Get an Inside Look at the New Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager has a fancy new interface that will roll out for all users along with their accounts and containers in January 2015. This new version of the tool, which includes name changes and new functionalities, is currently available for beta testing. Read on for an insider look!

Clean and Functional Look

Google Tag Manager’s clean new look more closely matches the aesthetic of Google Analytics, as well as displays information in a similar manner. The top navigation provides for an easier way to move through sections of the tool.

Google Tag Manager

In the Container section of the tool, there is a now a displayed difference between drafted and published versions of a container; a similar feature to what is seen in other tag management tools, like Tealium.

Google Tag Manager


Creating a Tag

I think the most interesting changes are to the process of setting up a tag. But first: Tag Manager has also changed naming conventions! Rules are now known as triggers and macros have been renamed to variables. The names make sense given a tag is ‘triggered’ by certain features. Also, the naming of variables better aligns with the current structure of web development.

In the current interface, a tag is fired based on the set of criteria that define a rule. Now with the use of triggers, you select the type of event (pageview, click, form, etc) and then list additional filters that help distinguish when to fire the rule. That means listener tags are no longer needed! Instead of creating listener tags to be used within rules, such listener elements are specific to each trigger as an event.

Google Tag Manager


The new interface makes it easier to create tags by displaying the information all together and making sure to visually check off what sections of a tag have been completed. There have been many times when a tag I’ve created doesn’t fire within the debugger, and later I find I forgot an important element within the firing rule; so this improvement will help cut down on time required to trouble shoot tags.

 Google Tag Manager


Macros = Variables

In the current interface there are macros already built into the tool, but with the new interface you can show only variables that are actually useful to a container. Built in variables are also visually separated from variables that you create yourself.

Google Tag Manager

Overall I’m really excited to begin using the new interface. Also, because of the new look and feel of the tool, new users will likely overcome the learning curve more quickly.

Additionally, Google has also launched an API that allows you to control your accounts and containers programmatically, which is a plus for us as an agency. There will be more updates to come, including support for mobile containers, Doubleclick integration, and more!

Check out Google Support for more information.

Happy tagging!




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