For starters, have you heard of the newest tool to use? It’s called Google Tag Manager, and it can take your analytics to a new level, once you understand how to use it.
Have you ever wondered how Amazon knows just what you might want to buy? When you have looked at products or services online, have you wondered why you all of a sudden see Ads for these things?
Well, it’s because your behavior is being tracked. And it is being tracked by what are called tags.
What are Tags?
These are just small pixels of code that are put into web pages that will track visitors and their behaviors on that page.
You may have a website, a blog, and a social media presence. You may have a content management system (CMS) that helps you craft great content and even analyzes that content for SEO.
But you also want to know if that content is resonating with your target audience. So, you may add tracking tags that require someone in the know (developers) to install them. Problem is, tracking tags can cause some problems:
• They have to be tested and verified, and some vendors don’t do this or provide follow-up documentation and support.
• Some tracking scripts will actually break a website because the developer has been sloppy.
So, you may be using Google Analytics to monitor visits, time spent on various pages, and conversion rates for any number of things.
What you need is a way to get tracking onto your pages that is easy and safe.
Enter Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free platform that lets marketers install and track data on their pages by adding code snippets without the need for developers to do so. They can then track all of the analytics that Google already offers, as well as conversions, opportunities for retargeting, and more.
Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager Work Together
Google Tag Manager is not a replacement for Google Analytics. They work together. Here is how this happens.
• Users of GTM can imbed tracking code into pages they want to track.
• Google Analytics then uses that code to track the data according to what the user wants.
• No coding is required, so the entire process is much simpler, and what’s better, it is free.
Benefits to Small Businesses of Using Google Tag Manager
1. It Doesn’t Require Hard Coding
Companies have traditionally had to hire a developer or service to add, change, or remove tags – this was a costly process. With GTM, a code snippet that contains those tags can be placed on every page with just a few clicks, through the GTM interface.
2. It’s Faster and More Efficient
As mentioned, it only takes a few clicks to set up page tags. Also you will not have to rely on developers and their time frame when you want to add or change.
GTM also comes with built-in tags and functions that are much more efficient. For example, if you wanted to track every “submit” button on your site, a tag had to be individually added for each of them. With GTM, you can set up this function one time and track every submit button on your site.
The other huge benefit is that you have centralized all of your tracking, both marketing and analytics, into one place.
3. You Can Compete with the “Big Boys”
This is all free. There are also options for many “vendors,” (Instagram, Twitter). And there are a number of advanced options for types of tracking. Now small businesses can get the data that large enterprises have been paying to get for several years.
You can also get your reports in real time through Google Analytics.
How Do You Set UP GTM?
If you don’t already use Google Analytics, then you must set up an account right now. You are already behind all of your competitors.
2. Create a Google Tag Manager account. Once you have your analytics ID, you will need to insert it into the field. Google needs to know who to send reports to.
3. Now, set up your analytics tag account. You want to “tag” all of the results to come through Google Analytics for reporting. This is your “universal” tag to be used on all of your pages.
4. Once you do this, you need to “test” this tag, to make sure it is in use on all of your website pages. You do this by enabling the “preview” mode.
5. Then, go over to your Google Analytics real-time report to make sure that it is working and that visits of your pages are actually being recorded.
6. If all is well, click the “publish” button.
Don’t worry about all of the “details.” GTM will walk you through the process.
Now You Are Ready to Add Other “Vendors”
Again, there are a host of tutorials out there to help you do this. The goal is to set up tags on other pages that you want to track – your blog, your social media accounts, etc. (Note: Facebook is not one of the vendors you will see on the pre-established templates, but you can do this with the Advanced settings feature). Each available vendor will have an ID number that you will insert in the field that asks for it.
The goal here is to be able to track all the pages and places where you have a presence and to get those reports all in one place. This is the beauty of GTM.
There are actually over 90 templates for you to “tag” and you get to choose any or all of them. You do this by clicking the ones you want and adding them. Here’s an example of a few choices:
6 Ways for a Small Business to Use GTM
Think about all you can do through this relatively simple tool:
1. Track visits to each page of your site.
2. See where visitors bounce and then explore how you can improve those pages to keep those visitors engaged.
3. Track conversions on each page. If you are not getting the number you want, you can modify those pages and even do A/B testing to see which options work better for you.
4. Measure engagement on your social media platforms and see which types of posts are the most popular and shared.
5. See which days and which times of days you are getting the most traffic.
6. If you are moving into international markets and are localizing your website and other pages for a foreign audience, you can also, through advanced settings, track the engagement of that audience in the same ways you do for your native targets.
Are You Confused?
Don’t be. A huge number of companies, large and small use GTM, including e-commerce, B2B companies, and even professional writing services. Companies that want to track visits, evaluate the popularity of specific pages, conversions, and retarget those who have not converted.
Once you have your Google Analytics account and enter the GTM “world,” there is only a small and short learning curve to begin to use this resource.