Top Google Tag Manager Benefits for SaaS SEO and Paid Media
If you wanted to track visitors to your website ten years ago, you would need either a software developer to help you out or you would have to know how to code yourself. But ever since 2014, that has changed with the rollout of Google Tag Manager.
Google Tag Manager allows non-coders to track code, control complex rules, add heat map trackers, and many more.
Before Google Tag Manager, you had to do all of that by hard-coding the pixel in your website, but today you only need to insert the pixel on your website and that’s pretty much it.
But there’s more to the Google Tag Manager (GMT) than meets the eye and this article will explore that in detail.
We will explain how GTM works, how it’s different from Google Analytics, its benefits, and why SaaS companies should integrate GTM into their analytics.
But first, let’s go over what Google Tag Manager is.
What’s Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager or GTM is a tracking tool that you can use for free. It’s also a management platform that allows its users to add marketing tags, triggers, and variables to their website in order to track and collect valuable customer data.
The users of GTM can easily implement the tags on their websites, without the need to modify the code on their website. This makes Google Tag Manager an extremely useful tool, especially when combined with Google Analytics.
Marketers, media professionals, and SEO experts have one of the biggest uses for GTM since they gain so much insight from the data they collect from their websites. And since Google Tag Manager doesn’t require coding skills, they can autonomously implement GTM on their website without waiting for their software developers to help them out.
One more great thing about Google Tag Manager is that it codes the tag for you— the code you receive that you need to insert on your website is automatically coded by GTM. This prevents quite a lot of human error and speeds up the entire process.
These tags allow marketers to use one of their favorite functions such as:
- Ad tags. Ad tags or advertising tags allow marketers to place digital ads by communicating between websites, ad serves, and other platforms.
- Retargeting. Retargeting tags allow marketers to track the visitors of their website to, later on, target them with ads for the site they have visited. According to Invesp, the average click-through rate of a retargeting ad is 10X higher than the regular display ad.
How does Google Tag Manager work
When you install the Tag Manager on your website, the website will gain the function to communicate with Google Tag Manager servers. You then use the Tag Manager’s interface to set up the tags, triggers, and variables so when a specific action occurs on your website, the tag sends the signal to the server.
Since all of your tags, variables, and triggers are saved under one container tag on Google, you can easily integrate them even into your mobile apps and on other websites as well.
There are three terms to get yourself familiar with. They are:
- Tags. Tags are code snippets that are used to send information to do a certain action on the webpage. The tag tells Google Tag Manager what needs to be done and how to do it.
- Triggers. Triggers will tell you if a tag is active and functioning properly or if it’s malfunctioning. A trigger activates a tag to appear and triggers can come in different forms on the websites such as user scrolls, clicks, heatmaps, etc.
- Variables. Variables are the information that’s used to properly operate tags and triggers. When GTM is trying to figure out if there’s a right condition for a trigger and tag, the value that will tell them that is a variable. You can use variables if you want to track certain actions like clicks on the URL.
Google Tag Manager vs. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free analytics tool (also made by Google) that will help you analyze the traffic that your website is pulling from all sources on the internet. The platform provides in-depth measurements that can be extremely useful when creating marketing campaigns.
Google Analytics is the hub for data while Google Tag Manager is the transmission unit.
GTM is in charge of which information is being sent to Google Analytics, while Google Analytics stores that information and allows you to gather insights from it. GTM stores and deploys tags, but it can’t be used to analyze reports of that data— for that, you need Google Analytics, which is why the data goes there (automatically).
So you should use Google Tag Manager alongside Google Analytics to get the necessary data that you can turn into insights. As a SaaS company, it’s essential to have both GTM and Google Analytics to track your website’s traffic and create campaigns that would improve your business.
The benefits of using Google Tag Manager for SEO and Paid Media
There are multiple benefits of using Google Tag Manager for a SaaS business. Here are the most impactful ones:
Fast deployment of tracking codes
The old way of tracking codes was way more complicated than using Google Tag Manager.
