Setting up a tagging server is the first step if you want to implement server-side tagging. Tagging server works as a proxy and communicates between the data source (website, CRM, etc.) and the analytics platform. In this blog post, I want to talk about what tagging server is and how to set up a tagging server URL for the server Google Tag Manager container.
Tagging server works as an intermediary between your data source (website, CRM, etc.) and tracking platforms. The data source firstly sends information about users and events to the tagging server, and then tagging server distributes information to the tracking platforms.
For now, the most popular and the easiest way to integrate server-side tagging is server Google Tag Manager container. You can connect web and server GTM containers and use web GTM as a data source for the sGTM.
When the tagging server URL for sGTM is located in the same domain hierarchy as the website sending the requests, it sets first-party cookies and loads scripts from your domain. It helps to reduce the impact of tracking restriction and increase cookie lifetime.
Server GTM tagging uses concepts familiar to web GTM:
But there are also brand new features:
To get started with server-side tagging using server Google Tag Manager, you need:
The first step is easy to do - you just need to open the Google Tag Manager and create a new container. While tagging server is a new thing for most web analytics.
Tagging server URL works as a proxy in-cloud environment. After tagging server receives requests it distributes them further to other platforms (like Facebook, Google Analytics, etc.).
Using stape, you can create a tagging server URL for your server Google Tag Manager container in one click. When you create a server GTM container on stape, we automatically set up a cloud server on Google Cloud.
stape.io sGTM hosting has these benefits:
1. Open tagmanager.google.com -> Admin -> Click + in the Container section -> Add container name -> Select Server in the Target platform.
2. Choose “Manually provision tagging server,” copy your container config and paste it in any text editor. We will need it for the next steps.
3. Open your stape account.
4. Click "Create Container" and add your Container Name, Container Configuration that you copied from your Google Tag Manager Server Container, and select server location. Click Create Container.
It can take up to 10 minutes to set up a tagging server for you. Once a container status is Running, it means that tagging server for sGTM was created successfully.
5. This step is highly recommended but not required.
Once the container is running, you will see the Tagging Server URL; this URL is located within the stape.io domain by default. We highly recommend setting up a custom domain located within your site domain. It will allow you to set first-party cookies and make tracking more resistant and secure.
To add custom domain, click Edit in the right corner -> Enable the checkbox Use custom domain -> Add the domain name (it can be something.yoursite.com) -> Click Save.
Once done, you should set A record that points to the IP that you see in the stape.io admin. The IP address depends on the server location. DNS settings should be similar to what you see on the screenshot.
It might take up to 72 hours to verify the domain, but it will be confirmed in 3-4 hours in most cases.
Once the domain is verified, you are all set with the tagging server and can move to the sGTM configuration.
6. Google highly recommends updating the WEB GTM code on your site. It would be best if you replaced www.googletagmanager.com with your domain. Make sure that you did not remove /gtm.js.
Updating web GTM code helps to load gtm.js from your domain.
7. Add tagging server URL to the Google Tag Manager Server container. Admin -> settings -> container settings.
8. That's it! Tagging server URL for the sGTM is set up. Now you can proceed with setting up server-side tagging in sGTM. This list of platforms that can be moved to the server-side can help you to get started.
Stape’s hosting for Google Tag Manager is the easiest and most affordable option around. We offer many features that make your tagging experience simple straightforward - and let you get back to what really matters: having proper tracking.
All you have to do is to click Get help, fill-up the form, and we will send you a quote.