be called when the tag is triggered. In other words, when Internet users meet the conditions you have defined.

Still, we distinguish two main families of variables in Google Tag Manager:

  • Native variables which are therefore already present on the tool;
  • Variables to personalize that you configure according to your needs.

For effective tracking/retargeting or communication actions, you will need to focus on this second category of variable. The possibilities are endless since you can take advantage of navigation variables, page variables and elements or even data specific to your site.

Regardless, consider looking at the following variables to explore all the possibilities offered by GTM:

  • Variables linked to Google Analytics first of all since properly synchronizing GA and GTM will be essential to fully understand the metrics. It will first be necessary to combine the data collected or produced by these two tools. This way, you will discover in a more intuitive way various avenues to get your online business off the ground.
  • Conversion Linker: this is a set of variables allowing you to refine your analyzes related to conversions. Here, it is a question of counting clicks or tracing those actions that lead to a sale. With All pages views, you can set up this monitoring on all the pages of your site in no time.

Good to know : you won’t find any use for a large number of variables. However, as you manipulate GTM, you will gradually find the interest of these variables which sometimes seem far-fetched.

Update on tags

Beacons are not simple trackers. They will transmit key data to GTM when an event is triggered. Getting to grips with these elements will be more or less tedious. When setting up a tag, you will need to select a data source from more than twenty. For example, you will have the choice between Google Analatics Universal, Faceboo, Quoral pixel or even Linkedin Insight.

The choice of data source will change the outcome of the actions you take. By choosing “Facebook” for example, GTM will ultimately only report information concerning visitors coming from a Facebook Ads campaign. Of course, this information will only concern the people who triggered the event.

To configure a tag, for example, you will need to click on Google Analytics, go to “Behavior” then “Events” and overview. It then remains to fill in the “Category”, “Action” and “Label”. Once everything is in place, you will find the information collected in the same place.

These elements open up countless possibilities. For example, do you want to know the people who have put a given item in their basket? All you have to do is “watch” the button intended to add an item to the basket on the page that corresponds to this product.

We can use the same technique to count the number of people who click on a blog post. To better understand the behavior of your visitors, you need to know where these Internet users come from. This is possible by carefully choosing your data sources.

In a completely different universe, GTM gives you the means to carry out a kind of AB Testing. Let’s imagine that you have placed several clicks to action buttons on a given page. You want to know which one attracts visitors more. To do this, we will create a tag for each button. We will insert a click classes to then estimate the probability that an average Internet user will click on this or that element. This kind of experience would not be possible relying solely on Google Analytics.

The latter lacks precision in this scenario. It will simply display the number of people who accessed the page in question. GTM refines the results by showing you precisely the elements that arouse the most interest among visitors. To do this, you must learn how to use “Click Classes”. A piece of code that allows you to identify each clickable element on a page.

Fortunately, finding “Click Classes” is relatively within everyone’s reach. To do this, simply go to the page concerned, right-click then click on inspect. By pointing the cursor on the element in question, the snippet of code will be displayed. All you have to do is go to “class” and no button to finally discover the “click class” that interests you.

Note that for various reasons, it is possible that all the buttons have the same identifier. In this case, the manipulation will be much more complex. The webmaster must make some in-depth modifications to be able to distinguish each button. The way in which your site was coded therefore also comes into play.

To find out if you are suitable for a single click class page, just do a little search using control + F in the snippet of code. By searching for “class”, you will discover the number of iterations and therefore the number of click classes. If you have several elements, everything will be done without any problem and you will therefore be able to track each button separately.

Update on triggers

A trigger corresponds to the action that the Internet user must perform to trigger the event. To date, there are four categories of triggers, namely:

  • Page views, i.e. the successful loading of a page or the fact that the Internet user gives consent by accepting cookies or checking a specific box;
  • Clicks;
  • Interactions with the visitor (e.g.: viewing a video, subscribing to the newsletter, etc.);
  • The so-called “other” triggers which group together different parameters that you can configure as you wish (e.g.: timer, module loading error, etc.).

These elements play an important role since, in fact, creating an event is equivalent to linking a tag to a trigger. In particular, you will discover all the possible triggers by browsing Google Tag Manager.

