Speed is one of the most important factors when considering user experience.
The average page load speed in 2018 is 8.66 seconds, but the recommended load speed is just 3 seconds. With page abandonment hitting roughly 25% after 4 seconds and continuing to climb with each passing moment, a slow-loading site is a major problem.
There are a number of ways to speed up your site, and we’ve explored some of them here. One method that many people overlook is the implementation of Google Tag Manager (GTM). In this article, we explain how.
How Can GTM Help Improve My Page Load Speed?
GTM is a software solution designed to help you easily manage the way you track visitors to your website. It has been created with marketers in mind, so you won’t find yourself baffled by jargon and technical complexities.
There are three key ways GTM can help your site run with a little more pace, and they are listed below.
Removing Old or Unused Tags and Code
When moving your tags over to GTM, you’ll need to decide which need to be carried over. In many cases, tags that were important based on past functionalities may now be redundant, and for this reason, you’ll be able to make a considered decision as to which tags stay and which tags go.
Furthermore, before the introduction of GTM, any data from a user (e.g. items in a cart) would have to be collated on each individual page. Additional data processing meant more code, which in turn meant a slower page load speed. But with the advent of data layers enabled by GTM, the information can now be pulled from the data layer rather than needing to be reconsolidated every time the user navigates to a new page.
This way a single line of code can replace hundreds spread across each page of your site, which is particularly useful for page load speed on ecommerce sites that may feature reams of products and category pages.
Adding Blocking Triggers
GTM allows you to add tags with relative ease, so when moving your tags over you may want to be reasonably ruthless as each additional tag contributes to your site’s load speed. With this in mind, you can also determine the granularity of your triggers, as this helps your site to load faster.
There may be tags on your site that you don’t want to fire in different circumstances, and by limiting the tags through the implementation of blocking triggers, you can help speed up your site.
Asynchronous loading is the process by which pages load certain elements before moving on to others. This method means that those elements towards the top of a page can be loaded first, allowing users to peruse them while the other elements continue to load.
Asynchronous loading is hardly a new concept - it was introduced around 2009 with Google Analytics - but it’s nonetheless an essential part of improving page load speed. It’s especially relevant for websites with significant mobile traffic as a far more significant portion of the page appears below the fold on a mobile device. Subsequently, this improves the speed of elements visible to the user and reduces page abandonment drastically.
Considering the average mobile page load speed is 22 seconds, and that 53% of people leave after just 3 seconds, a page which loads asynchronously helps present your users with a fast experience that keeps them on your site.
Usually, GTM’s features serve to provide additional tools to help you understand user behaviour, but in this case, you can see that using it can help boost page load speed and convince people to stay on your site, moving through to your key conversion goal.