Analytics, Tag Manager & SEO updates

The October 22, 2019 Red update brought several adjustments to how Red manages Google Analytics IDs, Google Tag Manager, and site meta description text.

Google Tag Manager

Site admin action required

The change to Google Tag Manager ID entry will require site admins to re-enter that ID in Theme Guidelines after our update. We are removing the Tag Manager plugin in order to reconfigure the placement of Google Tag Manager scripts on Red to better align with recommendations by Google.

Google Analytics changes

  • Units who have not had Google Analytics IDs added to their sites will now be able to manage that on their own in the Theme Guidelines settings.
  • In addition, we are moving the Analytics scripts higher in the page source as is recommended by Google. For those of you who have GA set on your site, you should not notice any difference in the ability to track analytics. There may be a slight up-tick in pageviews since they are being counted from the beginning of a page load vs. the end of a page load.

SEO changes

example of search results to show the various parts of the entry

Meta Descriptions

Currently, on Red sites, the Meta Description for a page is either automatically pulled from the “Intro Text” body field, or the first text that Google’s search crawlers find on the page. To provide a means for site managers to craft a specific Meta Description that they may not want to appear on a page, we have added a new function on page templates for SEO (see example).

  1. The Page Title for your site
  2. The URL for your site
  3. The Meta Description for your site

The SEO field includes a plain text box for adding the text you want to appear in search results pages. If you do NOT add anything in the SEO field, your search results will remain the same as they currently appear.

We have included some best practices help text to guide your content:

The meta description is a snippet of up to about 155 characters – a tag in HTML – which summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched-for phrase is within the description, so optimizing the meta description is crucial for on-page SEO.