Increase Your Website’s Speed with Google Tag Manager
It has always been the case that site speed effects bounce and conversion rates. However, it is more relevant today than it ever has been thanks to the use of mobile devices. Almost 50% of web users expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less. According to Google, if you can increase your site speed by 3 seconds you can lower your bounce rate by 13%.
“Slow is always bad, especially in mobile. It hurts performance, in terms of site abandonment, bounce rates, conversation rates and retention.” – Google
It is no longer an option for you to disregard your site’s load time. There are many ways that you can improve your site’s speed. We’ve talked about a few of them on our blog post ‘Best Practices for Better Visibility’. In this post, we are going to focus on another method you can use to decrease your site’s load time, Google Tag Manager.
Site tracking codes
As with most modern sites, you or your web developer have likely embedded tracking codes in your website’s head tag. These scripts are important marketing tools for analytics, A/B testing, Heatmaps, the list goes on. As a result of using these tags, your site’s load time can dramatically increase.
Thankfully, there’s a solution for that, hence the reason for this post. Rather than place all of your tracking scripts in your head tag you can replace them with Google Tag Manager. Doing so will allow your scripts to load asynchronously and therefore increase your site speed.
Triggering your scripts
One of the most noteworthy features within GTM is your ability to trigger scripts based on certain conditions. It’s more than likely that your current scripts are triggered on most if not all pages of your website. With Tag Manager, you can set your scripts to fire on just mobile devices or on certain pages. You even have the option to set your own conditions by writing some code.
By opting to trigger your tags only under certain conditions, you increase the site speed of the pages that don’t require them.
Before you hurry off to get Google Tag Manager it’s a good idea to check what your current site speed is. Conveniently, Google also offers two tools to check. The first tool is PageSpeed Insights, again we’ve mentioned this tool in a previous blog post. This tool breaks down each element that is slowing down your site.
The second tool is testmysite.withgoogle.com. This tool test’s your website’s performance and is specifically geared towards mobile devices. You may notice a difference between the two tools. This is because the second tool uses a 3g connection to test your site speed. It lets you know what percentage of users are likely to drop out based on your website’s response time.
Finally, when switching to GTM you should go through each tag and ask yourself, are still relevant to your site. Many web developers will leave redundant tags in place. If you no longer use them, dump them.