Simplify and power-up GTM server-side tagging with your existing data layer

Google Tag Manager (GTM) responded immediately with a server-side integration when browsers started restricting marketers. This is a great move for those using any of the Google products and running ads with third-party cookies.

The traditional GTM facilitated firing tags in response to different events that happen on page, sending data from the browser client-side directly. This meant tags coming from different vendors which includes Google Analytics, Google Ads and Facebook Ads, etc.

With the GTM server-side integration, the same function was fulfilled by creating  a GTM container within a dedicated cloud server. The good part about this is that you and your team will own and have full access to the data gathered without browser restrictions, and limitation of third-party proxies. 

Server-side tagging with Google Tag Manager

Is it just about thriving in a cookieless world or is it more than that? GTM server-side tag manager brings some immediate benefits to the marketer, just like any other server-side tag manager available in the market. 

Better site performance

Server-side tagging increases the speed by restraining bloated marketing and analytics scripts from being fired, irrespective of a valid scenario. It reduces the time taken by the browser to process the tags. All tag related processes occur in their own container.  This reduces the need for on-page JavaScript. 

Faster loading provides a better user experience which further reduces the bounce rate and time spent on each page. This enhances the SEO altogether.

Better data enrichment 

As you collect data, you can pre-set the data formats and bring data standardization across all marketing data. This is a huge problem for data marketers that is solved. It can be further mapped to relevant customer data for continuous data enrichment and customer identity building. 

Better data security and user privacy

Storing Google tags or third-party tags in your own secure server container, you gain more control over your customers’ data. With server-side tagging, you control who is able to view your customer data, and how/where that data is being sent to. You’re able to encrypt sensitive data or prevent PII from being sent to non-affiliated parties. 

Power up your Google Tag Manager with server-side integration

Some of the major challenges marketers face with GTM’s server-side solution is that since it is a free tool:

  • Poor reporting capabilities
  • No automation of tag anomaly detection
  • Need for coding skills for tech integrations
  • No custom Tag Templates

GTM comes with the basic capabilities to get started with server-side tagging without having your existing ad campaigns suffer. You can bring back the charm of analytics, deep tag insights, site performance enhancers, intelligent and automated tagging systems.

Here’s what you can do with a server-side integration such as Magic Pixel.

Light, Smart, and better performing Websites and mobile apps

Monitor and boost site performance

You need built-in capabilities to monitor site performance to boost the site speed and eliminate bulky tags. You can pinpoint those little culprit tags that are reducing the website speed and hence reduces the page load speed. When server-side tagging is enabled, it exponentially cuts down browser traffic and increases page load speed. It includes site performance monitoring and reporting with Lighthouse scores. Each time a new tag gets implemented or your MarTech stack goes through changes, you don’t have to set up monitoring explicitly for all pages.

Multi-site handling

Deploy large groups of tags to same sites across websites and mobile apps, all at the 

same time. At this point you don’t have to deal with a bloated GTM container. This means the manual effort to copy rules across destinations, and copying of tags and variables required across multiple properties is eliminated. You can deploy individual tags to the same site, add rules to the Master library and this will be available to all the linked profiles. The same tag can be used without different ID configurations. You don’t have to maintain data element mapping IDs that are specific sites to tags.

Media tags across Mobile apps

Magic Pixel can implement media tags across mobile apps with a single SDK. You can publish media tags without an app release and implement them based on postback calls The TraceHub feature can capture media pixel issues, logs and crashes in mobile apps and offers recording and replay capabilities. The tag analytics dashboard allows you to analyze implementations of media pixels in mobile apps. 

Intelligent and Automated Tagging

Tag Validation and Monitoring

Server-side tag managers such as Magic Pixel automates tag validation and detects tag failure. You can create alerts for anomalous tag behaviour that are automated with configurable alarms. The built-in anomaly detection allows you to create fully customizable rule-based alerts. You don’t have to write your own custom templates to stream data to BigQuery for specific tags to be monitored, or write code to set thresholds for monitoring. With real-time remote debugging and Crowd testing you can implement, validate, test and publish pixels to production in hours instead of days.

Create conditions and Tag Debugging

Some web pages could be overlooked for marketing pixel implementation. To fix them, you can access automated reports about new webpages where marketing pixels are not implemented. Built-in and Live Debugging Console inside MagicPixel lets you use Time-based Conditions to detect and indicate tag expirations. You don’t have to depend until custom logic is built into each rule. You will need multiple triggers or conditions. For this, consolidate tags in one place, create tags just once and use them across multiple tags. You don’t have to repeat the process. The platform understands sequencing in a straight-forward manner. 

Simplify Server-side tagging with GTM with a Hybrid tagging approach

Yes, it is possible to simplify your tag management universe with GTM and what we recommend is to use a hybrid tagging approach. This is especially necessary if you are using media pixels. Media pixels used for media partners and third-party websites need to be treated differently. You need a solution that does not break your existing analytics and data layer tied to your tag manager. Magic Pixel that can work with any of your data layers and manage both client-side and server-side tags. Integrations with Google Analytics too!

Hybrid tagging approach and infrastructure includes:

  • A clear distinction between staging and production environments eases the process of publishing tags from Staging to Production.
  • Full-fledged insight and support for dependent library alerts while publishing a tag.
  • An easy-to-implement process to publish all tags with pre-scripts, SDKs, and server-side integrations instead of depending on IT teams for every small change.
  • Support that needs to be rendered for Synchronous or Asynchronous tagging.

Costs always matter and going the server route is always perceived with high costs, which can be made inexpensive. You can self-host with a pre-built server-side tag management infrastructure or render the service of Magic Pixel for the same. It helps with

  • Complete ease of management without the hassle of technical integrations
  • No extra data processing costs involved.
  • Build custom tag templates and client templates
  • Create Javascript code in seconds
  • Comes with a full understanding of building server functionality

A full-fledged server-side infrastructure also enables data storage and streaming. You don’t have to live with deduping data streams to a data lake. This means that the hybrid tag management platform can store tag meta data for marketing analytics & reports. With this, you can stream media tag data into your CDP, Data Lake or Database in real-time by retaining your existing format or any additional infrastructure.

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