Taboola server-side tracking using server Google Tag Manager

Mar 27, 2022
Feb 8, 2022

Taboola's server-side integration has several advantages over pixel integrations, including more accurate results, faster website page speed, and better data control. This blog post will talk about how you can use the server Google Tag Manager to set up Taboola s2s integration.

Benefits of Taboola server-side trackingCopy link to this section

To improve marketing campaigns, it is essential to analyze conversion data. Conversion tracking allows for optimizing your ads and understanding how customers respond in different scenarios of the app or website you're targeting with them - which can lead towards areas where more improvement could take place.

The standard and most frequently used method of tracking conversions is web pixels. Still, during the last couple of years, the accuracy of web tracking decreased because of Ad Blockers, VPNs, and limited use of third-party cookies. The good news is that server-side tracking technology can help fix these problems. Check this blog post to learn more about the benefits of s2s tracking and server Google Tag Manager.

S2S integration is more prevalent now that Google released their server container. You can set up Taboola server-side tracking using server GTM. Taboola s2s integration can completely replace Taboola web Pixel.  Taboola doesn't support event deduplication, meaning you should use either web pixel or s2s tracking. 

Benefits of Taboola server-side tracking:Copy link to this section

1. Improved page speed. The fewer tracking pixels on your website, the better site performance is. Removing only Taboola pixels won’t increase page speed drastically, but if you replace web tracking with s2s tracking for more platforms, it might have a huge impact. We list all platforms that support s2s tracking in this post. You can also read our case study comparing website page speed with browser tracking vs. server-side tracking

2. Data control. You can’t control what information 3rd party scripts collect. If you install Taboola web pixels, they can scrape any user or event data from your site. They also have access to all conversion data to your site, including the number of purchases and values users generate.

3. Cookies. Third-party cookies do not live long, primarily because browsers with Intelligent tracking prevention (like Safari and Firefox), AdBlockers, and VPNs. With the help of server-side Google Tag Manager that uses a custom domain, you can set first-party cookies. 

What events can you track using Taboola server-to-server integration?Copy link to this section

Taboola server-side integration can completely replace all Taboola pixel functionality.  Meaning you can track any event on your website or app that you want to use for ad optimization and reporting in Taboola. Server to server conversions are also visible for reporting of ads manager. 

How does Taboola server-side tracking work?Copy link to this section

When a user clicks on your ad, the {click_id} parameter is generated in the URL. Our tag will store {click_id} inside the taboola_cid cookie. Using the Taboola tag for sGTM, you can set the lifetime of the taboola_cid cookie.

On a conversion event, we will send a request to Taboola Postback URL with the event data you added to the sGTM Taboola conversion tag. You can add event name, revenue, and currency.

How to set up Taboola server-side tracking using server Google Tag Manager?Copy link to this section

2. Send data to the server GTM container. We have blog posts that describe how to send data to ss GTM using Google Analytic 4 and Data Tag/Data Client.

3. Add Taboola tag using sGTM template Gallery or Download Taboola server-side tag from GitHub -> Open templates sections in the server Google Tag Manager container -> Click New.

4. Click three dots in the top right corner -> Click Import -> Select Taboola conversion tag template you’ve recently downloaded from GitHub -> Click save.

taboola s2s integration

5. Set up Taboola s2s pageview tag. This tag will capture the Taboola Click ID parameter from the URL and store it in cookies. Set cookie lifetime and add a URL parameter that records click_id.

taboola tag server Google Tag Manager

6. Test that pageview tag works correctly. Open the preview mode, add Taboola click_id parameter to the URL and check that click_id was recorded in cookies.

test taboola server tag manager

7. Set up conversion event tag. Select event type conversion, add event name and merchant id. You can also add revenue, currency, order id but these fields are optional. Add a trigger. Our tag will send data to Taboola postback URL.

taboola server-to-server google tag manager

How to test Taboola server-side conversions?Copy link to this section

8. Once you see a conversion event triggered correctly in the server GTM, you can test s2s conversion in Taboola. To do that open Taboola Pixel -> Click Server to Server Tracking -> Copy Test Link -> Past test link in your browser and complete the event that should trigger the conversion.

taboola s2s tag

9. You should see test events in the Conversion Table under Events Received. It might take up to 20 minutes to show the conversion event.

Conclusion:Copy link to this section

Setting up Taboola server to server tracking using server Google Tag Manager is ridiculously simple, especially if you already use server GTM for other platforms. To make Taboola s2s tracking work, all you need to do is set up a pageview tag that captures {click_id} from the URL and records it in cookies. When a conversion event happens, you should trigger a conversion Taboola tag that will send specific data to Taboola, including the {click_id} that is stored in cookies. 

Taboola server-to-server tracking will give you a better understanding of campaign results, speed up your site, and make user data more secure. 

We can set up server-side tracking for you!

All it takes is a few simple questions. Click Get A Quote , fill-up the form, and we will send you a quote.

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