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How to implement tracking pixels with Google Tag Manager

Accurately measuring the effectiveness of digital advertising activity is fundamental to the success of any modern marketing strategy. With as many tools and methods to achieve this as there are websites, it’s little wonder that many businesses continue to struggle with finding the most efficient and accurate solution. Enter: Google Tag Manager (GTM). GTM is a free tag management system that allows you to install and manage tracking pixels across your digital properties from one simple and easy-to-use platform.

This short guide has been designed to give you a basic overview of GTM and how best to leverage tracking pixels to gather the data you need to keep your digital efforts in fine form.

A brief overview of tracking pixels 

Tracking pixels, also known as marketing pixels or tags, are tiny snippets of code that allow you to gather information about the audience you are marketing to – how they browse, what type of ads they interact with, the kinds of purchases they make, etc. They are essential for measuring a wide range of digital engagement metrics and tracking conversions. These tags can be easily customised to focus only on a specific, predefined variable, giving you the precise information you need based on your unique measurement goals.

Traditionally, a web developer would have to hand-script the tracking code and manually place it within a website’s HTML. With GTM, the custom-coding element is no longer necessary, as the platform allows you to easily generate the tag in a single click.

As every website is built differently, digital agencies are now reluctant to implement the tags by hard-coding them as it may damage the site’s structure and functionality. This is why GTM has become the industry standard solution for pixel implementation and management and is particularly beneficial for smaller businesses with minimal in-house IT resources.

Configuring Google Tag Manager

In order to configure and deploy the tracking tags, you need to create an account, if you don’t already have one. From there you’ll need to install the tag container on your website or mobile app. If you’re installing on a website, add the container snippet as instructed by GTM, and remove any existing tags. If you’re installing in an app environment, we recommend using the Firebase SDK for Android or iOS. You can now add and publish your tags moving forward.

Implementing floodlight pixels

Setting up pixels through GTM is a fairly straightforward process, with the intuitive user interface making it easy enough, even for beginners. That said, the program does require some getting used to, so we’ve outlined four simple steps to implementing floodlight pixels below:

Step 1: Under the ‘Tags’ tab, click ‘New’.

Tag Manager Select New

Step 2: Label your individual tags in a way that is clear to identify.

Tag Manager Label your individual tags in a way that is clear to identify.

Step 3: Select ‘Tag Reconfiguration’,  then choose ‘Floodlight Counter’ as the tag type. Click continue and configure your tag from the below options:

Tag Reconfiguration

Step 4: Fill out the following sections as follows:

Advertiser ID: The value of src =
Google Tag String: The value of type =
Activity Tag String: The value of cat =

It will then prompt you to add a trigger (select ‘page view’ if you’re setting up a remarketing pixel).

trigger configuration

Once all steps are complete, we suggest you verify that the tags are all placed correctly, Tag Assistant by Google is a great tool for this.

Access sharing

If engaging with third-parties, it’s best practice to keep all digital platform access in-house, and only give agencies and partners access as required.

To grant an agency access to your Tag Manager account you must first click ‘Admin’ in the account column, select user management, then select ‘Add’ then ‘Add new users’. Enter the email address your agency has provided you.

You will then need to set account permissions. ‘User’ is selected by default, and this level allows the user to view basic account information. Please select ‘Administrator’ if the individual should have the ability to create new containers and modify user permissions for accounts and containers.

Then click ‘Invite’. Your partner will then receive an invitation and can have a deeper look into the pixels and their implementation. You can revoke their access to your GTM instance at any time and it is important to ensure that only the users who need access, have access.

We hope this guide has given you clear, actionable steps to implementing tracking pixels using GTM. If you have any questions or you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.