What are the benefits of Google Tag Manager?
The main benefit of Google Tag Manager is that you can quickly implement tags and scripts on your website, without requiring a code change. This enables you to quickly implement changes and re-configure them whenever you want in seconds. Additionally, you can easily manage the data collection and usage within 3rd-party tags in a scalable manner. Both advantages dramatically simplify the usage and implementation of analytics and marketing services on a website and eventually save time and money.
What problem does Google Tag Manager solve?
Before GTM, website owners had to implement 3rd-party services like analytics, advertising and retargeting in the source code of their website.
Practically that meant hiring a developer or an agency to put the tag on the site. But due to the rapidly evolving digital marketing space, there were increasing 3rd-party services to use, for instance, Adwords, Facebook Ads, Linkedin, Doubleclick, Quora and so forth.
Thus, agencies and developers had to constantly keep up with the configuration of all of those services and simultaneously integrate it with the analytics data.
As a result, developers needed to not only understand their fundamental programming languages, but they also had to learn analytics configuration and the configuration of all of those marketing services.
In short, there was an increasing demand for marketing services implementations, but no quick and effective way of serving the need. Agencies had to charge many hours since their devs had to do a lot of learning first before they could start to implement. Ultimately that led to slow deployment times, error-prone implementations and high implementation cost for website owners.
Google Tag Manager and Tag Management Systems solved this problem, enabling the user to just implement one tag, through which all other following tags could be implemented. Any specific requirements and configurations for tag execution could be done in GTM via a graphical user interface.
Since the release of Google Tag Manager in 2012, it was then widely adopted by website owners that wanted shorter deployment times and more flexibility for their tag configurations. GTM delivered that for free, while even saving cost that was otherwise wasted on implementations. Thus a huge step forward for site owners and the industry in general.
Through GTM, tag deployment became faster, simplified and scalable across many domains. The implementation part was now the responsibility of Google Tag Manager Consultants who could specialize in the various services and their configuration. This saved clients time and budget while raising the quality of implementations as a whole.
Advantages of GTM
The advantages of using Google Tag Manager can be summarized as follows:
Fast & flexible deployment of tags
Tags can be implemented and altered in seconds, as opposed to hours or days when code changes were first rolled out with the "next deployment". Now one GTM tag sits on the site, through which most other tags can be implemented.
Tags are loaded asynchronously
Google Tag Manager loads all tags asynchronously by default, so you don't have to worry about such a negative impact on your site's load speed. There will indeed be a slightly slower load time as the GTM container grows, but this problem is kept minimal due to loading tags asynchronously by default.
Availability of built-in tags and templates
Many tags are already readily built into GTM, so you can just pick them from a list of tags and just fill out a few fields with your ID and a few configurations. You will especially benefit from that if you rely on many of Google's advertising services (it's their tool after all), but there are also many built-in tags from other vendors available for you. The number of templates steadily increases since the release of custom GTM tags in 2019.
Scalable data management
GTM lets you use all variables and triggers that you create with every tag, so you only have to create it once. This makes GTM setups scalable and ensures data uniformity.
GTM has a built-in preview mode with a debugger, which shows you e.g. which events happened in the data layer and how variables populate based on your site interaction. This makes problem-solving and setting up tags a breeze and adds to the overall good user experience.
Google Tag Manager comes with some handy built-in triggers, like YouTube video, scroll and timer triggers. It's nice not to have to build these yourself and makes developing solutions just a bit quicker again.
You can roll back to a previous container version in just a few clicks.
You can create workspaces for partner agencies for example and thereby give them the ability to add a new implementation to the container, without exposing all other implementations. Meanwhile you can continue working on your workspace and all workspaces will be merged eventually. This is very useful with big teams or internal and external partners.
With permissions, you can work in bigger teams and with external partners by giving them different permissions to apply changes.
There are many free resources and tutorials online and the community around GTM is a lot about sharing their configs for free with each other.
You can start using Google Tag Manager for free by visiting tagmanager.google.com
Read Google's quick start guide.