With the holidays behind us, there is no better time think about spring cleaning your website. Conversion tracking is an important starting point for any advertiser – without it, you can’t accurately evaluate or optimize your advertising performance. But since every platform requires different tracking codes, hand-coding can quickly become difficult.

That’s why tag management solutions are so exciting – you can easily and conveniently manage all your tags in one place instead of combing through website code to troubleshoot issues, or begging IT to prioritize application of a tracking tag. Google Tag Manager, launched in October of 2012, has become the most common tag manager used by our clients.

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Time to scrub all that tracking code from your website? Image via Flickr.

What Does It Do?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) allows you to remove all of the various tracking pixels (from Google Analytics, AdWords, third-party display providers, and so on) from your website, and house them in a separate interface. This is helpful for two reasons: first, it cleans up the code on your website, reducing the risk that coding mistakes will damage your tracking or website usability. GTM also makes it much simpler to adjust tags within the interface, rather than editing the code directly on your website.

Once all the tracking tags are in, you set specific conditions, or ‘triggers,’ that tell the Tag Manager when to fire each tag. A single piece of code – the GTM container – on every page of the site fires the tags according to those triggers without having to hand-code each.

Who Is It For?

GTM (or related solutions) has proven its value for everyone from small, ecommerce businesses to multi-national B2B software providers. GTM’s most important feature for many of our clients is the user’s ability to edit tags and triggers without involving an IT team, reducing the amount of time and complexity needed to adjust tracking.

For example, let’s say you want to start AdWords remarketing, and so need to place the remarketing pixel on every page of your site. Instead of going to your developer, opening a ticket in the queue, and asking to place a tag on every page, you can log into your GTM account, add the tag there, and select ‘fire on every page’ from a list of pre-built triggers. The delay between need, testing, and deployment can be as little as 5 minutes.

As digital advertising – and tracking – get more complicated each year, corralling tags into a scalable system greatly reduces work and time needed for implementation, which means that you can focus on growing your business instead of troubleshooting website and tracking issues.