SEO requires agility; this can often become problematic when operating with large development teams.
When someone from the SEO team needs to go through a dev team—who is often overworked to start—in order to add things to the website, it can create bottlenecks that weigh on SEO campaigns. Follow up emails to “get a timeline on when the changes will be implemented” often generate tension between SEOs and devs, who may come to view each other as nuisances that get in each others’ ways.
The other option—to simply allow the SEO team to make edits to the site directly—is often not an attractive option for the development team, who may be tasked with finding and fixing something if (or when) it’s inadvertently broken.
This has created tension between SEO and development teams in organizations. The SEO team complains that they simply need a script added to the site, and the dev team views the SEO team as adding unnecessary work to their already loaded Trello boards.
Google Tag Manager alleviates this tension in many organizations.
This post is going to walk you through a basic implementation of Google Tag Manager (GTM). It will illustrate how GTM can help your SEO team to “get stuff on the site” with minimal risk of potentially breaking something and incurring the wrath of the development team and the rest of the organization
GTM Allows for Different Permission Levels and an Effective Workflow
Rather than serving as a backdoor that allows anyone with access to the account to add scripts to the site, GTM has various permission levels:
The options will be:
- The SEO is able to single-handedly install the snippet on the site
- The SEO is able to make the edits, but not actually make it live until their SEO supervisor checks it and publishes it
- The SEO is able to make the edits, the SEO supervisor will be able to approve it, but the dev team will have to publish it
By using GTM, the SEO and dev teams can work out a workflow and approval process that will allow work to get done efficiently while allowing dev to review anything before it goes live.
SEOs Can Add Scripts to the Site Without Needing the Dev Team
Let’s say someone from the SEO team wants to install Hotjar on the site.
Without GTM, he would have to reach out to the dev team with the snippet in order to install it, or he* would need access to the site back end, running the risk of breaking something.
Using GTM, he would simply grab the snippet from the site, insert it into a tag, set when it should trigger, and publish!
The next section will demonstrate how easy the process actually is.
Google Tag Manager Allows SEOs with Minimal CSS and JS Knowledge to Create Events
GTM makes it extremely easy to create custom event tracking in Google Analytics. This frees up the development team by allowing the SEO to set up events instead of relying on a developer to do so.
Let’s say, for example, the SEO team wants to begin tracking how often people click on a button on the landing page.
Without a tool like Google Tag Manager, the process for implementing such a simple event can be quite involved.
To start, the SEO will have to submit a ticket to the development team. Second, a developer will have to log into the website and create an on-click event to trigger an event in google analytics.
Using Google tag manager can streamline this process significantly.
A Quick Demonstration of How Easy GTM is to Use
First, the SEO creates the tag:
This tag tells the information that will be sent to Google Analytics whenever it is triggered. I’m not going to go into much detail, but there is a ton of information online about setting it up online.
Second, a trigger will be configured to tell GTM when to trigger the tag:
Second, she will preview the tag to ensure it is firing properly:
When you visit the website, a bar appears at the bottom of the browser:
This allows you to test whether it is firing or not without making it live on the site.
Once everything seems to be working, he will submit it for review, or publish it, depending on the workflow that has been established for the website.
Given this workflow, a developer may not be needed at all or may only be needed simply to review and approve the change that has been made. This will greatly cut down on the time it takes to begin events tracking end free app developers that would normally be needed to implement such a change.
Ultimately, GTM Can Save Time, Money, and Frustration
If you’re interested in learning more about Google Tag Manager, this post explains in more detail what GTM is.
If you do find that your SEO and dev teams tend to get in each other’s way, you may want to explore implementing it on your website. The decreased reliance on your developers to implement event tracking will save your organization time and money while maintaining the goodwill between your teams.
Frank Olivo is the founder of Sagapixel SEO, an SEO agency with offices in New Jersey and Philadelphia. Frank is an alumnus of Rutgers University and holds an MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.