GTM naming conventions best practice and why you should care

Analytics and data | 7 MIN READ

As your organisation becomes more data-savvy, your Google Tag Manager container grows. The more tags, triggers, and variables you have in your container and the more people actively make changes to it, the more crucial clear naming conventions become. Doing so is good housekeeping, ensures efficiency, and reduces duplication and mistakes..

Getting GTM naming under control

In this guide, we share our formulae for clear and consistent naming conventions to help you tidy up your container and introduce some management governance.

We do not claim this to be the only or best way of doing it, but it's a starting point for you to sort your ship out and put your naming conventions on paper. 

  1. Background
  2. Why is this important?
  3. Recommended Naming Conventions
    1. Containers
    2. Workspaces
    3. Folders
    4. GA4 Google Tag
    5. GA4 Event Tags
    6. Marketing Pixel Tags
    7. Other Tags
    8. Triggers
    9. Custom Event Triggers
    10. Variables
  4. Summary


As your organisation matures, so too will your website and analytics setup. You might add and shelve different marketing campaigns, change critical functions on your website (e.g., changing that email newsletter sign-up from one provider to another), or migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4, to name a few examples.

Naturally, your tracking will get more complicated as part of this process. These variables can make it challenging to track which tags and triggers are in operation, what they do, and when to remove any redundant legacy tracking.

Why is this important?

  1. A build-up of legacy tracking in your container increases its overall size. This bloat affects your website load time, with your users loading a large amount of possibly redundant tracking each time they move across your website pages. This bloat can have a knock-on effect on user experience and potentially cause issues (especially if data is being captured at all).

  2. You might be doubling up on data for specific events! For instance, you might send page views to GA4 on all page views and send page views when people look at your donation form. These problems become more immediately apparent when consistent naming conventions are in place. If you know what you're looking for in the title of your tags, triggers, etc., you know what to filter by and how to spot when something has been duplicated.

  3. It makes GTM easier to understand. Clear, consistent naming conventions can help you keep track of your GTM setup and, over time, understand how it works, what may be causing problems, etc.

Below are our recommendations for naming conventions, but most importantly, keep an eye on consistent capitalisation and use of semantic, digestible language. Remember to set these up with your most scrambled self in mind! After all, you might need to revisit these tags on a chaotic day when there's an urgent issue that needs fixing and be able to quickly find the element you're looking for without having to filter through too much noise to find it.

Recommended Naming Conventions


Your GTM container will be a subfolder within your Tag Manager account. For example, within our CharityWise account, a container holds all the tracking for the CharityWise website.

Recommended naming convention for GTM containers:

  • [Company/Website Name] - [environment]
    • For example:
      • CharityWise - Production
      • CharityWise - Staging


You can set up workspaces in your container. This function helps multiple people work on different changes to your tracking setup while minimising conflicts.

TIP! You can create up to three workspaces on the free version of GTM and unlimited workspaces in GTM 360.

GTM workspaces

Recommended naming convention for workspaces:

  • [Agency/Name] – [what is being worked on]
    • For example:
      • Fresh Egg – checkout funnel stages
      • Fresh Egg – consent mode rollout

GTM naming conventions


Within your container workspace, there is a tab for folders. You can use this to further organise your tags, triggers, and variables for easier oversight and future review.

Recommended naming convention for folders:

  • [Environment] - [description]
    • For example:
      • Staging - ecommerce
      • Production – GA4 events

GA4 Google Tag

Recommended naming convention for Google Tags:

  • GA4 – Google Tag

The Logic:
This element is the most important to identify. If incorrectly set up here, it will impact other tracking areas. Including the hyphen ("-") in this tag ensures that when you look in the GTM interface, it'll sit at the top of the list of your GA4 tags.

