Understanding user actions on your site can be the difference between success and failure. By analyzing users' behaviors, you will have a better idea of what they are interested in why they are leaving. It also allows communicating more personalized offers relevant to each customer specifically.
One of the most popular ways of tracking is Google Tag Manager. It allows you to quickly and easily update measurement scripts and related code fragments (collectively known as tags) on your website or mobile app.
In 2020, Google introduced a server-side container for Google Tag Manager. It can work together with the web GTM container and use web GTM as a data source; or independently and use webhooks, CRM data, or any other requests as a data source. So, is it necessary to switch to the server-side method of tracking?
In this article, I will talk about how server-side tracking differs from client-side, highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each system, and explain why Stape hosting is the best solution if you want to set up server GTM.
Client-side tracking is a common type of tracking where the user's browser interacts directly with analytics services. When a site page loads, the container is loaded simultaneously, tracking codes are triggered, and all interaction data is sent to analytics services. Such services can be Google Analytics as well as Google Ads and others.
In the last few years, client-side tracking has been failing. Namely, the speed of the page decreased sharply, problems with security and with third-party cookies appeared. All because of heavy scripts (which overload the site), unwanted data leakage, low control, and increase of ad-blockers.
This is when server-side tracking comes along to deal with these issues. It is becoming more popular, transparent, and accessible.
Server-side tracking is a different new type of tracking that involves a server instead of a client. You create, install and manage it yourself.
The working principle is the same as in client-side tracking, but with one additional step - it is a cloud server container. It is on that server that the tag manager gets the data from the browser and then redirects it to the analytics systems.
Instead of sending event data directly to analytics services, the data is sent first to sGTM and only then to the analytics services you use. User requests go to the server, then the Client transforms them into event data handled by tags, triggers, and other variables.
Server-side tracking can speed up your site, handle data loss due to ITPs, iOS restrictions and reduce the impact of AdBlockers. This is all for two reasons: using a custom subdomain for server-side tracking, which sets first-party cookies and server-side data streams that can't be blocked or detected.
Server-side tracking can significantly improve the page speed by replacing third-party tracking scripts with server-side integration. Check this blog post to see the list of all platforms that support server-side tracking.
SS tagging is the best way to keep your customers and event data safe. Vendors have access only to data configured in the request. They do not have any technical possibilities to see other user or event information. While with client-side tagging, scripts can collect any information they want.
Last but not least is the ability to set first-party cookies. It is possible only if you use a custom subdomain for your tagging server. A custom subdomain should be located under the same hierarchy as your main site. For example, if your site is example.com, your sGTM subdomain should look like sgtm.example.com. In this case, Facebook, Google Analytics, or any other platforms that are using server-side integration will be able to set cookies from your domain name - first-party cookies.
But there are also two main disadvantages of ss tagging: cost and complexity. The critical component of ss tagging are cloud servers that handle all requests data, and you need to pay for servers separately. Though sGTM looks similar to the web one, the logic of setting up ss tagging is entirely different. It may result in misunderstands and complications when building ss tags.
|Benefit||Client-side tagging||Server-side tagging|
Stape hosting for server Google Tag Manager is the cheapest and easiest way to set up a cloud tagging server for sGTM. Using stape, you can set up an sGTM tagging server with one click. We offer a free plan for small sites and two plans for the bigger ones: Pro ($20/month) and Business ($100/month).
Google recommends using at least 3 cloud servers per container in the production environment for redundancy, and it will cost $120/month on Google App Engine. We offer the same setup for $20.
Server-side tracking is a powerful tool that has a number of advantages and eliminates all of the problems from client-side tracking. However, it also has some disadvantages that you should consider before implementing it on your site.
Website page speed optimization was one of the essential benefits that marketers and web developers saw when the first version of Google Tag Manager was released. It was supposed to happen because tracking scripts would no longer be hardcoded but would be added through Google Tag Manager. So, does the GTM web container speed up your site? This article will showcase how moving to the GTM server from Google Tag Manager Web Container can speed up your website. Please note that you won’t see any pagespeed improvements if you’ll combine server and browser tracking. For example, your site’s pagespeed won’t increase if you use both Facebook pixel and Conversion API. In this case, FB pixel will still work in user’s browsers and slow your site.Oct 4, 2020
Collecting data about your website visitors is critical for analyzing and improving the online business presence, reaching users, and converting them into customers. However, collecting data is becoming more problematic because of Intelligent Tracking Prevention, AdBlockers, and a decrease in cookie lifetime. Google Analytics and other similar tools will start seeing fewer data about your website visitors and giving you less information to analyze.Sep 30, 2020
In this article, I want to tell you about a new feature from Google Tag Manager – Server-Side Tagging. GTM server-side is a hot topic right now for all marketers, website owners, and developers. The main change in this technology is moving tracking from client-side to server-side. This functionality allows you to hide business logic in the server code, speed up website loading, and improve the protection of user data by restricting access to third-party scripts.Oct 22, 2021
Server-side tracking technology is a growing trend in website analytics. It allows for improved data analysis, faster website page loads, and more secure user information storage while maintaining accurate tracking. The most popular implementation of server-side tracking so far has been server Google Tag Manager (GTM). More and more vendors have started to support server-to-server tracking and released tags for sGTM. Using these tags, you can share website or app events and user data directly from your server GTM container to the vendor’s server.Jan 31, 2022
Wondering what server-side tagging is and how it works? This blog post will explore all that and more!