3 Create a Tag Management plan
It is best to create a tag management plan before you start with implementing a tag management solution. I would start with answering some basic questions so you have an idea of what you want to accomplish. Let me help you with identifying and answering those questions.
How many tags are currently deployed?
In the previous step, you installed Ghostery. You can start with going through some of the most common paths of your website and seeing what tags are firing through the Ghostery chrome extension. Average sites have ten different tags firing from their website. Make sure you cover a decent part of your site.
How many tags on your website are actually used?
Are all the tags you are finding through Ghostery familiar? Are those tools actually used? Have there been any test with products over the last years that you have decided not to continue with? Are you sure those tags have been removed? Almost two-thirds of the sites operated by the UK largest advertisers have at least one legacy tag; and 6% have ten or more (Think with Google, Feb 2016).
Are tags currently slowing down my webpages?
Having a lot of tags can slow down the rendering of your website. I have seen large sites firing over a hundred different tags, which is ludicrous. There are a few ways in which you can check what elements of your webpages are slowing it down. My favorite is webpagetest.org. You can see the first time I did it for this website, the results were not great. Do you see a lot of the tags there taking up valuable loading time?
If so, a Tag Management solution is a good way to get tags to fire asynchronously. This means that the tags do not wait for one another to complete loading before they themselves start to load. A solid explanation of the difference between asynchronous and synchronous can be found on the Tealium site. It will be a lot of work to move all your current tags into a tag management solution, so lot’s of businesses rather then moving everything, they just drop all the new tags they need to deploy into a tag management solution.
How many new tags do you think you need to install (in the near future)?
If there are no plans to launch any new tags you should question whether you really need a Tag Management solution at this time. Only valid reason would be if current tags are slowing the site down significantly. If you plan to (re)install at least one tag, why not install a Tag Management solution first? If you need to install two, or if you are interested in collecting more data rom your website than standard implementations allow, it is an absolute no brainer to go down the Tag Management solution route.
Do your marketing and IT teams disagree on priorties?
Don’t worry, that is pretty normal in large organisation. One often sees that the IT teams have a queue and that they decide on what to prioritise. This means that tracking some kind of marketing activity is often not seen as a priority. For smaller organisations, that kind of frictions may exist on smaller scale. Your web developer might ask for a relatively steep sum of money to implement a tag because he or she has forgotten all about your site and will have to familiarise him or herself with your site all over again for a small piece of work. Or your digital agency might complain that they do not have enough data to optimise their efforts efficiently. All of the above are good reasons to work on a tag management plan.
Sometimes, IT teams want to maintain control over what happens on the site. You want your marketers and IT people to understand each others priorities. A compromise that I really like is that the marketing team get access to containers but the IT needs to approve before a container gets published. Log in to Google Tag Manager and click on the account settings for the account in question, as per the following screenshot:
You can then select the “Require 2-step login verification for certain operations” option. First thing you will need to do is enable two step verification for your Google Account.
To conclude, have a look at this very helpful explanation. It will costs you three minutes and it is very good.
So if you have read through about all of the above, and discussed it with the relevant people, you should be ready to finalise your tag management plan.
Proceed to the next step to read about free versus paid tag management solutions.