Google Tag Manager (GTM)
What is it?
Google Tag Manager is a marketing-focused, web-tag management system. This system allows you to quickly and easily update tags and code snippets on your website or mobile app. Once the Tag Manager snippet has been added to your website or mobile app, you can configure tags via a web-based user interface without having to alter and deploy additional code. This reduces errors and frees you from having to involve a developer whenever you need to make changes.
Tag Manager for web works via its own code snippet that you add to your website or mobile app. This code connects your website or app to your Tag Manager. You then use the web based user interface to set up tracking tags, establish triggers that cause your tag to fire when certain events occur, and create variables that can be used to simplify and automate your tag configurations. Tag Manager can fire your tags alongside any tags that are not administered through Tag Manager.
A huge benefit of Tag Manager is that the marketer, can manage and test the code on their own, and make changes or add tags within a matter of minutes. Of course, marketers do have to have some technical knowledge to understand how to set up tags, triggers and variables. If you’re dropping in Facebook pixels, you’ll need some understanding of how Facebook tracking pixels work.
If you want to set up event tracking in Google Tag Manager, you’ll need to have knowledge about what “events” are, how Google Analytics works, what data you can track with events, what the reports look like in Google Analytics and how to name your categories, actions and labels.
Tags are snippets of code or tracking pixels from third-party tools. These tags tell Google Tag Manager what to do.
Examples of common tags within Google Tag Manager are:
- Google Analytics Universal tracking code
- AdWords Remarketing code
- AdWords Conversion Tracking code
- Twitter tracking code
- Facebook pixel tracking code
Triggers are a way to fire the tag that you set up. They tell Tag Manager when to do what you want it to do. Want to fire tags on a page view, link click or is it custom?
Variables are additional information that GTM may need for your tag and trigger to work.
Why use GTM?
- You can customize specific data that is sent to Analytics. (Track events like PDF downloads, outbound links, scrolling, video tracking or button clicks.)
- GTM has a plethora of built-in tags for Google Analytics, AdWords conversions, re-marketing, as well as many third-party tags.
In alignment with best practices, personal Google accounts shall not be used for managing university information resources or affiliated products. Instead, authorized university affiliates who will be using Google Tag Manager products will need to create separate, independent accounts as outlined below.
Note: You must agree to follow all best practices and other rules set in place by University Marketing and Information Security for using GTM in order to secure and maintain your GTM account.
- Naming Conventions: Each kind of account used for Google Tag Manager purposes must be a distinct, university-specific Google account, created under the following naming conventions:
- Admin accounts: [Department]Analytics@gmail.com
- E.g. DoITAnalytics@gmail.com
- Access accounts: [NetID]TxState@gmail.com
- E.g. abc123TxState@gmail.com
- If a user’s NetID contains an underscore, then the underscore shall be removed; in the unlikely event that duplicate accounts would be created (e.g. NetIDs a_b123 and ab123 both need to create an account), exemptions may be made, as determined at the time such conflict arises.
- Google account password and authentication requirements
- Passwords must be unique (not the same as user’s other passwords, especially NetID password)
- Passwords must meet or exceed university password complexity requirements (3+ character types must be used – Uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols)
- Holders of Google accounts used for Google Tag Manager purposes should be university faculty or staff
- GTM allows you to set permissions for individual users that include view, edit, and publish. You should limit the access to this tool to only those who are actually involved in tag deployment.
- GTM comes with version control built-in. Every time you publish a change to a container, 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.
GTM Naming Conventions
All organizations must follow University Marketing naming conventions to ensure all containers stay organized. This practice helps each person working on the accounts know what each account, container, tags, triggers or custom variables are for and what they are connected to.
Accounts: GTM Account is usually the name of your business or website (i.e. Texas State University) and will be implemented on your behalf by University Marketing following account approval.
Containers: Web page address associated with the account that it is linked to (i.e. txstate.edu)
Tags: Must follow a set of simple consistent rules to keep your tags organized.
The first part of the name should consist of a tag type abbreviation at the beginning to denote what type of tag this is. (i.e. For Google Analytics, this could be ‘GA’. For AdWords, this could be ‘AW’. This important thing is that you are consistent and your whole organization understands the convention you are using.)
The second part of the name should give more detail to the type of tag or location of the tag. (i.e., Google Analytics Page view tag might be ‘GA - Page view’ and an event tag may be ‘GA - Event’. For a pixel tag such as Facebook, you may want to include the page location where the tag lives, for example, ‘FB - Homepage’.)
You should also consider adding a third element to the naming string for some tags, if you need to be very precise on what the tag is doing or where the tag is deployed. (i.e. GA- Page View-Homepage)
Tag GTM Name Google Analytics GA Google AdWords AW FB TW LI Custom (Approved Tags) CSAT (Detailed Name of Tag) YouTube YT Vimeo Video VV
Event GTM Event Name All Page View APV Some Page Views PV (Name of Page) Form Submission Form Submission Lead Lead View Content VC Scroll Tracking Scroll Tracking Search Search Click Elements/Links (What is Clicked) Diwbkiad (File/PDF)-(DWL) DWL (What is Being Downloaded) User Tracking UT Custom Event CE (Explanation) Video View Video View
Trigger/Action of Tag GTM Trigger Name Tracking on All Pages AP Tracking on All Page Views APV Tracking Some Pages PV (Name of Pages) Tracking Standard Events SE (Event Name) Tracking Clicks - All/Some Elements Click (What Element) Tracking - All/Some Links Click (What Link) Track Window Loaded WL Tracking Scroll Depths SD (Optional %, #) Tracking Timer TMR Tracking Custom Event CE (Explanation) Tracking Base Code Base Code Tracking Conversion Linker Conversion Linker Tracking Remarketing Remarket (Conversion Label) Tracking Vimeo Video View VVV Tracking YouTube Video View YTV
Google Tag Manager Request
All users who would like a Google Tag Manager account must complete the following steps:
- Fill out a form in Wrike detailing your business case and experience with GTM. This is the case even if you currently have a GTM account. You must grant full admin access to University Marketing to your account following approval for university use.
- Following the review of your information, a member of University Marketing will contact you to inform you of your approval or disapproval and supporting reasons for the decision.
- For approved accounts, training and an overview of best practices will be provided as well as the setup of your account within the university CMS system.
You must agree to follow all best practices and other rules set in place by the Division of Information Technology and University Marketing for using GTM in order to secure and maintain your GTM account. Failure to do so will result in loss of privileges.