Are Google Tag Manager and GA4 the Same?

GTM and GA4 work incredibly well together. Let's demystify these two powerful tools and understand how they complement each other in your digital strategy.

Are Google Tag Manager and GA4 the Same?

Tools like Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) are often mentioned in the same breath. But does that mean they're the same thing? Not quite. Let's demystify these two powerful tools and understand how they complement each other in your digital strategy.

Google Tag Manager: The Data Handyman

Think of Google Tag Manager as your digital toolbox. It's a tag management system that allows you to quickly and easily update tags and code snippets on your website or mobile app. These tags can be anything from analytics tracking codes to conversion pixels, without the need to edit your site's code directly. GTM is all about efficiency and flexibility, enabling marketers to deploy and manage their marketing tags without constant IT intervention.

Google Analytics 4: The Data Detective

On the other side, we have Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the latest evolution in Google's analytics offerings. GA4 is focused on providing a comprehensive view of how users interact with your website or app. It's designed to track and analyse the performance of your digital properties, offering insights into user behaviour, conversion tracking, and more. GA4 is your go-to for understanding the 'what' behind user interactions, helping you make informed decisions to enhance your digital experience.

Working Together: A Match Made in Digital Heaven

GTM and GA4 work incredibly well together. Here's how:

  • GTM as the Launcher: Use GTM to deploy GA4 tracking codes across your site. This setup allows you to manage your GA4 tags in one place, making it easier to update or add new tags as your tracking needs evolve.
  • GA4 as the Analyser: Once your GA4 tags are in place, courtesy of GTM, GA4 takes over to collect and analyse your data. This data then becomes the foundation for your insights, helping you understand user behaviour and optimise your site accordingly.

What about if I want to understand the 'why'?

While GA4 offers powerful analytics capabilities, it's not the only solution out there. Depending on your needs, you might find alternatives offering unsampled data, easier implementation, or different insights. For instance, solutions like Insightech not only provide detailed analytics but also simplify the data collection from a single line of code during installation. It's about finding the right tool for your specific needs.

You also get a suite of tools such as click maps, scrolling heatmaps and session replay recordings to dig into and explore why users might be struggling to convert. We find watching these replays and walking in the shoes of real users interacting with the site design is the best way to find optimisation insights. Our team is happy to help you find optimisation opportunities for your website with Insightech. You can request a demo here.

Wrapping Up

Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics 4 are distinct tools, each with its unique strengths. GTM simplifies the management of your site tags, while GA4 dives deep into analysing your data. Together, they form a dynamic duo that can significantly enhance your digital marketing efforts.

Remember, the digital landscape is vast, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Exploring alternatives and understanding how different tools can complement your strategy is key to digital success.

Additional Free Resources

While we have you, are you thinking of replatforming? Try our step-by-step guide (with free templates)

  • Identifying Limitations of the Current Platform
  • Aligning Re-platforming Goals with Business Strategy
  • Conducting a Comprehensive UX, Marketing and Tech Audit
  • Questions to consider when analysing your site’s digital experience