What Is a Gtag & Why Should I Use It?

Google Ads and Google Analytics have great tools for tracking and monitoring web user behavior to help you market your products or enhance customer service. Companies who use Google Analytics may have noticed a new tracking option, gtag.js, Google’s global site tag. If you aren’t sure what the global site tag is or if it would be beneficial for you, we’ve broken down the details for you below:

What Is a Global Site Tag?

Google’s new gtag is, per Google, “a JavaScript tagging framework and API that allows you to send event data to Google Analytics, Google Ads, and DoubleClick.” This means it is a code snippet that allows you to easily send data to your each of your Google marketing products. Event data is determined through the gtag.js event command. (Read how to add event commands here). Event data is broken down into category, action, and label. Examples of events include logging in, watching a video, or downloading a document. This means you can streamline the tracking of user behavior by using one code snippet. 

What Are the Benefits? 

The global site tag is a centralized script tag that simplifies website tagging for all of your Google products. Rather than spending hours configuring several tags, the global site tag streamlines the entire process for you. The previous Google Analytics tag, analytics.js, only sent data to Google Analytics, whereas the gtag allows you to send event data to each Google marketing tool. This allows you to better understand user behavior while on the website and makes conversion tracking easier. 

How Do I Know if I Should Use It?

The gtag is geared towards websites that utilize Google Ads and Google Analytics. Another Google tool that offers similar functionality is Google Tag Manager. If you are already using Google Tag Manager as your tag management system, you will not need to migrate to gtag. However, if you do not have neither Google Tag Manager nor gtag, here is how you can decide which is better for you. Google Tag Manager allows to deploy tags for both Google and third party tags and for both web and mobile apps. Google Tag Manager also has its own interface to work on. Gtag allows you to quickly install tags on webpages without taking the time to set up a complete tag management system. Gtag also allows you to work directly in JavaScript without working in a different interface. You can also use gtag and then upgrade to Google Tag Manager at a later point in time if the need develops.