About Google Tag Manager

Using the new version of Google Tag Manager? Read the updated version of this article.

Google Tag Manager allows you to quickly and easily update:

  • tags on your website (such as tracking and marketing optimization tags). You can add and update AdWords, Google Analytics, Floodlight, and non-Google tags from the Google Tag Manager user interface instead of editing site code. This reduces errors, frees you from having to involve a webmaster, and allows you to quickly deploy tags on your site. Read Google Tag Manager for the Web, below.

  • the configuration and flag values of mobile apps that you have created. Instead of rebuilding and deploying new binaries, you can use the Google Tag Manager interface to change configuration values (for example, timeout, ad position, game play dynamics) and turn on flag-enabled features in your mobile apps. Read Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps, below.

Google Tag Manager for the Web

Watch a video

What is a tag?

A tag is snippet of JavaScript that sends information to a third party, such as Google. If you don't use a tag management solution such as Google Tag Manager, you need to add these snippets of JavaScript directly to the source code of your site. In contrast, with Google Tag Manager, you no longer need to maintain each of these JavaScript snippets in your source code; instead, you specify the tags that you want to fire, and when you want them to fire, in the Google Tag Manager user interface.

How It Works

Google Tag Manager works via a container snippet, that you place on all your website pages. The container snippet replaces AdWords, Google Analytics, Floodlight, and other tags on your site. (For a list of supported tags, read Tags.) Once a container snippet has been added to your site, you update, add, and administer tags from your Google Tag Manager account.

Your Google Tag Manager account allows you to administer the tags for one or more websites. Although you can set up multiple Google Tag Manager accounts from a single Google account, you’ll typically only need one Google Tag Manager account per company. Read Setup and Workflow to learn more.

Bitesize Training Video  

Watch this clip to learn about:

  • The hierarchy of a Google Tag Manager account
  • How the hierarchy translates to the GTM interface

Setup for Web

To manage tags using Google Tag Manager, you’ll need to:

  • go to google.com/tagmanager to create a Google Tag Manager account (or to access an existing account).
  • create a container for your site in the account,
  • add the container snippet to your site, while removing any existing tags on your site.

You’ll then be ready to add tags to your site via the Google Tag Manager user interface. For more information, read Setup and Workflow.

Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps

Google Tag Manager is useful for managing configuration values that you want to change in the future, or that can change conditionally. Instead of defining constant values in your application, you can make them dynamic and use Google Tag Manager to manage the rules that govern how these values change. Examples include:

  • the dimensions and locations of ads served in your application, for example, to change ad banner height based on screen size
  • game settings,
  • user interface settings, for example, based on platform
  • localized strings determined by device language.

How It Works (Mobile Apps)

A container in Google Tag Manager holds the macros and rules which govern how the configuration and flag values in your app are set. You manage the container - editing its macros and rules, previewing, testing, and publishing new versions of the container - from your Google Tag Manager account.

During app development, you use the Google Tag Manager SDK to associate a container with the app. You also provide a default container to deploy with the app. The default container is used to set default configuration values until the first time a container is downloaded. Once the app has connected to the internet and downloaded a container, it will never use the default container again. Applications periodically check for container updates, typically every 12 hours.

Setup for Mobile Apps

  • go to google.com/tagmanager to create a Google Tag Manager account (or to access an existing account).
  • create a container for your app in the account (select the "Mobile Apps" option),
  • download and implement the Google Tag Manager for Mobile SDK.

Read Setup and Workflow (Mobile Apps) for details.

Next Steps