Tracking is a must in today’s digital marketing efforts. Understanding your audience and their behavior is vital to determining an organization’s overall strategy and tactics to help with optimal growth; and with all the data you want at your fingertips, it’s no surprise that organizations are looking to various tracking applications. Programs like Google Analytics, Google Ads Remarketing, Google Ads Conversion, heatmap trackers like Hotjar and CrazyEgg, and social media trackers such as Facebook Pixel, Pinterest tag and LinkedIn Insight are clear indicators that tracking is in demand.
I have said it before and I will say it again, “Analytics gets you nowhere. Analysis gets you right where you need to be.” And analysis starts by collecting the right information, from the right resources at the right time. Bad data or the lack of data leads to bad or uninformed decisions.
The number 1 problem I find with many companies is that the data they are collecting is either inaccurate or imprecise. As a digital marketer, it is imperative to have the right information to provide the best solutions, so ensuring that the tracking applications we choose to use are implemented correctly is the very first step I take when working with any client; I do this with Google Tag Manager.
What is Google Tag Manager?
Google Tag Manager is a free tag management system that helps make website tracking management simple and reliable by allowing marketers to apply tags directly onto their website. These tags are easily published directly from the Google Tag Manager’s web-based user interface without having to change your website’s source code, which saves you time and resources.
Here are the top 5 reasons you need to be using Google Tag Manager:
Reason #5: Website Performance
understand what this word means is to first understand its antonym, that being the word “synchronous.” And to understand this word, I would ask that we take a look at how it affects the way in which it manages tags within your own website.
The traditional way of implementing tags was that each of these tags would be loaded synchronously, which simply means that each tag loads one at a time and in the order in which the tags have been added. If for any reason one of these tags takes longer to load, it will result in the other tags waiting to be loaded, resulting in poor website performance and slow load time. And let’s be honest- we all know that the longer a site takes to load, the more likely it is that people are going to leave it without converting. But tags created in Google Tag Manager load asynchronously by default, meaning each tag can fire anytime it’s ready to, independent from one another, resulting in increased website performance and load time. If for any reason you need to control the order in which your tags are fired, there is tag sequencing and firing priority functionality to let you do that as well.
Reason #4: Increase Productivity and Efficiency
Not a programmer? Not a problem! Thanks to Google Tag Manager you don’t have to be! By far, the biggest benefit to Google Tag Manager is that it makes it easier for you to implement tags without having to rely on web developers to do it for you. This frees up time for your developers to be focused on other matters and allows you to streamline the process of adding tags to your site.
Google Tag Manager is also not a one stop shop- it offers a wide array of advance event tracking tools and templates that will allow you to easily capture data that your standard Google Analytics account will not track.
Reason #3: Central Intelligence
In addition to making tag implementation easier and faster, Google Tag Manager acts as a central management system that stores and organizes all of the tags for your website. Think about it, all your analytics, remarketing, conversion, CRM and marketing automation pixels clearly outlined and managed within one central platform. No more digging through code and determining what tags are placed where. Instead you and your team have clear insight into how and where your tags are functioning, and more importantly assurance that there are no missing tags anywhere on your site. It is quite common for companies that operate additional CRM platforms like WordPress or Hubspot for their blogs, helpdesks, landing pages or any sort of subdomain setup to be missing critical tags. This leads me into reason #2 as to why you need to implement Google Tag Manager as your tracking management system.
Reason #2: Quality Assurance
Website quality assurance extends well beyond just the visual elements and functions seen within a webpage. In truth, great quality assurance guarantees that every possible user experience scenario is tested and data consistency is validated. This process is made possible through Google Tag Manager’s preview and debug mode, which allows the troubleshooting and correcting of tag errors. This simplified testing process includes information about triggers that fire tags and data contained within tracking tags. This ensures data accuracy prior to publishing these changes live to your site. And as most of us are aware, once tracking is live on a site, there is little to nothing that can be done to amend the data once that has been collected through third party platforms like Google Analytics. This is why making sure your tags work before you publish them to your site is vital. Beyond the built in testing tools provided by Google Tag Manager there are also a handful of other useful Chrome extensions built and/or supported by Google Tag Manager, such as Tag Assistant, Tag Manager Injector, Dataslayer and many more to help with your debugging and testing needs.
Reason #1: Security & Compliance
Google Tag Manager, like any Content Management System, has a series of built in security measures and user access controls. Beyond the obvious user and content management, the biggest security and compliance Google Tag Manager has to offer is its ability to be GDPR compliant. For those unfamiliar with GDPR, this stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. Though GDPR is European Union legislation it still has a huge effect on businesses outside the EU, including the U.S. GDPR, simply put, governs companies on what they can do with people’s personal data. It gives users more control on how their personal data is collected and used and requires companies to justify how they are to use it.
When it comes to tracking and data collection, it is important to be aware that the collection of personal data has become quite easy these days. In fact, many companies are unaware of the personal data that is being collected and stored by their very own websites, rendering them non-compliant. Google Tag Manager helps you be GDPR compliant by allowing you to implement cookie consent popups and define the logic that controls the behavior of cookie-setting scripts on your website.
Now that you know what Google Tag Manager is and why it’s important, it’s time to get it implemented into your website.
Head over to https://tagmanager.google.com/ to sign up and get started.