3/10/11

Too many tags can slow down page loads, hampering traffic and sales

Retailers should consider whether they need all the outside services that use tags.

Stefany Zaroban , Associate Director of Research

For every extra second a web page takes to load, 10% of traffic is lost, according to TagMan Inc. research.

And, when a retailer has too many tags on its site, the page slows down, says Paul Cook, TagMan CEO. Tags are pieces of code that monitor web site activity, for instance to track the impact of online advertising campaigns or to feed data to analytics programs. They help online retailers determine where shoppers come from when they make a purchase, be it a banner ad, e-mail marketing message or an affiliate, among other purposes.

But the potential impact on performance means retailers cannot afford not to pay attention to the tags on its site, says Cook.

“Retailers are spending all of this money on the performance of their web sites,” he says. “All of that hard work is getting ruined by third-party requests that are blocking the page and adding a two-second delay.”

Retailers can minimize any slowing of page load times by implementing a system that manages tags, says Cook. A tag management system can monitor the tags vendors insert in retailers’ web sites to ensure they are not defective.  Faulty tags or too many tags can slow page loads and even block sites from opening at all.

A tag management system can help retailers clarify where customers are coming from, which allows them to improve the way they pay their marketing partners or affiliates.  Often, multiple commissions are requested from one web purchase, leading some retailers to make duplicate payments. 

“Typically for companies who optimize, they find 20% to 30% percent savings on their affiliate payments,” Cook says. 

For instance, TagMan client Boden, a U.K.-based apparel retailer, uses Cook’s system as a way of controlling commission payments and making sure pages load as quickly as possible. The retailer says that using a single set of tags to determine a shopper’s path has enabled it to reduce by some 10% to 15% the amount it pays online affiliates that display the retailer’s ads.

Topics:

ad tags, online affiliates, site performance, TagMan, Tagman Inc., tags

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