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Ian Lowe Posted by Ian Lowe April 08, 2019

The Final Four: How Hidden Web Tags Categorically Hurt Business

Running an enterprise website can be a lot like March Madness, the NCAA Basketball Championship season that is famously unpredictable. Which is great, except “unpredictable” is not a word you want associated with the web properties your company depends on to run its business. You want to deliver an experience that’s reliably fast and secure. 

Unfortunately, many companies are unaware of a potential threat to their sites’ speed and security, already deeply embedded in their websites: the secondary tags (commonly called collectively third-party tags or scripts)that their implementation of widely used marketing technology tools (“martech stack”) might pull on to their properties. 

Unpacking the martech stack

In today’s intensely competitive environment, delivering a slam-dunk customer experience requires the right tools. Marketers can choose from nearly 7,000 martech tools to help them deliver, measure, personalize, and optimize digital experiences across every customer touchpoint. By all measures, the martech stack provides invaluable insight that helps modern marketers deliver experiences that attract, win and retain customers.

But as martech tools proliferate, so do related risks. Without solid knowledge and control of vendor tags and the relationships they have with other vendors, the sheer number of hidden third-party tags invariably slows page response times, and increases the risk of introducing unknown elements, including those lurking on the "dark web," onto your website. 

The Final Four threats to your business

Without proper knowledge and control of third-party tags, your web properties are subject to four categories of threats that can deliver a serious, if not final, blow to your business. 

 Escalating risk 

  • A survey of marketing executives found that 63% saidtheir team uses between six and 20 different pieces of technology. 
  • Separately, 62% of CMOs plan to increase martechspend in 2019. 
  • The top thousand most-visited sites in the U.S. use an average of 75 technologies.
  • Martech tools account for 22% of marketing budget spend.

Poor page performance

  • The average page load time for the top 50 news sites with web tags that track activity is 9.4 seconds,compared to 2.69 without. 
  • An average number of web tags results in 6.7 seconds of additional page load time. 

Lost revenues 

  • A single improper third-party tag caused a four-second slowdown on a popular online retailer’s site. After the offending tag was removed, revenues increased by 26%.
  • Publishers with a page load time of up to 19 seconds had half the advertising revenues of those with sub-five second page loads.
  • If a mobile page takes longer than three seconds to load, 53% of people will leave. 

Exposure to data breach

  • A breach that took root through third-party apps resulted in the compromise of 50 million Facebook users’ data. 
  • A British Airways data breach believed to be a result of malicious code added to its websites caused the financial records of 400,000 customers to be exposed. 

Be a champ and take the first step

Clearly, finding and eliminating unwanted web tags rids your site of a primary source of page latency, and candirectly boost revenues. Get on the road to being a champion of automated tag control: learn more about the impact of hidden web tags from our new infographic, and then get a demo of the industry’s leading tag control solution.

Want to learn more about hidden web tags and how to prevent the bad ones from hurting your business? Sign up for our “Get the hidden web tags out” email series.