Best Practices for Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system (TMS) that allows you to quickly and easily update tracking codes and related code fragments collectively known as tags on your website or mobile app. Once the small segment of Tag Manager code has been added to your project, you can safely and easily deploy analytics and measurement tag configurations from a web-based user interface.

Read more about Google Tag Manager

Elements of Google Tag Manager


Tags are segments of code provided by analytics, marketing and support vendors to help integrate their products into your websites or mobile apps. There is no longer any need to add the tags directly on the website with Google tag manager since it is configured within the platform.

With Google Tag Manager, there is no need to install tags/tracking codes directly on the website.

Supported Platforms

Google Products

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Ads Remarketing
  • Google Ads Conversion Tracking
  • Floodlight Counter
  • Floodlight Counter Sales
  • Google Optimize

Non-Google Products

  • AB Tasty Generic Tag
  • Adometry
  • Adrolll Smart Pixel
  • Audience Center 360
  • Awin Conversion
  • Awin Journey
  • Bizrate Buyer Survey Solution
  • Bizrate Insights Site Abandonment Survey Solution
  • Clicktale Standard Tracking
  • comScore Unified Digital Measurements
  • Crazy Egg
  • Criteo One Tag
  • Eulerian Analytics
  • Hotjar Tracking Code
  • Infinity Call Tracking Tag
  • Intent Media
  • LeadLab
  • LinkedIn Insight
  • Lytics JS Tag
  • Marin Software
  • Pinterest Tag

Added Via Custom HTML

  • Facebook pixel

Trigger Types

  • Page View Trigger
  • Click Trigger
  • Element Visibility Trigger
  • Form Submission Trigger
  • History Change Trigger
  • JavaScript Error Trigger
  • Scroll Depth Trigger
  • Timer Trigger
  • YouTube Video Trigger
  • Custom Event Trigger
  • Trigger Group

Benefits of Using Google Tag Manager vs Directly adding Codes on A Website

Better Page Load Speed

Loading Marketing pixels and tracking codes on websites take time to time off load speed. When doing several marketing campaigns using different marketing platforms, it is highly advisable to implement these tags via Google Tag Manager.

Ease in Managing Multiple Tags and Tracking Pixel

Having too many tags installed on a website not only slows down page speed but causes a lot of confusion on the back end. It is not a simple task to find the right tag to remove tags when there are a lot of codes in there. On the other hand, Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager

No Conflicting Tags and Accuracy in Gathering Data

While this occurs rarely, there are instances when 2 different tracking pixel or tracking code causes the other to fail. To maintain accuracy and to prevent tags/pixels to fail, having one Tag Manager contain all tracking code and pixels to

Event Tracking and Creating Goals on Google Analytics

Track events on Google Analytics with ease by setting them up via Google Tag Manager. Since it is easy to manage and wouldn't require a lot of testing to see if events come in, it is easier to do testing in real-time.

Helps Avoid Errors upon Implementation

There are means to track events and even domain cross-linking via Google Analytics but this involves adding codes and lines that may take some time to correctly implement and are directly added to the website. The beauty of Google Tag Manager is that as long as the tags are on pages then there's less likelihood of missing lines.

Takes Lesser Time to Implement

As long as Google Tag Manager is already on a website, all that needs to be done is do configurations and add tags on Google Tag Manager. There's nothing left to do or configure within the website. This takes off a lot of time in planning and adding the tags/pixels on the website as long as the Tag Manager code is installed on the page

Test Tags Before they are Implemented via Preview/Debug Mode

Even beginners could test whether a Tag or an Event is working on the website with the use of the Preview Mode.

How to Use Preview Mode

  • Go to Tag Manager Workspace
  • Click on Preview - A Confirmation message will appear on the Google Tag Manager workspace

Google Tag Manager

  • Go to Your Website and do a hard refresh if Debug mode window doesn't appear
  • Perform the action of the particular trigger being tested
  • The Tag will appear as fired and a confirmation of this will be seen on the debug mode window.

Google Tag Manager

About Cross Domain Linking/ Creating A Consolidated View for Several Domains on Google Analytics

Cross Domain Linking isn't a popular request and only a few agencies and experts know or have implemented such. However, this type of setup can be helpful for individuals managing several websites with almost the same products and services or managing domains copied from others.

It is impossible to track several domains just by adding Google Analytics tracking code on websites one wishes to track. Please note that this is also the reason why the Google Analytics code doesn't work once the domain name changes. Google uses the domain registered to the account for this. No data will be collected from other websites.

For this reason, Cross Domain Tracking/Linking is done using Google Tag Manager. The setup is done via Google Tag Manager and the Google Analytics Tracking code is added as a Tag on Tag Manager. This eliminates the need of adding a Google Analytics Consolidated View Tracking code on the website. Google Analytics code is already on Google Tag Manager so there is no need to add Google Analytics tracking code.

Best Practices for Implementing Google Tag Manager

Organize Tags using Google Tag Manager

Get all marketing, analytics and vendor tags on Google Tag Manager. Almost all tags are supported by Google Tag Manager given that it also allows the use of custom HTML where one can add the script.

Limit only Two Tag Managers per website

If possible, it is best practice to keep only one Google Tag Manager. However, some instances would require the use of Google Tag Manager such as having a consolidated view of several Domain's Google Analytics accounts. However, there are instances that digital agencies would request for their tags to be implemented on the website. The best approach to this is to give the agency access to the company's Google Tag Manager instead.

Test all Tags using Preview/Debug Mode

To make sure tags are firing correctly, use the Preview mode to show Debug window on the website. Simply do the action that requires a trigger and see if any Tags were triggered.

Google Tag Manager