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Understanding the Basics of Google Tag Manager

You can only carry out effective SEO if you track and analyse your data to understand how users interact with your site. A digital marketer knows they can only do so much without accurate data to guide their marketing strategies and decisions. Luckily, there are many tools to make optimising for search engines easier. One of them is the Google Tag Manager. 

Although this tool has been available since 2005, many are just beginning to get a hang of it and now using it to improve SEO. And this is, largely, because there is so much you can do by using a Google Tag Manager (GTM). For instance, while other analytics tools can tell you your bounce rate, you can only know why by doing more. Knowing your bounce rate is great but the only way you can correct or improve what you have is to know why and how it happened. With GTM, you can know what users are doing and why they may or may not be bouncing from your page. 


What is Google Tag Manager?

GTM is a Google tool that helps you add tags, scripts and lines of code to your site to give you more insight into how users interact with your website. Therefore, you can use GTM to collect information on clicks, bounce rates, downloads, survey forms, traffic sources and so on. And the major advantage of GTM is that it allows you to do all these without necessarily needing the help of a developer. This is why many marketers are beginning to consider GTM.

Besides that, true to Google’s constant update, using the Google Tag Manager might be inevitable in the near future because you will need GTM to operate the updated Google Analytics. So, this goes to show that if you have not been using GTM, now is the time to get with the tool.


Why You Should Use Google Tag Manager

Reduces Reliance on Developers

Without the GTM, a digital marketer would have to contact a developer or the developer in charge to make changes to the source code or add tags to the website. But with the help of GTM, you can spend less time and effort getting things done. This is because you don’t need the source code to add tags any longer; you can do this from GTM. 

Therefore, if you need to add tags for a specific temporary event or track the website data as a digital marketer, you can do it without necessarily needing to rely on a developer. And I say “necessarily” because at least, a basic knowledge of coding is still required to successfully navigate GTM. So, if you have never handled codes – while there are some aspects that are not as technical – you will still need a developer.

Beneficial to Your Business

GTM is very beneficial to small businesses especially, for different reasons. First, it makes it easier to add and manage tags on your website from one platform. This is obviously advantageous if they are on a limited budget and cannot afford more technical expertise. Again, we all know you need accurate data in digital marketing. GTM will help you have more comprehensive data to work with to reach your marketing or business goals.

Could Speed-Up Your Website

Adding tags directly on the website can slow down your site because the tags load synchronously. The problem with this is that it can increase your bounce rate because people are not that patient to wait for a site to load, especially if they can find the information they are seeking, elsewhere. And considering you have competitors, you cannot exactly hope they won’t find the same value elsewhere. 

So, the onus is on you to make sure they don’t leave your site immediately they click on it, sending the wrong message to search engines. This is where GTM comes in; tags added through the platform load asynchronously and so, doesn’t slow down your website as much as the former. 


How to Get Started on Google Tag Manager

To get started, go to the Google Tag Manager website and click on “start for free” on the top-right corner of the page. It will take you to the page to create an account and a container. 

Create an Account

  • Create an account by entering your account name. Your account name should be your business name or how you will prefer your website to be addressed.
  • Select your country
  • Enable the required box if you want to share data anonymously with Google and others. Note, however, that this is optional.

Basics of Google Tag Manager for SEO

Create Container

The next thing is to create a container. A container is basically what holds all the tags for your site. For a small company, one container might be all you need for all your tags but if your company have subsidiaries, then you should create another container for each of them. So, for instance, if you have a different website for each subsidiary, it is recommended that you create a container for each of these websites. But they can all be managed under the same account. Follow the steps below to create a container:

  • Enter your preferred container name. Although, as you can see, Google recommends using your domain name.
  • Select the target platform; that is, the type of page or app it will be used on.
  • Review and accept the Terms of Service.

Basics of Google Tag Manager for SEO

Add the Container Code to Your Website

Once your container loads, you will be given your container code. These are two snippets of code that you are expected to add to your website to verify your ownership and allow GTM to communicate with your website. You can contact your developer to add the code to your website if you are not confident to handle it yourself. 

Basics of Google Tag Manager for SEO

Add Tags

After the container code has been added, you can begin to create your tags. Successfully creating a container will give you a Google Tag Manager dashboard. 

  • On the dashboard, click Add a new tag > Tag Configuration. 
  • You will be prompted with a list of popular tag templates. Select the one you need if listed. If not, select Custom HTML to add your own code. To track all the data you need though, you will still need Google Analytics. So, you would need to add a Google Analytics tag as well as the other tags you want to create. 
  • After selecting the tag template, fill in the required information. 

Note: Ensure that you name your tags properly as well to easily identify them when you need them. Google recommends naming the tags with the type – detail – location. 

Create Trigger

  • Click the Triggering box below the Tag Configuration box to create a trigger. 
  • Click on the + sign > name your trigger
  • Then click on Tag Configuration to see a list of triggers.
  • Choose the trigger type
  • Create filters to select the conditions under which you will prefer your trigger to work.
  • Click the outside window to close
  • Save what you’ve set up


After saving, you can preview your setup on the GTM dashboard and the webpage. If you are satisfied with all the information and what you have, go ahead to publish.

The tag will begin to work as instructed. Remember that the idea of having a GTM is to get accurate and adequate data for your SEO and digital marketing as a whole. So, monitor your data to make sure you are getting the desired results. Let me add at this juncture that if you want to employ a digital agency to handle your GTM, it is recommended that you create a company account and then give them access as a user. This is so you can control who has access to your GTM. 

Did you enjoy reading this article? Then, share with others who will find it beneficial. Also, we love to hear from our readers; so, you can let us know what you think in the comment section. 


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