Difference between Google Analytics(GA) and Google Tag Manager(GTM)

Digital Marketing functions on a collection of data. And the data, in digital marketing, is all about people’s interaction with your site. There are plenty of tools used in the digital marketing sector, and every tool has its own unique feature. Marketing begins with analyzing what people are looking for, and here Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager comes into play. Both tools provide important insights from your website that becomes a primal force to market your business. There is a lot of confusion around both tools as people find it difficult which tool to use – GTAG vs GA – so, here we will discuss the differences.  

Google Analytics

GA is an extensively used tool in the digital marketing industry; it helps you understand events happening on your website by collecting, processing, and analyzing the data. The question is from where the data is coming.

Here it begins: when you have a running website, it is necessary to know what are the visitors doing on your website. The reasons are many but the most important one is to improve your product or services and to make a better decision in your business. Let’s take an example: if you want to know which product of yours is most clicked or liked by the customers, you would know where to focus and what to improve. Google Analytics gives you a set of tracking codes that need to be installed on webpages. The tracking code enables the website to track the visitors’ actions. The actions can be visitors turning into customers or the most visited product or services. Google Analytics keeps eye on the traffic; it sees where the visitors are coming from, it is through generic google search or google advertisements, and it can be from anywhere. It gives you a report of user behavior such as many times the link is clicked, the page is viewed, time spends on the web page, sales through advertisements, etc.

Google Tag Manager

We all know that Google Tag Manager is pretty much a new feature added by Google. It is an absolute injustice to avoid using the free feature especially when you are a marketer. GTM is a tool to organize and manage marketing tags on your website without modifying the tracking code. In layman terms, GTM helps in updating codes on the website in an easy way and you don’t need to manually write codes for any changes. It shares data and information from one source to another. It is a useful tool that is used when there are many tags to manage. You can manage the number of tags by defining when tags should fire. The tags are segments of codes for different uses such as Google Analytics tracking code, Ads conversion tags, remarketing tag, Facebook pixel code, JavaScript or HTML code, and event codes.

GTM helps in organizing and managing many events in one place which was hard to maintain before its use. GTM is a user-friendly tool where all the event tools such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, etc. are kept all together. It is an easy tool for developers who wants to test if the tags are triggered after clicking the respective page. You can easily edit your tags in the GTM interface and their function without modifying the source code of your website.

Tag Manager Vs Analytics: Which one to use?

The major confusion arises among marketers using both of the tools – tag manager and Analytics – because of their similar features. But they both are completely different and can be effectively used together for quick results. In Google Analytics, you need to write tracking codes that are placed on every page. Whereas, GTM gives you a template that is universal analytics that can be used accordingly. In Google Analytics, you can see events of your website on the event report. Some codes need to be placed for sending event hits from your website to GA’s servers. In the case of GTM, Data Layer helps in placing the event found by GTM. The GTM event on the website initiates triggers to fire tags such as Google Ads Tags. GA is used as a Tag, but GTM is used as a triggers to fire Tag.

GTM and Google Analytics work side by side. GTM cannot be used alone as it can help in effortlessly update Google Analytics codes. If you want to use GA events, you should use along with GTM for speedy deployment, in the long run. Both tools can exist without one another. If in case you are not a developer, you would be better off with GTM as you can easily update GA tracking codes using GTM tool. However, you’d need to write codes if you are solely using Google Analytics without GTM. Similarly, you have many additions in GTM that you can go for while using GA on your website. You don’t need to GA for using GTM, you can easily install GTM on your website with your old GA tool.

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