Campaign Automation
Digital Strategy

Valid Tracking Data? Yes, Please

To ensure data quality, we’ve joined our QA team and the marketing and measurement departments. Leveraging advanced technology, we’re ready to enhance campaign precision and effectiveness. Find out how, in the first part of this blog!

Marin Peric Radan 4 weeks ago
dots dots

The why:

Let’s start with a question, why would any company want to track their users’ behavior? 

Why do you care, if you do at all? If you have a product and believe it has some value or rather fulfills some demand on the market it should sell itself, right?
This is what an AI image generator generates when you ask it for two images depicting the difference between a situation where a company tracks user data and the opposite one – when you don’t track it.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here’s 2 thousand.

Understanding user behavior on websites is crucial for companies aiming to optimize their online presence and enhance user experiences. 

Tracking user behavior provides invaluable insights that drive informed decision-making, improve website performance, and ultimately boost business outcomes.

Let’s break it down further into some steps. First, tracking user behavior enables companies to gain a deeper understanding of how visitors interact with their websites. It unveils user preferences, browsing patterns, and engagement levels, offering crucial data to refine content, design, and functionality. By comprehending what users do on a website, companies can tailor their offerings to align with customer expectations and needs.

Second, tracking user behavior aids in identifying pain points and areas of improvement. By analyzing user journeys and behavior flows, companies can pinpoint obstacles or bottlenecks that hinder smooth navigation or conversions. This information empowers businesses to make strategic optimizations, enhancing usability and increasing the likelihood of conversions.

Moreover, tracking user behavior facilitates targeted marketing and personalized experiences. It enables companies to segment audiences based on their interactions, preferences, or demographics. This segmentation allows for the delivery of personalized content, recommendations, or targeted advertising, resulting in more relevant and engaging interactions with users.

In essence, tracking user behavior on websites serves as a cornerstone for companies to refine their digital strategies, improve user satisfaction, drive conversions, and ultimately achieve business success. So yeah, a lot of big phrases but the conclusion is – if you’re serious about improving your online presence, you should watch user behavior.

The how:

Ok so we understand the why now. Next logical step would be the how. How do companies track user behavior?

There’s a whole myriad of ways available today to choose from but probably the most popular and used is by utilizing tools like Google Tag Manager (GTM). 

Utilizing tools such as GTM offers a robust mechanism to comprehensively track and analyze potential client behavior on a website. GTM serves as a centralized platform that seamlessly integrates various tracking codes, simplifying the process of managing and deploying tags for analytics, marketing, and other functionalities. To put it in simpler terms, where once you needed a software developer to implement some sort of custom tracking solution for your website today you can utilize GTM to implement your tracking configuration. Don’t get me wrong, you still need your developers but your dependency in this matter has lessened considerably.

Through GTM, businesses gain the ability to track diverse client interactions and behaviors in real-time. These interactions encompass a spectrum of activities including page views, button clicks, form submissions, downloads, and more. By strategically implementing tracking tags via GTM, organizations acquire invaluable insights into visitor pathways, preferences, and engagement patterns across their digital platforms.

Moreover, GTM enables the configuration of custom triggers and variables, allowing tailored tracking based on specific user actions or conditions. This tailored approach facilitates a deeper understanding of user journeys and enables the identification of pivotal touchpoints in the conversion funnel.

Overall, leveraging tools like Google Tag Manager empowers businesses to meticulously monitor potential client behavior, derive actionable insights, and optimize their online strategies for enhanced user experiences and higher conversion rates.

Of course there are other options other than GTM but GTM is by far the most popular and most used so that’s what we’ll focus on here.

The what next:

Ok so we had the why and now we have the how but is that it? Does the story end there, you have your issue, you need to track user behavior in order to improve user experience, conversion rates etc. and you do this by utilizing tools like Google Tag Manager. So that’s it and everybody’s a happy camper? 

Well not exactly, the actual reason for this article is that there’s more to it.

The issue at hand:

In most cases most of the GTM implementation works most of the time for most of the clients, mostly… Do you see where I’m going with this?

While utilizing tools like Google Tag Manager (GTM) offers powerful capabilities for tracking user behavior, more than one potential issue could compromise the accuracy and validity of the collected data. These issues range from implementation errors to technical glitches, impacting the reliability of the gathered insights and hindering informed decision-making. You go through all that trouble of setting up a whole tracking system but then you can’t trust the data that you get from it. So you try and fix it but is it just one issue, what if it’s more, where do you start. This quickly becomes a nightmare that can be hellish to deal with. The problems that can arise are many but lets go over some of the most common ones. 

The first candidate worthy of mention involves incorrect tag implementations. Errors in setting up tracking tags or misconfigurations within GTM can lead to discrepancies in data collection. Tags might fail to fire, be duplicated, or capture incorrect information, skewing the data and rendering it unreliable for analysis. We had a case where during configuration of a tag the tracking specialist inserted the event name with a typo, instead of “gtmtProductClick” it was “gtmtproductClick“. Do you see it? One capital “P” less had left the team confused for a while on why the data wasn’t coming in. You can’t really blame anyone here, things like this are bound to happen and are easy to miss to the human eye. A computer on the other hand will scream at you straight away if you misspell something as any developer will be happy to tell you (we all have or have heard the old … This one time in band camp I had missing semicolon story).

Other issues like page load issues or website bugs can interfere with the proper functioning of tracking codes. Slow loading times, script conflicts, or website errors may disrupt the execution of tracking tags, resulting in incomplete or inaccurate data collection. Additionally, changes made to the website, such as updates to the site structure or design, could inadvertently impact tag configurations, leading to data discrepancies.

Another significant challenge is the lack of regular maintenance and validation of tracking implementations. Without routine checks and audits, outdated or redundant tags may persist within GTM, contributing to data pollution or duplication. Failure to periodically validate and update tracking configurations might lead to accumulating inaccuracies over time.

In essence, the potential pitfalls in tracking efforts using GTM necessitate meticulous attention to detail, continuous monitoring, and proactive measures to ensure accurate data collection. Addressing implementation errors, conducting regular audits, and staying vigilant against technical issues are vital to maintain data validity and derive actionable insights from tracking efforts.

How to ensure our data is valid to make informed decisions:

So what do we do?

Make the people who implement the Tracking configuration also test it on a regular basis to ensure that the configured implementation is working as expected.
Will they just check it when there’s a change in the tracking configuration or when there’s a change in the page functionality as well? How about daily checks to ensure that even when there’s been no change at all, we make sure everything is still working as expected? Surely that’s going over the top right? Not like software breaks if you leave it alone, right?

Well as anyone who knows anything about software development & testing will tell you, sometimes things just break and that’s why all serious software development teams have test suites who check for these breakdowns.

So the question is, if there’s tests for website functionality, shouldn’t we implement the same for data validity?
Short answer is yes, the long one is most definitely yes.

Having this in mind, stay tuned for the second part of this blog, where you’ll learn how to implement the tracking configuration to make QA fit into the flow of the tracking teams work!


We’ll need your email If you want to hear our two cents on the industry’s latest. We’re certain it will be worth your time, well, at least worth more than two cents.