A Viget Glossary: What We Mean and Why it Matters - Part 4
Melissa Southern, Former Senior Project Manager
Building a shared lexicon with clients is an important first step for any project. We’ve compiled a cross-discipline list of commonly-used, but often-misunderstood, terms used at Viget.
The tags we’re discussing here are different than tags that might be used in a CMS to categorize content. In digital marketing and analytics, tags are snippets of code provided by analytics or marketing tools, which are used to integrate their services onto a site or application. They’re called tags because they’re usually surrounded by the HTML tags <script> or <img>. They often load files that are hosted on these third-party tools’ domains.
A pixel, which is loaded by a tag, helps analytics and advertising platforms track purchases or other desired actions. A tracking pixel loads when a visitor loads a page or interacts with a site. It measures their activity — often through query parameters that dynamically change on the image URL — reporting back to analytics tools (via a server) about what kind of content a user interacted with, and what ads they clicked on, if any. It’s called a pixel because it’s a tiny 1x1 image file that is embedded on a page.
A cookie is a snippet of information that is placed onto a user’s browser by a web server or a script. It can store information such as whether you’ve already logged in to a site. It doesn’t not apply across multiple browsers. The goal of a cookie is to help a website identify a user or attributes about a user.
Having too many tags can impact a site’s load time and performance, and incorrect GTM settings can affect the accuracy of a site’s collected data. Reach out to discuss an audit of your site and analytics profile and don't miss parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series.