How To Test Your Tracking for Server-Side and GTM Web Containers

Validate your new tracking works as expected prior to going live

Validating your tracking works as expected can mean several things:

  1. Are the tags firing as expected in GTM web container
  2. Do they tags have the correct data
  3. Are server side conversions sending data
  4. Is my destination (i.e. Facebook, GA) receiving the data
  5. Are there any errors in my tracking within each destination

This guide will show how to get started with each on of these use cases.

Are Tags Firing In Your GTM Web Container (and do they have the right data)

If you're familiar with GTM web container tracking then you probably already know how to use preview mode.

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Need a detailed walk-through on how to use Preview Mode in GTM? View this guide

When you download and import our pre-built tags into your web container you'll want to do a few things:

  1. Double check the variables associated to your destination are correct. For example the Facebook Pixel ID variable that is used in all of the Facebook Pixel tags.
  2. You don't have duplicate tags already configured for the same event
  3. When previewing, you are previewing the workspace that you imported the tags to
  4. If you've published, is the published version of the container the live version

Once live then you can validate your tags are triggering in a few different ways:

  1. Using GTM Preview mode (event after you've gone live)

  2. Using pixel helpers like the Facebook Pixel Helper (these aren't 100% accurate)

  3. Using the Network panel in your browser dev tools

This video will show how you each of these methods work:

When you are ready to validate the data sent in each tag then you can use these same tools to do so:

The network panel is the real source of truth. This will show the exact request out to each destination and you can typically see the data sent in the request URL or query parameters as shown below:

Are Server Side Conversions Tracking Properly

Validating your server-side tracking is working as expected depends on the destination. It's important to note that if you're using Elevar server-side tracking (or GTM server-side with Shopify Notification webhooks) that you won't see these purchase conversions in the browser.

Google Analytics

The best way to validate this is to use the real time report in your GA property. You should see 'elevar enhanced ecommerce' as an event and filter down by purchase as the event action:

The next way to validate is inside your Channel Accuracy report in Elevar (for Advanced+ plans). You'll begin to see an hour by hour breakdown ~ 2 hours after going live. This will show you the # of orders GA is successfully receiving compared to your Shopify orders:

If you are using your own GTM SS container then you can also check your logs in Google Cloud.

If you are not seeing any activity in the above then verify:

  • Is your destination (or GTM container) live?
  • What property ID are you using?
  • Do you have any filters in GA that might be blocking data in reports?

Facebook Conversion API

Events Manager - for CAPI events - is typically delayed longer than pixel events. So your best bet to validate is using a Test Code from your events manager.

This article walks through step by step how test mode works for Elevar server-side tracking and GTM SS container in order to validate the server to server data that Facebook receives:

You can also monitor your channel accuracy report (if included in your plan) as shown in the Google Analytics example above.

If you are not receiving any data then double check the following:

  • Are you using the right test code?
  • Is your API version set correct?
  • Is your pixel ID correct?

When in doubt if you are stuck then generate a new conversion API token and set to the latest API version in your server-side settings.

Still stuck or need help? Send us a message here so we can assist.