What Is The Google Tag (Gtag.Js)?

The shiny new Google Tag, or the good-old gtag, is the messenger for sending your website data to connected ‘destinations’ like Google Ads or Analytics. Even though it’s currently limited to those two platforms, it provides a clearer picture for measuring the performance of your website and ads.

As privacy concerns force cookie technologies to evolve, it’s crucial to have a site-wide tag setup for accurate data flow. It doesn’t sound like the most significant revelation yet, but here’s the shiniest part of the Google Tag, combining multiple Google Tags into one and/or adding multiple destinations to a single Google Tag.

Implementing the tag? That’s the easiest part.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Google Tag?

  • It makes companies less dependent on coding changes.
  • Combining the tags. Combined, the two tags share critical features like event detection configuration, cross-domain measurement lists, destinations, and tag coverage. If you combine G-111111 and AW-222222, they will be interchangeable, and assuming both tags’ previous coverage, it’ll reach 100%.
  • Simpler: it simplifies the process of configuring all your Google products, making integration and implementation easier.
  • Sending user-provided to Google is similar to Enhanced Conversions.

Some examples of the data that the global site tag can track:

  • The number of visitors to the website
  • The source of the traffic (e.g., search engine, referral website, or direct traffic)
  • The pages on the website that the visitors viewed
  • The amount of time that the visitors spent on the website
  • The actions that the visitors took on the website (e.g., clicking on a button, filling out a form, or making a purchase)
  • The devices and browsers that the visitors use to access the website
  • The geographical location of the visitors

Tag Manager And The Google Tag (Gtag.Js)

Here’s the basic definition directly from Google:

“Tag Manager is a tag management system that allows you to quickly and easily update tags on your website or mobile app from a web interface. gtag.js is the JavaScript framework that is used to add Google tags directly to web pages.”


What Are The Differences Between Tag Manager And Google Tag?

How do you pick the right one? Take a look at the list below and identify your needs.

With GTM, you can;

  • Deploy and modify both Google and 3rd party tags
  • Deploy and modify tags for both web and mobile apps
  • Deploy and change tags on the fly from a web interface

If you can’t use GTM or prefer to have the functions below, choosing Google Tag can help you:

  • Install tags directly on your web page without the hassle of a tag management system.
  • To work with your tags directly in JavaScript without being required to work with a separate interface.
  • If you have a working GTM setup, you don’t need to add Google Tag to your toolset. GTM is a good enough solution where Google Ads and Analytics are supported.

How To Add A Google Tag To Your Website?

Simple. Copy the code below and paste it after the <head> tag on every page of your website. Replace GA_TRACKING_ID with the ID of the Google Analytics property to which you want to send data. One snippet on each page is all you need.

This snippet establishes GA_TRACKING_ID as the default Google Analytics property ID and sends a pageview hit to Google Analytics.

If you don’t want to track pageview hits in Google Analytics, set the send_page_view parameter to false.

How To Set Up Conversion Tracking Using The Google Tag?

Tracking conversions to see the effectiveness of different ad campaigns is essential for any business. User actions on your website, like purchases, form submissions, or sign-ups, provide valuable insights.

You’ll need to complete 2 main steps to set up conversion tracking using Google Tag successfully.

  1. Creating a conversion action.
  2. Setting up the Google Tag.

How to create a conversion action:

  • Go to your Google Ads account and click the tools icon. Under “Measurement,” find “Conversions.”
  • In the summary, click “+ New conversion action.” Find the “Website” and click “Next.”
  • Enter your domain and click “Scan.” It’ll show if your website has the Google Tag or if it doesn’t, the Google Tag code to implement.
  • It’ll also offer a list of URLs to measure customer actions.
  • Your next step is choosing the conversion action. You could set up conversions using URLs or manually. Check out our previous guide for a step-by-step breakdown. After completion, you’re ready for the next step.

How to set up the Google Tag:

The Google tag adds website visitors to your “All visitors” data segments and sets cookies in your domain. It’ll allow you to store information about the ad clicks that brought users to your site.

When using Google tag, make sure to comply with GDPR and related regulations and ensure users consent to the tracking.

Choose your preferred installation method:

  1. Using Google Tag Manager
  2. Set up Google Tag options:
  • Use the Google tag found on your website (Recommended)
  • Use a Google tag you already have
  • Install a Google tag

One more step we go, checking your conversion tag.

How To Check Your Conversion Tracking Tag?

  • Go to your Google Ads account and find the “Tools” icon.
  • Click “Conversions” under “Measurement.”
  • Locate the conversion you want to check in the conversion action table. Look at its status in the “Status” column.
  • Suppose you encounter any issues, download and use Google Tag Assistant. For Google Tag Manager, follow the Troubleshoot issues document.

How To Add Global Site Tag To WordPress?

While there are many handy plug-ins for the job, it’s possible to add a gtag to WordPress without using one.

