The A – Z of Server-side Tracking

Server-side tracking is a method of collecting data that is becoming increasingly popular among digital marketers. The main reason for this is because it overcomes the privacy concerns that are limiting the ability to collect data traditionally through Facebook Pixel or Google Ads.

Server-side tracking works by sending data directly to the server, instead of through the browser. This means that the data is collected before it ever reaches the user’s device, making it much more private and secure.

If you’re only relying on browser-based web analytics, you’re missing out on a lot of data. Server-side tracking can give you a more complete picture of your website traffic. It can track users even if they have disabled cookies or use ad blockers. It can also track users across devices and browsers. This data is essential for understanding how people are really using your website. Without it, you might make decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate information. Server-side tracking can help you make better decisions about your website and your marketing campaigns.

There are many benefits to using server-side tracking, including:

Increased accuracy

Server-side tracking eliminates the chances of data being lost or corrupted in transit, meaning that you can be confident in the accuracy of your data. 

Data privacy and security

Ad agencies are encouraging their advertiser clients to implement server-side conversion tracking because the information is encrypted. Brands that are implementing server-side conversion tracking are relying on existing privacy policies and terms and conditions that note that people’s personal information might be shared with marketing partners. Server-side tracking is a way for brands to keep certain data out of the browser. This data is usually sensitive information that advertisers want to make sure is secure.

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Unaffected by browser types and versions

Server-side tracking does not rely on the client’s browser to make a request to the destination endpoint. Instead, the server makes a direct request to the endpoint, without the need for a response from the website. 

Say goodbye to ad blockers

As more users start using ad blockers, one of the most asked questions from our clients is how they should look to approach data collection – often this involves from moving from third party data collection to first party data collection.

We think that server-side tracking is the best approach for those clients looking to have more control over the data they collect with the advent of ITP and ad blockers. By collecting data directly on our servers, we can ensure that it is collected accurately and consistently, regardless of any changes that might happen in the browser or on the client side. Additionally, this approach allows us to collect richer data sets, as we are not limited by the information that is available to third-party cookies.

Faster website

As any website owner knows, loading speed is important for keeping visitors happy and engaged. Too often, however, websites are bogged down by slow-loading third-party tracking tags. These tags are essential for campaign performance, but they can have a negative impact on speed, user experience, and even conversion rates. One way to mitigate this problem is to move third-party tags off of your website and into a server container. This will reduce the amount of JavaScript processed and likely improve website loading speeds. In addition, it will also help to improve user experience and conversion rates. Website owners who make use of this method will surely see an improvement in their overall results.

So how can you get it?

I don’t want to bore you with numbers and codes as that is a separate blog on its own, but the most simple explanation is that you need access to your Google Tags manager, Google Analytics and Meta Business Pixel. Side server tracking also involves a monthly costs which is worth having. The cost goes towards initial once-off setup fee and a small on-going fee. 

Optimizesmart has written a perfect tutorial on how to install the codes if you have the technical expertise.


If you need help we are here to set it up for you. 


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