Tips for Optimizing Third-Party Tags to Speed Up Your Website
1. Give tag management a "Like." Working with web performance monitoring firm Catchpoint, TagMan recently ran some tests and discovered Facebook's like button adds an additional .2 seconds to page load times. This may not seem like a lot of time, but when it's added to the load times for other tags on a site, the results can actually be a few seconds.
We know from studies that a few extra seconds for your page to load can mean a loss in sales, not to mention the repeat business that just left your site. It’s no surprise then that analyst groups like Forrester Research are now recommending tag management systems as a way to mitigate page weight-related issues created by website tags.
2. Work from the top down. Don’t make your visitors wait by loading tags at the bottom first. Always start with tags that are above the fold so the portion of the page viewable to visitors loads more quickly. This is true not only for tags being loaded, but all the properties on your site — images, content and otherwise.
3. Relevance is key. When you load all the tags on a page — even those that are irrelevant to the visitor — you not only slow down the page but also ignore all the data you may already have on that visitor. For example, you don’t need to load an affiliate tag if a visitor came to your site from an email. Or if a visitor is searching for a low-margin product, you probably don’t need to load live chat. Aligning the tags you serve with visitor data improves results.
Tags will continue to play a critical role in the digital marketplace for the foreseeable future, and their numbers will only increase over time. The key is to optimize tags, not remove them, so your tracking data isn’t lost and your site pages don’t lag.