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How to use lookup tables in Google Tag Manager

Be more efficient with Google Tag Manager

Is your Google Tag Manager (GTM) container noisy with all of the tags, triggers and user defined variables? If you’ve ever been in charge of GTM for any extended period, you’ve probably run into the scenario where your container is a challenge to maintain properly.

But hope is in sight. Leverage the Lookup Table variable type in your container to use Google Tag Manager more efficiently.

Common uses of the Lookup Table feature

  • Utilize multiple Google Analytics properties in one GTM container
  • Assign friendly page names instead of URL defaults
  • Track clicks on individual links automatically

Although lookup tables are great for URL defaults and tracking, they are especially crucial when using multiple Google Analytics properties. If you have staging and development sites, you can leverage the lookup table to ensure that all of your test data goes into a Google Analytics property, rather than your production property.

How to leverage lookup tables for multiple properties

  1. Set up a user-defined variable with the Lookup Variable type
  2. Give the variable a name that indicates it’s for Google’s UA number lookup
  3. Set the Input Variable as {{Page Hostname}}
  4. Enter your production site’s URL and UA number
  5. Select the Set Default Value checkbox and enter the UA number for your GA property designated for test data

By default, any hostname that doesn’t match your production site will default to the test property and keep your production data clean.

To conclude, remember that while the lookup table variable is very handy, keep some key items in mind when using the feature. First, be sure to always set a default value so that you make sure a value is always assigned. And last, remember that the lookup table variable is an exact match only.