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What is Tag Management and What Does it Mean for Testing?


I’m sure by now you have heard of Tag Management. But what is Tag Management and what does it mean for testing? On a high level, a Tag Management Solution will allow you to manage third-party tag deployments with only one line of code on your pages. A ‘tag’ in this case refers to a snippet of code that is placed in the head of a page or sometimes directly above the closing body html tag. Usually it is either a snippet of JavaScript code or one line that executes a JavaScript file hosted on an external server.

what is tag managementHaving a Tag Management Solution comes with many benefits. One big reason to migrate your tags to a Tag Management Solution is to have one central location to manage tag deployment. This frees up your IT team so they do not have to work within code releases or sprints to add or remove tags. There is also another huge benefit to having your tags in a Tag Management Solution: creating rules for tag deployment. Basically, you can tell the tool what specific conditions are needed on a page to fire a specific tag. For example, you want a Twitter JavaScript tag to be deployed only on blog pages. This kind of rule can be easily setup via the tool with no requests to IT. Performance is another great reason for using a Tag Management Solution. Having your tags fire only on needed pages and having them cached into the solution means greater page performance.

How is this good for testing? Well, most testing tools are implemented using the same methods that are used for any other tags (in the head or somewhere in the body). This means that testing tool tags are a perfect candidate to be added to any Tag Management Solution (Download: 20 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Testing Tool). You don’t need to run your testing tool tags on pages that you are not testing on and that are not in your conversion flow. With a Tag Management Solution you can easily remove them as need with rules. This can save your company tons of money if you are paying for server calls to the testing tool as well. Being able to deploy your testing tool code via rules is also helpful if you have to deploy the tag around specific elements on the page. Most Tag Management Solutions can easily deploy tags this way. Some even use the data layer to provide you with smarter ways of targeting your pages for tag deployment.

What are some ways you have deployed your tags with a Tag Management Solution?