Before, the process looked something like this:
- Marketer figures out that they need to track user behavior on their platform
- The marketer gets the code and sends it to a software developer
- The developer puts that on a “to-do-later” pile of tasks
- You wait (optimistically) weeks for the code to get implemented on the platform
With Google Tag Manager, you yourself become that developer with the capabilities to implement the tag (code) immediately. Google Tag Manager made this process easy, fast, and available to everyone without learning how to code.
All tags are in one place
But when you use Google Tag Manager, you get all codes in the same place (one container). So making any changes and updates on the single tag applies it to all the other tags (integration).
Built-in testing tools
Google Tag Manager will let you know when a code is broken or malfunctioning. And it’s way easier to do any kind of correcting or troubleshooting since all the tags are in the same place.
On top of that, if there’s a malfunction, the system will let you know where the error is. Also, you can pre-test the tags to see if they work before they’re live on your website.
Recycled container templates
Another benefit of the GTM is that you can export all of your tags, triggers, and variables into a single file. With this, you can create your own tracking codes and settings since you can import the tags, triggers, and variables to any website you want (that you have access to).
This is a must-have feature for any marketing agency that will have to work with multiple clients on setting up their goals in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager options.
Simple event tracking
There’s a small setup required for it, but it’s relatively easy, especially when you take into account what the auto-event tracking can measure:
- Link clicks
- Time on page
- Form submissions (like subscriptions)
Google Tag Manager is a free tool and just like Google Analytics, you can use it without any payments. However, Google offers a premium service that you would need to pay for— Google Analytics 360 Suite.
But for most users, the free version is just enough.
Built-in tag templates
Google Tag Manager has many built-in tags that you can use for Google Ads conversions, remarketing, and many more options.
Currently, there are over 100 of these templates available to you.
Back in 2019, the team at Google Tag Manager released a feature called Custom Templates. It helps users create templates on their own (like a Facebook pixel). On top of this, Google added a library of custom templates that were uploaded by other users so you can use templates created by other marketers or add your own template.
The great thing about the container in Google Tag Manager is that when you make a change in your tags, triggers, or variables, it saves the previous versions on their server. So anytime you want to backtrack and find the older version of your tags, it’s still there in GTM.
So if you make a mistake with your new tags, triggers, or variables, you can also go back to your previous version and solve the problem.
Workspaces and environments
Workspaces and environments are a must-have feature for any company doing projects that last for months, agencies that are working with external vendors, or simply teams that make quite a lot of changes to their website.
The environments feature enables you to control your tag manager across live websites or applications. With this, you can publish your tags to different environments so you don’t make a mistake on the live version of the website.
The workspace feature enables you to work with other teams in the same Google Tag Manager container without overwriting. Only when the job is done are the versions connected into one, final version.
You’re safe with Google Tag Manager— Google scans all the scripts and immediately stops them if they match a malware domain, IP address, or URL. On top of that, you can revoke access to your GTM accounts any time you want so you have security options.
An additional feature that GTM allows is whitelisting and blacklisting commands which adds another layer of protection and security to your SaaS website.
Google Tag Manager provides you the option to give access to multiple people to your GTM account. But you don’t need to give them all the same rights— there are viewing, editing, and publishing privileges so you can choose who will have which clearance level.
This is essential if you’re working with external vendors or for an agency working with multiple clients and has to give them rights to view, but not the ones to edit or publish.
There are six levels of clearance in your GTM:
- No Access
No real competition
Google Tag Manager has no real competition. When it comes to a tool that provides the features, benefits, and options, Google Tag Manager reigns supreme.
There are some tools that are trying to compete with the GTM, but their biggest differentiating factor is the support service (support system) that they provide to their clients.
Tools like Amplitude Analytics, Heap, Mixpanels, and Pendo are all Google Tag Manager alternatives that are still not providing the plethora of features that GTM has.
Having Google Tag Manager along with Google Analytics will help your SaaS business create reports from your traffic data. It’s not always easy to use this data to improve your business processes and grow.
So if you’re having struggles with turning your traffic into sales-qualified leads for your SaaS business, you should book an intro call with one of our agents.