A great, free, low-risk tool to test and deploy tags faster
October 06, 2015

A great, free, low-risk tool to test and deploy tags faster

David Gailey | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Google Tag Manager

With more than a dozen third party vendor and analytics tags, and a slow development release cycle, our website needed a way for business/marketing users to more rapidly test and deploy new tags and changes to existing tags. Although setting up a data layer on our current platform proved challenging at times, the benefits to the marketing team were well worth the effort. Google Tag Manager allowed them to get data faster, iterate quickly and ultimately make actionable decisions within days instead of weeks. There are paid services that offer the same, however, this free service allows decision makers a low-risk, easy-in, feature rich solution to tag management.


  • Easy to use interface that our marketing users were able to quickly pick up on.
  • Tag debugging system allows for a great way to test tags before they are published.
  • Versioning and publishing system allows easy rollback and version tracking for your tags.


  • Depending on the integration, sometimes the rule, tag and macro lists can become so long that they seem unwieldy. This can slow down the marketing user. A method of better organizing these lists could prove helpful.
  • Quicker actionable decision-making based on analytics data because of increased efficiency of marketing and IT team relationship.
  • Less downtime of the website due to performance issued caused by third party vendor tags. If a tag is causing a problem to the functionality of the site, just turn it off and publish.
I've had very good experiences with Tealium. They have a similar technology model to Google Tag Manager and a great interface. However, where Tealium shines is in its assistance to your data layer strategy, audits and fast, friendly support. Of course, you can also get this same dedicated support for Google Tag Manager if you subscribe to Google Analytics Premium.
Ask yourself if your IT capacity or deployment process is slowing down your marketing and analytics departments. In our IT department, we were able to free up a decent percentage of several front-end developers' workload. Upon launch of Google Tag Manager on our site, we put a great amount of tagging responsibility in the hands of our marketing department.

Google Tag Manager Feature Ratings

Tag library
Tag variable mapping
Ease of writing custom tags
Rules-driven tag execution
Tag performance monitoring
Page load times
Mobile app tagging
Library of JavaScript extensions
Event tracking
Mobile event tracking
Data distribution management
Universal data layer
Automated error checking
Role-based user permissions

Google Tag Manager Implementation

Planning and communication will help greatly with an in-house implementation. If there are large teams, try to limit the number of people involved to 1-2 developers (back-end dev may be necessary depending on your platform), one analytics marketer and one project manager.
Yes - We followed suggestions from Google and came up with a data layer strategy. Then followed development, testing, bug fixing, staged testing, and finally deployment. After deployment, we watched our commonly used reports for a few weeks to make sure everything was working correctly.
Since launching Google Tag Manager, our IT team experienced a great increase in capacity and became more of a supporting role than an implementation role. The marketing team did take on additional work and required some training/self-teaching. Overall, it removed a cumbersome process between the departments and allowed us both to focus on actionable items.
  • When an error only seen in our production environment crippled part of a marketing program, some expectations were not communicated effectively to one of our marketing persons. It was an easy fix but given the political atmosphere at the time, a little better communication could have helped tremendously to make the transition smoother.
  • It was sometimes difficult to pull the proper fields out of our e-commerce system during implementation of the data layer.


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