Google-Analytics-Google-Tag-Manager-NZDMIGoogle Analytics and Google Tag Manager are two very helpful tools that, if used correctly, can genuinely make your life easier. They both have accessible Google tutorials to run you through the step-by-step processes involved in the implementation and utilisation of Analytics and Tag Manager.

But some of you might be a little unsure of the differences between the two. Hopefully, this blog can clear a couple of things up for you. It’s important to understand the differences and uses of Analytics and Tag Manager because in order to use Tag Manager you will need to migrate your Analytics tracking. This might sound a little overwhelming currently but once you’ve read through this blog and you understand the differences, then you follow our tutorial on how and why you should migrate your tracking tags to Tag Manager.

Why using Google Analytics is so important

Google Analytics (GA) is an incredibly helpful tool handed down to us by the Google Gods. The intention of this tool is to track and report website traffic, so that site owners can monitor it and make informed decisions towards improving the site’s performance.

GA analyses website traffic to produce real-time statistics about user interaction. It provides features such as data visualisation, custom reports, tracking of digital marketing campaigns, and the segmentation of data subsets such as conversions1. It also allows for the integration with other Google and 3rd party tools.

GA is important because it allows you to basically learn behavioural patterns from your websites visitors and you can ultimately create personailty profiles. This allows you to create better content for customers, or restructure your site to be more user friendly, or collect smarter data to better understand your own product. The positives are practically endless, as long as youre willing to put the time and effort in.

Why Google Tag Manager will make your life easier

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a user-friendly tool created to help with the management of tags (snippets of JavaScript) on your website or mobile app2. This is the sole purpose for GTM. Without this system, tags can be very difficult to manage and can eat through many of precious hours due to having to hard-code any non-generic tags that you might want to add to your site.

GTM is compatible with a far more basic understanding of coding and tags than the original methods of tag management. Before GTM, you might have required the help of an experienced coder to add a new event to a page, as that coder would probably have had to hard-code an entire new tag into the site page in order to fire the event. This event could simply be wanting to track a certain action, such as a conversion. But what if you have tens or even hundreds of tag additions/alterations to make to your site, and you’re relying on your office I.T techie to handle all those tags, and that techie has another 20 requests from your co-workers? You’re going to have to wait for those changes to be made, which could end up harming your sites performance.

GTM ultimately changes the game so that you no longer have to be fluent in a coding language in order to influence and manage tags.

Another huge benefit of GTM that I feel is worth mentioning, especially for those of you who are still slighty scheptical, is that you can ‘test’ all of your tags before you complete the publishing of the tags. This means that any mistakes or confusions can be located and fixed before the final product is created, allowing you to debug your work before its too late. This fail-safe is by far one of the biggest positives of this software and can save a heft amount of time.

Final Thoughts

Migrating your website’s tracking to Google Tag Manager provides shirt- and long-term benefits, from reducing the time required to setup 3rd party tracking, to unification of that tracking. This free tool gives you the full control over your website’s data sharing and can also help improve its load speed. If you haven’t done it already, switching to GTM should be your priority for 2018.