Google Tag Manager Essentials – Part One

Google’s Tag Manager (GTM in short) is all about improving your marketing efforts.  It creates a powerful opportunity with a great amount of potential for bolstering what matters in your business: efficiency.  It has dependability and reliability where you need it.

With the introduction of V2 of Tag Manager (now located at, Google added some intuition and facilitated greater ease of acquiring and applying your skills.

The Structure & Hierarchy of GTM

At the highest level, knowing what an account and a web property are is of importance for structuring your account.  This account’s creation is usually done from a single Google account.  Note there is an important distinction between a Google account and a Gmail account.

Typically, you will have one account and one web property beneath it per web entity or mobile app that you plan to manage and administer changes to.  These should be created and implemented prior to proceeding with your configuration to avoid confusion and complicating the process.

Within this web property, you will be creating a container, in which you will be placing all of your tags, triggers, and variables.  First acquiring an understanding of the relative link of these concepts will ease your transition into applying Tag Manager on your website or mobile app.

GTM Terminology

Like most tools, Tag Manager comes with a set of tools that have a unique and important set of vocabulary that is important to understand in order to maximize your understanding and fluency with the tool.

Tags are the fundamental component of what Tag Manager does as is implied by the name.  They are simply snippets of codes that execute on pages.  Typically, GTM tags are designed to send information directly from your site to a third party application including but not limited to analytics and data platforms like Google Analytics.  When tags operate, they do what is known as firing or executing.

In order to fire these tags or code snippets, a trigger is required.  Triggers are pre-configured calibration tools that decide when specifically a tag is to be fired with conventional true or false run-time values.  But these values also have importance in your implementation setup: they are known as the variables, which are compared when a trigger is determining whether firing is necessary.

GTM Setup & Configuration

Once you have a grasp of the structure and terminology, you’re ready to get started.  On your GTM account home page, visit Admin and click on Install Google Tag Manager on the right-hand side of the page.

As the instructions make note, you need to copy and paste the entire code snippet onto every page of your website following your opening <body> tag in the site’s source HTML code.  This is a very distinct process depending on how your website was created, and also by whom it was created.  Ensure you have a good understanding of what you’re doing when you inject the code onto your page to avoid causing damage to your website’s appearance and performance.