Six Benefits of Server-Side Tagging

February 8, 2022 - Jeff Edwards

In a client-side tagging scenario, when a conversion event occurs, and you want to
notify the marketing platforms of it, your website needs to download a JavaScript
library from each vendor’s content delivery network. So, if you have 12 vendors,
that’s 12 libraries, each generating requests to various endpoints as they set first-party cookies, pass third-party cookies, and collect information for digital
fingerprints. And all this code and logic is executed in the user’s browser.

For years, this has been the standard operating procedure for most marketing
organizations. The site performance and governance implications of client-side
tagging was a price worth paying for businesses to have the insights they need to
drive more conversions on their websites. But now, rising performance
requirements and regulations around user privacy are making it difficult for client-
side tagging to meet performance and privacy needs.

The Problem with Client-side Tagging

The reality is that many client-side tagging implementations are cumbersome and
there’s a lack of control and security. Neither the website or your visitors have
much power over what your vendors do. Data can be bounced around to various
partner trackers, making it practically impossible for the site’s owners to do due
diligence when attempting to comply with legislation like the GDPR and CCPA.
And finally, client-side tags simply cannot collect the breadth of data that they used
to. The advent of adblockers and lightweight, non-JavaScript environments like
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) have stripped client-side tags of much of their
previous functionality.

With server-side tagging (SST), all these concerns can be addressed.

Server-Side Tagging with Ensighten

Server Side Tags (SST) offer a means of running Manage deployments within a
virtual web browser. server-side tags are invoked from an Ensighten Pulse call. As a result, any
device or software that is capable of making network requests can now trigger tag
rules, regardless of whether they support JavaScript. Email campaigns, display
advertisements, set-top boxes, point-of-sale systems, kiosks and more can now
trigger deployments.

In a server-side tagging implementation, your vendors no longer run their scripts in
the user’s browser. Instead, a lightweight beacon in the browser sends a single
stream of data to the server-side tagging endpoint. In the server, this data is
validated, vetted, parsed, and then sent only to the vendors that should receive it.
On the client-side, this means faster page load times, better customer experience,
and even better search engine optimization.

SST is generally more reliable because the scope of data management is greatly
reduced, and the organization can exert more control over the transmission. And
SST isn’t as susceptible to data challenges due to client-side issues like an
interrupted connection, an over-active adblocker being installed, or AMP pages with
limited JavaScript functionality.

Six Benefits of Server-Side Tagging

Improve Site Performance and Load times

Move heavy tags and complex logic to the Server Side to lower the burden on client
browsers. With tags moved Server Side, brands can improve site performance and
page load times through less execution on the browser and more on the Server.

Increase Mobile Optimization

Transfer heavy tag code and logic from mobile browsers to your servers, speeding
up customer experiences and reducing the toll on devices.

Enhanced Data Collection

Enable data collection where it would otherwise not be possible such as AMP pages,
to pull analytics data from the page and run a fully configured analytics
implementation on the server-side.

Streamline Data Collection Strategy

Cover your entire digital ecosystem with Pulse 1st-Party Tracking from offsite to
onsite and in-store. Enable SST to fire API calls or other JavaScript code server-side
to send data to other endpoints.

Enable Real-Time Data

With SST in place, data is immediately piped downstream for use by other
technologies within the ecosystem as well as DMPs and DSPs for media optimization
and reduced ad spending.

Improve Governance and Security

With SST, all data is first-party data, and you fully control the data and the
environment. That means easier compliance with regulations like GDPR and CCPA
and improved client-side security with less hijackable JavaScript from the client-side
and less potential for client-side data leakage of personally identifiable information
such as IP address and browser details

Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards is a tech writer and analyst with six years of experience covering compliance, information security, and IT. Jeff previously worked as a reporter covering Boston City Hall.

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