How to Setup Google Tag Manager in 2024

January 17, 2024

A drawing of a person sitting with their legs crossed, using a laptop. Around the drawing are lines connecting to another drawing of blue and white blank shopping tags. Above the drawings, in black bold letters reads, How to Set Up Google Tag Manager in 2024.

If you are a digital marketer or a data analyst, and you want to implement marketing and analytics tracking codes much faster, then Google Tag Manager is what you need.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Imagine you’re working for a company or an agency that helps different businesses, all of which have websites. It’s vital to gauge how well these websites are doing. One of the top tools for this job is Google Analytics. While Google Analytics is relatively easy to install on any website, it has limits. Custom data tracking to get around those limits is much more complicated. Before, this task required a developer to create the data tracking tags for your site. The only issue is that developers might not be as savvy with analytics tools as you are. Manually setting up tracking codes with a developer takes a while, involving a lot of back-and-forth. Plus, many developers have other priorities, and analytics might not be their top concern most of the time.

This is where Google Tag Manager can be very useful.

Google Tag Manager lets us take control of tracking codes on your own. Here’s a simple breakdown of how it works: you’ve got your website, your developer sets up Google Tag Manager, and then, you handle your tracking codes and all future analytics setup inside Google Tag Manager without the hassle of talking to a developer, ultimately saving everyone time.

What are the benefits to Google Tag Manager?


With Google Tag Manager all of the tracking codes are in one place. It’s much easier to find, manage, pause, or change your tracking tags.


Google Tag Manager makes you less dependent on developers. You can create very complex tracking codes without having to rely on your team.


Again, without having to rely on a developer, makes it so you can create data tracking tags at a significantly faster pace.


Google Tag Manager has a massive community of users and experts. This means there are bound to be numerous tutorials and resources at your disposal to create complex tracking tags for your goals.

Getting Started with Google Tag Manager

To get started, visit If you have never used Google Tag Manager before, you will see a screen for creating an account; otherwise, you will land on a dashboard. In the account creation funnel, there are two main components: the account section and the container section.

The Account field is just the name of your business.

Below that, you have your containers. Containers are like buckets for storing your tracking codes. You could have separate containers for multiple platforms, such as websites, mobile apps, and servers. For this tutorial, we will be focusing on web tracking.

Once this is finished, you will see your container. Open that container, and you will see a dashboard. On the left side, there are many important sections that you will be interacting with frequently. There are Tags, Triggers, Variables, and Folders. So, every time you need to create a new tag, you will go to Tags, then click New and follow the process. You can also organize your tags, triggers, and variables into folders. This is helpful for staying organized if you will be creating many different tracking tags using Google Tag Manager.

In the top menu, there are multiple sections. Workspace is where you will spend the most time, and Versions is where you will be able to see a full history of changes you’ve made to the site’s codebase while using Google Tag Manager. This is helpful if something goes wrong; you can always undo changes by going back to old versions.

Creating your First Tag

Before creating a tag, it is important that you create a Google Analytics 4 account. If you do not already have one, you can create one at

In your Google Analytics 4 account, go to AdminData collection and modificationData Streams. Here, you will find your website. Click on your website data stream to access more stream details. On this page, there is a unique ID number called “Measurement ID.” The code will start with a “G” and contain several numbers and/or letters, for example, “G-1XXX993XXX.” You will need to copy this Measurement ID for your first Google Tag in Google Tag Manager.

Now that you’ve found and copied your Measurement ID from Google Analytics 4, return to Google Tag Manager. Click on Tags, then New, followed by Tag Configuration. Click on Google Analytics, and select Google Tag. This is where you will paste the Measurement ID from Google Analytics. After pasting this, click on Triggering below, then select Initialization All Pages. You might find older guides suggesting to click All Pages, which should also work fine. However, the current recommendation is to click Initialization. Once these steps are complete, in the top left corner, you will need to name the tag; I suggest “GA4 Configuration,” then click Save.

You have now created your first tag in Google Tag Manager!

Testing your Tags

When you make new changes in your container, do not click submit right away. First, you need to ensure that your changes are working on your website.

For this example, we are checking if Google Analytics 4 is working on the site properly. Click on Preview in the top right corner, then enter or paste the URL of the page where you want to test your changes, and click Connect. Once you see that the tag assistant has connected, and you are now on the page that you entered, go back to the tag assistant tab, and click Container Loaded on the left side. You should see in the Tags Fired section that the GA4 tag you created has successfully fired.

You can also check if the tags you set up on Google Tag Manager are working on GA4. Go to your Google Analytics property, then Admin, and scroll down until you see Debug View. Here, you will see your events. If you do not see any events right away, give it a minute; sometimes, newer analytics properties take a bit more time for the debug view to begin working.

