Benefits of Server side tagging

Your 7X guide with server-side tagging | Benefits with Magic Pixel

In its totality, when you adopt server-side tagging, you have fewer tags to deal with and you have less hassle to attend to. With the legal involvement in complying with user’s data privacy, server-side tagging gained popularity. But, there is more to it, than coming to a marketer’s rescue for automating data security and privacy compliance. 

Server-side tagging, under the iceberg

The underlying differentiator and value addition is a great deal of transparency and control over data for the marketer. Server-side tagging also provides similar control to the users at the end of any brand interaction. 

User interactions are already providing data to marketers. But, server-side tagging goes beyond that. Over the years digital marketing has matured and now organizations require more insights for marketing analytics, which keeps data privacy and user consent at the fore. server-side tag managers like Magic Pixel empower marketers with a no-code, achieve all this with ease. 

With MagicPixel, you already have the access to data. ‘What use cases you want to realize?’ is up to your analysts and Data Scientists.

We all hear that server-side tagging improves website performance and the end-user experience, Let’s dive deeper to see how it is done.

Benefits of server-side tagging

1. Improve website and app performance

Server-side tagging involves firing tags from a server instead of a client browser. Imagine traditionally, your qualification criteria, multiple data elements, variables, and tags loading from the browser make it such a bulky and time-consuming affair.

What actually happens in a server-side tag manager is that when SDK loads on each page, based on the rules configured, one single call is made out of each page that gathers all the data required to execute every tag configured in the server-side in a first-party context.

2. More control over first-party data

Server-side tagging reduces the gap in conversions and user behavior data. This data goes missing across any of the existing pure analytics platforms. Server tagging is based on implementing API-based conversion tracking. It involves proxying third-party scripts from your server instead of the browser. This enables you to track all data in the first-party context, received by your domain website. 

3. Cookie lifetime extension

Browsers have restricted client-side tagging to a great extent. One of the limitations is with the short window to capture data and store it with persistent IDs for further tracking. Few versions of ITP allow for 24 hours and in some cases 7 days to capture and track users. Marketer faces the challenge of tracking new users, repeat users versus existing customers. There are many use cases of these user segments for which server-side tag managers can help with extending the cookie lifetime.

So, while creating a tag itself, server-side tag managers like Magic Pixel encourage you to set a duration with an expiration. Extending cookie lifetime with server tags helps marketers in more than one way:

  • Cookie lifetime ensures that only those tags with active relevance to a campaign fire as necessary. The expired ones don’t load and would not decrease the site speed.
  • Extend cookies also extend the campaign life time with cookies that can track correlate longer with the data.
  • Implement optimization all through the campaign cycle because you get to retain  visitor data for a longer period.

4. Privacy-first approach

Your website and mobile app will be designed to be a privacy-first digital property with server-side tagging. Because

  1. You have more control data leaving your property.
  2. Manage all your tags fires and data you send, while controlling piggybacking of tags.
  3. With the Governance module, you get to automate data privacy compliance and security.

These inherent benefits let marketers get on with their KPIs with confidence, while data analysts and legal teams get what they want. Ideally, all these three core teams that manage tags have to constantly collaborate to stay compliant. But with a server-side tag manager like Magic Pixel these teams can both be proactive about compliance and automate processes. You know what data is being shared with whom. Any anomalies could be tracked.

5. Content Security Policy

A very unseen advantage which is otherwise a hassle for both marketers and legal teams, is with your website Content Security Policy (CSP). So what’s a CSP? A CSP is a documented regulation created for by and for your site which is further used to restrict the HTTP traffic to and from the user’s browser.

Server-side tagging allows you to reduce the number of HTTP endpoints with which the browser communicates. This would bring down the issues that may rise with your own Content Security Policy while looping in third-party vendors. 

In the case of client-side tagging, you need to add a JavaScript library that loads its content from Facebook or Amazon to a site with a CSP. For this you will need to petition the developers to relax that CSP. This is to simply allow Facebook’s domains to send and receive data from the user’s browser. This would further affect your own CDP. The more third-party vendors you have to deal with the more diluted and relaxed your CSP. This also weakens the website security. server-side tagging relieves marketers of all the code hassle.

6. Better Marketing Attribution

Until now, tag management was direct, but with ITP and data privacy restrictions, attribution has become a tall ask for marketers. Marketing attribution is one of the reasons why marketers are  shifting to server-side tagging. client-side tagging does allow to detect and assign behavior to already stored customer data. Especially, marketers cannot track repeat customers, what those customers are looking for, the channel path, and the campaigns that brought them to an action.

Magic Pixel’s extended solution allows marketers to maintain a longer cookie expiration period. The new cookie policies only allow for up to 7 days instead of over 90 days. So there is a need for campaign data from the user’s browser to be retained longer for further analytics. This can be fulfilled only by calling data from the server as first-party data instead of cookie-based third-party data. Reference link to cookie life extension

7. Personalization

Only when marketers can attribute efforts to customer data, will they be able to personalize customer experience. server-side tagging improves personalization of user experience on your websites. Personalization can also be implemented across other marketing campaigns with better attribution. 

How can it be achieved?

Once you achieve cookie lifetime extension, you can track users for the entire campaign duration and reset campaigns based on their behavior. Epsilon research indicates 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.

So users are more likely to see a marketing campaign you want them to vs being reset to new users more frequently. You could also personalize a/b tests that are measured between control vs variant users.