  1. Go to your Google Analytics account. In the “Admin” section, select the property you want to track.
  2. Find the option called “Tracking Info” under the column.
  3. Click on “Tracking Info” and select “Tracking Code.”
  4. Find the window showing the Global Site Tag text. Copy then move to your WordPress account.

In your WordPress Admin,

  1. Click on “Appearance” and “Editor.” Find the “Theme Header (header.php).” And open the file with “Editor.”
  2. Remember the Gtag text you copied earlier? Paste it above the “</head>” tag in the header.php file.
  3. Click on the “Update File” to save the changes.

How To Set Up Your Google Tag?

Set up your Google tag from Google Ads instructions

Before you get on with the first step, make sure to set up conversion tracking for your website. You’ll be forwarded to the Google Tag Setup page and presented with these options:

  1. Use the Google tag found on your website (Recommended)
  2. Use a Google tag you already have
  3. Install a Google tag

Use the Google tag found on your website (Recommended)
You can use a tag without any code changes if a tag is detected on your website. Click “Details” and view the tag information. If it looks okay, click “Finish.”

Install a Google tag

To manually install a Google Tag, refer to the How To Add A Google Tag To Your Website? section of this article. Other options will be covered below as well.

After completing the installation, you’ll need to configure your Google tag settings. Pick the relevant settings for your business.

Set up your Google tag from Google Analytics instructions

  • In your account, go to “Admin” and find the “Property” column. Pick the data stream you want to set up your Google tag.
  • Click “Data streams” and pick the data stream that you want to edit.
  • Locate the “Google tag” and click “Configure tag settings” In the “Your Google tag” section, click “Installation instructions.”
  • Pick one of the two options: “Install with a website builder” or “Install manually.”
  • It’ll take about 30 minutes for the data to flow. Check the Real-time reports to confirm.

How To Manage Your Google Tag (Global Site Tag)?

You have successfully completed the setup and configured your Google Tag settings. After that, you’ll only need to manage your Google Tag. Let’s cover the options you have.

Manage your Google tag

  • Edit your Google tag name
  • Add/remove destinations
  • Combine your Google tags. Combining tags allow you to:
    • Share configurations
    • Expand website coverage
    • Share Google tag users

Follow these steps to complete any of the actions above. Access your Google tag screen. In the “Admin” tab, find “Manage your Google tag.” Here you can do the following

  • Edit your Google tag name.
    Name your tag, and click “Save changes.”
  • Combine your Google tags.
    Click “Combine with another tag.” We’ll cover it in detail below.
  • Add/Remove destinations.
    Click “+Destination.” Follow the instructions below for adding new destinations.

Combine Google tags or assign tag IDs to a new Google tag

Combine tags

Remember, once you combine a tag, you can’t undo that. You can assign a tag ID to a new Google tag covered below. It means creating a new tag using one of the tag ID(s) from the existing tag. You can choose to have the same configurations for the new tag.

  1. Access your Google tag screen. In the “Admin” tab, locate Google tag settings and click “Combine tags.”
  2. Click “Choose a Google tag to combine.” This page will list all the Google tags to which you have access. Name the tag you chose.
  3. Under “Tag configuration,” select your desired configuration.
  4. Click “Review choices,” and if it’s all good, save the changes.

Assign tag IDs to a new Google tag

Assigning tag IDs means creating a new tag using one of the tag ID(s) from the existing tag. You can choose to have the same configurations for the new tag.

  1. Access your Google tag screen. In the “Admin” tab, locate “Google tag settings” and select “Manage Google tag.”
  2. Choose the tag ID you want to move to a new tag and click the split icon. Name the new tag.
  3. The next step is “Tag configuration,” where you have 2 options. “Copy the configuration from this tag” or “Use the default tag configuration” Pick the one that fits your needs.
  4. The same logic applies to “Tag users.” Choose “Copy users from this tag,” or “Only I have access to this tag.”
  5. Review the changes you made, and click “Save.”

Add a destination to a Google tag

First, let’s hear what the destination is from Google:

“A destination is a Google measurement product account that shares configuration with and receives data from a Google tag. You can add destinations to your Google tag to reuse your Google tag’s configuration and footprint on your site. Currently, only Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts can be destinations.”

A Google Tag must always have a destination to send accurate data flow. You can add destinations to avoid additional retagging on your site and reuse your existing tag’s configuration.

If you add a destination, you actively remove the said destination from another Google Tag that has it.

It’s handy to add destinations when sending data to another product account without combining Google tags. For instance, let’s say you’re working with an agency that uses its tag to send data to your account. You can add the destination to your Google tag instead.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. In your Google tag screen, go to the “Admin” tab.
  2. Locate the “Google tag management” section, and click “Manage Google tag.”
  3. In the “Destinations” section, click “+Destination.” Move forward with the “Choose a destination” option.
  4. Select a destination to add to your Google tag. Find the destination you want.
  5. Review your updates, and click “Save.”