There is also a preview mode that opens on Google Tag Manager. On the left side, you will see a stream of Google Tag Manager events. These are not Google Analytics events; they are all related only to Google Tag Manager. All interactions while testing should appear in this left sidebar. You can click on these items to see more information about the tags. These tag details can help you troubleshoot any issues if the tag is not firing. If the tag is successfully firing, you will see green check marks under “Firing Triggers.”

Publishing your Tags

Now that your first tag is created, you must publish the tag. To publish your tags, there is a Submit button in the top right corner of Google Tag Manager. After clicking submit, it is good practice to write a version name and a version description. For this example, it can be something like “GA4 Setup.” If you do not provide these details for your tags, a year from now, it will be difficult for you to find what changes were made when looking at your workspace versions.

Once you’ve written a name and description, click publish, and the container is now updated to version 2. You can always find a history of your versions and changes under the Versions tab in the top menu.

If, for some reason, you made a mistake or an error, you can always roll back to previous versions in the container. You can do this by clicking on the three dots on the previous version, then click Publish, and click Publish a second time.

What can I use Google Tag Manager for?

There are so many things you can track in more detail using Google Tag Manager. One of my favorite things to track is clicks on specific buttons on a website. Google Tag Manager can also track much more, like form submissions, video interactions, file downloads, outbound and internal link clicks, custom JavaScript events, scroll tracking, and social media interactions.


This general process should be repeated every time you use Google Tag Manager. First, you create tags, triggers, and variables for the data you want to track. Then, you use preview mode and debug view to make sure the triggers and tags are working properly. Once everything is working properly, you submit your new version to the container after all of your data will begin collecting and eventually appear within your Google Analytics account.

Development Log #1 - Bluehouse Group’s First Videogame

December 11, 2023

Four screenshots of a video game, three featuring a red and white robotic mech in dark, shadowy settings, creating an ominous atmosphere, and one displaying a cube as an incomplete player model descending a ladder into an underground level within the video game.

For the past five months, Bluehouse Group has been hard at work designing and developing our very first videogame. The game has progressed to a point where we are excited to start a development log, where we’ll keep you posted on updates and the game’s overall progress.

Our lead game developer and the sole developer behind this project is Cam Brown. Cam has been the driving force, designing and developing everything we have so far. The rest of the team has played a large role in contributing ideas for game mechanics, characters, and the game’s lore.

We’re using Godot to build the game, assets and sprites have been created using Blender. Our process involves turning 3D models into 2D objects, creating a distinctive art style, and significantly expediting the game art process compared to traditional methods.

The game itself is shaping up to be a Roguelite, featuring three distinct gameplay loops: managing a civilization, piloting a large mech, and exploring underground levels. Set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with Lovecraftian horrors immune to conventional weapons, the civilization serves as a protected sanctuary. The mech, funded by the city, is an investment for exploring the unknown and gathering resources. Players assume the role of a courageous citizen tasked with piloting and managing the mech until their demise. When they fall, a new heroic citizen rises to the challenge, honorably exploring the underground to secure resources for both the mech’s upkeep and the city.

We’ve still got a long way to go! But we are very excited to continue working on this game. It’s worth noting that the game is still in its early conceptual stages, so many of these ideas may change as development progresses. We have yet to determine a release date yet.

Stay tuned for our next development update!

A Guide to UTM Tracking (2023)

November 29, 2023

On a gradient background of purple and turquoise, a white icon of a phone is featured, the phone is displaying a bar graph data table. Other data-related icons, including a magnifying glass, accompany the phone icon.

What is a UTM Tracking code?

A UTM tracking code is a snippet of text that can be added to the end of any URL. Its purpose is to track metrics and assess the performance of your marketing campaigns, ultimately helping you determine the most effective campaigns.

UTM Tracking Codes Broken Down

The average UTM tracking code uses three main elements: UTM Medium, UTM Source, and UTM Campaign. Typically, they are structured like this: utm_medium=video&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=black_friday_2023.

utm_medium serves as the broadest and top-level parameter. People typically use categories such as social, video, email, affiliate, and CPC. For our example, let’s choose utm_medium=video.

utm_source is a bit more specific. Examples include Google, Bing, a website name, or newsletter. For example, utm_source=newsletter.

utm_campaign is always the most specific parameter. Here you can add extra details, for example, “Black Friday 2023” or “Christmas Sale”. This is how something like that would look: utm_campaign=black_friday_2023.

Once you’ve determined your medium, source, and campaign, you can combine all three to complete your UTM tracking code and add it to the end of your URL in your campaign. Using the examples above, the combined UTM tracking code would look like this: utm_medium=video&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=black_friday_2023.

Helpful Resources and Tips

While it’s possible to manually write out your own UTM tracking codes, many people use online tools to quickly create them. Google has its own UTM creator that is free to use. However, I prefer using, which is also free to use. I find UTM builder to be much more user-friendly and simpler to use.

