What is tag manager?

Tag Manager is a free analytics tool from Google that makes controlling tags easier for web analysts, online marketers and many others that are involved with web analytics on a regular basis. Tags can be website analytics (page views), clicks for event tracking and many other things measuring something happening on the site or application.

Key benefit in using Google Tag Manager is that you won’t need to add any other tracking code apart from the Tag Manager’s code. All tags such as Universal Analytics are added through Tag Manager by creating a new tag and a trigger that launches the tag. Tag Manager also supports third party tracking, such as Hotjar for example. Learn more on how tag manager works.

Should I switch to tag manager?

For all, tag manager isn’t necessary and there isn’t a need to switch. For example, if you are only using Google Analytics and have already made the necessary trackings in your code or don’t have anything special except for the basic analytics data, Tag Manager does not really add anything to that. However, if you are planning on adding additional tracking, switching to tag manager may make your life easier in the future and the installation isn’t that difficult – Tag manager installation guide. For larger websites, where there are multiple tracking methods removed and added on a regular basis, Tag Manager will reduce workload in the long run, as there is less time required from developers. However, migrating from a website that already has complex tracking implemented will grow some gray hairs for sure.

Three benefits of tag manager

  1. Biggest benefit is that it reduces the time needed from developers as there is only one tracking code required to add on the site. This assuming that you have separate analytics team. Of course, if your developers are also in charge of reporting the analytics data, you will just introduce a new tool to them.
  2. Besides having only one tracking code on the site, the other benefit is easy testing. In Google Tag Manager, you can preview the changes before deploying them live. Enter test mode and go to your website. Panel will pop up at the bottom of the page, where you can see what tags are being fired. If the triggers work
  3. Third benefit with Tag Manager is version control. If you have used something like git before, you will be very pleased on how the Tag Manager works. You can see a version history and easily go back in time, if something brakes.

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