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What is gtag?

What is gtag?

Google's latest website tracking option

You may or not have heard of Google's latest tracking update ... gtag. This post will demystify everything related to this new tracking feature.

What is gtag.js?

gtag.js or Global Site Tag is a new script that allows you to simplify and streamline your website tagging for every Google Product. Gtag is going to replace and merge Analytics and Ads. The whole idea is for all your Google sites (Analytics and Ads - formerly AdWords) to have one central tag that can send all the info to every site at the same time. Similar to the analytics.js, but more universal. Instead of having analytics.js for Analytics and conversions.js for Ads, you will have the single gtag.js. 

gtag sample

Do I need to switch?

That all depends on you and your future plans! If you are currently using Google Tag Manager (GTM), then no, you don’t need to. If you are using an older code then yes, you should make the switch to either gtag.js or GTM at some point. Keep in mind, the switch to either gtag.js or GTM should be done within the next year before the previous JavaScript become unused.

Gtag.js is not an upgrade, just a new tagging system. You will not miss out if you stick to in-page Universal Analytics. However, if you are kicking off a new Ads account with conversions or implementing new Analytics to a site, you'll need to use the new version as the older version is not available for new set ups.

What's the point of gtag?

To centralize all of your marketing sites under one tag. This makes it easier to track accurate conversions and actions on your website. And who doesn't like easier?!

What's the difference between gtag and Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager and gtag are similar in idea. They allow you to centralize your site tags between different marketing platforms. If you already have Google Tag Manager, there is no need to change anything. All you have to do is add the Conversion Linker Tag.

How do I add gtag.js to my website?

If you have access to your website's code then you can do it yourself by following Google's directions here. If you don't have direct access, contact your web development team to assist you in making the update.