How to Optimise Your Google Tag Manager Performance for Faster Site Speed

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Managing website tags and tracking codes can be a headache, especially when you’re dealing with various marketing platforms like Google Ads. But that’s where Google Tag Manager (GTM) comes into play – a powerful tool for managing various marketing tags on your website without needing to modify the code directly.  When managed properly, GTM can not only enhance your website’s performance on the search engine itself but also improve user experience and boost your site’s SEO rankings. However, when managed incorrectly, the tool can actually slow your site down.

So, what’s the best way to manage and use Google Tag Manager? You might not have all the answers, but we do.

Why Is Google Tag Manager Optimisation So Important?

As we said before, a correctly managed GTM can benefit your site, while the opposite can do some unwanted damage. A Google Tag Manager system that’s not optimised can negatively impact your website’s performance and your business’s success online. The way Google Tag Manager works is by allowing you to manage and deploy marketing tags, such as Google Analytics tracking codes, Facebook Pixel, and conversion tracking, without the need for manual code changes. However, if these tags are not optimised and managed efficiently, you’ll begin to experience slow page loading times, a loss of user engagement, and ultimately, a decrease in potential conversions.

How Do I Optimise My Google Tag Manager Account?

Fortunately, optimising your Google Tag Manager performance doesn’t have to be difficult. Once you know the basics and how to perform them, your account will be easily managed, and the risk of negative impacts to your site will be reduced.

Minimise Your Google Tags

Every time a tag is added to your site, you’re also adding new codes and resources, which can contribute to longer page loading times. Reducing the amount of unnecessary tags or redundant tags on your site will significantly help boost your site speed. The best way to reduce the number of Google Tags on your site is to conduct a thorough audit of your GTM container and identify any irrelevant tags.

You can also consolidate multiple tags into single, streamlined implementations. Combining tags reduces the number of HTTP requests made by your website, resulting in faster load times.

Avoid Synchronous Loading

Synchronous loading in Google Tag Manager is where tags are instructed to load one after another. This drains your server’s resources and impacts your site speed. Asynchronous tag loading is the more sustainable and efficient option.

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Use GTM’s Tag Sequencing Feature

If a tag is dependent on another to work efficiently and is not sequenced properly, this can affect your site speed. Luckily, Google Tag Manager has a sequencing feature to reduce this issue, allowing you to control the order of the dependent tags.

Review Tag Firing Triggers

Tags fire due to a custom event, such as page loads, clicks, form submissions or specific user interactions. By reviewing each tag’s trigger, you can ensure these tags are firing accurately and efficiently. In your review, consider whether the triggers align with your website’s goals and user behaviour, adjusting them where necessary.

When your tag triggers are optimised for efficient firing, you’ll notice an improvement in site performance and your organisation’s marketing efforts.

Allow Built-In Variables

Google Tag Manager’s built-in variables provide access to valuable data without needing to add extra tags to retrieve it. An example of this is the ‘Page Path’ variable, which allows you to see user navigation patterns on your site. Instead of manually configuring tags to track page paths, you can utilise this built-in variable to streamline your tag management process.

Set Up a Content Security Policy

Your Content Security Policy (CSP) allows you to make sure that only trusted sources can access your site, protecting it from potential security threats. Implementing a CSP will minimise unauthorised site access and malicious activities, and enhance your site’s security and performance.

Use Server-Side Tagging

Instead of relying solely on client-side processes, server-side tagging shifts some of the workload to your server. This lets you mitigate issues like ad blockers or slow internet connections that can affect traditional client-side tagging.

But remember, there are some tags that rely on client-side interaction or user-specific data, so when implementing server-side tagging make sure to avoid these tags.

Review Your GTM Container

It’s important to monitor and review your Google Tag Manager container regularly in order to remove any unnecessary components. These include unused tags, variables or triggers. Having an excess amount of unused components can contribute to a slow site speed.

Let BFJ Digital Manage Your GTM Account For You

Setting up your Google Tag management system to maximise your site’s efficiency can be a daunting, intricate task. Luckily for you, the experts at BFJ Digital are more than happy to take this responsibility off your hands – allowing you more time to focus on other aspects of your business. Our team will ensure that every aspect is utilised for maximum site operational efficiency, and is configured to meet your specific needs and objectives, whether it’s tracking conversions, monitoring user behaviour, or optimising marketing campaigns.