So what do I do next?
Below is our tried and true Tag Management Methodology. This process has been developed as a result of working with hundreds of websites, from Fortune 500 companies to small, independent sites. It applies to organizations of all sizes, across all industries, and we encourage you to implement the methodology within your organization.
Now that you understand where you are and where you need to go, the next step is to perform a complete audit of tags on your website. The top things to review during a tag audit include:
- Missing tags
- Tag performance
- Tag piggy-backing and unapproved 3rd party tags
- Issues with critical tags, such as Google Analytics
A complete tag audit can be performed using Tag Inspector’s patented scanner technology, which allows you to audit your website without deploying any code.
After a needs assessment and a website audit have been completed, the next step is to define a Tag Policy. This includes items such as:
- Which tags are not allowed; for example, certain audience building tags
- Which tags are required to always be present; for example, analytics tags such as Google Analytics
- Which tags need to run from a Tag Management System; for example, all Google Analytics tags must run from Google Tag Manager
- A defined process for adding or removing tags, change management and other processes involved in complete, end-to-end operations of a tag governance team
The Tag Policy is commonly referred to as the “What” of tag management, while the tagging architecture is the “How”. This is where all stakeholders come together and define the required data points for all tags, data layer architecture, approved and required platforms, Tag Management System (TMS) architecture, and the implementation and testing process for tags.
The keys here are having a well defined Tag Policy to inform what needs to be on your website and a deep understanding of data and technical requirements for each of your allowed or required tags.
The Tag Inspector team has built architecture for sites of all sizes, with our expertise rooted in large enterprises. Here are examples of some of the architectures we have helped build and support:
- Large enterprises with over 2000 sites
- Sites serving multi-national audiences with over $1B in annual eCommerce revenue
- The sites of 13 of the 100 most valuable brands in the world
Finally, once the architecture is defined, you will need to test your implementation and establish an ongoing monitoring process. An important component to keep in mind: Technology and business do not stand still! New technology and requirements will be introduced along the way, all while legacy technologies will need to be removed. To keep up, we recommend the 3-step cycle shown above.
The process is never complete. A top challenge for digital marketers and analysts is degradation in data collection quality over time and even the best architecture, if left unsupported or unmonitored, will degrade over time as the site changes. You can use an automated tool, such as Tag Inspector Realtime, to help alleviate this burden plus automatically monitor and alert as issues arise.
The importance of ongoing monitoring is that it gives teams 100% confidence in their data. Access to accurate data is a critical component in understanding your customer’s long-term value and, along with many other metrics, drive an organization’s biggest marketing budget line items: Ad buying and other customer acquisition campaigns.
A well-defined foundation and comprehensive monitoring can be achieved by following the above steps. Let us help you along the way!
Ready for Some Expert Assistance? Tag Inspector is a product of InfoTrust, a global analytics technology and consulting company with a professional services team that is experienced in all tag management processes. Our team can help you migrate some or all of your tags into tag management systems and implement all of the processes and architectures defined in the previous steps.
Tag Inspector Realtime allows ongoing monitoring of all tags firing on a website and reports violations of your Tag Policy as well as provides detailed tag performance and memory usage data, allowing you to detect where your bottlenecks are and what can be changed to improve website performance.