It’s a question that’s asked often – “How do you use Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager together”? Once it’s clear what each tool does, it’s relatively easy to imagine how they work together.
Difference Between Google Tag Manager And Google Analytics
Nearly everyone in Internet Marketing has heard of Google Analytics – it’s a service that gives incredible tracking and information about website visitors. Google Tag Manager is somewhat new to many people, and new things can be a little intimidating and mysterious. So what are the differences in Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics?
Google Tag Manager
Tag Manager uses a web interface to add and specify conditions when certain tags should be active on a page.
Once installed on a website, Google Analytics automatically collects basic information, but can be extended with Google Analytics Event Tracking and other customizations.
How To Use Google Tag Manager With Google Analytics
Google Tag Manager extends and complements Google Analytics beautifully. Together, Google Tag Manager allows marketers to expand Google Analytics data collection abilities – with little to no help needed from a developer.
Some examples of ways that Google Tag Manager can extend Google Analytics are:
- Links that visitors click to exit your website
- Tracking phone number clicks
- Scrolling on webpages
- Form interactions
Of course, these interactions were possible with Google Analytics – but these interactions usually required a developer publishing code to a website. This can and does slow down dynamic marketing teams who need data fast. Tag Manager offers a much faster publishing engine, allowing marketing teams to rapidly tag and track information with minimal developer involvement.
However, there are some places where using both Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics together can go awry.
You Can’t Have Both GTM and GA Code On The Same Website…
Having both GTM code and GA code (and both using the same Google Property ID) would result in double-pageviews, a zero bounce rate, and all sorts of data integrity issues.
If you are confident your site has no event tracking or custom GA code, is as easy:
- Locate your Google Property ID and add to Google Tag Manager UA tag
- Add your new GTM code to the site
- Remove your old GA code from the site
- Publish (and verify you still receive GA tracking via the Live portion in Analytics)
If you do have custom event tracking in the code, things get a little more involved.
…Unless Migrating From Google Analytics Code To Google Tag Manager Code
When migrating a website from Analytics to Tag Manager, it’s common to use a “testing” Google Property ID in Tag Manager versus the live websites Google Property ID . This “duplicate” approach works well since you can test your GTM installation on a live site while still capturing live data in a live GA property.