What Is Google Tag Manager & How Does It Work?

What Is Google Tag Manager & How Does It Work?


What Is Google Tag Supervisor?

Google Tag Supervisor (GTM) is a free instrument that allows you to set up, retailer, and handle advertising and marketing tags with out modifying web site code. 

Marketing tags are small snippets of code that monitor consumer actions and acquire information. 

The most typical instance of a advertising and marketing tag is the Google tag.

The Google tag is used to put in Google Analytics and different Google services and products.

Different widespread examples embrace Google Analytics occasions, Google Advertisements conversion scripts, Meta Pixel, and remarketing tags.

install the google tag manually

Tags like these are positioned in your web site code for Google Analytics and different platforms to operate and acquire information.

However with each code change, you threat shedding or breaking tags (or different web site components).

GTM mitigates these points by permitting you to put in, handle, and deploy advertising and marketing tags from inside its software program as an alternative of in your web site code.

And the software program injects code snippets and advertising and marketing tags into your web site code solely when mandatory.

So that you gained’t unintentionally break your web site by testing one thing.

What Is Google Tag Supervisor Used For?

Google Tag Supervisor is used for managing and deploying advertising and marketing tags on a web site with out having to switch the code.

This lets you combine simply with different advertising and marketing instruments and platforms resembling:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Advertisements
  • Fb
  • Hotjar
  • CRM Platforms

And it lets you monitor nearly any type of occasion or consumer conduct you’ll be able to consider.

Listed below are some examples of generally tracked occasions:

  • Hyperlink clicks
  • Button clicks
  • Type submissions
  • Conversions
  • Buying cart abandonment
  • Including objects to cart
  • Eradicating objects from cart
  • File downloads
  • Scroll conduct
  • Video views
  • Name to motion (CTA) efficiency
  • Desk of contents (TOC) clicks
  • Customized occasions

On account of its ease of use and built-in safety features, GTM can be used to scale back dependency on builders and plugins. 

Advantages of Google Tag Supervisor

Whereas Tag Supervisor requires some technical information, it saves entrepreneurs tons of time and assets.

And it’s free.

Listed below are some advantages:

  • Decreased reliance on builders: Rapidly and easily add and handle advertising and marketing tags with out developer help
  • Testing and debugging: Preview, check, and debug modifications earlier than pushing them to a reside web site. This function helps stop errors and reduces the necessity for testing on a reside or staging web site. 
  • Person permission management: Solely approved folks could make or approve modifications to your advertising and marketing setup
  • Variations: GTM creates and logs a brand new model of the code everytime you publish modifications. This lets you view previous and current modifications and revert to earlier variations if mandatory. 
  • Workspaces: GTM allows a number of workspaces for workforce members to work concurrently with out overwriting one another’s progress
  • Straightforward configuration of many well-liked instruments: Simply add instruments and monitoring tags to your web site code utilizing code snippets or current templates (e.g., for Google Analytics, Pinterest, Google Advertisements, and so forth.) from the Community Template Gallery
  • Tag storage and administration: Google Tag Supervisor consolidates advertising and marketing tags and monitoring codes in a single place and injects them into web site code as wanted. Which lets you add, take away, and replace instruments and monitoring codes with fewer errors.
the benefits of using gtm

Ought to You Use Google Tag Supervisor?

Sure, you must most likely use Google Tag Supervisor.

Even if you’re not tremendous technical or have restricted assets accessible. 

GTM is nice for including, managing, and modifying web site monitoring and analytics codes.

And it saves time and assets by permitting you to do this stuff with out altering your web site’s supply code.

This eases the burden on improvement assets.

And reduces the chance of site-breaking errors.

Nevertheless, GTM is a fancy instrument that comes with a steep studying curve.

And setting it up appropriately is vital. 

However as soon as it’s arrange and also you’ve realized to make use of Tag Supervisor correctly, you’ll kick your self for not doing it sooner.

How Does Google Tag Supervisor Work?

Google Tag Supervisor works by utilizing a single JavaScript code snippet that you just add to your web site as a container for all of the tags you need to handle.

It has listeners that detect consumer interactions, resembling web page views.

When a consumer masses a web page, the GTM listeners detect the motion.

Then they verify if the motion matches any triggers which were arrange in GTM.

If the interplay matches a set off, the related tag is fired. 

The tag might be a code snippet for Google Analytics or different advertising and marketing platform.

Or it might be a particular occasion you need to monitor (e.g., views of a sure web page). 

When the tag is fired, the code is injected into the web site.

Then the tag processes the related information and sends it to the respective third-party service (e.g., Google Analytics or Fb Pixel).

In different phrases, GTM solely injects and executes a tag when a consumer triggers one.

