Google Tag Manager vs. Google Analytics: Which Should You Use?

Brody Hall
By Brody Hall
Romi Hector
Edited by Romi Hector

Published May 25, 2022.

Person writing in a small book by a desk with a bigger book, laptop, and cup

Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are two of the most popular tools used to track website traffic. But which one should you use?

Let’s find out.

What Is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a free platform offered by Google that allows users to manage and deploy marketing tags (such as Google Analytics, AdWords Conversion Tracking, and Facebook Pixel) on their website. It’s a simple, user-friendly tool that makes adding and managing tags much easier than doing it manually.

With Tag Manager, you can create and manage tags without having to edit the code on your website. You simply add the Tag Manager code to your website, then create and configure tags within the Tag Manager interface. When you’re ready to deploy a tag, simply publish it.

Tag Manager also gives you greater control over when tags are deployed. For example, you can choose to deploy tags only on certain pages of your website or only after specific events have occurred, such as a visitor clicking on a button or submitting a form.

What Is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free website and e-commerce analytics tool offered by Google that helps website owners track and analyze their website traffic. With Google Analytics, you can see where your website visitors are coming from, how they are finding your website, what pages they are visiting, and how long they are staying on your site. You can also use Google Analytics to track your AdWords campaigns and see how much traffic they are generating.

If you’re a Shopify owner, why not read more about how to use Google Analytics for Shopify?

Is Google Tag Manager Separate From Google Analytics?

Yes, Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are completely separate. They track different metrics and allow users to access different analytical outputs.

Can Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics Be Used Together?

Yes, Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics can be used together. When you use both tools, you can get a more complete view of how your website is performing. For example, you can use Google Tag Manager to track how people are interacting with your website and then use Google Analytics reports to see how that activity is translating into conversions and sales.

Essentially, you can get a more complete picture of your website's performance and make better decisions about how to improve it by using both tools together.

Google Tag Manager vs. Google Analytics

So what is the difference between Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics?

Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are both Google tools used for tracking website data. However, they serve different purposes. Google Tag Manager is used for managing tags on a website, while Google Analytics is used for analyzing website data.

Should You Use Google Tag Manager or Google Analytics?

There is no simple answer to this question, as it depends on your specific needs and preferences. Although to give you a rough idea, if you’d like to add Google Analytics tracking codes or events to a website, you’re best off with Google Tag Manager. If tracking product analytics, user analytics metrics, and other on-page actions of site traffic, Google Analytics is your best bet.

If you’d like to read more about using e-commerce analytics, check out our post on how to use data to boost sales.