6 Considerations for Server-Side Tagging in Google Tag Manager

6 Considerations for Server-Side Tagging in GTM
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

One of the hardest things about diving into a new technology is that you don’t know what you don’t know. Here at InfoTrust, we want to help make your journey into implementing server-side tagging with Google Tag Manager (GTM) easier by providing you with a list of things to consider.

1. New Terminology (Client) 

When you first create a new server-side GTM container, the first thing that you are going to see in the UI is ‘Client’.

A client transforms HTTP requests that are sent to the Server Container and transforms it into a readable GTM event format. The data is then readable by the tags you have set up which allows the data to flow downstream to your chosen vendors.

2. A Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Server is a Must

You will need to allocate a portion of your budget for a GCP server. The cost is extremely variable and is based on the amount of data that is sent to the server. Google recommends using a minimum of three app engines for uptime and reliability. The three app engines typically cost at least $120–$150 a month. 

3. You Will Need a Strong Technical Team 

With the addition of GCP servers, a new tagging framework, and a host of other considerations, a strong technical team is required to make the most of server-side tagging. Your organization should have a strong bridge between the marketing, analytics, and IT teams. A lack of cohesion between these three groups can serve as a substantive bottleneck for your tagging efforts.

[Read more: 4 Advantages of Server-Side Tagging in GTM]

4. Some of Your Tags Will Not Work

Some of your current marketing tags will not work with server-side tagging. In most cases, this is due to the fact that for the tag to work, the code actually needs to be on the page (e.g. SessionCam) and not in a server. You will typically run into this issue with technologies such as optimization, personalization, and session recording because of how they operate.

Many vendors will most likely provide a solution as more and more companies adopt server-side tagging, but in its current state you may not have one-to-one tag recreation.

5. Testing/Debugging is More Difficult 

When GTM is loaded on the client side, there are a host of tests to ensure everything is running correctly (Chrome extensions, checking the console, etc). This is not the case with server-side tagging because the data is sent to a server that is not visible by your browser.

The difficulty of testing your server-side implementation works both ways. Competitors will have a much harder time peering into the data that you are collecting but that same lack of visibility will make testing harder for your internal teams.

Currently, the only reliable way to test your implementation is to use the GTM preview mode.  Some members of your team may need to be upskilled on GTM preview mode if they use another method when auditing your company’s website.

6. Server-Side Tagging in GTM is Still in Beta

As of March 2021, server-side tagging in GTM is still in beta. By the time Google officially takes it out of beta, there are sure to be a host of changes and iterations. It may be best to take a stair-step approach to implementing server-side tagging instead of overhauling your entire analytics implementation during this time. 

A great first step is to move a few tags over that will serve as a learning experience for your team and stakeholders.

[Read more: If you’re an advertiser, here’s what you need to know about server-side analytics and tagging]

Contact InfoTrust Now

If you're considering server-side tagging, or simply want to learn more about the process, contact the team at InfoTrust today.
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Last Updated: May 4, 2021

Other Articles You Will Enjoy

How To Fix Multiple Payment Method Issues In Google Analytics

How To Fix Multiple Payment Method Issues In Google Analytics

Most online businesses, including eCommerce, accept payment online using multiple payment methods. These payment methods may include PayPal, card payment, Stripe, etc. This is…

5-minute read
Google Analytics Consent Mode | A Conceptual Review

Google Analytics Consent Mode | A Conceptual Review

Introduction Google Analytics Consent Mode is a new functionality for Google Analytics 4 (GA4) that provides a solution for the challenge of reporting user…

4-minute read
Comparing Five Google Analytics Alternatives for Europe

Comparing Five Google Analytics Alternatives for Europe

EU Country Rulings Multiple data protection authorities across Europe have released unfavorable findings against Google Analytics (GA), including the latest iteration of Google Analytics…

7-minute read
Google Analytics 4 Reports: Sampling, Cardinality, and Thresholding … Oh My! 

Google Analytics 4 Reports: Sampling, Cardinality, and Thresholding … Oh My! 

“Do you suppose we’ll meet any wild animals?” Dorothy timidly asked the Tin Man before being startled by the Lion on their trip down…

6-minute read
What Will Happen If My Org Doesn’t Migrate to Google Analytics 4?

What Will Happen If My Org Doesn’t Migrate to Google Analytics 4?

Introduction You have probably heard about the sunsetting of Universal Analytics (UA) and the push towards Google Analytics 4 (GA4). At InfoTrust, we strongly…

3-minute read
3 Ways to Ensure Your Tag Events Are Firing Correctly

3 Ways to Ensure Your Tag Events Are Firing Correctly

Tags can be tricky and simple at the same time. The concept behind the Universal Analytics (UA) event tags are simple. Three values are…

5-minute read
What Happened to Views and Filters in Google Analytics 4?

What Happened to Views and Filters in Google Analytics 4?

For years, Google Analytics has been known for its simple hierarchy of Account > Property > View. If you took a Google Analytics Academy…

10-minute read
Firebase Tools and Features: Analytics

Firebase Tools and Features: Analytics

What Is Firebase? Firebase is Google’s Backend-as-a-Service (Baas) solution for mobile app development. Originally it was developed and launched in 2011 by Firebase Inc.,…

5-minute read
Four A/B Testing Platforms to Consider When Planning for the Sunset of Google Optimize

Four A/B Testing Platforms to Consider When Planning for the Sunset of Google Optimize

Google recently announced that both Google Optimize and the Google Optimize integration with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will sunset on September 30, 2023. After…

11-minute read

Get Your Assessment

Thank you! We will be in touch with your results soon.
{{ field.placeholder }}
{{ option.name }}

Talk To Us

Talk To Us

Receive Book Updates

Fill out this form to receive email announcements about Crawl, Walk, Run: Advancing Analytics Maturity with Google Marketing Platform. This includes pre-sale dates, official publishing dates, and more.

Search InfoTrust

Leave Us A Review

Leave a review and let us know how we’re doing. Only actual clients, please.