A few weeks ago we talked about the prevalence of marketing buzzwords. The term “tag” is certainly no buzzword, but do you understand how tags fit into your digital marketing efforts?
Here are some common tag questions, answered.
What’s a tag and when would I use it?
A tag is a piece of code that performs a specific “task” on your website. Tags serve many purposes, from helping marketers understand their website visitor behavior, to being used for retargeting, to metric measurement and process improvement.
Are there any cons to using tags?
As with any piece of code, tags can cause things on your website to break – but, really only if they’re managed poorly. Your site could easily get bogged down with too much code, and inaccurate or duplicate tags could waste your marketing dollars and your time. You’ll be measuring the wrong thing! Depending on how you choose to manage or implement your tags, they can also cause departmental slow-down if you need IT to help manage them for you.
What’s the alternative to having IT manage my tags?
Using a tag management system can often alleviate or eliminate many, if not all, of the cons listed above. Keeping all your tags in one place, and controlling them from a central location, greatly reduces the risk of common (yet easily avoidable) tag-related issues.
What does a tag management system do?
A tag management system will normally contain all of the tags being used on your site. When a user comes to your site, the system will “tell” which tags to fire, or to perform a task. Tag managers don’t eliminate or reduce the number of tags on your site, but they will assist with making sure the right tags are firing at the proper time. This is important – because tag “misfiring” can result in slow page loading for your website visitors. Aside from that, misfiring tags can adversely affect your data, because it will no longer be accurate.
How do I go about implementing a tag management system?
There are several technologies available for tag management; however, Google Tag Manager is free and flexible. Introduced in 2012, Google Tag manager easily allows you or your digital marketing partner to update and manage your own tags. Migrating any existing tags you have to your tag manager should be the first step. If you have existing tags that aren’t being managed, ask a digital marketing expert for help.