Tracking is an integral part of marketing and provides a lot of information about how your website or mobile app is performing, and how users interact.
This is achieved by adding small snippets of code called tags to the HTML, which are activated when certain triggers are fired on your website.
An example of a popular tag is Google Analytics (GA).
This allows information about the performance of your website to be passed onto GA for analysis.
All you need to do is add the specific code into a certain place in your website code.
Google Tag Manager is a free software created by Google that allows you to track very specific events.
For example, to view your user’s true journey on your lead magnet funnel, you may wish to track:
Another example is if you’re trying to add various functionality to your site such as a heatmap.
A heatmap is something which shows you exactly where users go on your website in visual form, including videos with mouse movements and clicks.
To install one of these, you would normally need to copy the tag you created through the company website and then add it to the code on your website.
The power of Google Tag Manager is that you can add it directly there, with no need at all to edit the code on your website.
All you need to do is first install Google Tag Manager (this is the only time you need to add code to your website).
And then set up whatever events and tracking you wish, using tags (the things that identify the actions and send them to your platforms), and triggers (things that cause the tags to fire).
You don’t need to worry about where to place any additional code on your website, and you can manage everything from one dashboard.
Google Tag Manager allows you to create an agile platform that matches your needs as a business and it has several important benefits.
Like many Google applications, Tag Manager is completely free to use which means you don’t have to spend any money on hiring a developer to configure and insert the code correctly.
In the past you would need a marketing professional to suggest the tag and then a developer to make up the code and put it in place.
It was time-consuming and very expensive, particularly for small businesses.
With tags readily available nowadays and often for free, you have all you need in a straightforward dashboard that allows you to import, install and start using everything from tracking and analytics software to remarketing tools.
You can create one set of triggers, one for each thing you wish to track and track multiple platforms off each one.
For example, if you want to track lead generation, you set up ONE trigger, for when they land on the lead magnet thank you page.
You can then add tags with:
All to that one shared trigger, rather than having to add custom code to every one of your platforms.
An event is simply something other than a page view.
There are endless types of events you may want to track including:
Which, with just Google Analytics, you simply wouldn’t be able to fully track in that way.
If you have invested a lot of time and money into building a funnel, then you need to be able to track every action your users take to measure the effectiveness of your funnel and to minimise drop-offs.
Event tracking allows you to do just that.
One of the worries with adding code and more functionality to any website is that it can have consequences, in this case potentially slowing downloads and making things frustrating for the user.
Tag Manager doesn’t hold the code on the website but on Google itself. In effect, using GTM can speed up your website.
Google Tag Manager is easy to use but you do need to learn a few basics first.
The most confusing part for me was the difference between Tags and Triggers.
Once you’ve got that part sussed, then configuring the tags is important.
For example, if you are creating a Google Analytics tag, depending on if you are using Google Analytics UA or GA4, will give you additional options such as naming the category, action or event.
There are certain terms you should use as best practices, for example, when someone signs up to your lead magnet, the action/event should be “lead_generated”, rather than something like “signed up” or “lead”.
You can check the recommended event names here.
Even if you don’t have any coding experience or have never seen the HTML for a web page, once you get to know a few things, setting up any tag should be relatively simple and take just a few minutes once you get in your zone.
It’s not just using a piece of software like Google Tag Manager that creates problems for some business owners.
It’s picking the right tags to include that benefit your website.
Want to set up tracking on your website?