An Overview of GTM


An overview on how to install Google Tag Manager (GTM) and navigate through its interface. GTM’s features of tags, triggers, variables, workspaces, and other configurations make it easy for site owners, marketers, and developers to safely deploy analytics or measurement code to any web-based user interface.

Components of GTM

Google Tag Manager has an interface that can be broken into appropriate components; Workspace, Versions, and Admin. By default, the workspace will be open for all of your tag implementation, testing, and admin needs. These, as well as your GTM Tag ID & install code, workspace changes, and the Preview and Submit button, are found in the Top Bar. 


[image of Top Level Navigation with mentioned components highlighted]

  1. Preview mode button
  2. Version History
  3. Submit button
  4. GTM Tag ID
  5. Admin tag
  6. Workspace tag

Preview Mode Button

When you publish a container, you’re making live changes to your environment or website. Any changes you have made to tags, variables, or containers become operational on your website upon clicking the Submit button. Previewing allows you to see which tags are firing, in what order, and what data the tag is sending without pushing them to the live site – as the name implies, it allows you to preview the changes you made. By following best practices and previewing your changes, you’re making sure all of your analytic and measurement tags are firing off correctly before you take them live on your website.

Version History

Next to the Workspace tab is the Version tab. You will see all of your changes you’ve made to your Container. These changes you make in your Workspace before clicking Submit will be recorded and versioned. This makes it easier to revert any mistakes or to review previous changes. Only Approved users are able to publish Versions.


[image of Version History Tab]

Publish Button

The Submit button is on the right-hand side of the Preview button. Once you click Submit, you’ll have options to Save AND Publish your changes or just Save them by creating a new version, without Publishing it.

When you save a Version for Publishing, enter a Version Name and Version Description that makes the changes easily known. Also when you publish a Version, you will see in Versions that your current Version is labeled as Live, Latest.

Submit Changes

[Image of Submit Changes in Submit Button form]

GTM Tag ID + Install code

At any time, you can find your GTM Tag ID and the code to install it by clicking on your Container ID found in the Top Bar. Once you perform this single code implementation as described, all of your tag configurations are going to be made in Tag Manager.

[image of install pop up]

Admin Permissions (sharing)

The Admin tab in the Top Bar has access to your account info and activity. You can also modify, add or remove User Permissions at either the Container level or Account level. CAUTION: If there is only one Admin on the account and that user’s permission is removed, an account lockout may occur.

[image of Admin tab opened]

Aside from the Account access, there are settings for your Container(s) including creating a new container, which you may use if you have an additional website or app.
You can also view all Container activity from all accounts and manage users at the container level here.

As an admin of a Container, you can also set notifications when changes are made and can import/export a container workspace or version for any reason.

Menu Items (Workspace Tab)

Within the Workspace tab, you will see the current Workspace you are making changes in and under is your Workspace menu: Overview, Tags, Triggers, Variables, Folders & Templates.

[image of Workspace tab opened with menu highlighted]


The Overview page allows you to easily create a new tag and manage your workspace changes, version history, and view all activity of your current Workspace. There’s also an option to edit the description of the current Workspace, which can help to create a log for yourself as you make changes.

[Image of Overview tab in Workspace with Now Editing, Workspace Changes, and Activity History highlighted

  1. Now Editing
  2. Workspace Changes
  3. Activity History]

Now Editing

The ‘Now Editing’ card in Overview displays what current Workspace is being edited, and a change history between published container Versions.

By clicking the ‘Now Editing’ card you’ll also have the ability to edit or abandon each change individually.

Workspace Changes

Below the ‘Now Editing’ card in Overview, is your Workspace Changes. These are changes made after your last Publish. Any set of changes you make will become a Version, and any Version that is published will be labeled as Live in the Versions tab.

Activity History

The Activity History shows which user made changes and what those changes were.

Tags / Create New Tag

By definition, Tags are simply snippets of code installed onto any web-based user interface, such as an app or website. All of your snippets of code are now easily managed in Tag Manager within the Tags tab of your Workspace.

In the search bar above your existing tags, you are able to filter your search by tag name, tag type and firing trigger. However, you cannot search by the folder it is organized into.

When you go to create a new Tag by clicking ‘New’ in the top-right side, you’ll be given an option to name your Tag, configure the Tag type, and choose when to fire it. You’re also able to search all of your tags in the Current Workspace.

[Image of Tags tab opened]

Search Bar / Types

When you click on Tag Configuration to begin creating a new Tag, you have the option to search for any tag type available. Tags can be natively supported by GTM or you can find, create and share custom tag templates in the GTM Community Template Gallery. Options to add custom HTML or a custom image via a Tag are also available.

[Choose tag type search bar with community gallery CTA below and highlighted]

Firing Triggers

Tags will not fire/operate on your website or app unless you choose a firing trigger. A firing trigger is an event listener that can load per page, per event or any unlimited amount of times. If that web event occurs, such as a page loaded or a button clicked, the associated tag is then fired to send or receive data. Firing triggers can also block a tag instead of choosing to fire one.


All tags must fire based on events, and once you choose a Tag and configure it, you must choose a Trigger to make it fire.

Search Bar

When you choose a Trigger after configuring your Tag, you’ll have 3 default Triggers to choose from or can create a new trigger and configure one of your own. Similar to the Tags tab, you can search your existing Triggers by name or type of Trigger. However, you cannot search Triggers by filter or the folder name it may be organized in.

Firing Triggers

A firing trigger will listen to that specific event, and will fire or block a tag accordingly.


There’s several types of Triggers that can be used:

  • Page view triggers
  • Click trigger
  • Element visibility trigger
  • Form submission trigger
  • Scroll Depth trigger
  • YouTube video trigger
  • Custom event trigger
  • History change trigger
  • JavaScript error trigger
  • Timer trigger
  • Trigger group

[Image of Choose trigger type list]

Create new Tag

To create a new tag, click Tags in the left-side column menu under your Current Workspace and click “New.” Name your tag descriptively and concisely, then configure your Tag type and specify which Trigger to make this tag fire. Alternatively, you can also create a custom Trigger.

[Image of Tags opened with New button highlighted]


In GTM, Variables can be used in Triggers and Tags to change the conditions in which a tag is fired. Variables in Triggers are used to further specify WHEN a tag should fire. An example is if you want to fire a tag on a specific page, or on a specific element ID on a webpage. When using Variables in Tags, you can pass on dynamic values such as Ecommerce transactions to track conversions.

[Image of of Variables tab opened]

Built in Variables

Built in Variables are the standard and most commonly used Variables. Different Container types have different kinds of Built in Variables.

User-Defined Variables

User-defined Variables are customizable variables set with your own configuration. This covers all of the bases that the Built in Variables may have missed.


If you’re dealing with a lot of Tags, Triggers and Variables, and they all have a different purpose then Folders are your solution for cataloging these. It is best practice to create a folder per person or team in development, by project or campaign, or simply by Tag type. Folders can and should be used no matter how many Tags are in place.

[Image of Folders tab opened]


Templates are great when you want to pass along custom Tags or Variables to others in your team. This makes for a more controlled environment when using custom Tags or Variables. Export, download, and share custom templates with your team for efficiency or share it in the Community Template Gallery.

What are gallery templates

Gallery Templates are 3rd party Tag and Variable templates developed by GTM users that can be used in your own container. You can directly add templates from the Gallery in GTM and when an update is available on the template, you will be notified to choose to Accept or Skip the update.

[Image of Import Tag Template]

How to Update Deviate Tracking

To update Deviate Tracking’s custom template, please click here for a guide on how to install the latest updates.

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