Google Site Tag (Gtag.js): a brief overview on how it differs from the Universal analytics

There are many speculations revolving around what Google Site Tag (gtag.js) is.

People are really confused in deciding whether they should be opting gtag.js or not.

The evolution of gtag.js

Very recently, Google initiated a fresh and unique tracking option called gtag.js within the analytics.

This is intended to be a substitute for the Universal Analytics (analytics.js), usually used as tracking option.
Also, very soon it would be made an imperative part of the tracking scripts.

This new Google analytics’ tracking script has been empowered to be strong enough to replace
existing universal tracking script.

Going forward, Google will start displaying this newly launched tag to more number of users – each time a new feature is added.

This is how Google ensures that users are aware of all the various tracking methodologies that are available.

This script that is hosted by Google Tag Manager is how Google provides ideas on the benefits of implementing the best practices for consolidating script management into a single location.

Now, the question that ponders into your mind is whether you can migrate your analytics.js to gtag.js.

Yes, of course, you can.

So, when is the right time for the transition?

Not now, you will have to wait until this has passed the beta phase.

As of now, it is in a state, where numerous features are being added and it might take a few more weeks or months for the updates to be complete.

If you are confused about what could be the benefits of this migration, then the answer would be that
there is no specific one, but there could be many benefits.

So, if your developer is working on a site, make sure that they provide room for this new transition that will happen very soon.

Where can you find the old analytics code?

During this time, users are in a hurry searching for the analytics.js code that used to show in analytics.

Just take a tour of the Google Guide on analytics.js for guidance on the code.

A comparison between gtag.js and analytics.js

 The analytics.js is designed to provide support only for Google analytics whereas gtag.js is
capable of supporting different domains, such as Google Adwords, Firebase tracking, and Google
Analytics too.

 The analytics.js sends data to Google Analytics, using trackers while gtag.js implements types to
specify the data types. Also, gtag.js will not implement trackers for sending data to Google
Analytics. The tracking IDs set by the config command is implemented by gtag.js to identify the
Google Analytics properties to which the data is to be sent.

 Both, gtag.js and analytics.js are designed to use various kind of parameters for tracking data.

 The gtag.js is capable for conversion tracking, while analytics.js lacks this ability.

 You will be provided with the provision for marketing with gtag.js while this is not possible with
the analytics.js. But, the usual limitations that apply for analytics.js will be applicable for gtag.js
(these include limitations on 200,000 hits per day and 500 hits per session, which is helpful
when it comes to remarketing).

How do we set up tracking with gtag.js?

The installation procedure for gtag.js is very much similar to that of analytics.js, though the script
snipped differs in both the cases.

 You need to create Analytics property for the website, you want to be tracked. Once this
property generates the tracking ID, you can use gtag.js tracking code snippet.

 You can find an account below on how to locate your tracking ID, which is the second step. This
tracking ID needs to be implemented inside the tracking code snippet.

 Next you need to copy this gtag.js tracking code snippet onto each of your web pages that you
want to be tracked. It needs to be inserted right after the <head> tag present on the pages.

How do you find the tracking ID? Detailed steps:

1. Firstly, sign in to your analytics account.
2. Then, click on “Admin”
3. In the “Account” column, you need to select an account from the MENU.
4. In the “Property” column, select a property from the MENU.
5. Here, you need to click “tracking info -> tracking code” under “PROPERTY” to find your tracking
ID at the top of the page.

But, if your website has been experiencing an exceptional volume of traffic from Google, then it
is recommended that you need not migrate analytics.js to gtag.js.

As we have already discussed, since it is in the beta stage, you might not be able to identify how far it is beneficial for your website.

The new gtag.js has been introduced with a new syntax, so we can’t be really sure about how smooth the transition process would be. The functionality of gtag.js and analytics.js are almost the same.

Points to remember:

 Gtag.js helps in tracking websites and apps using the Firebase tracking methodology.

 Both the Google tag manager and gtag.js are unique and different ways of tagging used for your websites. If you wish to handle third-party tags and Google from a single location, you can use Google tag manager, which helps in the intended use without the need to modify your site’s code.

 This migration of gtag.js will never ever affect your Google analytics data.

Gtag.js will soon be launched making lives a lot easier and better for us.

The new tracker would be accompanied with a variety of new features unlike the previous one.

So, let’s keep our fingers crossed for the magic that will be unveiled very soon.

Do you need help with inbound marketing or any other Google Analytics services for taking your
business to the next level?

Then, we can help you.

Acodez  is a web development company offering all kinds of web design and web development services in India and abroad. We are also an experienced SEO agency in India offering a wide variety of online solutions for businesses, including SEO, SMO, SEM, content marketing, PPC and much more to help take your business to the next level.

For further enquiries, contact us today.

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