What is the Difference Between GA4 and Google Tag Manager?

Google Analytics 4Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager are both free tools that Google for website owners to help them receive more information about their users. However, they both are fundamentally different tools and perform different tasks.

Let’s break them both down!

What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

Google Analytics 4 is the latest version of Google Analytics, which recently replaced Universal Analytics, and is an analytics platform from Google that measures data across websites and apps. It tracks and reports website and visitor insights. It can be used to identify success of marketing initiatives and tracking goals.

Google Analytics acquires data from each website visit through the JavaScript code that is on each page of the website. JavaScript page tags are added to each page code and the Google servers will get data from each visitor through the tag. All of this data is then compiled into Google Analytics 4.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool that Google provides that simplifies managing tags and scripts on your websites or apps. Tags are considered snippets of code that can be added to your website to collect data for third-party platforms.

GTM lets you easily edit and remove tags without having to work in the backend code of the website. It operates by having a centralized location for managing all tags associated with the site. With this simplified structure, it streamlines the data collection process and helps website owners easily measure performance.

What are the Key Differences Between GA4 and GTM?

GA4’s primary focus is to collect, analyze, and report on user data based on their interactions with your website and apps. It will give you insights on user behaviors, engagements, and other metrics.

GTM is designed to simplify the management of tags and scripts on your website. It allows you to easily add, edit, and remove tags without modifying any other code on your website. GA4 provides reports, while GTM has no reporting features.

The role of these tend to confuse marketers and business owners. One does not replace the other since they are different tools with different functions. The two of these can work together to enhance and improve effective tracking.

Frequently Asked Questions About GA4 and GTM

Can I use Google Tag Manager with Google Analytics?

Yes, Google Analytics integrates very well with GTM. It helps ensure your tracking code is configured correctly without having to alter the website code directly.

What types of tags can you use with Google Tag Manager?

There are a lot of different tags that it supports, including Google Analytics, Google Ads, custom HTML tags, and many more.

How is Google Analytics 4 different from Universal Analytics?

Universal Analytics (UA) is a session-based data model, while GA4 is based on events. This means that GA4 tracks the user interactions as an event rather than a session. UA also tracks devices and platforms separately where GA4 offers more measure capabilities to track across multiple devices and platforms.

For more information on GA4, check out some of these articles we have written:

More Articles to Check Out

Steve DiMatteo

About the Author

Steve DiMatteo

Steve DiMatteo is our Senior SEO Strategist and Content Manager and has been working in marketing since 2010 on accounts ranging in legal, SaaS, and more. His past experience also includes writing for the Associated Press. Over the years, he has been featured in the Washington Post, Variety, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and numerous other publications.

Our Partners & Awards