Installing Google Tag Manager: how to proceed?

Installing Google Tag Manager is just as important as its initial settings. To make full use of its features, it is in your best interest to bring together all the tools offered by Google under a single email address. So consider using a single email address for Google Analytics, Google Adds, and other accounts you’ll need to effectively grow your audience.

By making this choice, these different tools will communicate much more easily. Enough to give you access to more complete and more relevant analyses. You will also save time in monitoring your site and implementing your communication actions.

Getting started with Google Tag Manager

First of all, you must first create your GTM account. With this in mind, go to the corresponding page and then click on “create your account”. After completing the different forms, you will have to create one or more containers. In principle, each container will correspond to a site. By following this rule, you will find your way around more easily later.

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Before creating an event, you will first need to place a GTM tag in the header and body of your site. The piece of code to install is located in “Admin” then “Install Google Tag Manager”. If you have difficulty placing these elements, it is better to contact a developer. Once you’ve completed this step, it’s finally time to experience everything Google Tag Manager has to offer.

Overview of the Google Tag Manager interface

As with all tools designed by Google, you will find yourself facing a fairly minimalist interface. The header menu provides information about your account and the version of the tool you have. You will also find the administration options there.

On the left of the screen, you have everything related to events. You will therefore go there for the creation of tags, the management of variables and triggers. You also have the option to create folders to better organize current campaigns. A little advice from us: consider organizing your events by type of tag. For example, bring together the tags that track videos and those that track conversions or scrolling.

How to use Google Tag Manager?

We are finally tackling the subject that many of you have been impatiently waiting for: “how to use Google Tag Manager?” “. Well ! This will involve creating variables, tags and triggers one by one. You won’t be able to track anything unless you put these things together. That said, the operation will be somewhat tedious as you will discover.

Create a variable

Creating a tag/event begins with the creation of a certain number of variables. As indicated above, you will have the choice between native variables and others to customize. Remember that these will determine the nature of the information that GTM will provide.

First, you absolutely must create a Google Analytics variable. This variable will allow GTM to communicate with Google Analytics and will thus ensure effective tracking. In the GTM interface these variables are named “Google Analytics Settings”. Go to the corresponding option and then click on “New”. All you have to do is rename the variable according to your needs.

Unfortunately, everything is not automatically linked to Google Analytics. You must therefore still indicate the number specific to your Google Analytics account. This information remains to be recorded.

Good to know : the Google Analytics number corresponds to a series of alphanumeric characters preceded by UA. To find it, you will have to go to property parameter.

Create a tag

Second, you will need to create a tag. In the menu on the left of the screen you will find “Beacon”. You will have to click there to then create an untitled tag.

First, consider renaming your tag to provide more clarity in your approach. To do this, you would need to create a name, an extension which will suggest the tool linked to the variable, the type of tag and the type of tracked action/trigger.

For example, we could imagine a tag that we would call LI (Linkedin Insight) – Event – ​​scrolling. In this specific case, the Linkedin Insight tag calls an event after scrolling until reaching a certain part of the page. The idea here is to ensure that you immediately recognize the function of a tag at first glance. You can make up your own rules to navigate this.

That said, in the majority of cases, you will have to create tags linked to Google Analytics with “Google Analytics: Universal Analytis” as the data source. However, nothing prevents you from collecting and using data from Linkedin Ads, Facebook Ads or even Pinterest.

You still have a host of tags that meet specific needs. Familiarize yourself with the most common tags before exploring the other possibilities that the tool offers you.

To return to creating your tag, you still need to fill in other fields. We will once again provide the terms you need to know and the actions you can take. Here are just these terms to know. These will be in the form of boxes or columns to fill in.

NB: Here, we assume that you create a “Google Analytics: Universal Analytis” tag.

  • The “Category” field: This will indicate the type of action tracked by the tag. For example, we can stay on the lookout for a click or even a scroll.
  • The “Action” field: you indicate the action carried out, this time providing more precision.
  • The “label” field, which is optional, will allow you, for example, to provide more precision. The information provided will appear under “Learn more”.
  • The “Value” field, which is also optional, will allow you, for example, to indicate the amount you will collect if the scenario unfolds as you wish.

