Tag governance, although often confused with tag management, is meant to be used in conjunction with your tag manager. Using analytics provided from a tag governance solution such as Blue Triangle's, you can improve your tagging in a way that will boost site speed, and as a result, grow revenue.
Elements of Tag Governance
- Validate tag placement
- Load critical tags earlier in the page
- Monitor tag load time and page speed impact
- Measure how tag speed is affecting online revenue
- Identify piggyback tags (4th party tags)
- Assign owners to each tag on your site
Validate Tag Placement
Ensuring the right tags are placed on the right web pages is a fundamental concept, but you'd be surprised how few firms are scrutinizing what pages each tag should, and should not, load on.
Sometimes tags go missing from the pages they should be loading on. An example of this is a conversion tracking tag that isn't loading on an eCommerce site's "Thank You" page. Another example is an Adobe Analytics tag that wasn't added to a recently launched Black Friday deals landing page (see below).
Load Critical Tags Earlier in the Page
Once placed on the right web pages, it's time to make sure the tags are loading in the correct order. Prioritize business-critical tags first. For example, you don't want below-the-fold customer reviews to load before your product image carousel.
Many sites have different criteria for when certain tags ought to load based on business needs. Media sites are more likely to load ad serving tags first because they generate revenue from ad impressions and click-throughs. A retailer typically loads tags critical to the conversion funnel (e.g., AB testing) before auxiliary items such as live chat.
Here's an example of our customer, SlickDeals, that prioritized their business-critical tags first:
Here's how that page is delivered to the end-user:
Monitor Tag Load Time and Page Speed Impact
Tags have a direct impact on the speed of your site. That's because they add additional calls to your web pages (your browser can only handle so many at a time) and increase the overall size of your web pages.
On March 13, 2018, the Google DoubleClick tag had a significant performance issue (see below).
The issue slowed down websites by 20+ seconds. The impact? Global revenue loss across various industries. Here's how one retailer was impacted:
Google DoubleClick is just one example. IBM Digital Analytics (Coremetrics) had outages Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 that slowed down many of their retail customers, including Victoria's Secret:
Fact is, third-parties have a lot of control. Actively tracking their load time is critical to establishing tag governance and optimizing your tag management. If one of your third-party tags has an issue, you need to know about it immediately so you can make a game-time decision whether to remove the tag or defer its loading to later in the page.
The Blue Triangle report below shows how easy it is to analyze the load time of your tags and set Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) for your tags:
Measure how Tag Load Time is Impacting Online Revenue
Most tags impact page speed. By understanding each tag's page speed impact and correlating its impact to revenue, you can make tag management decisions that don't just boost speed, but also improve revenue.
Identify Piggyback Tags (4th party tags)
Piggyback tags, or fourth-party tags, are tags that are brought onto your site by your third-party tags. It can be challenging to identify what tags are piggybacks and who's introducing them. In addition to the page speed impact, piggybacks are a security risk since they may have access to personal data without you even knowing.
Assign Ownership to Your Tags
Assigning ownership to each of your tags is an integral part of tag governance and management. It facilitates transparency and ensures the tag is providing value to your business. We suggest that you assign a department, business owner, and technical owner to each of your tags. That way, you know who to contact if there is an issue.