If You’re Not Using Google Tag Manager, You Should Be

You’re flying blind without tracking in place for your PPC campaigns.

Without optimal tracking in place, you’re not making informed decisions or effectively managing the return on investment for your PPC program.

To make managing all those tracking codes easier, give Google Tag Manager (GTM) a try. It’s a free tracking code management system with a friendly, easy-to-use web interface.

GTM helps streamline code deployment for our clients, allows us to update the codes as they change without having to get developers involved, and saves precious time.

Tracking Codes Are Tough

Managing and maintaining various tracking codes from each and every advertising platform can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Most major advertising platforms have at least one tracking code, with some using multiple tracking codes.

Facebook, for example, has a site-wide pixel tag and numerous other event code snippets for tracking specific actions. It’s not uncommon to have five or more snippets of Facebook code installed for tracking a purchase conversion funnel.

The traditional method of implementing conversion tracking requires a website owner or developer to install each and every tracking code snippet in various locations within the source code of a site. Some codes are required to be placed site-wide, while others are placed on a specific “thank you” page, a product page, fired as part of an AJAX response, etc.…

Tracking code placement typically isn’t documented well, if at all. Much of the time it’s hard to even pinpoint each one of the installed tracking codes on a site.

Tracking code methods can also age out. Google has updated their conversion codes and remarketing tags. Microsoft has phased out their antiquated Campaign Analytics solution in favor of Universal Event Tracking (UET).

The solution to all of these conversion tracking, and code implementation woes? Three words: Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager to the Rescue

Google describes GTM as a “container” that you can put all of your tracking codes inside without having to touch the source code for your site. All tracking code that was previously installed on a website or individual page moves into the GTM container. As a result, the only code now left installed on the website is the GTM code block.

You’ll never be left guessing which codes are installed on the website because they’re all conveniently and centrally stored, and easily updatable through GTM’s online interface.

GTM natively supports a vast number of predefined tags such as Google Ads Conversion Tracking, Google Ads Remarketing, Google Analytics, AdRoll Smart Pixel, Hotjar, LinkedIn Insight, Marin Software, Microsoft Advertising Universal Event Tracking, and too many others to name here.

For those tags that aren’t predefined, GTM gives the ability to create “Custom HTML” tags.

Taking advantage of Google Tag Manager, and the almost limitless tracking capabilities it affords, is something every advertiser should seriously consider.

One last note: Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention provides reason enough to use GTM. Without using the Conversion Linker tag in GTM to track iOS products like MAC, iPhones and iPads, a portion of conversions may not get tracked for Google Ads, causing loss of that data.

Editor’s note: This post was originally written Sept. 5, 2017, and was updated Sep. 9, 2019.

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