Google Tag Manager : Click Target & Click URL


When first dipping my large toes into Google Tag Manager all those years ago…and still now to be honest, I often forget exactly what data certain built-in variables will provide you with. So I am doing the sensible thing and writing them down for the whole world to see.


The quickest way to cover what the different variables do, is a quick show and tell. If you want to track a link that is:

<a href=”” target=”_blank”>Some Anchor</a> 

Then in this instance the Click Target would provide you with the value of _blank whereas the Click URL would provide you with the value of I’ll go into a little further detail below.

Click Target

The click target will allow you to record into GTM the value of the target attribute on the <a> tag. The value of this will be one of the following defined values.

Value Action
_blank Opens the linked resource in a new tab
_self Opens the linked resource in the same tab in which it was clicked. This is the default behaviour
_parent Opens the linked resource in the parent of where it was clicked.
_top Opens the linked resource in the full body of the window in which it was clicked.

So this can be useful to track how users response to clicking links on the web property that behave in different ways. For example, I expect if you open each new page using target=”_blank” I would expect a quicker user exit rate than using the default behaviour of “_self“.

Click URL

At the risk of outing myself as a true geek, the Click URL variable is one of my most useful go to tags; as it will allow you to pass in the value of the click destination; which is particularly useful if you have a list of items that you want to track that all have the same class. You can then pass an event into Google Analytics, passing the click destination as a value. 

A full list of the GTM variables can be found at the ever useful Simoa Hava’s blog

About the author


I am London based Ecommerce Business Analyst & Technical Lead. Always keen to chat.

By Matt