This reduces the general quantity of code on a web site and minimizes the chance of implementation errors.

Tags can solely operate together with different GTM elements referred to as triggers and variables.

They assist to find out when to execute the code snippets.


Tags are snippets of code that analytics, advertising and marketing, and help platforms use to combine with websites and apps.

They’re like observers you set in your web site.

They preserve monitor of what customers do, like click on hyperlinks or view pages. 

And so they ship this data to instruments like Google Analytics or ImpactHero.

Tags finally assist you to perceive consumer conduct.

GA4 configuration page

Examples of Tags

The next are examples of generally used tags. These are instruments and platforms typically put in with GTM:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Ads
  • PageImprove
  • Loopy Egg
  • Hotjar
  • ImpactHero
  • Pinterest Tag
  • LinkedIn Perception
  • Twitter Common Internet Tag
  • Fb/Meta Pixel
  • SplitSignal
  • Appcues
  • HubSpot
  • Intercom
  • Mixpanel
  • Salesforce
  • Customized occasions and monitoring


Triggers are directions and standards for when tags ought to hearth.

Web page views, kind submissions, and hyperlink clicks are widespread examples of triggers.

When a consumer views a web page or clicks a hyperlink, the related tag will hearth.

Each tag will need to have no less than one set off so GTM is aware of below which circumstances to fireplace the tag. 

Analytics platforms like Google Analytics usually use web page views as a set off.

It’s because you need analytics information from each web page a consumer visits.

Alternatively, you may solely need a conversion monitoring tag to fireplace when a consumer locations an merchandise of their cart.

Or maybe after they full the checkout course of. 

When every tag’s specified occasion happens, its set off tells the tag to fireplace.

In any other case, the tag won’t hearth.

And GTM gained’t execute the code snippet.

You may also add variables to triggers to additional specify if you need tags to fireplace.

For instance, it’s possible you’ll solely need your help chat to fireplace on pages within the checkout funnel.

On this case, you may add a variable telling the tag to solely hearth on web page views of pages with “/checkout/” within the URL. 

You possibly can assign a number of triggers to a single tag.

assign triggers to tags in ga4

Examples of Triggers

Listed below are among the mostly used triggers:

  • Web page views
  • Hyperlink clicks
  • Button clicks
  • Type submissions
  • File downloads
  • Scroll depth
  • Time spent on web page
  • Customized occasion 


Variables are further items of data GTM may have to fireplace a tag or set off.

They assist outline exactly what the tag or set off is meant to do.

For instance, “Constant” and “Google Analytics Settings” are widespread kinds of variables.

They’re each usually used to outline Google Analytics account IDs (i.e., “Monitoring ID” in Common Analytics and “Measurement ID” or “Google Tag” in GA4).

Each time you create a Google Analytics tag, you’ll want to enter your monitoring or measurement ID. 

This will get tedious, as most of us don’t memorize these IDs.

As a substitute, you’ll be able to create a variable that merely shops your ID.

Then, everytime you create a brand new tag that requires this data, you merely connect the variable you created.

One other widespread variable is “Web page URL.”

For those who wished to trace web page views of your checkout web page, you’d need to assign the “Web page Views” set off.

However to specify the checkout web page, you’d need to assign the Web page URL variable and add the URL on your checkout web page.

variables overview in gtm

Examples of Variables

The next are among the commonest variables:

  • Fixed
  • Google Analytics Settings
  • Click on URL
  • Click on ID
  • Click on Class
  • Web page URL
  • Web page Path
  • Type ID
  • Scroll depth threshold

Google Tag Supervisor vs. Google Analytics

Although typically conflated, Google Tag Supervisor and Google Analytics are completely different instruments you should utilize collectively to gather and report on internet analytics and consumer conduct. 

Google Tag Supervisor is a tag administration system that shops and manages advertising and marketing tags and third-party code snippets.

There are not any analytics or reviews in Tag Supervisor.

Google Tag Manager home

Google Analytics, then again, is software program used for analytics, conversion monitoring, and reporting.

Google Analytics home

You should utilize GTM to put in and deploy Google Analytics on a web site. (Google recommends doing this.)

Do You Must Change Something for Google Analytics 4?

Sure. In case you are utilizing GTM to put in Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you’ll want to put in the Google Tag.

Other than that, utilizing Google Tag Supervisor with GA4 is similar to utilizing it with Common Analytics (UA).

One of many predominant variations is that Google now gives a separate tag for GA4 occasions.

Beforehand, you’d implement UA and monitor occasions utilizing the identical tag. 

One other distinction is that GA4 can mechanically monitor and acquire many extra occasions than UA by itself.

Which suggests much less want for handbook occasion monitoring in GTM.

Nevertheless, you’ll be able to nonetheless use GTM to trace something GA4 doesn’t present.

