Google Tag Manager: de facto tag management for Google Analytics deployment
Updated October 01, 2015

Google Tag Manager: de facto tag management for Google Analytics deployment

Stephane Hamel | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review

Overall Satisfaction with Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is the preferred method of deployment for Google Analytics/Universal Analytics. It natively supports Google Analytics and a number of 3rd party tags, and for special cases, there's always the custom HTML tag feature. It offers a flexible mechanism to manage triggers to fire tags based on simple or complex rules, as well as a powerful macro/variable approach to offer flexible leveraging of various data attributes.

As an agency, we also frequently deploy Google Tag Manager for clients and have conducted several migrations from Google Analytics (classic) to Universal Analytics, as well as handling ad networks, social tags, and others.

Be it a simple deployment or a complex one, the product is quickly evolving and has already undergone several improvements (for example, we successfully manage about 250 tags for a single web property).
  • Solution of choice to deploy Google Analytics, DoubleClick and other Google-specific tags
  • Flexible platform to handle all cases of tags/data collection needs
  • Great documentation and strong user community
  • Extremely performant
  • The user interface could be improved
  • Support for A/B or multivariate tests, which often require synchronous tags, are not supported
  • Complex collaboration/approval workflows are not supported
  • General to all Tag Management Systems, GTM generally coincide with an increased awareness and accountability of data quality and governance
  • Greater agility in managing the tags deployment life-cycle leads to reduced operational costs and greater data quality
  • Deploying GTM (or any TMS) implicitly requires a re-tagging of the entire site
  • TagMan,Adobe Tag Manager,Ensighten,Tealium Tag Management Suite,Qubit Opentag
Cost is obviously a factor - GTM, Adobe Tag Manager and Qubit Opentag offers free solutions. GTM is quickly becoming the de facto solution when deploying Google Analytics and is benefiting a vast user base/skills availability. Some competing vendor claims includes data ownership, vendor independence, faster processing, datawarehousing of all data tags, etc. However, in many cases, those can be debunked, are not mature, or not applicable to most client scenarios.
If the primary digital analytics platform is Google Analytics, GTM should be considered the solution of choice.
There are very few scenarios where GTM wouldn't be appropriate. If lots of A/B tests are being conducted, the deployment of those tags might have to be handled separately.

Google Tag Manager Feature Ratings

Tag library
Tag variable mapping
Ease of writing custom tags
Rules-driven tag execution
Tag performance monitoring
Not Rated
Page load times
Mobile app tagging
Library of JavaScript extensions
Not Rated
Event tracking
Mobile event tracking
Data distribution management
Not Rated
Universal data layer
Not Rated
Automated error checking
Not Rated
Role-based user permissions

Using Google Tag Manager

Typically marketing, but the reality is despite making it easier, sophisticated implementations requires a fair amount of web development/javascript/tagging knowledge - and this is true regardless of the Tag Management System being used.
Intimate knowledge of the website/app being tracked, thorough understanding of the business goals. For more advanced implementation, most likely, you will need to have a good knowledge of things like HTML DOM, JavaScript, element attributes/classes/id, and regular expressions.
  • Advanced implementation using enhanced ecommerce for a media website.
  • Sophisticated implementation on a website developed with the Angular.js framework.
  • Use of enhanced ecommerce to track a "build & price"-type of website.
GTM is quickly evolving and offers round after round of feature improvements based on user feedback. It is (obviously) the platform with the closest ties to Google Analytics and other Google products such as DoubleClick.

Google Tag Manager Implementation

Google Tag Manager Training

I thought there was a little bit too much emphasis on AdWords stuff, not enough on the generic application of GTM.

Google Tag Manager Support

It depends wether you are seeking official support from Google itself, in which case it would be rated very low because it's not their business model, they would rather have you work with one of their Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP).
In terms of self-served support, Google offer extensive documentation at, recently revamped training (, has active forums and user community ( which can typically answer even the most advanced questions.

Using Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager Reliability