Remove a destination from your tag.

  1. In your Google tag screen, go to the “Admin” tab.
  2. Locate the “Google tag management” section, and click “Manage Google tag.”
  3. Under “Destinations,” find the one you want to remove and click the “Remove destination” icon.
  4. On the “Remove a destination” screen, click “Choose an existing tag” or “Create a new tag.”

Note: If you deleted a tag or destination more than 30 days ago, you will see a “No tag ID” error message because the tag has no destination attached.

When you open the Google tag section, you’ll see the options to add a destination to a new Google tag or an existing one. You can restore your destination by adding it to an existing Google tag or creating a new one.

View your tag destination

  1. In your Google tag screen, go to the “Admin” tab.
  2. Locate the “Google tag management” section, and click “Manage Google tag.”
  3. In this section, your Google tag’s destinations are listed below.

Conflicting on-page code
Your Google tag processes on-page gtag() commands to load and configure settings for your Google tags.

Duplications or inaccurate settings may occur if the same Google Tag is configured multiple times on the same page.

You can ignore duplicate instances of on-page config commands by enabling the option “Ignore duplicate instances of on-page configuration” in the “Manage Google tag” section.

When you combine two Google tags, this option is enabled automatically.

How To Install Your Google Tag With A Website Builder Or Cms

How To Set Up Your Google Tag (Global Site Tag) Via Shopify?

As you know, your tag ID starts with AW- or G- For now, we need to follow separate steps for Google Tag Setup on Shopify.

  • If your tag starts with G-
  1. Go to your Shopify account. And under “Online Store,” find “Themes.”
  2. On the “Themes” page, click on the “Actions” dropdown menu and select “Edit code.”
  3. Select “{/}theme.liquid.” under “Layout” Make sure there aren’t any tracking tags in this file.
  4. If you have any ga.js, gtag.js, or analytics.js files listed, it means you’ve installed Google Analytics. Verify this installation’s accuracy before making any changes.
  5. Locate the file’s closing head tag (</head>) and paste the Google Analytics code above it. Click “Save.”
  • If your tag starts with AW-

Add the Google Channel app to your Shopify account.

    • In your Shopify account, find “Apps” from the left menu.
    • On the “Apps” page, click “Customize your store.”
    • Search for “Google channel” and click “Add app.”

Verify your email and Google account details

    • In your Shopify account, go to the “Google Sales channel” page.
    • Confirm that the email address for the Google Sales channel matches the email address used in your Google Ads and Merchant Center accounts.

Now, we need to confirm that the correct Google account appears when you visit the “Google Ads account” section of Shopify.

  1. In your Shopify account, find the “Google Ads account” section.
  2. Confirm the following details:
    • You have an existing account.
    • You have an Administrator role and can link to Shopify.
    • Either your Customer ID (found in the top right corner of your Google Ads account) matches the ID linked to your Shopify account, or you’ve chosen the correct Google Ads account (if multiple accounts are present)

When the accounts are linked, the following conversion actions will be created automatically in Google Ads:

  • Add to cart
  • Begin checkout
  • Purchase
  • Page view
  • View Item
  • Search
  • Add payment info

How To Set Up Your Google Tag (Global Site Tag) Via Woocommerce?

For Woocommerce, we’ll follow the same logic for different tag IDs. The ones starting with “AW-” are usually Google Ads accounts. And those beginning with “G-” are usually Google Analytics properties.

For Tag IDs starting with AW-

  1. In your WooCommerce account, find “Plugins” on the left menu.
  2. On the “Plugins” page, click “Add New.” Search for “Google Listings & Ads” and click “Install Now.”
  3. You’ll be directed to the setup process. Click “Start Listing Products” to begin.
  4. Click “Connect” to connect your site to WordPress. Enter your information and “Continue.” Log in.
  5. Approve the connection to WordPress. Connect to Google by clicking “Connect.” Find the Google Account you want and Grant permission for WooCommerce to access your account.
  6. Choose your catalog to use and click “Connect.” Choose an audience, enter shipping details, and finish the setup.

If you have a tag ID starting with “G-”

  1. In your WooCommerce account, find “Plugins” on the left menu.
  2. On the “Plugins” page, click “Add New.”
  3. On the same page, search for “WooCommerce Google Analytics” and click “Install Now.”
  4. Once downloaded and installed, “Installed Plugins” under the “Plugins” dropdown.
  5. Click “Activate” Under “WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration”
  6. Enter your Google tag ID and confirm that “Use Global Site Tag” is checked. Click “Save Changes.”


The evolution of Global Site Tag to Google Tag points to Google’s solid attempts to address privacy concerns while streamlining the tag management process. Its features, like no-code ad conversion tracking and working with multiple destinations, will surely come in handy for many marketers. Still, Gtag users don’t need to rush to switch. But it’s essential to keep an eye out for all Google Tag updates.

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