Web Development & Execution
Jaclyn Stevens
by Jaclyn Stevens
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Tag, You're It: Managing Website Tags With Google

06/17/2014
Tag, You're It: Managing Website Tags With Google

Website Tags Explained

Your website is like a clock. What you see on the face is made possible by a lot of little gears and processes that all work together behind the scenes.

Okay, so your website may not have little gears, but it does have a lot of code, and often times, tags. Tags are snippets of Javascript that collect information like user demographics, how many times someone has submitted a contact form on your site, or what products have been put into an online shopping cart. Tags then send that information to a third party, like Google or Bing. There are several different kinds of tags; for example, Google Analytics is a tag that can track user demographics, and you can view those demographics in the Google Analytics interface. Tags are an awesome way to track your website’s performance and measure where there’s room for improvement, so it’s important to keep them as organized as possible.

The Idea Behind Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a new way to house the various tags on your website, instead of keeping them in the backend HTML files. That way, all of your tags can be in the same place, and are more easily accessible by non-web developers.

If you already know how Tag Manager works, but are wondering whether or not you should implement it into your workflow, this video can help you decide. Otherwise, read on!

How Tag Manager Works

In order for Google Tag Manager to communicate with your website, you’ll add the Tag Manager snippet to your HTML file. Then, you’ll remove your tags and put them into the Tag Manager.

In a nutshell, here’s what the whole process looks like:

  • Create an account
  • Create a container (This is where you’re going to put your tags. If you have more than one domain, you’ll create one container for each one.)
  • Add the Google Tag snippet to your CSS after the opening < body > tag
  • Remove your tags from the CSS and add them into the container in the Tag Manager
  • Recreate any special Events you may have on your site
  • Debug in the Tag Manager to make sure everything is works as it should
  • Deploy your changes

When To Use It

Technically speaking, you can utilize Google Tag Manager any time that there are tags present on your site. If you only have one tag and are short on time, consider waiting until you have other site maintenance to do before you implement Tag Manager. That way you can make the most of the HTML code while you have it open.

Implementation At Dirigo

At Dirigo, we use Google Tag Manager as an organizational tool, implementing it on sites that have multiple tags. We use it this way because we have our team of in-house web developers to assist with the HTML component. That being said, if you don’t have an in-house resource available to you and manage tags yourself, Google Tag Manager a great option to allow you to take the reins going forward. We recommend that you work with your development team to get started migrating your tags and installing the Google Tag snippet, just to make sure everything works properly. Then from there, you can add, delete, or update tags to your heart’s content, all within the Google Tag Manager interface. Utilizing tags through the Google Tag Manager allows you to track your website’s performance through an interface that removes the barrier between code and data.

If you have questions about Tag Manager, feel free to contact the Dirigo Dev Team , and be sure to check out our blog. .

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