GA4 Event Tags

The recommended format for GA4 event tags is as follows: 

  • GA4 {{GA4 event name}} 
    • For example:
      • GA4 form_submit
      • GA4 click_cta
      • GA4 view_item 

The Logic:
Excluding hyphens ensures these tags show beneath the Google Tag. Keeping the event names the same as in GA4 and as simple as possible helps reduce the cognitive load when looking at your GTM interface.

Marketing Pixel Tags

Recommended naming convention for marketing pixel tags:

  • [Agency] – [platform] – [pixel type] – [marketing] – [retirement date]
  • For example:
    • Fresh Egg – Facebook – base pixel – 8.24
    • Rotten Egg – Instagram – conversion pixel – 1.25

The Logic:
Marketing pixels require more information. This element is one area of tracking you'll want to keep a firm grip on, as out of any, these are the tags on your site with a straightforward, designated shelf life. They are usually set up by your team or third parties to track key marketing campaigns and should be deleted shortly after to prevent build-up in your container. Slow site load times will negatively impact your quality score, which is one of the key metrics Google uses to determine the cost to run your ads. Allowing these tags to linger will not only impact the quality of your website but will potentially cost you money in the long run.

Agency Explained
The name of the agency (where applicable) that has set up the relevant marketing pixel.

Platform Explained
The social media platform this is run through.

  • For example:
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • Snapchat

Pixel Type Explained
The type of pixel.

  • For example:
  • Base pixel
  • Event pixel
  • Conversion pixel

Retirement Date
The point at which the tag can be removed. This information could always be available in each tag's 'notes' section. However, cleaning up the account will require you to review each marketing pixel tag individually to check retirement dates (which costs valuable time).

Other Tags

Recommended naming convention for other tags:

  • [Platform] - [page/action] - [desc]
    • For example:
      • FB – conversion – purchase

Tracking Type Explained
Use a short abbreviation for the type of tracking the tag is doing.

  • For example:
    • Ads - Ads Conversion Tracking
    • FB - Meta Pixel
    • LI - LinkedIn Insight Tag

Page/Action Explained
Describe the page or event the tag is firing on.

  • For example:
    • all pages
    • homepage
    • checkout
    • form submit
    • [subdomain name]

Description Explained
Describe the detail of what the tag is firing on.

  • For example:
    • click phone
    • add details
    • form submit

Details Explained
Add any additional details needed for the tag.

  • For example:
    • enhanced ecommerce
    • standard events
    • custom parameters


Recommended naming convention for most triggers:

  • [trigger type] - [page/action] - [details]
    • for example:
      • ct - button - submit form
      • page view - blog posts

Trigger Type Explained
The type of trigger.

  • For example:
    • page view
    • click
    • scroll depth

Page/Action Explained
Describe the page or action the trigger is firing on.

  • For example:
    • add to cart
    • thank you page
    • all pages
    • nav bar

Details Explained
Add any additional details needed for the trigger.

  • For example:
    • form id
    • element id/class
    • scroll depth percentage

Custom Event Triggers

Recommended naming convention for custom events:

  • E {{data layer event name}}
    • For example:
      • E click_button
      • E form_submit

The Logic:
This practice is a commonly used format for custom events, making it more accessible should you have different industry professionals working with your GTM container.


We recommend keeping all variables in lowercase. This convention makes it more easily distinguishable from other parameters. Recommended naming convention for variables:

  • [Variable Type] - [details]
    • For example:
      • js - custom html id
      • url - path
      • dom - click target url
      • dlv – data layer variable

These elements are broken down further below:

Variable Type Explained
Use a short abbreviation for the type of variable.

  • For example:
    • js - custom javascript
    • url - url variable
    • dom - dom element

Details Explained
Add any additional details needed for the variable.

  • For example:
    • custom html id
    • query parameter
    • click target url


So, we've taken you through our recommendations for GTM naming conventions and why they're essential, and we've broken down some different conventions for different tags, triggers, and variables.

Did you find this helpful, or was anything unclear? Need more help? Contact us to chat with the team.