Keeping Tabs on Tag Management to Improve Web Performance

by | June 3, 2015

Are you keeping up with tag management? If not, your site could be suffering.

Hey, So What’s a Tag Anyway?

Tags are compact chunks of code that can improve both user experience and your ability to capture information and analytics from your site. A common example that many businesses use is Google’s analytic code. While this snippet is expertly fine-tuned, other tags may not perform as well–and their poor performance can dramatically affect your site’s speed and functionality. Here are some¬†ways poor tag management can let you down.

Tags Can Be Slow

If a particular tag is very complex, or if you have several tags operating simultaneously on your site, this can severely impact each page’s load time. The slower your page loads, the less patience your users will have with your site, thus increasing the bounce rate and limiting your ability to reach your audience in a meaningful way.

Tags Can Be Error-Prone

When you add a tag to your site’s code, there’s always room for human error in its implementation. Whether it’s your mistake or the developer’s, these code snippets are easy to break. When a tag is entered incorrectly, it can cause all sorts of nasty side effects on your page, reducing the trustworthiness and functionality of your site. When you use tags, you also run the risk of future changes impacting the efficiency of the code, creating more errors or limiting your load speed.

Custom HTML Can Escalate Risk

As a general rule, using standard template tags doesn’t cause any issues with a site’s functionality–but when custom HTML is incorporated by someone without programming expertise, there is the potential for performance to be negatively impacted.

Data Privacy May Be Compromised

If a site has multiple third-party tags, that means all of the data collected on the site is available to those third parties. There may also be conflicts between the privacy policies of multiple sites.

How to Effectively Manage Tags for Performance

Fortunately, there’s a way to address these problems before they’ve even begun. By testing your site regularly, you can manage your tags in real-time and catch errors and slow speeds before they become an issue. The right testing software can monitor page load speeds, and pinpoint specific areas that are weakened by dense, slow-loading code.

Testing software also has the ability to screen for errors, so you’re alerted to each problem before your customers even see it. This can be extremely helpful for instances when you’re editing your page. If a mistake is made, you’ll know immediately and be able to address the issue as it occurs. For further peace of mind, you can use separate test containers (staging environments) to gauge the performance impacts of tags before releasing them onto the live site.

This innovative software is designed not only to test your site, but also to monitor it over time. This will give you access to unique insights into your website’s behavior, including how it functions under individual circumstances such as flash sales or high-traffic. With testing and monitoring services like Apica, you can monitor your tags and keep your code in line to improve web performance.

Apica Product Team