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Knowledgebase Cookies and Integrations Google Tag Manager and Cookies


Google Tag Manager and Cookies

Last Updated: December 11, 2020

Tag management systems such as Google Tag Manager make it easy for website owners to organize how their sites use cookies. This allows them to find out how users are interacting with their website.

However, websites must ensure their use of cookies is compliant with EU cookie regulations. They can do this by using the tag manager alongside a GDPR compliant cookie banner. This enables webmasters to set up tags within Google Tag Manager so cookies only drop once the user has given cookie consent.

In this article, we’ll look at how websites can use Google Tag Manager and CookiePro to streamline their cookie dropping process and stay GDPR compliant.

What is a Tag Management System?

Google defines tags as “segments of code provided by analytics, marketing, and support vendors to help you integrate their products into your websites or mobile apps.”

Tags are commonly used to set cookies, although they can be used to set other types of code such as tracking pixels.

Tag management systems like Google Tag Manager allow website owners to create and manage how these tags are deployed by their website. Instead of having to write and embed separate code for each tag they want to use, Google Tag Manager creates the code and embeds it on the site.

The tag is created within the tool and users can set specific triggers that will deploy the code. They can also set up variables to customize the tag further. Examples of how websites can use tags include:

  1. Tracking when a user clicks on a “Buy now” button.
  2. Tracking when someone downloads a file on your site.
  3. Tracking when a visitor starts to complete a website form but abandons the process.
  4. Dropping website cookies.

Google Tag Manager is a popular choice of tag manager as it is free, relatively easy to use, offers a lot of features, and supports a wide array of tag configurations. There are alternatives, such as Adobe Dynamic Tag Management. However, this article will mainly focus on Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager and Cookies

Website owners can use tag managers to deploy cookies after the user takes a specific action. For example, when they visit your page or when they agree to cookies on your cookie banner. This makes it possible for website owners to only drop cookies once they have permission to do so.

This is important because receiving permission to drop cookies is one of the steps websites have to take to stay compliant with EU privacy regulation. Other steps are having an up-to-date cookie policy and providing a way for users to revoke their cookie permission.

Using CookiePro with Google Tag Manager

One of the ways CookiePro helps websites stay compliant with EU data privacy regulations is by providing sites with an easy to deploy GDPR compliant cookie banner. This allows websites to receive permission from users to drop cookies.

This can be integrated with Google Tag Manager so receiving cookie consent becomes the trigger that drops cookies. This makes it easy for webmasters to set their website to only drop cookies after the user has given permission for it to do so.

As CookiePro allows website visitors to choose which type of cookies they want to accept, webmasters can set triggers for each group of cookies. These are strictly necessary, performance, functional, or targeting cookies.

If a user only gives permission for strictly necessary cookies, only that type of cookie will be triggered and, therefore, dropped.

If you want more information about how CookiePro works alongside Google Tag Manager, we have produced a technical guide that you can read here.

Other Options for Managing Cookies

Tag managers are a popular way for websites to manage and set cookies. However, they aren’t the only option. Cookies can also be set manually using JavaScript.

CookiePro provides solutions for webmasters who don’t use a tag manager but still want to ensure their cookie use is GDPR compliant.

Instead of setting triggers within a tag management system, website owners can rewrite cookie script tags so the cookies will not run until the code for cookie consent has loaded and told the cookie tag that the user has given cookie consent.

You can read more about how to rewrite the JavaScript of individual tags on your site so it works with CookiePro here.

CookiePro Lets You Streamline Cookie Consent through Google Tag Manager

However you choose to manage your site’s cookies, CookiePro can help you streamline how you gain consent for and then drop cookies on your site. CookiePro, which is free to sign up to (you can do so here), provides several additional features that help users stay compliant with EU privacy regulations.

  • A cookie banner that requires website visitors to provide opt-in cookie consent. This is the type of cookie consent that fits in most with EU requirements.
  • The ability for users to accept certain types of cookies and reject others. This could decrease the chance of users rejecting all cookies.
  • An automatically generated GDPR compliant cookie policy that dynamically updates depending on the cookies in use on your site.
  • Discover which cookies are in use on your site with the cookie checker. This also categorizes cookies based on what they do.
  • The paid version of CookiePro includes further options including only showing the banner in the EU, language detection options, and the ability to maintain granular records of consent.

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