Digital Analytics

Google Tag Manager vs Google Analytics

gtm vs ga

Updated on December 22, 2021

Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are two completely different tools. They don’t rely on each other. Yet, they do work well together when you choose to use both. Here’s the difference between Google Tag Manager vs Google Analytics.

Let’s first understand how these two tools work on their own.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a software tool that tracks website data. It gives you visibility into what’s happening on your website. It allows you to see how many people visit, what pages they go to, and how long they look at each page.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a Tag Management System (TMS). What that means, is it puts an empty container on every page of your website. Google Tag Manager provides you an interface that you can use to control the code that appears within that container. That means, someone other than a web developer can change the website within that specified container. That allows marketers and website owners to be able to add and modify tracking codes. And they can do that without having to dig into the code or bother a web developer.

How are Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager Better Together?

In order for Google Analytics to collect data, it needs a tracking code added to every page of the website. This code can be manually added. It doesn’t need Google Tag Manager or any other TMS to add it.

Although it isn’t required, adding Google Analytics tracking using Google Tag Manager simplifies the process. Since they are both Google products, Tag Manager is already set up to add Google Analytics tracking with the click of a button.

And configuring Google Analytics tracking isn’t always a one-time process. To get the most value out of Google Analytics you’ll want to set up events and goals. Depending on how you want to set up your account you may find you want to customize the tracking code. The easiest way to add customizations is with Google Tag Manager. That way, you can make custom edits using the pre-built interface instead of writing custom code. This makes customizations as easy as drag and drop.

In Summary

Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager are two very different tools with unique use cases. When you leverage both tools together, Google Tag Manager makes it faster and easier to customize and configure Google Analytics.


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About the Author

Jennifer Rogina is the Co-Founder & Lead Marketer of ClearPath Online, a DIY SEO tool for entrepreneurs to grow their own website traffic. Jennifer has been a digital marketing specialist since 2008. In that time she has focused on search engine optimization, digital analytics, and conversion optimization.

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