In the coming days, weeks and months you will add tracking tags to your blog to integrate it with the different platforms, channels and services that you will use for marketing and analytics.
Some of the tags you will add straightaway are the Google Analytics code and probably the Facebook and Twitter tags.
But, as your blog grows you will add many more.
And, to make it easier to implement all these various tags, you should set-up Google Tag Manager (GTM). And, later in this post, I will be showing you how to install it on your blog.
But, first let's see what Google Tag Manager is, and how it works.
What is Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is a free tag management platform that simplifies the process of implementing and managing tags.
Without tag manager, you would have to hard-code multiple individual tags into the HTML of your blog. Which, is not something that you want to be doing unless you are a developer.
Adding and editing code snippets can get messy, and if you make a mistake, you can break the functions of your blog.
However, when using tag manager, you only have to add the tag manager code (seen below), and this then acts as a container for all subsequent tags.
The tag manager code is kind of like the ring from "Lord of the Rings", but instead of one ring to rule them all, it's one snippet of code. Well, two actually!
And, once installed there is no need to open the HTML of your blog to insert other tags, you can easily implement them through the tag manager dashboard.
How Does Tag Manager Work
With tag manager, you have a lot of marketing and analytics power at your fingertips but as you are just starting out you don't have to worry about the in-depth workings of the platform.
For now, the goal is to get tag manager set-up on your blog so that you can easily add standard tags like the Google Analytics code.
However, you should be familiar with some of the basic terminology of how it works.
There are four main components to tag manager – the container, tags, triggers and variables.
Container – The container is the tag manager code that you add to your blog. You place the container code in the header section of your blog so that it appears on all pages.
You add all your other tags to the container code via the tag manager dashboard.
Tags – As we already mentioned, tags are the snippets of tracking code that enable you to track and measure actions on your blog and send data to the different platforms, services and channels that you use for marketing.
Triggers – When you add a tag snippet to your blog, you have to set a trigger (an event) that will activate the tag causing it to 'fire' and send information.
For example, if you want to track the number of people who watch a video on your blog, you can set a trigger to fire each time the play button is clicked – sending the information to Google analytics.
Variables – Variables are a set of conditions that must be met before a trigger fires. They allow you to track and measure specific actions.
For example, instead of a trigger firing each time the play button is clicked on a video, you can set the trigger to fire only when someone watches the video for to specific time-frame.
Installing Tag Manager on Your Blog
Now, that you have a grip on some of the basics of tag manager let’s get it set-up on your WordPress blog.
There are two ways to install tag manager.
- Through a WordPress Plugin called “Insert Headers and Footers”
- Hard-coding the container snippets into HTML of your blog
I will show both ways.
For, those of you who don’t want to mess with code, use the plugin method, if editing code does not freak you out then opt for the second method.
Installing Tag Manager using “Insert Headers and Footers”
I have included three videos in this section that walk you through each part of the set-up process so that you can set-up tag manager as you watch.
If you’re ready, let’s get started.
Video One – In this video, you will
- Open a tag manager account – at https://www.google.com/analytics/tag-manager/
- Fill in account details –
- Receive your tag manager code snippets
Video Two– In this video, you will
- Install "Insert Headers and Footers"
- Publish the tag manage code live on your blog
Video Three – In this video, you will
- Confirm the container is working correctly using Tag Assistant
Installing Tag Manager by Hard-coding
To hard-code the container snippet onto your blog, watch video one from the above section, once you have your tag manager code snippets, watch the below video.
In this video, you will –
Open up the editor in your WordPress dashboard and add the tag manager container snippets directly into the header section of your theme.
Once you insert the snippets, watch video three from the previous section to confirm the tag manager code is working correctly.
Over to You…
Thanks for sticking with me on this. I know that there was a lot there to get your head around. However, installing Google tag manager is going to make your life a whole lot easier in the coming weeks and months.
Now, that you have tag manager set-up, you can insert your first tag, which is the Google Analytics code.
Should you have any further questions about tag manager, hit me up in the comment section and I will be happy to answer any questions.