How Tags Spoil Everything, Even Game of Thrones

July 13, 2018

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If you’re up on the latest, you know that Maisie Williams (aka Arya Stark aka A Girl) just posted a goodbye message on Instagram as she wrapped up filming Game of Thrones. Underneath a photo of (fake) blood covered sneakers, she wrote: “goodbye belfast. Goodbye arya. Goodbye game of thrones. What a joy I’ve had. Here’s to the adventures to come.” Here’s where it gets interesting: “#lastwomanstanding #barely #immasleepforthenextfouryears #justkiddingidontsleep.” Catch that? “#lastwomanstanding.” As you can expect, the Internet has gone mad. Is this a spoiler? Does Arya win the Game of Thrones? Is she the last left alive? The answer is simply that we don’t know, and once again, tags ruin everything. The same is true with your digital traffic. If you’re directing your visitors to variation pages using JavaScript tags, you’re spoiling the experience.

The Problem with the Tag

Maisie Williams’ potentially harmless tag here tells the reader that she in some way identifies as the last woman standing.” This could mean a lot of things: Is her character alive? Was she the last to wrap up filming? Is it some inside cast joke or phrase? We won’t know until the 2019 release of Season 8.

A similar chain of events happens when you use JavaScript tags to A/B test variations of your website pages. Your page load time slows down, visitors get frustrated and often quit coming to your site altogether. Rather than being direct, tags require an extra step of communication that ends up hindering the whole process. Think of it this way, Williams tagging now means that viewers have to speculate and search for her hidden meaning. That works great when you’re promoting a TV show. Not so great when you’re trying to deliver a seamless customer experience.

Tagless in the Seven Kingdoms

What’s the alternative? Go tag free! Picture this: “goodbye belfast. goodbye arya. goodbye game of thrones. what a joy I’ve had. here’s to the adventures to come.” That’s it. The difference? The message is clear, direct, and satisfying. I want to know more, but I don’t feel compelled to search competitive sites for that information. No disrespect to Williams, but this is a much better way to ensure visitor happiness.

Apply this then to traffic management across your digital channels. Rather than using tags that send your visitors on a chase for something more satisfying, give them exactly what they want. Keep your page load time fast, keep your data accurate, and keep your visitors happy.

Read More in our Game of Thrones Series

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