With UTM Tracking codes, it’s very important to stay organized, especially with your naming conventions. Having one campaign where you use utm_medium=video and then having a different campaign where you named the UTM Tracking code utm_medium=youtube_video is sloppy and disorganized. I recommend using a spreadsheet to stay organized and consistent.

Where do you get the data?

You will need Google Analytics 4 set up for your website to actually see the results from your campaigns that are using UTM tracking. With GA4, you can find your UTM data under Reports → Acquisitions → Traffic Acquisition and filter this section by Session Source Medium, then use the search bar to enter any keywords that are in your UTM tracking code, i.e., “Email”.

A Day of Gaming at Bluehouse Group - Extra Life 2023

November 02, 2023

Clouds, dice icons, video game controller icons, and the Extra Life logo are set against a blue background. Written on top of the clouds, in bubble letters, it reads: Bluehouse Group is joining Extra Life on Saturday, November 4th, to support UVM Children's Hospital.

Bluehouse Group is getting ready for a day of gaming to raise funds for the UVM Children’s Hospital through Extra Life! Extra Life, part of the Children’s Miracle Network, aims to unite gamers in supporting local communities’ sick and injured children.

This Saturday, November 4th, our team will participate in Extra Life by playing board games and various video games all day at our office. Lately, we’ve been enjoying games like Dominion and Dune Imperium for board games, and for video games, titles like Baldur’s Gate 3, Cyberpunk 2077, No Man’s Sky, and many more.

Our fundraising goal is $1,500. We’ll mainly reach out to our friends and families for donations. We will also share gaming updates, donation links, and our fun moments on our social media pages during the event. If you’d like to support UVM Children’s Hospital in honor of our day of gaming, please visit our Extra Life team page to make a donation.

Bluehouse Group’s Custom Software Development Process

October 25, 2023

An icon of a white path curvy path connecting an arrow to a target symbol. The path has circular checkpoints along the way. The entire path icon is set against a vibrant blue and purple gradient background

For every project Bluehouse Group takes on, we follow our tried and true two-phase approach. Our two phase approach ensures we launch well designed software efficiently. Our goal is to save our clients money and meet rapid deadlines, while guaranteeing highly optimized performance and excellent user experience. We began implementing this two phase approach within the last two years, and since then we’ve completed numerous projects ranging from mobile apps, to websites and website redesigns. Let’s take a deeper look at what goes into our two phase approach.

Phase 1. Discovery & Design

(Average length 6 weeks)

While this phase requires very little development aside from the initial set up, it’s arguably the most important phase for Bluehouse Group. In the Discovery and Design phase we define all of the objectives and technical requirements, conduct research, and sketch wireframes and individual screens.

Objectives, Goals, and Technical Requirements

By collaborating with your team and defining the objectives, requirements, and goals early on, we can prevent any last minute changes, ideas, or curveballs that could derail the project. Understanding these details also helps Bluehouse Group choose the best tech stack that will make our build efficient and create a positive user experience after launching.


Who are the competitors? How do they operate? What features do the competitors use? If you have a current user base what do they like about the software, app, or site? What would they change about the software? Researching these questions can help influence the technical requirements and influence the overall design of the software. Our research varies from project to project in the past we’ve reviewed Google Analytics 4, created surveys, and conducted user interviews.

Initial Wireframes

Once the technical requirements and research are complete, we begin creating wireframes. Our wireframes are a culmination of what was explored in the objectives, goals, and technical requirements along with researched based design decisions that influence the design. It’s very important to note that when we create wireframes we always create many different versions and iterations, and that your team will always be able to suggest changes and be very involved in the wireframe process.

Phase 2. Development & Launch

(Average length 10 weeks)

This phase is all about writing code, creating the final designs and polishing everything up for the final product and launch.

Final Mockups

Wrapping up final designs and mockups usually goes hand in hand with development. While we deliver the last mockups of the software, the developers are simultaneously focusing on developing the functionality. Once the designs are completed the frontend developers apply the design to the software.


The Development stage is always going to be the most time consuming. Many factors go into development, especially if it involves working with different plugins and integrations, and complex databases. During development we will typically create staging environments where clients can explore the software, staging environments are also very helpful for testing the software.

QA & Testing

Quality assurance and testing is very important for our process. As for quality, we always make sure our software performs well with fast loading times while also having a modern, sophisticated and accessible design. The testing phase is crucial for ensuring what we develop works well and as intended. More complex software requires more testing, while something like a basic marketing web page requires much less testing time.


Bluehouse Group takes launch days very seriously, we never truly know exactly how things are going to shake out once we launch. Ideally a launch is smooth and seamless, occasional there can be issues that we did not anticipate. The team is always on standby and monitoring our software following the launch, ready to jump in and fix things at any moment.