Tag Management Best Practices: Only Use ONE tag container

My first few posts in this series have established why marTech Ecosystem health matters, and shown some ways to measure the impact marTech is having on your site. Now I’m going to talk about some ways to minimize any negative impact.

Often, an agency will ask you to add another tag container to your site. This is especially true if you’re on Adobe Launch, which many agencies aren’t as comfortable with as GTM. There are two reasons to NOT a second tag container to your site:

1. Impact to Page Performance. TMS files and extensions/tag templates do have some inherent weight to them- code that must be run on every page so that the TMS knows what other code to bring in. An empty GTM container with no tags, triggers, or variables in it, is around 33 KB. If you add a single Google Adwords conversion pixel using the Adwords Tag Template, that adds another 20 KB. An entirely empty Adobe Launch library is nearly 10KB. Once you start adding rules and tags, a TMS can easily become one of the single heaviest assets on many sites.

2. Loss of Control. Let’s say you notice a “clarity.js” file throwing an error on your site, but to your knowledge you aren’t deploying anything called clarity.js. If you’re spread between two Tag Management containers, it can be hard enough to establish that no one is deploying that tag directly. Once you track down that that file is being deployed by Bing, you need to find all the Bing tags and disable or modify them, and you need to do it quickly to get rid of that error. That kind of agility and knowledge of your own ecosystem becomes very difficult if you’re spread between tools. You should have one point of entry for tags to your site, and you should watch that entry point carefully.

Sometimes, adding a second tag container is unavoidable, but it should never be done without thinking about the risks.

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