How to use Google Tag Manager?

Discover how to use your first tag on Google Tag Manager and make it easier to analyze your web site traffic.

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a tool in the Google suite that enables you to collect the data stored in your website when “users” browse it. But what does tracking actually mean? And how to use the Google Tag Manager?

Tracking is the practice or technique by which a website collects, records and shares information about an individual’s activities on the Web.

By analyzing these activities, it’s possible to provide content tailored to the visitor’s preferences, as well as collecting data that enables the web-marketer to understand the user’s journey on its site.

Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows us to implement “tags” on your site, enabling you to collect precise data on different modules of the site. (e.g.: how many people viewed a certain page, or how many people clicked on your CTA).

Let’s discover together how to use Google Tag Manager!

Why is Google Tag Manager so widely used?

Implementing tags on a website is essential for any web marketer, for several reasons. Tags are used to understand the traffic generated on a site, to determine its target audience, and to analyze our user’s customer journey in order to improve the user experience and maximize conversions.

But the real added value of Google Tag Manager is that it’s very easy to get to grips with, even for a marketer with no notion of code.

If you don’t use GTM, every time you need to include a tag on your website, you have to “hard code” it. Including the code directly in the Web code of each page requires good coding skills, so one more profile to integrate into your structure. What’s more, GTM allows you to centralize all the platforms installed on your site.

This means you can:

  • Empower your marketing team
  • Exclude extra technical resources
  • Dynamically modify code

How to install Google Tag Manager?

Now that you know the benefits of GTM, we’ve put together an setup guide to make the task easier.

To install Google Tag Manager, follow this short checklist:

  • Create an account and select your Country
  • Install the two given code parts in your website’s source code: one in the header and the other in the Body.
Google Tag Manager Setup
Google Tag Manager Setup

There are several variations depending on your CMS (e.g. Webflow, WordPress, InstaPage). Follow the instructions below according to yours:

Webflow setup code:

  • Go to the custom code tab
  • Put the first code tag in the Head code section and the second in the Footer section
  • Press “save changes” and then “publish”

WordPress setup:

WordPress has a direct extension for GTM. Simply go to the Extensions tab in your WordPress Back Office, search for Google Tag Manager and press “Install”.

Instapage setup:

Similar to WordPress, installing GTM on Instapage is very simple. Go to the “edit site” tab, then click on “Integrations” and select Google Tag Manager.

To check that Google Tag Manager is correctly installed in your CSM, install the Google Tag Assistant plug-in in your search engine. When you’re on the GTM platform, click on the “preview” CTA and enter the name of your website.

Understanding the Google Tag Manager platform

To understand the GTM platform and, above all, how it works, you need to learn what a “Tag” and a “Trigger” are.

Creating a new Google Tag and its trigger
Creating a new Google Tag and its trigger

Tag: A tag is a script used to send Custom Script / Snippet Analytics data etc. (GA, Hotjar, Google Ads, LinkedIn, HTML (FB)…)

Trigger: A trigger listens for certain events, such as clicks, form submissions/page loading. When an event corresponding to a trigger is detected, the tag corresponding to the trigger is triggered.

Google Analytics – Installing your first tag

So let’s get down to business! It’s time to install your first tag. We’re going to install Google Analytics on our website.

Warning:

  • Warning, GTM must already be installed in your website’s source code for this to work
  • You must already have a Google Analytics account and know your tracking ID
    (Google Analytics → Go Admin → Property settings → Copy tracking ID)
  • If you have an AdBlock: Disable it on all pages whenever you perform any manipulation on Google Tag Manager.

Here we go:

  • In GTM: Go to the Tags section and press New
  • Name your tag: e.g. GA-Page view
  • Press Tag Configuration and select Google Analytics universal if you’re using GA3 or Google Analytics GA configuration if you’re using GA 4
  • Select “Page View” in Track type and then select New variable (if this is the first time you’ve connected GA to GTM).
Google Tag selection and configuration
Google Tag selection and configuration
  • Copy and paste the tracking ID from Google Analytics (if you don’t know where to find it, see our Warning paragraph above)
  • Rename the variable and give it the name of your site: (e.g. Impulse-Analytics)
  • Once saved, click on Triggering
  • Select Page View and Select All pages

Once you’ve saved, you should see the following:

Configured tag in Google Tag Manager
Configured tag in Google Tag Manager
  • To finish setting up this 1ʳᵉ Google Analytics tag
  • Click on Save
  • Return to the overview tab and click Submit to finalize the implementation of this first tag
  • To see if this has been implemented, go to Google Analytics → Realtime → Overview → 1 or more active users on your site
  • Your Tag is well implemented, BRAVO!
  • ⚠️ If it still doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to re-submit in GTM.

Conclusion:

That’s it, you’ve got the basics of Google Tag Manager and you’ve just implemented your first tag! This has enabled you to link your Google Tag Manager & Google Analytics accounts, an action that will facilitate the analysis of your site traffic.

The next steps are to create multiple vents within GA & GTM to track personalized events. This is particularly useful for tracking your Google Ads campaigns. You can also implement a Facebook Ads Pixel.

The possibilities with Google Tag Manager are endless. There are plenty of online resources to help you better understand the tool and unblock sticking points on the web, so don’t hesitate.


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Samuel Loubeyre

Samuel Loubeyre

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