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Container Tags Can Save Time and Resources

It is a well-known issue for digital advertising agencies and expert PPC and analytics agencies in particular – tracking and tagging the right events and conversions on a client’s site by implementing the right scripts to accurately measure the success of marketing initiatives, page traffic and site usage. The problem I am referring to that can arise is not the actual tracking software, but the correct setup on the client side.

If you provide paid search marketing, you will often require your client to implement the AdWords conversion code somewhere on their site to track how many leads or sales have been generated by your campaigns. So far so good – you will contact your client, who will forward the request to their IT, who will implement the script for you and ideally it will work as intented. If the script has not been correctly placed, you will have to repeat this procedure. The larger a client, the longer it can take to forward your request through all the necessary instances. Now you also want to remarket certain sections of the site by placing individual scripts on pages of these sections and showing users who have looked at washing mashines different ads than users who have demonstrated interest in high-end gaming PCs. You will have to explain your exact requirements to the client again, who will have to execute the implementation of the needed scripts for you. This costs both you and the client time, resources, and therefore money. If you are offering web analytics advice and implementation, the list goes on .. events want to be tracked, user behaviour measured, e-commerce scripts enabled and tracking scripts amended. Every time a change is needed a new communication process will have to be initiated.

Container tags can take care of this issue for you. A number of different vendors with varying service and pricing models have come up over the last year. These so-called tag management solutions provide you with a JavaScript tag similar to any other tag you would use for Google AdWords or Analytics. However, this tag can contain numerous other tags which you can specify and edit at any given time using a web interface. So you would simply ask your client to implement one single tag across their whole site, and you can take care of the rest. You can include AdWords, Analytics and any other scripts you need in this tag – it empowers you to immediately make changes when needed and to always stay on top of tracking traffic and conversions in the correct way. I think that all of these systems provide you with the possibility to only place certain tags on certain pages you define, and many allow you to pull data from the HTML of a page (or, better, data layers – see reference below for more on this topic) and amend your tracking accordingly (great for instance if you are using Google Analytics e-commerce tracking).

There are of course also downsides to using container tags for your tracking. If you would like to read up on these and find out more about tag management, I highly recommend Google’s Justin Cutroni’s concise and highly informative article on the state and possible implementations of tag management here: http://cutroni.com/blog/2012/05/14/make-analytics-better-with-tag-management-and-a-data-layer/

About Matthias Wobrock

Matthias is our Digital Analytics guru. It would be hard to find a more precise and thorough analytical mind than our “Mattalyics” – as he is fondly referred to around the office! Having run large scale global Google and Social Media campaigns, Matt has an in depth understanding of marketing data, optimisation and usability. He uses his acute analytical skills to summarise large volumes of data, identify trends in areas like consumer behaviour and purchasing decisions and offer actionable strategies. He not only speaks 5 languages (German, English, Spanish, French & Portuguese) but boasts degrees in Computational Linguistics and Information Science. Although he assures us it was the allure of working for Traffic Brand that encouraged him to stay in Cape Town, we think we may have been second in line to the enticing windsurfing prospects!

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  1. Welcoming Google Tag Manager - Traffic Brand - October 4, 2012

    […] is really just an extension from a previous article published on these pages, Container Tags Can Save You Time and Resources. Google has officially launched Tag Manager, a one-stop-shop for managing all your marketing […]

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