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Technological and legal developments are prompting advertisers to re-evaluate their web analytics implementations and tools. Tracking is no exception and is currently undergoing significant changes. Server-side tracking via Google Tag Manager entered the market in 2020 and is becoming increasingly popular among companies. Here are five reasons why you should consider adopting it in 2023.
The end of third-party cookies is approaching
Third-party cookies track users across different websites, but browsers are increasingly blocking them to protect privacy. This is the case with Safari, Firefox, and Brave while still active on Google Chrome. However, they are expected to end their life in 2024. There is often confusion between the end of cookies and the end of third-party cookies. The end of cookies is not coming so soon, especially since they are necessary for the proper functioning of a website. Server-side tracking relies on first-party cookies, which are cookies deposited by a domain identical to the page visited by the user.
This tracking solution allows advertisers to collect user data directly on the dedicated server and then send it to an endpoint such as Google Ads, Meta, etc. This will enable companies to continue tracking users and understand their online behavior, even if third-party cookies are blocked. Advertising companies are developing solutions compatible with this server-side tracking, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and even TikTok with the Conversion API.
Web performance is critical
This tracking data transfer reduces page loading times and improves the user experience.
Ensure data reliability by bypassing blockers
- Tracking a website encounters multiple blockers, including ad blockers and modern browsers. There are two possible behaviors:
- The scripts are blocked and do not load, so tracking is impossible.
- Cookies are limited by their lifespan, and the data will not be reliable over time. It will then be challenging to precisely measure user LTV, attribution, or loyalty (regarding visits or purchases).
Fortunately, implementing a server-side solution like Google Tag Manager allows you to bypass these limitations by circumventing ad blockers and increasing (within limits set by the GDPR) the lifespan of cookies. Overall, server-side tracking can ensure the reliability of overall and revisiting data.
Governance of your data
One significant advantage of server-side tracking is the governance of data. If client-side tracking gives you little control over what you send to endpoints, it differs from Google Tag Manager Server-Side. You can add, modify, or altogether remove specific tracking parameters. As detailed in our article, these features make it possible to follow the CNIL’s recommendation to proxyfy Google Analytics 4.
Decrease consent fatigue
Increasing the lifespan of cookies can improve your marketing analysis and provide respite to your users!
Since 2018 and the implementation of GDPR, it has become common to see consent pop-ups on most websites. While it is customary to ask a user for permission to track them once, imagine their frustration if their choice was not saved and they had to select their decision again on each visit. This is one of the issues arising with Safari’s rapid deletion of cookies. As explained earlier and in our dedicated article, Google Tag Manager Server-Side can extend the lifespan of cookies and thus reduce consent fatigue.
As you can see, server-side tracking has many advantages, and you will benefit from adding it to your 2023 roadmap.
If you would like to learn more about this topic, please do not hesitate to contact Axeptio’s teams!