9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog
Where automotive meets digital marketing.
The Internet is plastered with ubiquitous snippets of code — Google Analytics, social media connections, AdWords, AdRoll, HubSpot, the list goes on and on. For car dealers, marketing agencies and small business owners alike, these tags are necessary. But they can be a mess if you're not using Google Tag Manager.
The typical way to add these tags to your website is to place them in the source code. You may be able to do this yourself, or you may have to go through a webmaster to make sure it’s done correctly. Before long, you have several snippets of code in your website's header and footer and only the vaguest idea of what tag is what. Need to replace or update a tag? Good luck!
This is where Google Tag Manager comes in. Google Tag Manager should be the one and only tag you install directly on your auto website.
What is Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is a tag to install on your website like any other. Once you install it, future tag management will be a breeze. Google Tag Manager provides a clean designed, easy to use interface to manage your tags. No more sifting through the code. Instead, click a few buttons, save, and your tags are live!
Google Tag Manager also gives you more control over your tags. You can choose when they “fire,” limiting them to certain pages to track events. You can also limit who tags fire for based on referral traffic, or what URL they’re coming from. For example, you could fire an event to log when someone visits your contact form after viewing a new vehicle description page.
If you’re doing A/B testing, you won’t have to edit three different pages, adding separate tag codes to each. Google Tag Manager allows you to control all three codes from one central location. Name the tags intuitively according to their purpose and use a folder to keep them together. Editing or ending the test, it’ll only take a minute and a couple of clicks.
To be effective in online automotive marketing, you have to be agile. Measuring and responding to results is key to a successful digital marketing strategy.
With Google Tag Manager, you can give your marketing team the ability to easily add common tags, effectively set up tests and track events like form submissions without having to touch a line of code.
You can also make sure things work before they go live by previewing and testing tag changes. You can even assign your marketers access for adding tags without giving them the ability to publish them live, so you can review and test them yourself before deploying.
If something does break, your Google Tag Manager maintains a log of all changes, so undoing a mistake is a breeze.
Improved Website Performance
Each tag on your dealership site has to be downloaded and executed. Then it communicates with its host site on every page load. As you add tags to your website, you’re increasing the size and load time of your site — potentially by a lot. Google Tag Manager helps improve this in a number of ways.
Asynchronous Tag Loading
If you install a tag directly in the header of your dealership site, it can cause your page loading to pause while waiting for the tag. Google Tag Manager addresses this issue by loading the tags independently of one another while the rest of the site is loading. A slow-loading tag won’t slow down the rest of your site. Meanwhile, fast-loading tags can start working right away.
Smart Tag Caching
Google minimizes the number of requests made to their and other servers by using intelligent caching. Google Tag Manager reduces the number of servers you have to reach to download tags. Instead of downloading all of your tags on every page load, Tag Manager ensures you only download what’s absolutely necessary.
Prevent Old Tag Creep
With changes in software and technology and a constantly revolving door of tests and campaigns, your dealership site is going to have many tags come and go. If you’re installing tracking codes in your pages' source code, you’ve almost certainly lost track of what was installed, when it was installed, and sometimes even why.
While excess tags can have a negative impact on your site performance, it’s scary to delete a tag if you’re not sure whether it’s still necessary.
Google Tag Manager allows you to see exactly when each tag was installed. By organizing them in folders and naming them intuitively, you can easily account for your tags at a glance.
Your auto site is useless if you can’t measure its effectiveness, track results and engage with your customers. That’s why tags on your website are crucial. But they can be confusing and impact the performance of your site. Google Tag Manager makes managing the tags on your site a breeze.