Managing all individual Online Marketing Pixels on our websites through a Pixel Manager like Google Tag Manager (“GTM”) has become a great solution for us. We have been using the free GTM in all of our 19 shopping portals since May 2015, and so far we have no reason to look back. In this article I will quickly demonstrate the benefits and provide a basic introduction of GTM.
Implementing Tracking Pixels like the popular Google Universal Analytics pixel often leads to solutions which potentially clutter up your code. Since we were using many other pixels as well (Facebook, Criteo or Bing, to name just a few), we developed in our application a system to simplify the handling. Over time, though, maintaining them got increasingly painful. We were also looking for a solution to involve our marketing team more directly into the process of handling the pixels. So we came up with the idea to introduce a Manager for Online Marketing Pixels. The free GTM has been an easy choice for us and it paid off nicely so far.
How does GTM work?
Since this website is easy to understand and therefore open to “non-techie” users, it gives your developers more time to focus on the „real“ work, while Marketing can add, modify, update, delete or publish tracking pixels.
Introducing a Tag Manager like GTM is actually similar to start using a Content Management System (CMS). The difference though is, that instead of managing articles or product details for your website, a Tag Manager helps you organizing all the different tracking pixels on your site for you. All the logic, for example for where the pixel shall be fired or how its variables are going to be filled, is being moves to the cloud, accessible through the Tag Manager’s website.
Screenshot of the GTM Web Interface
On the screenshot you can see the user interface of Google Tag Manager. You can see sections called „Tags“, „Triggers“ and „Variables“ on the main page.
Triggers are sets of rules which you can define to decide when a specific pixel („tag“) needs to be „fired“. E.g. Pageview tracking pixels will be fired on „pageview“. Or Conversion Pixels will be fired on Pageview, when the url contains the string „checkoutpage“ (GTM supports regular expressions). Triggers can be named, configured separately and then associated to single or multiple tags at your convenience.
If you implement a conversion pixel on your checkout page, you probably want to send the sum of the sale with that tracking pixel.
window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || ;
'someVariable' : 'someValue'
Example of using a variable called „someVariable“ inside a custom snippet:
window._fbq = window._fbq || ;
GTM provides easy to use templates for a lot of tags, e.g. Google AdWords Conversion Tracking, AdWords Remarketing and Google Analytics.
Templates GTM provides as of September 2015
Versioning & Permissions
GTM keeps also track of all your changes using a versioning system and allows different kinds of permissions based on accounts („view“, „edit“, „delete“, „publish“). Permissions help you to separate different user groups, e.g. your marketing team has permission to change pixels but only your IT admins have the right to publish those changes after review.
Have fun using GTM!
GTM – http://tagmanager.google.com/
Features – http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.de/en/de/tagmanager/pdfs/google-tag-manager-technical-factsheet.pdf
Google Tag Manager Hilfe (DE) – https://support.google.com/tagmanager?hl=de#topic=3002579
Google Tag Manager Hilfe (EN) – https://support.google.com/tagmanager?hl=en#topic=3441530
GTM for Developers – https://developers.google.com/tag-manager/
Great Blog about GTM – http://www.simoahava.com/tag/google-tag-manager/