Google Tag Manager


Google Tag Manager vs. Google Analytics

Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics (GA) are two completely different tools that work together to get you the data you need to make smart marketing decisions.

GTM is used for storing and managing the code – it is literally a container. There are no reporting features and there is no option to analyze data within tag manager. GTM is used to quickly add the GA tracking code to a website, deploy event tags and define rules for when each code should fire.

GA is used for data analysis. All reporting: user reports, custom segments, conversions and engagement, ecommerce sales, etc. are viewed in Google Analytics.. When an interaction occurs on your site—a pageview, for example—the GTM tracking code sends the hit to Google Analytics.

Getting Started With Google Tag Manager

Create an Account

First, decide how account management will be handled if a member of your team changes roles. Then, create the account using the login credentials of the person who will be managing the account in the long term. Having a user management strategy from the beginning is best practice. User Management is found within the Admin screen, where you can add users to the Account or a specific container within an account.

Admin is located in the top navigation, third from the left.

Login to Tag Manager.

Click Create Account.

Enter Account Name. An account represents the topmost level of organization. Only one account is needed per company. An account can hold more than one container.

Select Country.

Select if you’d like to share data.

Enter Container Name. Choose a descriptive container name for internal use; most often the name of the site or app.

Select Target Platform: Web, iOS, Android, AMP, Server

Click Create.


After this screen, you will be prompted to install your new GTM code.

Click “OK” to clear this dialog, or follow the install directions.

It does not matter if you choose to set up your container first or install the container snippet later.

After closing out of the snippet dialog box, you will be on the workspace screen, where you will be creating your marketing tags and triggers.

Installing GTM Container

If you closed the web container installation dialog box, you will find instructions to install Google Tag Manager within the Admin tab.

Admin is located in the top navigation, third from the left.  In the first part, highlighted in yellow, you will see <script>. This loads your GTM container on your page. It also tells your site that the page can continue loading while Google is doing its magic.

In the second part, highlighted in yellow, you will see a no script tag. This no script tag is your backup. It tells the browser to render an iframe version of the GTM Container to the page, allowing you to still track users when JavaScript is disabled.

A common question while installing the GTM container is:

Does placement really matter as long as it is in the <head> section?

The answer is, yes – placement really does matter. Google Tag Manager is not dependent on any plugins, it runs in raw JavaScript. Placing the container snippet as high in the <head> as possible improves accuracy. Placing the snippet lower in your page may result in incorrect data. And, don’t skip out on the second part, it needs to be placed directly after your <body> tag.

If you plan on using GTM to verify Google Search Console, you will need both tags placed as Google recommends otherwise verification will fail.

Ensure tags do not fire twice by removing any hard-coded tags on your site.

You can double-check for these using Google Tag Assistant (legacy).