Digital Marketing Manager at UP Trips
11 April 2007 14:35pm
This seems to be a problem stretching back a few years with hardly any viable solutions offered.
Tracking Tags and lots of them seem to be the bane of my life at the moment. I have Affiliate Network tracking tags, SEO tracking tags, Metrics tracking tags, email tracking tags....... the list goes on.
Each tag reports on similar but different things and the metrics are used by different agencies to justify spend on particular activity.
The problem I have is 2 fold1 - Installing tags on each page and ensuring they are up to date involves our web development agency, whose resource priority is dominated by overall site development. This means that getting any changes made to individual pages can take FOREVER!2- When it comes to tracking conversion of campaigns, beit Affiliate work or PPC or natural SEO, I have little to no idea where to attribute the success of certain sales as multiple tags often claim success.
I have heard of "Universal Tags" which allow you to place one bit of code on each page which then calls all of your other tags from elsewhere. Whilst these seem like a great idea (I haven't found any current examples by the way) they only seem to fix the access problem so that tags can be altered / created outside of a development cycle. They do not address the issue of multiple tags claiming successful conversions at the same time.
If anyone has any solutions to this problem or can point me in the direction of some examples of people solving it, I would be most greatful.
E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker
11 April 2007 16:15pm
hi, Si, how are you?
Problem 1 - installing tags on many pages without requiring development every time
If you've got the development budget, why not set up a little Content Management system just for adding/removing tags. These tags would be added to a database & you'd have an included section within each page that would then include only the tags relevant to that page & that visitor.
Problem 2 - multiple colliding tags
If you do put together the above system, you could set it up with rules so that only the most relevant tag(s) are included. EG say you're only interested in where you originally acquired the customer (& not where they happened to come from in this particular session) - a rule could be something like "if this is a returning affiliate customer and they began this session via adwords, only display the affiliate tag". It's really important to get something like this right, as you need to know which of your campaigns are generating a return (and you don't want to be paying 3 affiliates for the same sale!)
I hope that's of some help,
11 April 2007 16:28pm
We don't have a CMS at present, but that isn't to say that we couldn't develop a small one as you suggest. Essentially this would give me the "universal tag" that I'm looking for, so I will certinly suggest it to our web development team. Thanks.
In terms of the rules, I agree that we need to get more clever at how we decide which tracking tag to deploy. At the moment, simply deploying all tags and hoping for the best is not working. I'm hoping that the logic to detect the original source of the lead will not add too much overghead to the site speed though?!?!
If anyone else has any suggestions I would be happy to hear them.
11 April 2007 16:40pm
It shouldn't add much overhead at all - you'd only really need the logic on the first page of a session & then to store the details in a session variable for use on any 'conversion' pages.
if you think of the amount of info & processing that goes on in an average search, or when executing web analytics code, something like this wouldn't be much at all.
Director at GPMD Ltd
12 April 2007 10:52am
I agree with Daniel it shoudln't add much overhead to the site, the question is if the system you are using has this type of info avaliable.
I have similar problems to this, too many tracking systems and orders being claimed by multiple sources mainly due to affiliate cookie tracking.
Unfortunately I have not found a solution to the problem as yet but I continue to look for one. I think the best solution is what Daniel sugested - to have rules that control which tracking code is displayed on each page so that orders can only be attributed to one source.
Incidentally I find that rarley do the various tracking systems report the same figures, especially when it comes to clicks, often price comparison websites report a different number of clicks to my stats program. Sometimes it's more sometimes less. Is this the same for you?
On 16:40:32 11 April 2007 danielb wrote:
It shouldn't add much overhead at all - you'd only really need the logic on the first page of a session & then to store the details in a session variable for use on any 'conversion' pages.if you think of the amount of info & processing that goes on in an average search, or when executing web analytics code, something like this wouldn't be much at all.
12 April 2007 11:40am
Absolutely agree about the inconsistancy. Unless you are using 1 tracking solution, there are bound to be some discrepancies. Perhaps someone clicks off a page before the tracking code loads, you may end up counting a refreshed page as different users... You could dedicate an entire persons time resource to smoothing out the differences unless you live with some inaccuracy.
I'm liking Daniels idea of setting rules though, so will certainly be discussing it with my web dev team.
Founder at TagMan
13 April 2007 10:16am
Don't tell anyone but we have a complete solution for this called TagMan. It solves all of these problems and can even be used on post-impression tags. It seems this is a frustration for just about everyone. Anyone seriously interested should get in touch and join our beta programme. The solution is platform independent although we do have our own ad server - www.positive-feedback.co.uk - Paul.
MD at adlodge.com
13 April 2007 19:05pm
okay, the TagMan helps solving the problem of installing multiple TAGs in my websites. Lets pretend Pauls machinery works.
However, how does it solve the problem, that two lets say affiliate networks claim that a sale was theirs, because both their publisher´s generated a click before the purchase?
I am curious.
14 April 2007 10:23am
Of course it works! Each partner sends the clicks through the software, which then applies the predifined rules about who should get the credit. It will then only serve the pixel for the one that is being credited with the sale. The solution provides a data extract capability so you call pull all your stats from one place and some basic realtime reports. Deeper analysis can be done using the existing affiliate / ad serving tool.
You just paste a bit of code before your existing click urls and problem solved.
SEO Recruiter at BD recruitment
26 April 2007 18:29pm
Are you looking for work (seo) Please let me know if you are!
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