Google Tag Manager is a little tool that allows you to publish HTML changes to a website without needing to actually change the HTML yourself. Once the Tag Manager code is on the page, it’s pretty easy to publish things such as tracking scripts and verification codes yourself.
What is Google Tag Manager used for?
Getting changes made to a website can sometimes be quite tricky if you don’t have direct access yourself. You often need to make friends with the web developer who controls the website and if you ask them very nicely, they may make the changes for you.
Google Tag Manager was created to try and avoid having to ask web developers to make certain types of changes for you. These changes mostly relate to things such as adding tracking code to a webpage, so things such as Google Analytics tracking code, AdRoll tracking or even tags for advertising such as Twitter Ads or LinkedIn Ads.
You can use the Google Tag Manager interface to upload and publish these tags, meaning that you don’t need to bother web developers and potentially face delays for relatively minor changes to a page.
What can go wrong
The upside of Google Tag Manager is that you can publish lots of cool code changes without needing a developer. The downside is that it’s all reliant on the Google Tag Manager code itself being live on the page and working correctly. You could have 20+ tags published but all of them could break if the Tag Manager code is deleted or changed.
This is why it’s important to monitor and check that the Google Tag Manager code is in place and isn’t accidentally deleted or edited. If it is, then any code that you published using it will stop working.
The common risks with Google Tag Manager
Despite there being many third party tags that you can publish with Google Tag Manager, one of the most popular uses is to publish Google Analytics tags and advertising scripts. This means that if something goes wrong with Google Tag Manager, some pretty important tracking data will be lost and potentially, you could lose important tracking data for your advertising too.
Because of this, you need to keep an eye on the Google Tag Manager code and ensure that it’s not accidentally edited or completely removed.