- April 16, 2017
- Posted by: blog admin
- Category: Business plans
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a powerful tool and, when well understood and implemented, can be SEO’s best friend.
However, before you can start a migration to GTM, you need to take some key steps to make sure everything goes to plan.
Put the team on board
One of the biggest challenges when you are looking to migrate to a tag management system such as GTM gets the buy-in from all parties involved. This includes the client or internal parties, web developers and marketing specialists.
Different parties have different reasons to oppose the implementation of GTM, and fully understanding all the risks and concerns is key to the whole team being integrated.
For example, the idea of using a label management system can make developers uncomfortable by removing some of their controls from the site and putting it in the hands of other parties such as agencies and Marketing departments. This may cause them to fear that if something goes wrong, they will have work to do to clean things up. This is why the next step, and correct communication to all parties, is so important.
Implement a migration plan
Before you begin, it is important that you have a clear plan for the migration and launch of GTM, which includes the study of at least two key elements; Users and tags.
Users, Authorizations and Responsibilities
Regarding the problems and concerns you may face from different parties when you want to introduce a label management system, it is essential that you have a complete picture of who will use the system and for what. You should answer the following questions:
- Who needs access to view tags, triggers, and rules to understand how the system is configured and which labels trigger?
- Who needs full access to GTM to make changes to tags and create new tags?
- More importantly, who should not have this access? (More information on this subject …)
- Who should be responsible for creating tags, approving configuration and publishing changes? – Remember, these roles can be sitting with three different people.
It is essential that you understand the power and the essential risk of using erroneous GTM because it may trigger labels that could alter or even break the site. Ensuring that you have a clear division of responsibilities and granting only full publication rights to a small number of people is essential.
This Luna Metrics message explains in more detail how to deal with Google Tag Manager security risks.
Get to know your tags
Then you should check your site and make a list of tags that you know you are going to need the output. In some cases, this could be tracking standard Google Analytics pageview, but some other tags to consider if you use them include:
- Monitoring e-commerce
- AdWords Conversion Tracking
- Remarketing code
- Facebook and Twitter Pixels
- Hotjar tags
- Infinity Call Tracking Tags
- And many, many more …
Make a list of all the labels you need and start thinking about which pages you will need to call. For example, Google Analytics code should run on all pages, while the AdWords conversion code should be displayed on your payment confirmation page. Make sure you can start viewing the labels you need and how they will need to be processed before you even start configuring. This will help ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible later on.
Configure your Google Tag Manager container (s)
When you have a solid plan in place and all aboard, it’s time to set up GTM. However, this does not mean you have to be online or start deleting the code from your site. One of the many beauties of the system is that you can set everything up and test in Preview mode. This means you can see exactly how everything will behave before it happens live. This way, you know that when you press Publish, everything will work as expected.
You need at least one container in GTM, where all your tags, triggers and variables are sitting. However, you may need more than one because you should have a separate container for each of the following:
- Staging site
- iOS application
- Android Application
- AMP Pages (news in October 2016)
In some cases, you can also use separate containers for different subdomains if the labels you need for each behave in a very different way.
In your container (s), you must create your tags, triggers, and variables using the now more intuitive interface. For more information about the structure of GTM and how to structure your GTM containers, my comprehensive Google Tag Manager Guide may be useful.
Tag Manager configuration may not take a long time if you only have a few tags to create, but could be a much more important job if you use complex scripts and tracking.
Test, test and test again with preview mode
When you are in Preview mode, you can even view Real Time Analytics data based on your visits, and only your browser will run the Manager tag (until you publish).
Better yet, you can run a separate GTM container on your staging site and test it in preview mode and when it is published, knowing that your published container is only live on your staging site. Once you are satisfied with this, it is a simple case of migrating to your main container and publishing there.
When you have tested your configuration and are ready to launch, living with GTM is as easy as publishing. The power of GTM is the ability to add and edit tags without modifications on the site, so it’s unlikely that once you’ve started publishing, you will never be able to add or edit things again. GTM gives you the freedom to tweak labels, easily create new tracking, and much more. Remember, whenever you make changes in the GTM environment, keep testing before going live.
The Versions section of GTM is also very useful to track your changes. Every time you publish, a new version is created, which allows you to track changes and delays if you encounter problems. Be sure to give your versions useful names and descriptions so that you know exactly what changes have been made, as this will help you debug any issues and choose which version you want to return to.
When you are ready to be a little more advanced, LunaMetrics has good “recipe packs” that you can try, which allows you to gather more knowledge. These packs are worth testing, such as scrolling tracking, tracking integrated YouTube video, tracking uploading files and more.
There are so many things you can do with Google Tag Manager, so I’m a great defender of the system. As long as you have a clear plan and perform in-depth testing, GTM is a really powerful tool for marketers.