Google Tag Manager Essentials

As one of the largest and most widely used software suites, Google is an essential item for anyone who wants to jump into selling online. The myriad of tools, features and functions that they offer can be daunting though.

Tags for days

In this section of our help desk, we’ll be talking about Google Tag Manager (GTM). This is a ‘tag management system’, which in essence outsources tracking codes for Google’s own AdWords, and Analytics tracking codes plus any 3rd party applications for heat mapping software, social media tagging and lead generation tools.

GTM saves you from getting a developer to add specific code to each page of your website, which can take time and therefore cost a fair amount. And, it means that you can update these codes yourself quickly and as often as you like.

One really important benefit is that GTM is asynchronous; this means that any tags that fire do so when they’re ready and do not wait in a queue or get blocked by other elements. This ensures there’s no discernible reduction of site loading speeds. The most used metaphor for this is passengers boarding a bus vs passengers boarding a train. On a bus you have to wait for the person in front of you to board before you can (synchronous), on a train lots of people board at once (asynchronous).

If you’re just starting out then setting up Google Tag Manager is super simple, especially with PushCommerce. There is a help section on Google’s support page, which goes in to the ‘ fundamentals’ of GTM in a quick 1 minute video if you’d like to view that.

Google tag setup

Once you’ve setup your Google account you just need to navigate to Google Tag Manager and ‘Create Account’. Follow the step-by-step until your taken to the Dashboard area.

Then you need to create a ‘Container’. This container holds all of your separate tags in one place and ‘talks’ to your website. Once you have this setup, navigate to your PushCommerce admin area, Settings > SEO/Tracking and copy the Container ID in to the relevant section.

Now head back to Tag Manager; click the ‘ Tags’ option then click ‘New’ to create the tags you need. Name the Tag something that you will remember, and click on the ‘Tag Configuration’ box.

You’ll be presented with a pre-made list of tracking options, including Google Analytics, Remarketing, LinkedIn Insights, HotJar Tracking, etc.

Once you have added the Trigger for the tag e.g. specific ‘page view’ or ‘all pages’ then you can press Save

Ensure you’re happy with the tag’s setup then click the ‘ Submit’ button to publish the change.

Another form will come up asking for a description and optional notes which will be published to your change history for future reference. 

We suggest that at this stage, you Preview the changes. This will allow GTM to verify the install and show you any errors that may occur. Once you're happy then just hit ‘Publish’ and your new tag is good to go.