How to Set Up Conversion Tags in Google Tag Manager

Feb 22, 2019, Written by Danny Myers

In a previous blog, I discussed how Google Tag Manager (GTM) is one of the easiest ways to track user actions on your website. It’s simple to set up, no coding is involved (once you’ve installed the global site code), and it helps you test and troubleshoot your tracking!

In this blog I will walk you through the steps for setting up a tag to track a form submission conversion on your website’s contact form.

1. Set Up A Google Tag Manager Account

I’m starting out with very basic account setup steps, in case you are completely brand new to this.

But if you are not and have already created a Tag Manager and Analytics account, you can skip to ahead to 3!

  • Create a Google Tag Manager account and install the code on your site.
  • Go to
  • It’s best to use the Google account that you use for all of your Google Products like Gmail, Analytics, Adwords, etc.
  • Follow the instructions to set up an account and container and install the Tag Manager code on your website. (For more details on this, check out Google’s help page here.)
  • After this, no further coding is required!

2. Set Up a Google Analytics Account

3. Create Your First Tag

Now you’re ready to dive into the good stuff.

The steps below outline how to create a Google Analytics (GA) tag within GTM. This is how you will install GA on your website. Now that you have GTM installed on your website, you don’t need to install the code directly onto your site, you will install it via GTM, which means no coding involved!

  • Go to Workspace > Tags > New > Tag Type: Universal Analytics
  • Keep the track type as “Page View”
  • In the Google Analytics Setting dropdown, select “New Variable”
  • Add your Google Analytics tracking ID to the field, and name the variable “Google Analytics Settings”
  • Click save
  • Add a trigger by clicking on “Triggering” > All Pages
  • Click save
  • Name the Tag “Universal Analytics”
  • Now you can see the Tag you just created in your Tags tab
  • In the top right corner click “Submit” > “Publish” to push these changes to your live website.

It’s very easy to forget to push changes live, so always remember to check that you’ve submitted your changes after you’ve made your modifications within the account and before you exit out of GTM.

4. Set Up the Conversion Tag

  • Create a tag and trigger to configure form submission conversion tracking
  • The tag will send the information about the action to Google Analytics, and the trigger will tell the tag when to send that information
  • Go to Workspace > Tags > New > Tag Type: Universal Analytics
  • Choose track type: “Event”
  • You can fill the category, action, label, and value fields with whatever names that you want to use. I like to use a very basic “Form Submission” for the event category. Then, I like to utilize the built-in variables to specify the event action.
  • Beside the action field, click on the folder icon to bring up built-in variables. Choose the “Page URL” variable. This will populate the event action with the page URL where the action occurred. This is useful if you have more than one form on your website to see which page the user submitted the form on.
  • In the Google Analytics settings dropdown, choose the variable that you created in Step 3 “Google Analytics settings”
  • Now to create a trigger
  • Choose triggering > click the plus (+) icon in the corner to create a new trigger
  • Click Trigger configuration
  • Click Form Submission to use the built-in trigger type
  • Click save
  • Name your trigger “Form Submissions”
  • This trigger will now activate upon a form submission on any page of your website.
  • A quick tip to keep in mind: This broad trigger also activates on search box submissions on your site. To make the trigger more specific, you’ll need to find the ID of the form(s) that you want to track, and click “Some forms” while creating your form submission trigger, choose “Form ID” > “equals” > “your form ID”.
  • Now save your tag and name it something like “GA – Form Submission Event Tracking”

5. Test That Everything is Working

  • Preview your tags and triggers to make sure that they work
  • In GTM, click “Preview” in the top right corner. You are now in preview mode, which will give you a debugging window on your website to see if everything works right
  • Go to your website homepage. You will see a GTM preview window at the bottom of your screen
  • Ensure that your “Universal Analytics” tag has triggered. It should be triggered on all pages, remember?
  • Now navigate to a page with your contact form on it and send a test message. Once you’ve sent your message, pay attention to the GTM preview window, is the “GA – Form Submission Event Tracking” triggered after you submit the form? If not, you’ll have to go back to Step 4 and ensure everything is set up correctly. If it works, congrats! You’ve successfully set up conversion tracking in GTM.
  • Don’t forget to submit your changes again. In the top right corner of GTM, click “Submit” > “Publish” to push these changes to your live website.

6 Create Goals In Google Analytics

  • The final step is to see these events in Google Analytics, and track them as goals. This is how you put your tracking to work.
  • Within your Google Analytics account and click on Admin > Goals > New Goal
  • Choose “Custom” > Name the goal “Form Submissions” > Choose Event type
  • Now you will enter the Category that you specified while setting up your Form Submission tag in GTM.
  • Remember how you entered the Page URL variable into the action field when setting up your tag in GTM? If you have multiple forms on your site, enter in the page URL in the action field when setting up your goal (the full page URL, i.e. in order to track conversions from a specific page. Then create more goals using the different page URLs in the event action fields.
  • If you don’t have multiple forms, you can leave the action field empty
  • Click save
  • Now test it!
  • Go to the Real-Time > Conversions tab in Google Analytics, submit another test form submission on your site, and if everything is working properly, you should see a “Form Submission” conversion come through!

Wrapping Up

Conversion tracking is highly recommended on every site, even if it’s a relatively simple setup like tracking form submissions on a contact page.

It is beneficial to know exactly how many people are converting and where they are coming from to understand how your audience is interacting with your business online.

It’s also a great way to track your marketing efforts, whether through Google Ads, Adwords Express, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other platform. You will be able to see what referral sources are bringing in the leads and adjust your marketing accordingly!

Even if you don’t do any paid marketing, it’s helpful to know if your Facebook or Instagram posts are driving leads, or maybe a partner website or directory that you’re listed in is driving leads. All these great insights can help you drive more leads and help grow your business.

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Danny Myers

As a Digital Marketing Specialist at Crossroads, I am responsible for the setup, implementation, maintenance, and analysis of digital marketing campaigns, through SEO, Email, Google Ads, Social Media, and other digital advertising platforms.

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