What Are Tags?

Every webpage on the internet is created through the amalgamation and implementation of various pieces of source code, such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript. This source code is what makes the webpage look and function exactly how it does, and also enables the use of background functions by developers or managers of the website.

This source code contains individual sections that have specific functions and purposes, including various types of marketing tools, such as analytics, AdWords, social media tracking, and email infusion. These examples can provide enormous benefit to website developers and digital marketers, but they’re a tiny selection of the wide variety of available code types.

Tags are a specific type of code used by digital marketers for tracking key pieces of information and extracting data from a website. Here are a few examples of parameters that tags can be used to track:

  • The length of time users stayed on a given page during their visit
  • The specific links that users clicked during their visitor
  • The other websites and links that visitors used to arrive on a given page
  • The number of users that filled out specific forms on a website
  • The products that users added and removed from their shopping cart

These are just a few examples from Betipy, but it’s easy to see how many possible tags may exist for a given site, and also how such information could be highly informative and beneficial for digital marketers. The tag information is usually sent on to a separate analytics tool, such as Adwords or Google Analytics.

Despite their impressive benefits, tags can be challenging and cumbersome to use, typically requiring the skills and knowledge of a professional web developer. This makes the process of adding, changing or removing tags from a website rather time-consuming and costly. Often, digital marketers simply stick with sub-optimal tag configurations and miss out on key analytics data, just to save the hassle of having the website tags updated. This is where Google Tag Manager comes in.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a free digital marketing tool that acts as the command and control center for a website’s tag setup. It provides a simple and easy-to-use user interface, and offers marketers far greater abilities in managing, controlling, and implementing website tags that would otherwise be available. To make changes to the tags within a website’s source code, a user must simply instruct Google Tag Manager of the changes they wish to implement, and it will subsequently code and embed the changes for them. This saves the user from having to dig into the website source code and start making changes themselves, which can be a huge time and money saver.

The integration process is easy as well. In order to implement Google Tag Manager, the web developer or marketer simply needs to paste a short piece of free code into their webpage source code. This piece of code is called the Google Tag Manager container snippet, and it only needs to be installed once.

This container snippet delivers access to a wealth of tag management operations for developers and marketers. It can even be further enhanced with additional modifications to the snippet code by advanced developers, if necessary. However, for the vast majority of cases, the original snippet will provide significant benefits for digital marketers, without any requirement for further modifications.

What are the Benefits of Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager offers a vast array of benefits for digital marketers. Here are 7 of the most important benefits of using Google Tag Manager…

  • Improves website speed – Google Tag Manager cleverly combines all tracking codes within the header tag of a website into a single javascript file, which is much smaller in size and far more efficient to use. This enables a significant reduction in the load time of a webpage.
  • Reduces the need for a developer – By eliminating the need to dig into a website’s source code to change its tag setup, Google Tag Manager vastly reduces the needs for a web developer, which saves both time and money. This makes Google Tag Manager highly attractive for those that either haven’t acquired any software development knowledge themselves, or don’t have the resources to hire someone that has.
  • Advanced tracking and analytics – Another benefit of using Google Tag Manager is that it offers more accurate tracking information for each of your tags and supports the use of more advanced analytics techniques. Users can therefore be far more confident in the reliability of their data and can use their data in an increased number of ways.
  • Simple to integrate – Because the installation of Google Tag Manager simply requires a few snippets of code to be inserted into header tag of a webpage, it really doesn’t require the skills of an advanced software developer. With a few basic instructions, which can be found with ease on the internet, anyone can integrate the container snippets into the source code of a website, no matter their skill level.
  • Easy to use – The beautiful user interface makes Google Tag Manager straightforward and easy to use. This is the complete opposite to the cumbersome and error-prone process of updating lines of code to change a tag setup, which also requires a significant up-front investment in terms of knowledge and skill. Instead, Google Tag Manager is user-friendly and has a small learning curve, making it very easy to use.
  • Eliminates human coding errors – Following on from the previous point, the process of updating individual lines of code can be a complex and fiddly process and is therefore highly prone to error. Especially given the fact that such tag changes are usually required urgently, in order to provide digital marketers with the latest analytics information as quickly as possible! Google Tag Manager eliminates any potential for human error, as it carries out the coding and embedding process for the users, from a few simple user instructions.
  • It’s free! – Most software packages or services that offer as many benefits to businesses and digital marketers as Google Tag Manager does come with at least a small charge, though typically a rather larger one. However, Google Tag Manager is completely free, giving potential users even more reason to give it a go!