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Google Tag Manager overview

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system that 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, Firebase Analytics, Floodlight, and 3rd party or custom tags from the Tag Manager user interface instead of editing site code. This reduces errors and frees you from having to involve a developer when configuring tags.

In this article:

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 Tag Manager, you need to add these snippets of code directly to files on your website or mobile app. With 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 Tag Manager user interface.

How it works

Tag Manager for web works via its own container tag that you place on all your website pages. For mobile, Tag Manager is deployed in conjunction with the Firebase SDK, with support for Android and 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 Tag Manager container tag has been added to your site or app, you update, add, and administer additional tags right from the Tag Manager web application.

For mobile containers, a default container is used to set initial tag configurations 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 Tag Manager account allows you to administer the tags for one or more websites or mobile apps. Although you can set up multiple Tag Manager accounts from a single Google account, you’ll typically only need one Tag Manager account per company or organization. Read Setup and Workflow to learn more.

Watch this video to learn more about the basics:

Setup for web

To manage tags using 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 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, 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 Tag Manager user interface. For more information, read Setup and Workflow and watch the following video:

Setup for mobile apps

Google Tag Manager for mobile apps is integrated with Firebase. Firebase is Google’s mobile app platform, which provides end to end development tools and analytics.

By adding Tag Manager to your app, you can make changes to your measurement setup without having to wade into the app update process.

To setup Tag Manager for mobile apps:

  • Go to tagmanager.google.com to create a Tag Manager account (or to access an existing account).
  • Create a container for your app in the account (select the "Mobile Apps" option).
  • Select the appropriate container type (Android, iOS) and SDK version (Firebase, Legacy SDKs)

​Please visit the Tag Manager developer documentation to learn more.

Next steps

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