Most modern websites are a cloud of pre-built elements and embedded plug-ins designed to present visitors with rich sets of content and functionality. They provide site owners with detailed insights and opportunities to influence visitor behaviour and experience, both while on the site, or after they have left. And the code that enables this is often delivered from many different host domains in a way that is entirely invisible to the average visitor.
These third party tags are powerful ways to rapidly build effective and engaging digital experiences, however they can also expose both you and your visitors to hidden risks, and sometimes costs as well. It is therefore very important for businesses to keep track of all the tags in their sites, understand the risks they pose, and make sure they are regularly assessed to ensure they are in line with both policy and any agreements with suppliers that often underpin their use.
Unfortunately this is not always easy, particularly if you have several websites and different people across the organisation managing them. What actually happens is that tags get added over time, but very rarely removed, even when relationships with tag providers end or change. Even when organisations use tag management technology – this is more about the technical side of adding tags than managing the policies around their use.
Left unmanaged, tags can over time become unaccounted risks, both to security and personal data compliance. They can leak visitor data to third parties, even give competitors an advantage. And they can slow down page loads, uneccessarily affecting SEO and usability. The performance considerations of excessive tag use has been a significant driver in the growth of ad-blocking technology.
What organisations need therefore are policies for Tag Governance, and the tools to enforce them. Tag Governance is about monitoring the use of tags on your sites, and making sure they are verifiably removed when they are no longer needed, or shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
This is where the Optanon Website Auditor helps. It gives you a tool to monitor your tag use over time, know when campaign tags haven’t been removed when they should, and make sure that unauthorised tag use can be quickly detected and therefore removed.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you with Tag Governance, please get in touch.