Tracking the performance of your site is extremely important. This information allows you to make informed decisions when making improvements. It can help you identify issues and opportunities. When it comes to tracking your site there are many tools out there that range in price and purpose. All of these services will require some amount of code to be added to your site. Adding and managing these tracking codes on your site can be a daunting task.
Installing Google Tag Manager allows you to configure and deploy tags from Google Ads, Google Analytics, and 3rd parties without needing to alter your website’s code directly. We are going to look at the three main components that make up Google Tag Manager and how they can be used.
The main feature of the service, tags refers to the tracking code snippets that are often provided when adding features like Google Analytics or Adwords to your websites. Tag Manager allows these tags to configure and publish from within the user interface when added to your site. There is support for many Google and 3rd party tracking codes, as well as the ability to add custom tags that are not yet supported.
Tags fire in response to events. Triggers are responsible for listening for those events, or actions a user takes, and telling the tag when to fire. This can be set to something as simple as a page view or complex like when a video is played. When a tag is created you will also need to add a trigger to let Google Tag Manager when the tag should be used. Triggers are what enable you to track specific interactions from your users and gain a lot more insight.
Tag Manager variables are used to both pass additional information to tags or test cases for triggers. There are several built-in variables to use such as the current Page URL to a links Click URL. This information is invaluable in letting you create custom tags and triggers that fit your needs.