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8 Reasons to Start Using Google Tag Manager Now

With Universal Analytics out of beta (finally), many of us will begin making the transition from traditional Google Analytics. But not everyone realizes that this is also a great opportunity to implement Google Tag Manager while making the upgrade.  Implementing GTM is a straight-forward process and the capabilities are endless. In case you (or someone you know) need some convincing, or if you have just been delaying, this article quickly summarizes 8 reasons why you should be using Google Tag Manager now.

 

1. Future-proof your website: Upgrading to Universal Analytics may be a pain if you have to do a lot of code swapping, page modifications, etc. Instead, use Google Tag Manager to make the gradual switch to Universal Analytics, testing as you go. Implementing GTM will take about the same amount of effort as upgrading to Universal, but it will make future upgrades and enhancements much simpler since modifications can be made through GTM and not through each page of your website.

google tag manager agility2. Speed: Changes and new Tags can be made rapidly and do not require code changes to the website. This is great for marketers because it can really speed up launch time by testing each change themselves and deploying when ready, without involving a developer.

3. Flexibility: Google Tag Manager is great for marketers as they don’t need to involve a developer with every single little tweak to simple Tags. This frees up time for developers to focus on larger projects. Conversely, developers and IT staff will love GTM for the robust features listed below and the extreme customization. Who will benefit from GTM the most will depend on your website and the complexity of the tasks you hope to achieve.

4. Debug Options: Making sure that your Tags works BEFORE you publish them to the live site is really, really important. GTM has a built-in debug feature which allows you to personally test and debug each update in your browser on your actual site before publishing the change.

5. Version Control: Every time you publish a change, it creates a new version, which is archived. If at any time you need to rollback to an existing version, you can do so easily. This is also a great way to keep tags organized and trouble shoot tagging problems.

6. User Permissions: GTM allows you to set permissions for individual users that include view, edit, and publish.  You can control internally who has the ability to make updates to the website and enable a vendor (like LunaMetrics) to help assist with creating Tags, Macros, and Rules to assist with Analytics and Advertising.

7. Built-In Tags: GTM has included tags for classic and Universal Analytics, AdWords conversions, remarketing, as well as other popular ad networks. This is extremely helpful to marketers just starting with GTM and who do not have much coding experience.  These allow you to customize the tags with just a few pieces of information and without the complication of implementing code.

8. Event Listeners: GTM takes the hassle out of manually tagging each link that you want to track with individual onclick attributes to send events to GA. Instead, you can target links or buttons by attributes that are already on the link or by using a standardized naming structure like data attributes.

LunaMetrics has a plethora of detailed, technical posts that show the extended capabilities of Google Tag Manager here. Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts below!

 

http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2014/04/08/8-reasons-start-google-tag-manager/

4 Responses to “8 Reasons to Start Using Google Tag Manager Now”

Mike says:

Great article! While migrating is it ok to use some tags still hard coded on the site as UA tags, for example say ecommerce script as an example?
I know it’s frowned upon, but there are some tags that I need a developer to help me configure. For the time being however since they are hard coded on the site I’m wondering if that’s ok just so I can get going with it.

Thanks

John Donovan John Donovan says:

Hi Mike – it’s absolutely fine to have some tags hard coded and some served through Google Tag Manager. In fact, while you’re getting GTM set up, it’s sometimes helpful to run both simultaneously with GTM pushing data to a test GA property until you can confirm everything is working properly.

Hope this helps!

konrad says:

Event listeners is absolutely fantastic functionality. Really recommend it

Mike says:

Thanks for the answer John. I was also wondering about GTM’s tag firing limits? I read that there should be no more than 8 fired tags due to browser limits of http requests. I have a Donate page that we currently track in classic GA that has 10 different radio options and buttons that have event tracking wrapped around it. Is tracking something like this too much in GTM?
In my GTM test account I’ve set that Donate page up with 10 different tags and 10 different rules. When I test it its not a problem, but I’m just curious if this would be limited in GTM.

I’d also love your take on staging environment vs live site with GTM? Currently I use same code in staging and live in classic GA code, but I have my ‘staging’ view in GA to only include traffic from my staging hostname. This way I can test new tracking code changes. Is there a way to do that in GTM?
Thanks again!

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