Tag Supervisor and GA4 work seamlessly collectively. 

Learn Google’s information on moving from UA to GA4 for added data.

Tips on how to Set Up Google Tag Supervisor

To arrange Google Tag Supervisor, log in to your Google account and go to Tag Manager.

Click on “Create Account” to create an account for your corporation or group.

create account button highlighted

Enter an “Account Identify” and choose your nation.

Google recommends that every enterprise create just one account—whether or not you might have one web site or a number of.

Your organization title can function your account title.

account setup

Subsequent, enter a “Container title.” 

Container name box highlighted

Your container is the piece of code you’ll add to your web site to make Google Tag Supervisor work.

You’ll usually use one container per web site.

So your container title will be your web site title or URL.

Then, choose your “Goal platform.” For web sites, select “Internet.”

select target platform

Click on “Create” to make your Tag Supervisor account and your first container. 

Subsequent, you’ll see two pop-ups. 

The primary is the Google phrases of service.

Comply with the phrases by checking the field on the backside of the web page. 

And click on “Sure” to just accept on the high proper nook of your display.

agree to google terms

The second pop-up shows the code snippets you’ll want to add to your web site to put in GTM.

code snippet to install gtm

The primary code snippet makes use of JavaScript to extract data.

Place that snippet as excessive within the <head> part of your web site pages as attainable.

how to add code snippet to your website

The second snippet is an HTML iframe.

Place that code instantly after the opening <physique> tag in your webpages.

Like this:

how to add code snippet to your website

(The HTML iframe aspect ensures that GTM nonetheless works when customers disable JavaScript of their browsers.) 

When you’ve arrange your account and correctly put in the 2 code snippets, you’re prepared to start out utilizing Google Tag Supervisor. 

Tips on how to Use Google Tag Supervisor

To show find out how to use Google Tag Supervisor, we’ll stroll you thru find out how to join a Google Analytics 4 property to your web site.

Start by logging in to your Google Tag Manager account.

Click on “New Tag” or “Add a brand new tag” to create a brand new tag.

create a new tag in gtm

Add a reputation on your tag. We propose one thing like “GA4 Configuration.”

choose a tag name

Subsequent, click on on “Tag Configuration.”

Tag Configuration highlighted

Click on “Google Analytics.”

select Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration

And choose “Google Tag” from the listing.

“Google Tag” selected from the list

Enter the Google tag ID on your GA4 property.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to create a variable to retailer your Google tag ID for future use.

Google tag ID box under ga4 configuration

Click on the “Triggering” field.

Triggering box under ga4 configuration

And choose “All Pages” from the listing that pops up.

all pages

Then click on “Save.”

save button highlighted

Return to your workspace overview web page and click on “Preview” to check your new modifications.

test new changes by clicking preview

Enter your web site’s URL within the subsequent display.

Then click on “Join” to open your web site in a brand new window and start testing and debugging.

connect button

When you’re linked, your web site ought to open in a brand new pop-up.

With the Tag Assistant within the decrease proper nook of your window.

tag assistant connected

Preserve that window open and return to the preview web page.

The preview web page ought to say, “Related!”

Connected! page

After you hit “Proceed,” begin debugging your tags within the preview window.

Google tags preview window

It’s best to see your newly created GA4 Configuration tag firing on every web page as you navigate your web site.

This implies your tag implementation was profitable.

Whenever you’re accomplished debugging, shut the newly opened home windows and return to your web page overview.

Then click on “Submit” to submit your modifications.

submit changes button

You should definitely give your modifications a descriptive “Model Identify” and “Model Description.”

Version name and description boxes

Lastly, click on “Publish” to push your modifications to your reside web site and allow GA4.

This may publish a new version of your container to your web site.

It’s best to now see hits registering within the “Realtime” report of your GA4 property as you and different customers navigate the web site.

Realtime overview

Finest GTM Extensions

Browser extensions assist you to get extra out of Tag Supervisor. 

The next extensions present further data on the tags which are firing (or not firing).

And any points that come up together with your implementations.

In addition they present essential particulars relating to your variables, triggers, and code snippets. 

The next extensions are among the greatest for facilitating your GTM efforts:

Monitor Even Extra Information

Google Tag Supervisor lets you monitor nearly any consumer conduct or interplay you’ll be able to consider.

And GA4 comes with a whole lot of precious consumer information proper out of the field.

However easy web page metrics and occasions can solely inform you what occurred. 

ImpactHero goes past that and tells you why one thing occurred.

And what you’ll want to do to enhance it. 

ImpactHero overview dashboard

From buyer journey mapping to content material efficiency evaluation, ImpactHero gives the advertising and marketing information you actually have to be profitable.


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