If there’s one fact in finance marketing, it’s that success in your online campaigns hinges on data.
Regardless of whether you are a small IFA, a medium-sized lease finance business or large Forex trading firm, it is crucial to understand how users are engaging with your financial website.
Google Analytics is the standard software used by financial firms to discern these insights. However, although it is a very useful tool, it does have its limits. By combining Analytics with Google Tag Manager, however, you can attain much more specific and useful data to inform your financial marketing.
What Are Tags?
A “tag” is a code snippet, which is added to a website or particular web pages. The tag then sits there, collecting data in order to send it to particular parties. For instance, you can use a tag to monitor eBook downloads from your resources page, or to monitor form submissions on your contact page.
As you can probably imagine, this means that many different tags can be used on a single financial website. The resulting code to create and manage them all can be fairly immense. Trying to edit each or any of these within the source code can be a nightmare, and is really not recommended if you do not have significant web development experience under your belt.
With Google Tag Manager (GTM), however, you are able to add, edit and remove tags in a much more user-friendly way. It completely avoids the need to go to the website’s source code. Moreover, whilst Google Tag Manager is certainly a Google product, it isn’t limited to Google services like Analytics and AdWords. You can use it to edit and manage other things too, like Bing Ads, Twitter and Crazy Egg.
Advantages & Drawbacks of GTM in Financial Marketing
Here are some positive reasons to include GTM on your financial website:
#1 Pro: More Independence
If you are an IFA or financial marketer reading this, then nine times out of ten you will not have the experience of a professional web developer. GTM allows you to implement tags to your website on your own, without needing to rely on developers. Truth be told, the latter often push tag-related tasks down their “to-do” lists in order to focus on their more urgent project tasks. So this is actually a win-win.
#2 Con: Still Requires Some Technical Knowledge
Unfortunately, whilst GTM significantly democratises tagging for IFAs and other financial firms, you do need some technical skill to implement the tags correctly. For instance, you will need enough know-how and confidence to add a container code to your website. In addition, whilst GTM allows you to use simpler tags yourself, you will likely still need professional help for the more custom, specialised tags.
#3 Pro: Helps All Kinds Of Businesses
Due to the fact you do not necessarily need a developer for GTM, it allows financial firms of all varieties and sizes to benefit. Even startup IFAs, who might be limited in their technical knowledge and support, can take advantage of GTM for their financial marketing efforts.
#4 Con: Potential Slower Site Speed
One drawback of having lots of tags on your financial website occurs when they fire at the same time. This can slow down the speed of your website, which can lead to a poor user experience and lower engagement / conversion rates. The good news is, in GTM the tags load asynchronously by default, making this unlikely to happen. Just be careful when you attempt to manipulate the order in which you want your tags to fire.
#5 Compatible With AMP and Apps
Standard financial websites are certainly compatible with GTM, for sure. Yet if your brand also makes use of AMP pages or a mobile app, then you can integrate GTM with these as well.
Components of GTM
It might be tempting to thing that tags and component are simple, and to a large degree they are. However, you will still need a basic grasp of the essential concepts in order to get started:
A physical container holds physical objects, and a tag container holds the tags used on your financial website. The form this container takes is a special piece of code, which is inserted into your website’s source code on each of your pages.
If you use a CMS like WordPress, it is possible to use a plugin to insert the container code in a more user-friendly fashion, rather than by delving into your source code. The good news is, once the container code is in, you can edit all of your tags from within the Google Tag Manager interface itself.
Your tags will have a variety of purposes, yet they all will require certain conditions to be met in order to “fire”. For instance, if a user downloads your eBook, you might want a tag to “fire” in order to send that information to our reports. Or perhaps you want your reports to take note when a user clicks on a particular link. Whatever the case, each tag will need at least one trigger in order to work properly.
#3 Constants & Variables
Tags only function with proper triggers. Similarly, triggers only work correctly depending on the particular variables attached to them.
With variables, the idea goes like this: if certain conditions are met, then the trigger evaluates whether to fire. Your tag will then compare what the trigger is saying about its conditions to its own conditions. If the tag agrees with the trigger, then the tag fires.
#4 Data Layers
How do tag get the information they need in order to know whether or not they should fire? One way would be for tags to check your HTML, but this can be very time consuming and cause the tag to break. Besides, some information the tag needs might not be available in the HTML code.