This is a wonderful experience, learning and reviewing CXL Institute’s Digital Analytical Mini degree. As always I start by saying analytics is the sexiest word, for at least the professionals who understand it, most of the students and professionals are following this as a career, rather for the pay than its actual understanding and passion. Let’s not argue over this, since it has lots of points balancing on either side of the equation.

Before I go any further I will just give a brief on myself, I am Nischith a sales & marketing professional working in the health sector. I live in Bangalore India and I am from Mysore, City of Heritage.

The information shared below is based on the learnings from CXL Institute, you need to have a bare understanding of what Digital Marketing or Google analytics is, as CXL themselves say their courses are not for beginners. Let’s dive in, I hope I give you a good insight into their teaching.

Today we will get to know what is GTM? Google Tag Manager is an essential skill of any technical analyst or marketer.

Google Tag Manager helps in

  • Deploying third-party tracking scripts.
  • Set up tracking without having to rely on a developer.
  • Making sure all of your tags (HotJar, Google Analytics, Mixpanel, etc.) stay organized.

Google Tag Manager might not keep you up at night, wondering where you’re falling short skill-wise. But if you’re in digital marketing, maybe it should be.

The Tag Management System is quite helpful in passing on the codes and info back & forth from different platforms. Through Google Tag Manager even platforms like Facebook, Google ads, or any social medial marketing platform out there can share a script and get various actions tracked.

Basically, GTM is there to collect actions efficiently and send them to the parent platform.

How to install GTM?

Go to : https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/tag-manager/

sign with your Google account (better if connected with the same account connected with Google Analytics)

Once you login to the right top, click on create then you should see the below as in the image

here container in the 2nd line is the same as Google Analytics Property, it is the bucket collecting different actions.

Next accept the terms of service and move on

Now a pop up comes or if not click on the GTM id connected with the container,

Script GTM

Put this code on your website below the header and body or you can take the help of some plugins if you are using WordPress website builder.

Once added, test it using the Tag manager Assistant or page source.

Now let's understand what is a Tag in Google Tag Manager?
Tags in Google Tag Manager works like a conveyor to different platforms, it takes in scripts from platforms like Facebook, Google Analytics, Hotjar, Paypal etc., and helps the platforms understand the behavior of the websites.

There are 2 types of Tags, built-in (Ex: Google Analytics, Google Ads) and customized (Ex: Facebook, Paypal)

Refer this page: Google Tag Manager Tags

Let's understand what is a trigger?

A trigger is an event happening when a page is viewed, a video is watched, or when there is a conversion in line with the Tags created.
so Tags is the “what” GTM has to do and the Trigger is “when” GTM has to do.

Types of Google Tag Manager:

  • Page View Triggers: Page View, Window loaded
  • Click: All Elements, Just Links
  • User Engagement: Form Submission, Scroll Depth
  • Others: Custom, History Change

Refer to this link to know more: Google’s Guide to GTM Triggers

Getting to know Variables in Google Tag Manager
Variables are placeholders that tell you which pages were view (eg: /chocolate or /honey), video plays(eg: 15 sec view, 30 sec view), conversions(eg: conversion of different products like Product A, Product B)

Types of Variables:

Built-in Variables:

  • Event
  • Page Hostname
  • Page Path
  • Page URL
  • Referrer

User-Defined Variables:

  • Navigation: URL, HTTP Referrer
  • Page Variables: 1st Party Cookie, Custom Javascript
  • Page Elements: Auto-Event Variable, Element Visibility
  • Utilities: Constant, Custom Event, Look-up Table, RegEx Table, Google Analytics Settings
  • Container Data: Container ID, Debug Mode, Container Version Number

Refer to this link: Google’s Guide to GTM Variables

Data Layers in Google Tag Manager
Data layers can thought of as filing cabinets , when GTM scripts load the data layer gets created its a temporary storage.It has two parameters, “Key” & “Value”.Technically speaking a data layer is a JavaScript object that is used to pass information from your website page to your Tag Manager container. then the same information is used as placeholders for variables and activate triggers in GTM Configurations.

How Data Layers work
Data Layers example on GTM Tag

Refer to this link: Google’s Guide to GTM Data Layer

Organizations in Google Tage Manager

Structure in GTM

Google Tag Manager has 2 levels unlike 3 levels in Google Analytics

Account : In account you create Users options and if required give admin access

Container : Containers are basically there two measure. build the measurement in GTM.Containers are different for different purposes and tracking of the user behaviour.

When we say Folders in GTM, it does the same thing as done elsewhere, it organises Tag files.

Make sure you use a proper Naming while creating a container, tag, trigger, variable.

Refer to this link: Google’s Guide to GTM Organization

Getting to know Google Tag Manager Preview Mode:

Preview mode is basically kind of test mode before you make it live, here all the changes or additions you have made to tags, triggers, variables, data layers will be tested from the domain.

this is how it looks during the preview mode

There has been a lot of changes user interface, if you have used GTM earlier and you come now after several months, this is how the current user interface is.

Refer to this link: Google’s Guide to GTM Preview

Now let’s see the workflow in Google Tage Manager
Till now we saw the “Tags giving what”, “Triggers giving when”, “Variables giving information”,” Folders organizing”,” Preview Testing”, “Admin in accounting the users”

But “How does all of this fit together?” So, once you work out, change the necessary requirement in the Google Tag Manager you preview the changes and finally you need to submit. Once you submit there is a pop-up window that asks you to mention the version of the changes (here you mention what changes were done, you can also mention a description).

Then you can go to the version to see what changes were done in the previous submits.

You have seen the workflow, but now you have a doubt in your mind what is a workspace? Let’s say there are 2 people working on GTM and somehow both tend to create the same variable, now without a separate workspace to work for each other there is a conflict, to avoid that each of them will work on the different workspace(you can name it too), once you are done publishing the workspace becomes the default. So workspace is like a Rented Car, 0until you ride you bet the boss, once the ride is over, it can be used by anyone.

Refer to this link:

So, we have gone through a journey of understanding what GTM is and How GTM tracks and helps the user.

Again, Thanks to Mercer.

To understand GTM — Google Tag Manager you definitely need to join CXL Institutes Mini - Degree, they teach you GTM in-depth.

That’s it for now, I will be reviewing the next learning in the next Post.

Marketing Enthusiast — helping right products and services reach the right people