About Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager allows you to quickly and easily update:

  • Tags and code snippets on your website or mobile app, such as those intended for traffic analysis and marketing optimization. You can add and update AdWords, Google Analytics, Floodlight, and 3rd party or custom tags from the Google Tag Manager user interface instead of editing site code. This reduces errors, frees you from having to involve a web developer, and allows you to quickly deploy new features or content onto your site. Read Google Tag Manager for the Web, below.
  • Configuration and flag values of mobile apps that you have created. Instead of rebuilding and deploying new mobile app 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. Read Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps, below.

What Is a Tag?

A tag is a snippet of code 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 code directly to files on your website or mobile app. With Google Tag Manager, you no longer need to maintain each of these code snippets in your source files. Instead, you specify the tags that you want to fire, and when you want them to fire, from within the Google Tag Manager user interface.

How It Works

Google Tag Manager for web works via its own container tag that you place on all your website pages. For mobile, Tag Manager is deployed via an SDK for Android or iOS. The container replaces all other manually-coded tags on your site or app, including tags from AdWords, Google Analytics, Floodlight, and 3rd party tags. (See a list of supported tags.) Once the Google Tag Manager container tag has been added to your site, you update, add, and administer additional tags right from the Google Tag Manager web application.

For mobile containers, a default container is used to set initial 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.

Your Google Tag Manager account allows you to administer the tags for one or more websites or mobile apps. 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 or organization. Read Setup and Workflow to learn more.

Watch this video to learn more about the basics of Google Tag Manager:

Setup for Web

To manage tags using Google Tag Manager:

  • Go to tagmanager.google.com to create an account (or to access an existing account).
  • Create a container for your site in the account.
  • Add the container snippet to your site.
  • Migrate any hardcoded tags (such as AdWords or DoubleClick tags) from your site’s source code into Google Tag Manager.

Do I need to migrate my tags all at once?

We do recommend migrating all of your tags as a best practice. However, if you need to hold off on migrating a few of your tags, Google Tag Manager will fire it's tags alongside any hardcoded tags just fine.

You’ll then be ready to do all of your future tag management for your site via the Google Tag Manager user interface. For more information, read Setup and Workflow, and check out the following video:

Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps

In addition to working with tracking codes on mobile apps, Google Tag Manager is also 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 mobile app, you can make them dynamic and use Google Tag Manager to manage the rules that govern how these values change. Examples include:
  • 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, such as differences between platforms
  • localized strings determined by device language

Setup for Mobile Apps

  • Go to tagmanager.google.com 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 to learn more.

Next Steps

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