Check your tracking tags with Tag Assistant, Pixel Helper, and UET Tag Helper

Check your tracking tags with Tag Assistant, Pixel Helper, and UET Tag Helper

If you do business online, you track it. When you install snippets or tags on your website, they provide information to third party servers about your visitors. All of these tracking tags form part of your martech. There are three handy tools that are easy to use and can confirm whether your martech will work for you. Ok, so wth is martech?

Do your tracking tags work?
Are your analytics snippets and tracking tags working for you?

Martech, rather ‘marketing technology,’ refers to all kinds of stuff like machine learning and analysis tools to empower your business’s marketing functions. The ‘martech stack’ refers to how all your marketing systems are plugged into each other. For an example of what the best in the world are doing, check out the 2020 martech stack awards.

Typical Martech Stack for a small business
Tags are superpowers

In your case (and in most cases), the stack is relatively simple – you use analytics snippets. You have a simple website with Analytics, some advertising, and you probably keep an eye on SEO. Your stack is Ads -> Analytics -> Ad Bidding -> Conversions, or a close variant of that. You use Analytics from Google, and you should use Analytics from Facebook as well (it is 2021, by the way). You have a few small ad campaigns on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Microsoft Advertising. Essentially, you are focused on making a positive ROI and keeping it positive with a little bit of intuition and not a lot of data analysis. You benefit the most from automated bidding strategies because you don’t have the time to stay on top of the tactical level decision making to run manual campaigns. Overall your setup is very typical.

Check your tags carefully
Be careful, it’s easy to make a mistake

If you have a typical setup, there is nothing worse than feeding incorrect conversion information to the ad platform. If you have installed two different Google Analytics tracking tags on one website, for example, there is a chance that conversion or an event will be missed. If your tracking codes are up, you can’t automate sweet f* all (aka SFA).

To make sure your setup tracking tags correctly, grab the following three tools and install them into your browser. You’re going to want to use Chrome (or a chromium variant), unfortunately, because Firefox won’t work.

  • Tag Assistant lets you validate, diagnose, and troubleshoot issues with your Google Analytics implementation in real-time. This way, you don’t need to do it the hard way and comb through the data layer.
  • Pixel Helper for Facebook will verify your pixel is working properly, troubleshoot common errors, and improve pixel performance. It’s designed very well. Google should learn a thing or two from them.
  • UET Tag Helper by Microsoft is like the ugly duckling of the bunch, but with all the recent moves Microsoft has been making, I hope that they grow into a beautiful swan. But this tag helper sucks at the moment… but grab it anyway.

Once you have them installed, pin the extensions so that you can see them.

Click the little plugin looking symbol then the thumbtack “pins” like below.

With all three tags pinned like this ^, you will see them when you browse your website

After you have them pinned, follow the instructions to turn them on and check them out. Go to some of your favourite sites and take a look at how they have their setup.

Tag Manager

You would be surprised how many companies there are in the web design world who ineffectively setup tags.

As an example, here is a very sloppy installation of tags.

After you’ve oriented yourself to the tools a bit, check out your own website and see what you find.

These tags are all firing correctly.

Google is evolving Tag Assistant. We’ve worked with the Beta version a lot lately, and it’s pretty good. The concepts and UI are similar, but keep your eyes open to shift to always-on options for debugging soon. I expect Facebook will follow similarly as Google and Facebook are neck and neck in the space.

Pixel Helper

In Canada and the US, Facebook has really jumped to the forefront of digital advertising. Q1 2020 – Lots of people transitioned to digital life and started isolating themselves at home. Facebook has improved its ad platform over the years, but nothing like what we see now. With Facebook, you have much more granular control on “who” you target where Google has historically been about “where” you place your ads. Both have come a long way. Needless to say, you should install a Facebook pixel if you do digital marketing.

You can test your pixel and event firing at the same time. Depending on how you set up your privacy settings, you can automatically populate microdata and other data passed to Facebook.

UET Tag Helper

This one is easy. Install it, and you will see if your UET (Microsoft) tags are installed correctly. They should look like this:

Not much to go wrong here. It’s either on or off.

Troubleshooting

If your tracking is not working correctly, then you are operating with bad information. If you are using any conversion optimization machine learning (like Google Ad’s CPA bidding), your bidding will underperform.

If you see any issues with your tracking, then reach out to me in the forums. I would love to take a look for you.

Takeaway – That’s quite an improvement.

These three tools will help you confirm your setup is robust and correctly setup. It’s important to consider your privacy policy when implementing this type of tracking because there is a lot of user data fed into the super corporations. If you are concerned about your own privacy, I recommend that you start by using Firefox, but that’s only a start. As advertisers and business owners, we need to generate business, and tracking people is one way we can master the four Ps. Also, many consumers favour convenience over privacy anyway. Just make sure you notify them.