Google have introduced a new tag management service that allows website owners to streamline the process of managing analytics, advertising, and conversion tags on their site.
Anyone working in online marketing will be familiar with the headaches involved in managing the snippets of code that need to be included in sites to provide the necessary metrics for tracking site performance. Often these tags have to be tweaked or added and removed fairly frequently, and coordination between marketers and webmasters is often not as seamless as it might be.
With Google’s new tag manager, web developers will be able to add one code snippet to a page, and then allow marketers to manage the rest from a dashboard. Google Tag Manager has the potential to significantly increase the responsiveness and flexibility of tracking a site’s analytics. The new service includes a number of features to streamline the process of adding and monitoring tags, including easy testing to ensure that tags added to a page are functioning as they should, version control so that users can roll back changes should they need to, and multi-account and user permission provisions, so that marketing agencies can manage the analytics and conversion tracking snippets on their client’s sites.
One of the especially useful features of the service is the ability to design custom rules and macros and attach them to particular snippets. This means that tags can be activated for particular pages in specific circumstances without ever having to modify the code of those pages.
A major problem with including a large number of tags in a page is a slowdown in page load time. Google Tag Manager loads all tags asynchronously, in parallel with other page elements, and uses smart caching so that there is less lag caused by snippet loading.
There are definitely some possible drawbacks to using Google for tag management. Some in the field have voiced concerns that using Google’s services limits the choice that businesses have with regard to using competing digital marketing technologies. Google don’t have much incentive to work towards properly integrating the marketing tools offered by their competitors. And of course, there’s the ever present concern that this is another means by which Google will collect data about your business, so there is a trust issue.
What do you think? Will Google Tag Manager prove a useful tool for your sites? Do you plan on using it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.