Page Performance & Tag Management
Posted in: Speed Up Tips   -   August 31, 2012

Page performance is one of the first digital touchpoints a prospect or customer has with a brand. Not surprisingly, it is also one of the biggest drivers of satifaction (or dissatifaction) and engagement (or abandonment).

The interesting thing about optimizing page load time is that it almost always entails aggregating a number of individual improvements to drive a meaningful performance lift–it might entail improving the design itself, the server technology, caching, the page code, image optimization, CDNs, compression, asset consolidation, tag management, DNS geographic load balancing, SSL optimization, and more.

That is what is great about the Speed Awareness Month service bundle—it brings a number of complementary and best-in-breed solutions together to both improve page performance and monitor progress over time. And it is structured such that there’s no reason not to try them to measure the upside for your particular situation.

Tag Management Matters

Tag Management is a core component of optimizing site performance. UberTags’ Tag Management System can help drive down page load times by loading your tracking tags and third party scripts asynchronously or in parallel.

Here’s what happens today: when your browser gets to a typical tag, it needs to stop doing everything else while it loads and executes the tag. So it’s…one…at…a…time. Particularly for sites with lots of tags, it’s easy to see how tags can comprise over half of a page’s load time. A related issue is that if just one of these tags is slow/down, it blocks subsequent tags from firing and the page from completing. This blatant customer experience impact is one of the reasons why tagging seems so fragile.

It Can Be Worse

Not only can scripts delay page load time, third party scripts can cause your site to load significantly slower. If you are importing a library, like Twitter’s @Anywhere, you cannot always expect for Twitter to serve this file perfectly every time. If their servers are having issues, your browser will cease until the request returns a failure response.

Asynchronous Loading

As the number of tags grows, so will be benefit of loading them in parallel, or asynchronous loading. This also reduces the dependencies–with UberTags, a slow vendor has minimal customer experience impact and doesn’t prevent subsequent tags from firing. The result is a faster load, better operations, and a superior customer experience.

Jeremy Bieger (@jeremybieger) is the founder of UberTags, a tag management system that improves website load time and maintainability related to managing third-party code snippets.

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