Google Tag Manager Setup

How To Use Google Tag Manager

Table of Contents

Google Tag Manager Setup Step-by-Step


  1. Create Your Google Tag Manager Account Property
  2. Copy Your Google Tag Manager Tracking Container Code
  3. Paste it Into Your Website in the Correct Location
  4. Publish Your Container
  5. From Within Your Container, Put Your Container in Preview Mode
  6. From Your Google Chrome Browser, Visit Your Website.
  7. Verify That Your Container is Published By Observing the Preview Popup-Dashboard
  8. If Installed, Enable Recording on Your Google Tag Assistant and Repeat Steps 6 and 7.
  9. Ensure no Errors Are Reported by the Tag Assistant
  10. Complete Your Test and Turn Off Preview.




These are the basic steps of setting up the Google Tag Manager.  Once this is successfully accomplished, setting up each tag is really a repetitive process.  Unfortunately, there are literally hundreds of choices to make on each one as well as settings to make to ensure each is properly set up.  All of these choices should be driven by your measurement plan.  I will walk you through a couple of the critical steps so you get the idea and offer some 'best practice' advice on working your way through this never ending process.


Set Up Your Google Analytics Property


If not already done, you will need to create your Google Analytics Property and grab the tracking code from within your Admin Panel. 


Google Analytics Properties


First navigate to the center column on this page after clicking the admin button on the bottom left.


Google Analytics Property Settings

After you locate the right column, click on the Property Settings link and grab your Tracking ID.  You will need it later.


Link your GTM to your GA Property


It needs to be inserted into the Google Tag Manager.  There are instructions provided by Google on how to set up the tag and I recommend you grab the latest version from within Google Analytics every time you execute this process.


You've Established Your Baseline Tracking System

When you have created and configured your GTM and inserted your Google Analytics Tracking Code into GTM, you've established your Baseline Analytics Tracking System.  However, if you are going to be running Google Ads, you will want to set up Google Ads Tracking by also creating Conversion Actions and Remarketing Tags from within Google Ads.  Each of these comes with its setup instructions for GTM.  Each time you setup up a new Tag, you need to repeat the testing process I provided in steps 5, 6 and 7.  


You will end up with a lot of tags.


Google Tag Manager Tags


Setup Cross-Domain Tracking


Many customers have multiple domains they need to track.  For instance, they may have and  This is one of the more common setup mistakes we run across.  You have to setup a linker tag in GTM and tell it which domains to track, separated by a comma. 


Example GTM Linker Conversion Linker


Screen Shot 2021-09-13 at 8.48.08 AM


If you do not do this, when you tell Google Ads to focus on a particular conversion action, such as Purchase, the Google Machine Learning system won't be able to fully optimize your ads.  This translates into overall higher cost or, stated another way, sub-optimal performance.


Enable Enhanced E-Commerce

Does not apply to Google's G4 Yet


If you run an ecommerce operation, you need to go into your Google Analytics account and enable enhanced e-commerce.  You will also need to enable this appropriate tag within GTM.


Google Analytics Enhanced E-Commerce Setup


This is what you should see in Google Analytics if you have it setup correctly.  With this setup, you can easily track ROAS or Return on Ad Spend.

Get Professional Google Tag Manager Setup Help


As a Google Certified Adwords consultant, I know how complicated this can actually be to set up successfully.  However, I have found that in order for me to successfully setup and manage my client's Google PPC campaigns, I need to also help clients set up a comprehensive Google Tag Manager setup.  Once done, it's a lot easier to reach success with your Google paid campaign efforts.  If you're looking for a Google Tag Manager Consultant to help you get your GTM tag set up so that your Google Ad Spend can be fully optimized, just use the form to request it.





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Lonnie Ayers

About the Author: Lonnie Ayers is a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketing consultant, with additional certifications in Hubspot Content Optimization, Hubspot Contextual Marketing, and is a Hubspot Certified Partner. Specialized in demand generation and sales execution, especially in the SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Partner space, he has unique insight into the tough challenges Service Providers face with generating leads and closing sales using the latest digital tools. With 15 years of SAP Program Management experience, and dozens of complex sales engagements under his belt, he helps partners develop and communicate their unique sales proposition. Frequently sought as a public speaker in various events, he is available for both inhouse engagements and remote coaching.
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He also recently released a book "How to Dominate Any Market - Turbocharging Your Digital Marketing and Sales Results", which is available on Amazon.

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