Intro to Tag Management - Analytics Angels

Intro to Tag Managment

Intro to Tag Management

Let’s face it – there are many tools and best practices to tag your campaigns on your website. However, in a 2015 Forrester report, they point out that better tag management solutions (TMS) are a major trend this year as marketers get more into the weeds on complex, multi-channel campaigns.

Tag management is a great tool in the agile marketer’s toolbox. Tags on your website help measure traffic and optimize your online marketing, but all that code is cumbersome to manage, i.e. JavaScript snippets, pixels, or image tags. It often takes too long to get new tags on your site or update existing ones. This can delay your campaign by days or even weeks which makes you miss valuable opportunities to collect data and conversions.

That’s where tag management can step in and make your life a little less hectic. You need a TMS so you can update all tags in one spot instead of editing site code on several pages. This reduces human error, frees you from having to involve IT or a web master, and lets you quickly deploy tags on your site.

Here is a great resource to get you started on your ‘tag management clean-up’ adventure.

Using analytics to plan a website re-design

Something that is on a lot of our minds lately here at Analytics Angels is website re-design. Whether for ourselves or our clients, there are a number of important factors that come into play. Knowing how your website contributes to your business needs and then properly measuring those goals is imperative.

Here are some ways that analytics can get you started on this journey:

  1. Identify how customers are engaging with your current site: Are certain links being clicked? Are my CTAs visible enough? Are customers using the intended conversion path? Is theirs better?
  2. Work on optimizing keywords and make content reachable: look at how your internal site search is used to see what words people are using to find information. What they use is a hint into what is being used in-market.
  3. Make sure your site is compatible with every screen size, device, and OS possible by looking at which one’s visitors are using most in/efficiently.

There are many ways you could go about this process, but knowing how to properly utilize the analytics available to you will empower you and give you results.

Using analytics to refresh or plan new content

When redesigning your new website, analytics can help you better plan that content and make more informed decisions about what kind of content you need. Looking at how previous content has performed can help you decide which pages to make more prominent and/or remove.

Here are a few ways to identify some of your best and worst content:

  • Look at pages with good engagement metrics, i.e. high average time on page, and then dive into which keywords led them there
  • See which landing pages have a high percent of new sessions
  • Pages with unusually high bounce rate should raise a red flag for pages for things like product, however a high bounce rate for a blog post is not uncommon because users will sometimes read the post then leave the site
  • If your page value metrics are high but the traffic is low, the traffic coming is valuable but it is a sign that you should edit this page or campaigns to bring in more traffic

There are many other ways to use analytics to form your top content and reports. We will cover some of those next time. Here is more info in the meantime.

What metrics to measure for an informational website

During one of our clients’ website redesigns here at Analytics Angels, one of the team’s biggest concerns is what the purpose of the website is going to be:  information gathering, brand awareness, or lead generation. This client wants to focus on educating their audience. We talk so much about marketing automation and form fill-outs etc., but what kind of content engagement metrics should we be measuring to make sure visitors are interacting with our site?

Here are a few metrics to track content engagement:

  • Readers: % users who start reading, think of them as partially engaged and partially scrolled down the page
  • Finishers: % users who finish reading before leaving page, think of them as fully engaged and those who scroll to the bottom of your content
  • Time to Finish: how much time users spend on content before bouncing out, this is tracked by the amount of time it takes for Finishers to scroll to the bottom of the whole page

These are custom metrics you will have to set up in your analytics package. Read more on that in Justin Cutroni’s post here, a well-known web analytics evangelist.

What metrics to measure for a lead generating website

Last week we talked about some metrics that should be measured when a site is set up for information gathering and now we’re going to cover some metrics for a lead generating site. Lead generation sites primarily lean on visitors filling out a form, making a phone call, or requesting a demo. These actions need to be tracked as conversions and goals. The most important lead generation metrics are the ones that relate directly to the goal conversions and those include the following:

  • How many conversions are coming through the site?
  • What percentage of website visitors convert?
  • Which channels drive those conversions?

Also, tack on values to each of your goals so you can see how valuable each channel, like SEO or PPC, is for your online marketing efforts. This will help provide and overall picture of conversion data. Make sure that you benchmark your data along the way and compare time periods to each other. The lead generation process needs to constantly improve and historical comparisons will allow you to track progress.

The actual conversion is sort of the end-goal, however you’ll also want to pay attention to micro-conversions on your site or other engagement, like downloading a whitepaper or watching a video. These will give you an idea of what led your visitors to that lead generating conversion.

Tracking vs. tagging for website measurement

We have had some clients designing their website and Analytics Angels has been going through their own website revival as of late as well. One thing that is top of mind right now is how to properly tag these new websites to the the metrics you need to measure marketing campaign performance and optimize your site.

Before we get too deep into the woods on how to actually tag those events, let’s review what kind of different measurements there are and what they mean:

  • Base Metrics Tracking – diagnostic metrics that let you know your website is working correctly, i.e. pageviews, sessions, users, etc.
  • Tagging Value Events – action tracking for all interactions across digital channels, i.e. scrolling down a blog post, hovering over certain images, any microconversion
  • Tagging Conversion Events – the events that specifically tie to ROI for your business, i.e. filling out forms, watching demo videos, and macroconversions
  • Campaign Tracking – using special links to track traffic from all of your channel marketing campaigns, i.e. using metatag parameters

Types of value and conversion tags you need

Last week we learned that there is a difference between basic metrics tracking, value events, conversion events, and campaign tracking in the way you go about tagging/tracking your website. To expound on this a bit, here below are some examples of value and conversion events. Think about these when you go through your site tagging actions that are aligned with your business goals:

Value Events (i.e. micro-conversions)

  • Downloading an ebook or other piece of content
  • Clicking a ‘Learn More’ or ‘Contact Us’ button
  • Sometimes people visit your site only to look for a job, so measure the number of job application form submissions
  • Scrolling through a blog post or news article on investors site

Conversion Events (i.e. macro-conversions)

  • Completed form to download gated content
  • Completed form to contact company
  • Completed form to receive a demo

As a note, you should know that the above examples are for a non-ecommerce site. We used this example because most of our B2B tech clients only have lead gen-based websites.


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