Tips for Optimizing Third-Party Tags to Speed Up Your Website
While website performance is usually the purview of IT, marketing plays a major role in how fast a site loads. All the great online campaigns and social media plug-ins marketers put on their sites come at a price — each one contributes to slower site performance, largely due to tags. Tags are pieces of code put on your website every time you implement a new campaign (e.g., advertising, paid search, affiliate marketing, etc.). Tags help you track the performance of online campaigns, but they also cause latency on your site.
Overcoming latency isn't just about satisfying impatient shoppers. Research shows that a two second to three second delay in page speed can result in a substantial loss of sales. Slow-loading pages also impact your search engine optimization efforts, as Google now factors speed into its page rankings. The slower your site, the lower your natural search ranking.
Once a tag is put on your site, it’s often forgotten and ends up living there permanently. To combat this, some marketers take the drastic step of simply taking all tags off their site or significantly reducing them. According to a recent survey from TagMan, a provider of tag management systems, 35 percent of respondents said they take this approach. But when you take a tag off, you lose the ability to measure the value of your campaigns.
Too many tags aren't actually the problem. The real problem is that tags aren't handled, stored and loaded properly. Optimizing tags rather than removing them altogether is the best way to get faster loading times. This enables you to still capture all the useful data that tags provide.
Below are three tips for how you can optimize tags, leading to better site performance and a more streamlined experience for your visitors without losing sales or valuable data.