What Is Tag Management and Why Is It Important?By Toby Russell
Tag management is now all the rage, with software companies offering tag management software and Google now offer a free tool. In order to understand exactly what tag management is, we have to define what we mean by ‘tags.’
Tags are tiny bits of code that can be as small as a pixel. They’re placed on a website to track user behaviour. When someone comes to your site, the tag ‘fires’ and picks up whatever information it can from the user’s web browser.
In a world where we live or die by how our website performs, it’s incredibly important to understand how users behave. We need all the data we can get from them. This is where tags come in. Every type of analytics programs (including Google Analytics) uses tags to monitor who visits the site and what they do there.
Why Tag Management?
The only trouble is that creating, monitoring, changing or removing tags is a lot of work. It ends up getting messy. Tag management systems take all of these tags and put them together in one place where you can easily deal with all of them at once. They put all the tags into one container so that they’re easier to manage. In some programs, it’s just a matter of dragging and dropping whichever snippet you want to move. It then presents all of this data on an easy-to-use dashboard (depending on the program, of course).
What this means is that you have fully customizable analytics. You can set the container tag to give you whichever data you want from user activity on your site. It’s like having your own completely customized Google Analytics program (even though Google Analytics is pretty customizable).
If you haven’t already figured this out, tag management is a complex task for the techies among us. If you’re happy with the reports you get from Google Analytics and you’re not into messing with code, it’s something you probably don’t need to worry about. But taking direct control over your tags through tag management offers some serious benefits. It makes changing tags quick and easy. Because you have direct control over them, you can improve the accuracy of the analytics data you get.
Hiring a Tag Management Service
You’ve got a couple of options if you want to take control of your analytics with tag management. The main one is whether you’ll use Google’s new free tool or pay for a premium service. The downside of the Google tool is that there is no service level agreement. This means that if the system goes down, your tag management goes down with it.
The market is crowded with companies offering this service and not all are made the same. If you’re going to hire a tag management service, you need to do your due diligence. Look for one that allows you to deploy all the tags you need, will stay neutral, and is in compliance with privacy laws. All of this should be included in their package.
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