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Google has come out with various tools and systems that have become crucial in the business landscape as we have gone digital. Recently, the Google Tag Manager and Global Site Tag have made their way into the toolkit and it may be confusing to choose between the two. Here’s the breakdown of everything you need to know: Google Tag Manager vs. Global Site Tag (GTAG vs. GTM.)

Google Tag Manager vs. Global Site Tag: What Are They?

Before deciding what is better for you, let’s dive into these systems: Global Site Tag vs. Google Tag Manager.

The Global Site Tag, GTAG, or gtag.js is an efficient way to tag all your services or pages. Instead of adding multiple scripts to a page, a tracking code can be installed in the header section of your site and track all of the information on your site which can then be forwarded to other Google tools like Google Analytics.

On the other hand, Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a more common tool and tag management system. Global Site Tag vs. Google Tag Manager, GTM allows you to send information via tags to various analytical tools (e.g., Google Ads, LinkedIn Tag, Facebook Pixel, etc.) after being installed onto a landing page or multiple landing pages. 

gtag vs gtm
Google Tag Manager
Global Site Tag vs. Google Tag Manager: The Difference

So, what is the difference? Comparing the two side-by-side, Google Tag Manager vs. Global Site Tag, the main differences include:


Google Tag Manager vs. GTAG, compatibility with third-party marketing tools is a noticeable difference between the two. While the Global Site Tag is compatible with other Google tools, Google Tag Manager allows users to send data to various tools that have a JavaScript-based tracking code which includes Microsoft Ads, Google Ads, Social media ads platforms etc. 

Features and Functions

Global Site Tag vs. Google Tag Manager, both have specific features and functions unique to the system. For instance, GTAG vs. GTM, the Global Site Tag is much more straightforward and user-friendly because what you see is what you get. On the other hand, Google Tag Manager has more centralized features and offers more functionality for those who perform testing and debugging. 

A More Comfortable Experience

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User Interface (UI)

Another noticeable difference between the two, Google Tag Manager vs. Global Site Tag is the user interface of each of the two. Unlike the Global Site Tag, Google Tag Manager offers a graphical UI. With a centralized dashboard that has been designed to be user-friendly, using Google Tag Manager is relatively intuitive and users require little to no JavaScript knowledge. As for the GTAG, a website’s tracking coding will have to be done by a marketer that has basic JavaScript knowledge or a developer in order to configure certain tools and functionalities correctly.

google tag manager vs global site tag
Google Tag Manager
GTAG vs GTM: What to Use

So, Google Tag Manager vs. GTAG, what do you need and what should you use? 

In short, Google Tag Manager is best for those who wish to take control of tracking, deployment, and management of their tags (both Google and third-party) without heavily relying on developers. With Google Tag Manager, you can test your own tags and take advantage of the third-party compatibility that it offers. 

On the other hand, Global Site Tag is best for those who have no need to integrate their tags with third-party tools. If you need to install tags onto your web page or pages directly and have total control over the tags that are tracked, GTAG will be a much better choice than GTM. Before choosing one over the other, it is best to assess your needs and goals and then select what aligns with your business more. For more such services  get in touch with GTECH today!

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