Google Tag Manager Starter Container

google tag manager default starter container

So you’ve set up your Google Tag Manager account and have your container code installed on your site. Now what?

While there are infinite possibilities to take in setting up your initial analytics tracking in tag manager, there are a few universal things that every site should look to track. These include:

Top Metrics to Track

  • Google Analytics Base Code
  • File Downloads
  • Email Address Clicks
  • Outbound Links
  • Video Interactions (YouTube Embeds)
  • Scroll Tracking

While everyone might not need all of these things, they are all universally helpful for most sites across different industries.

Google Tag Manager Starter Container

For your convenience, I have created a starter container that you can download, then import into your Google Tag Manager setup which includes tags, triggers and variables for all of these items listed above.

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Instructions for Installing the Container

After download, go to the admin section of your Google Tag Manager account. Under the container section, select Import Container.

import google tag manager container

From there you’ll want to choose the downloaded file, select that you want to apply it to your existing workspace, and then select either overwrite or merge. If you already have other tags in your account, you should merge, if nothing is currently there, go ahead and overwrite.

Once that is complete, all of the tags, triggers and variables you need will be imported into your container.

Customizing the Container to Fit Your Site

While this download is meant to help you get out of the box analytics tracking through Google Tag Manager, there are a few customizations you will have to perform.

First, go to your variables screen. Under User-Defined Variables select gaBaseCode. This variable is used in all of your Google Analytics tags to tell the tag your Google Analytics ID.

Upon selecting this variable, you’ll see the current value is UA-XXXXXX-X. You’ll want to change this to the actual value of your Google Analytics ID. You can find this in the admin section of your Google Analytics account.

google analytics base code id number

Lastly, you’ll want to go to your triggers area. Select the Outbound Links trigger. When editing this trigger, you’ll notice that the section labled This trigger fires on has a value of ENTER URL HERE. Replace this value with the actual URL of your site (i.e.

outbound links trigger google tag manager

This will alert the trigger to only track links that are not on your domain, giving you true tracking of outbound links.

Publishing Your New Container

Once you have made these changes your initial container is ready to go. Go ahead and publish and see all of these events and pageview tracking metrics start to roll into your Google Analytics account.

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Remember this is just the beginning of your Google Tag Manager journey. There are many more metrics, dimensions and more that you can track through your tag manager account. Take a look at the many posts on Google Tag Manager here on Digital Metrics Guru and continue to expand your GTM knowledge to make your analytics tracking even better.

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Let me know in the comments below how this container has worked for you. Also, if you have anything further you think should be added to this container, mention it below and I’ll update as needed.

Chris Kujawski

Founder and instructor at Digital Metrics Guru.

A passionate and driven digital marketer, specializing in Google Analytics, Tag Manager and Data Studio. A qualified expert in Google Analytics and Adwords, with more than 10 years experience delivering sound solutions to clients worldwide.

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