That said, creating a tag is more than just filling in these fields. You still need to configure the tag. In this specific case, we will configure a tag so as to send a form to those who have fulfilled the conditions that you will define. Here, the user will have to choose between appropriate tracking (Duration Tracking, Event Tracking or Page View Tracking). Event tracking should be set up when sending a form.

It is therefore a question of configuring the tracking of events in “event”. We will put Form as category, Form submission as Action and finally Send as label. We will leave the value field empty since the tool will not count the sending of a form as an interaction.

To associate the tag with a variable, you simply need to select the variable you created earlier in Google Analytics Settings. Further down, you have the “Trigger” option.

Configure a trigger

All that remains is to configure the trigger so that your tag is fully operational. Without a correctly configured trigger, all your efforts will be in vain since GTM will not be able to collect any information. Here you must define the conditions to be met for the event to be triggered, this condition can be linked to a click, the viewing of a video or even scrolling.

First, you will need to rename the trigger and then choose the type of trigger in question. For our example, you will need to choose “Send a form”.

Once the selection is made, the tool will present you with two boxes namely “Wait for tags” and “Check tags”.

The first option provides the means to delay sending the form. Here, the tool will wait for the visitor to meet a certain number of conditions before sending. It can also wait a certain amount of time. By deactivating this option, certain tags linked to conditions that are quite difficult to meet will take a while to activate.

The second option only brings up the information when the form has actually been sent. Otherwise, the tool will report the information without confirming whether or not the Internet user in question has received the form in question.

In our example, we will just activate the validation check. This way, we will rely on correct data and not on attempts to send forms.

Once this choice is made, it is finally time to define the condition that will ultimately trigger the event. In our example, you will first have to choose the variable that you will associate with the trigger. Here, we will target a specific page. With this in mind, we will select “Page URL” to provide part of the URL. Different rules give you the means to target, for example, URLs that start with the characters you define. Likewise, you can exclude URLs starting or ending with a particular URL.

All that remains is to choose the condition of your choice by referring to a long list. For example, you can create a specific button and wait for the visitor in question to click on it so that the form is displayed. Afterwards, everything will be recorded and the event will have been correctly configured. We will have succeeded in configuring, in turn, a variable, a tag and finally the trigger.

Carry out the necessary tests

We finally managed to create an event, but we still need to know if everything is working correctly. Fortunately, Google engineers have planned for this. You have the “Preview” option on the upper right corner of the screen. This will provide the means to check the tags in no time.

In preview mode, you must enter the URL of your website and then be redirected to the address entered. No windows will be closed here. We will return to the GTM interface to ensure that we are properly connected. If this is the case, we will click on Continue.

On the GTM interface, you will distinguish between Tag fired and Tag not fired. The first designate tags which work correctly, the second do not work. Triggering problems are often due to an oversight, the different elements have not been associated correctly. In this situation, do some checking.

The Google Tag Manager assistant extension will make your tests easier to run. All you have to do is go to the window opened by GTM to browse your site and carry out the actions outlined. A pop-up will immediately present whether everything is working correctly or not.

Validate your tags

Once the checks have been carried out and the fixes applied, all that remains is to return to the dashboard. We will then click on Send so that the event is validated. Without the validation step, GTM will not report the information to Google Analytics.

To avoid getting lost in your future campaigns, rename the version that you will validate. For our Form Submission example – “validation date” would be ideal.

To conclude

In this post, we learned how to install, configure and use Google Tag Manager. You are now able to launch your events and measure the engagement of your customers.

The tool offers you endless possibilities to sell your products and services more effectively. By launching the appropriate campaigns, you will know how your customers react to paid advertising or other marketing choices. You therefore have the means to monitor the actions of visitors coming from Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterest or Google Ads.

GTM is also an opportunity to be seized for all web entrepreneurs and 2.0 companies. Until today, few advertisers use this tool. Indeed, using this utility is not within everyone’s reach. Until today, the majority of webmasters make do with Google Analytics. However, it is possible for them to carry out more effective tracking.

Beyond simple tracking, Google Tag Manager will help you identify those that work on your site to maximize the conversion rate. It will help you better understand prospects’ expectations and more easily arouse their interest.