Tags, how important are they?

Thu 23 July 2009 09:02, Bas van den Beld

Tags, how important are they?

Everybody uses tags. The keywords which describe the content of page and which make it possible to organize content easier. It can be a usefull tool for measuring and controling your online marketing activities. And thats where Tagman focusses on.

Paul Cook thinks tags are very important. That's het set up Tagman, in his own words the "world first Tag Management System". We got to talk to him about the tool and the future of tags.

Cook believes the tags are essentially data points for companies wishing to interface with third parties. He continues:

"Advances in behavioural marketing and optimisation as well as new tools to help companies improve conversion means the number of tags companies need to deploy is going up exponentially. I think this is reflected in our client base, which is split almost 50/50 between the UK and Europe even though we don’t have a sales office in North America. Just as nobody would attempt to build a website without a content management system, the time has come to stop hard-coding tags into pages and for companies to invest in a dedicated Tag Management System"

Cook noticed that companies really struggle with tagging. That gave him the idea to setup Tagman: "We found that companies really struggled with tagging, which would limit their use of the more advanced parts of our service that could deliver them the most value. Some of the ad serving companies had started to produce piggy back tag solutions that would solve part of a company' s tag management requirements but they were just as hard to install as traditional tags and why go through all of that hassle for only a partial solution ?  So we set out to develop a comprehensive solution that was a standalone product, which was easier to implement that traditional page tagging."

He explains that TagMan is a cross between a Content Management System, an Ad Server and a Web Analytics platform: "The core idea is a single tag that goes across your entire website and takes care of all of your tagging needs. As well as providing a user interface that allows marketers to manage their own tags, the system also includes a comprehensive online marketing tracking solution that means you can serve tags based on recent exposure to marketing activity. We ran a survey last year and found that by using conditional tags to prevent two affiliates being paid for the same conversion, companies stand to save 14% of their CPA marketing budget, on average."

Integration of third-party tools  is part of the core package. Should companies require raw data feeds of ad serving or search data because they do not get this data from ad serving or analytics suppliers then this is an add-on. "TagMan is designed to work with any ad server, web analytics platform or advertising network. We allow companies to plug these services into their websites very easily and then provide consistent tracking solution that can be applied everywhere."

Cook has got big plans for Tagman: "The next significant change is to support more sophisticated  models for tracking marketing effectiveness that can be used to drive tag-based marketing attribution. Instead of a simple first or last click wins approach, the next version of TagMan allows revenue to be attributed to multiple affiliates based on where they are in the path to conversion as well as the other marketing events such as banner views and natural search."

For Tagman tags are core. But will a system like this change the way people look at and use tags? You tell us. How are you using tags?

Post updated because comments showed it wasn't clear enough what I was talking about. Tagman is about serving tags based on online marketing activity.

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Comments (6)


  • Very interesting. I'm running a user community based upon "Community Server". And here tagging is supposed to be done by the user who is posting. That is very difficult to teach the users. Often I have dreamed a tag management system, that would allow me easier to categorize my content.
    So it was an interesting article, but I think the article doesn't really answer the core question: HOW IMPORTANT ARE TAGS? Especially in the SEO?

    Do 23 jul 2009, 10:51

  • Err...I think you misunderstand what the definition of 'tag' is here.

    Tagman is NOT at all about the tags we know from blogs or other social sites. Tagman is about tags to track online marketing campaigns.

    So, how important are tracking tags? They are very important to measure the effectiveness of your online marketing!

    And for how important social tags are, that's worth a whole other discussion :)

    Do 23 jul 2009, 11:20

  • EHm you're right Eduard, the second paragraph was too short to make a good introduction, I started of one way and ended up the other way...

    Tagman is about more than tags on a blog. I should have added another paragraph. Thanks for the comment!

    Do 23 jul 2009, 11:28

  • Ok yes I think you're right. But I was the picture and the talk about the "tag cloud" that got me confused. But if it's not about the tags from blogs or social sites, then I have no idea what this article was about!

    Do 23 jul 2009, 11:41

  • Tags are very important indeed! Having worked in web analytics for around 5 years now, with the advance of java based analytics tracking, tags are even more important.

    Having setup and implemented tags across many different analytics vendors, I think it's great that a solution like this has come along. If you've got a few suppliers all fighting for tag inclusion, getting them all online can be quite a drawn out process. Anything that reduces the overhead of tagging is appreciated!

    Di 28 jul 2009, 11:01

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