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Google Tag Manager: What, why and how?

Google Tag Manager is a management and debugging console to manage third-party tagging in one place.

For clients, it takes away the stress of adding codes (such as conversion tracking and PPC remarketing) and for agencies, it makes recording results and tracking behaviour so much easier.

Why is it important?

From conception to deployment, tagging can take anything from a few days to many months to implement — this all depends on the vendor. Tag management allows deployment in real time.

How to implement it

Implementation is simple: copy and paste the snippet that Google Tag Manager provides just after the opening <body> tag to get started.

There are four aspects to consider: containers, tags, rules and macros.

Step one: Containers

A container is the blank canvas, an empty box. It is the holding area ready to fire whatever tags you choose to implement from within your Google Tag Manager console.

Step two: Tags

Tags are the snippets of code we want to fire within our container.

There are many different tagging solutions offered within Google Tag Manager, and the needs of a campaign determine which ones we look to deploy.

Step three: Rules

Rules determine how, when and where a particular tag will be fired (or even blocked). In essence, tags simply do not fire without a rule.

Step four: Macros

Macros are the engine room of the rules. There are endless configurations to macros but they essentially determine how a rule is constructed.

Example

Don’t forget migration

To prevent data loss, plan a migration schedule of all current tags, including a coordinated schedule with developers.

All current tagging within the site needs to be created within Google Tag Manager BEFORE it is removed from the site. Only when all tags have been test fired and verified to work within debug mode can a version be created.

Once the version has been created, you can coordinate the removal of current tagging within the site and continue to publish the new version.

Outlining specific Google Tag Manager recommendations

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