Posted by & filed under PPCChat.

This week’s PPCChat session was hosted by Timothy Jensen and the topic of discussion was using Google Tag Manager, adding them to your or client’s sites, desired features for GTM, tips for using GTM on specific channel, resources to learn more about GTM and more.

Here is the screencap of the discussion that took place.

ppcchat discussion


Q1: What’s your comfort level with using Google Tag Manager?

Zero, lol. I know what it is but not how to use it –

It used to be fairly high, gotten less familiar with it as they have continued to make it more complex. – @PPCKirk

Definitely basic – 

Amateur – @clickyricky


Q2: Are your clients ever concerned about adding GTM to sites and the power it allows you to add scripts? How do you address these concerns?


Sending a detailed list of events through multiple emails that need to be tracked for micro-conversions helps, and then offering to do it yourself “if you could just get access to GTM” can help – @PPCKirk

It really depends on the size of the company you are working with. Usually, SMBs are more willing to let me do whatever i want from the moment that it brings value to their business. Big companies = pain in the a** – 


Q3: What gripes do you have in working with GTM? Annoyances with the interface, limitations, etc.


Not really a gripe per se, but it’s definitely become more advanced than it was in the beginning. You really do need to know what you’re doing, or be able to hire someone who does! – @PPCKirk

To be able to use it at its full capacity, you need to have a bit of developer background, whether to create scripts, etc… the basics are pretty standard but if you want to go deeper, you need to know how to code. – 

You still have to know what you’re doing to successfully deploy GTM. It can get really broken when there are too many working on it and/or those who don’t know what they are doing. It is not “anyone can do it in 5 minutes”. – @NeptuneMoon

I wish some explanations were a little deeper…. the Google Dev site usually helps me answer a question I have or roadblock I run into  – 

When in doubt, I check out the Simo Ahava blog. He’s a master at GTM. Great spot if you want to keep up with GTM changes and what the real deal. – 

I do wish there were more resources that weren’t so directed at people who are developer-minded. – 


Q4: As a followup, what features do you wish GTM would add?


I would say maybe more preset / prepopulated variables, smart variables that would help us create the tags faster. – 

I wish it was better at giving alerts if you were about to really break something. Worked on a project recently where another party “took over” the GTM & ended up breaking all my stuff & there was no GA data flowing until they figured it out… –  @NeptuneMoon

If smart variables were something like smart goals in GA. Not something I would want to see in an account. It’s to general for our needs. – 

Better organisation, folders should be integrated into the interface of tags and triggers instead of being standalone. – 


Q5: Are there any tips you would give for using GTM for specific channels? AdWords, Bing, FB, GA, etc?


One interesting setup I worked on was getting weather-related data to import into GA for an HVAC client who wanted to see how weather trends correlated with performance – @timothyjjensen

Think about your campaigns as parts of a whole ecosystem as you set them up. Unique names that can be triggers, for instance. Shameless plug – I will be talking about how to do this at Hero Conference in Austin… –  @NeptuneMoon

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Use preview mode to make sure your triggers/tags are firing properly. Trial and error. – 

Yes, preview mode is super helpful! The Recordings feature of the Tag Assistant Chrome extension is also helpful in assessing GTM setups and how data’s being seen by GA. – @timothyjjensen

Be careful to not double count data in GA, this helpful post was explains: – @PPCKirk

I like it for cross-platform. set up the trigger and aim LinkedIn, Bing, Facebook and AdWords at it. – @JuliaVyse


Q6: For those using GTM on an advanced level, are there any custom uses we haven’t talked about that could be helpful to others?




Q7: What are your favorite resources for learning about GTM?


GTM Fundamentals in Google Analytics Academy is really helpful for beginners : – 

For step-by-step tutorials I like Measureschool’s YouTube channel – 

Co-workers have been great resources. After that, I’m off to Google to see what reliable sources I can find. – 

Big fan of anything on ‘s blog. has some solid GTM articles as well. – @timothyjjensen

is very helpful with GTM and GA…not to mention analytics in general and statistics for business. – 

The @UpBuildTeam blog, such as this niftily neat (albeit it somewhat dated) article by @Mike_Arnesen: – @PPCKirk


Q8 What tips would you give to those just getting started in using GTM?


Start simple – run your basic GA code through GTM as a first step. Note: If you do this, be sure to remove any other instances of GA code from your site. – @NeptuneMoon

Plan to check data flow early and often after you implement via GTM. Catching a problem quickly is always preferable. – @NeptuneMoon

Be methodical and check frequently. @JuliaVyse

Don’t be intimidated by GTM just because you’re not a developer – you can use it effectively even without a coding background (just make sure you have support if things go sideways) – 


Misc: I’m also curious (based on some concerns brought up) if you wish GTM had better safeguards in place for non-dev/tech ppl to know they’re not going to do something detrimental to the site/data


Don’t give Publish access and check their work, Edit access level is underrated for teams. – 

Centralization, organization, testing events and triggers without having to hard code them all. (Remember putting GA Events ‘inside’ each button?) – 

I was one of those non-dev people who broke crap in GTM. After taking down a client’s site I was happy with edit-only access. Nothing teaches you responsibility like liability. If you have devs at your disposal, USE THEM. – @timmhalloran


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