Goals and KPI are crucial for your digital strategy and your measurement plan. It helps you to understand the impact of your actions and give your insight into improvements.

In Google Analytics, you can set goals. Google defines a goal as “a completed activity, called a conversion, that contributes to the success of your business“.

In this tutorial, we will focus on one specific goal: The Event Goal.

Creating Event Goal just with Google Analytics is a bit complicated. It requires changes to the HTML code of your website and add code to the element you want to track.

Luckily, Google Tag Manager is there to save you.

Indeed, with Google Tag Manager, you will be able to trigger events such as “clicking on a link” (and without a line of code) and then analyze the data and interactions from Google Analytics.

In this article, we will see step by step how to:

  • Set up events with Google Tag Manager and then
  • Create goals in Google Analytics.

What is a goal in Google Analytics

Examples of goals include making a purchase (for an ecommerce site), completing a game level (for a mobile gaming app), or submitting a contact information form (for a marketing or lead generation site).

Google Analytics provides 4 types of Goals:

  • Destination: A specific location loads
  • Duration: Sessions that lasts a specific amount of time or longer
  • Pages/Screens per session: A user views a specific number of pages or screens
  • Event: An action defined as an Event is triggered

The three first types are easily set up within Google Analytics. For the Event Goal, Google Tag Manager will be your best friend.

Fire events from Google Tag Manager to Google Analytics

Google Tag Manager can help you to fire events to your Analytics console without any line of code.

You have to create new Tags and Triggers. Please follow these steps in Google Tag Manager:

  • Go to Tag
  • Create a New tag
  • Choose the type Google Analytics – Universal Analytics
  • Select Event for the Track Type
  • Category (Required) is the name you give to a group of objects you want to track.
  • Action (Required) is the type of interaction, such as submitting a form.
  • Label (Optional) let you define what the event is about, such as clicks on navigation menu.
  • Value (Optional) can be used if you’d like to assign a numeric value.

For the Google Analytics Settings, either enter a Google Analytics Tracking ID, or tick the box to configure the tag with a Lookup Table.

For the label, you can notice that I’ve used a built-in variable that will display the label of the anchor. (I explain in the next section where to find the built-in variable).

And now you have to define what user interaction will trigger this event.

For this example, the trigger will be fired when somebody clicks on any links of the website.

  • Create a new Trigger
  • Choose the type Click – Just Links
  • And select All Link Clicks
GTM - Trigger configuration

Now you have to publish your change and test on your site. Publish first to staging, to be sure that it works as expected.

Where to find the built-in variables in Google Tag Manager?

To enable more Built-In Variables

  • Click on Variables
  • Then on Configure
  • Finally select the built-in variables
Where to find the built-in variables in Google Tag Manager?

PS: It seems that many people struggle to find this…

Setup Event Goals in Google Analytics

The beauty of Google Tag Manager is that it fires events to Google Analytics without involving any development – just configuration.

Since we configured the tag and published it the website, Google Analytics is receiving events information each time a user clicks on any link of the website.

If you go in Behavior / Events, you can see that you have some events.

GTM fires events in GA

Now let’s create a new Goal in Google Analytics.

For my example, I will setup a simple goal that verify how many users clicked on the link with label Nav of my website.

  • Go to Admin panel
  • Click on Goal
  • Create a new Event goal
  • For the Goal details enter exactly the value you used previously in Google Tag Manager
  • Click on Save
new Goal in Google Analytics.

Go further with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics

This article is part of on advanced tutorial of Google Tag Manager and Analytics.

In the other articles of the tutorial, we will look at advanced concepts that are often necessary for the configuration of professional websites such as:

I invite you to continue configuring your site and read the guide in detail.


  1. Hi Sam! great write up. When I would use this solution to implement feedback widget. Would it be blocked too if user has adblock/privacy extension on his/her Chrome?

  2. Hey Piotr, thanks for your comment. If the Chrome extension block javascript, then you are screwed. But it most of the case it will work.

  3. Hi there,

    For some reason I have set up GA with GTM and the events are being logged, however when I set up a goal GA doesn’t seem to track this in real-time, even though I have copied the parameters exactly across.

    any help here would be much appreciated!

  4. Thanks for this tutorial, it is great. I am trying to add the “Click Text” variable, but I don’t see it available? Do I need to add the variable from a library? Error is below. Thanks for any help if you have the time.

    The container has the following errors:
    Type Location Description
    Unknown variable name
    Event – Click any link
    Unknown variable “Click Text” found in a tag. Edit the tag and remove the reference to the unknown variable.

  5. I really appreciate all your GTM content. Even I have JS knowledge before I was kind of lost on how to configure GTM, I tried so many times and got so frustrated I never really configure anything else beyond GA. Super grateful! Thanks.

  6. I followed the instructions above to create the event + trigger on GTM. Then went to Google Analytics and found the name of the {{click text}} variable → the form submittted basically. Google Analytics already shows that there are 10 conversions in the past 7 days on this on the Events tab. But when I add the same thing to goals and click the “Verify this Goal” button, it says that there are 0% conversions for this goal. How do I fix this?

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