What's Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is very exciting from a marketer’s/analyst’s point of view, but what does it mean for customers with “regular” websites? This post explores what Google Tag Manager does from an end client perspective.

So what is Google Tag Manager?

In a nutshell, Google Tag Manager is a one-bucket solution that allows users of all experience levels to efficiently organize their marketing tools, (or “Tags”)  together.  These tiny tags are snippets of code that provide some sort of important function (Google Adwords & Google Analytics as examples) to a website. Tags are integral to any digital marketing strategy for any business, but come with some drawbacks:

  • Too many tags on a site may cause performance issues with sluggish load times.
  • Manually inputting tags lead to the possibility of user error.
  • Inputting tags is usually done by someone in  IT or a Webmaster who have some level of disconnect from the online marketing team who will be utilizing the data, creating slack in the data collection and interpretation process.
  • Fixing incorrectly applied tags is time consuming, and generally must go back up the ladder to  IT or the Webmaster. This time lost with no tagging while waiting for a  fix to be troubleshoot leads to lost time, data and conversions.

If your site or website implementation process has experienced or is experiencing one of the above problems, Google Tag Manager should be something you or your organization should strongly consider.

Google Tag Manager Infographic

Why should I use Google Tag Manager?

Inserting Google Tag Manager into your site allows you to manage everything from a web interface instead of going in to the backend and dealing with intimidating walls of code. A marketer can gain enhanced flexibility and control over their own tags without tying up IT and Webmasters and distracting them from more pressing tasks. For IT and Webmasters who worry about marketers monkeying around and adding their own tags, (thereby breaking the website) there is a tag preview mode, automatic error checking and error recovery features. Everyone wins!

When wouldn’t I use Google Tag Manager?

Despite Google Tag Manager being awesome for organizing and streamlining the insertion of tags, it doesn’t necessarily need to be applied to all businesses and website models. There are a few occasions where Google Tag Manager just isn’t necessary:

  • Sites with simple measurement requirements, that don’t require deeper analytics. (i.e Microsites)
  • Companies that cannot dedicate the resources to learn and implement a new process
  • Sites with complex eCommerce requirements

Ready to give this a shot?


  • Great overview man! My impression of tag manager was always that it was a bit flaky, but it definitely looks ready for prime time now!