If your data is unreliable, it loses all its value. It’s therefore important to spend a sufficient amount of time verifying your digital analytics solution tagging. Think it’s too technical? Think again! The key is to be methodical and thorough. In this article, we’ll cover a few life-saving tips for quality control before pushing live a site that’s just been tagged. Before we start, take this quick tagging reliability test (and find out if this article is for you!).


Site launch ahead!

Imagine this scenario: The tagging plan has just been finished. It’s been integrated into the dev site. Before hitting the button to go live, the technical teams ask you to verify the tags one last time. You must therefore examine certain strategic pages of your site (for example, the homepage, conversion pages, high-traffic pages, etc.) to verify that the tagging is correct.

On one hand, you’ve got an Excel file containing all the current site tagging, and on the other, you have the dev site. The name of the game: Compare both and do what you can to ensure zero discrepancy between the two.

Let’s also say your site is tagged with JavaScript code (in fact, we’ll take the example of AT Internet tagging throughout this article). And remember, the operations described below must, in theory, be repeated on all other strategic pages of your website.


Looking for “the hit”

This is the first thing to do. The presence of a hit proves that your data is indeed being collected. What does this “hit” look like? It’s a short line of text (which is more or less human-readable, depending on which tools you use to visualise it) that contains a mix of key information from the tagged items. Several methods exist to find a hit:

  • Open a strategic page on your dev site.
  • Then, you have two possibilities:
    • Either go to the Networks tab in the browser console (F12) (but good luck getting clear information…)
    • Or open our Tag Inspector plugin (which is super practical, as hits are much easier to read and the tool is easy to use)
  • If you can detect a hit at this stage, bravo. Continue on to our tips below for comparing the values.
  • If no hit is visible, you must take your investigations further. Closely examine any errors that may be indicated by the browser console.

The most common error messages, for AT Internet customers…): “Cannot read property ‘set’ of undefined”.
Your tagging probably refers to a plugin which is not present in the JavaScript file (smarttag.js). For example, this could occur if you try to track a video without using our rich media plugin.
What should you do? Update the JavaScript file from our tag management interface (Tag Composer). Download the latest version of the JavaScript file and share it with your technical teams so they can apply the update.

Tip: If you use our CDN, the update is done directly from our servers, so there’s no need to involve your tech teams.…) : “Cannot read property ‘name’ of undefined”.
This error indicates that a necessary object cannot be used. It’s a potentially complex tagging error.
What should you do? Consult your technical teams directly so they can help you correct this.

  • No errors detected, but still don’t see any hits on your radar? The function that enables your tagging code to be executed might be missing – you must verify its presence. If you use AT Internet’s Analytics Suite, ensure that the “ATInternet” function indeed exists. This is very simple:
    • From your browser console (F12), go to the “Console” tab, then type “ATInternet” and save. You should see this:

So, you can disprove the hypothesis about the “ATInternet” function being absent (since we see it is there). Continue your investigation.

  • If no response is sent: the JavaScript SmartTag.js file probably has not been integrated. Download the JS file, then share it with your technical teams so they can integrate it into your site.

A unique case: Does the console send a response, but with no visible hit? Verify that the tag contains the “dispatch” row. Once you’ve identified the problem, contact your technical teams for assistance.


Compare the hit with your tagging plan

You’ve found a hit. Now you must compare it with your tagging plan. Be meticulous here, as the information must match down to the comma! Even the slightest discrepancy can impact the consistency of your analyses.

  • Use Tag Inspector to compare, field by field, values in your hit and values in your tagging plan. This ultra-practical tool automatically highlights the points to check. However, keep in mind that Tag Inspector’s contextual data and metadata is automatically generated, so you don’t need to compare this information with your tagging plan. If everything else matches, congratulations – you’ve finished!
  • You have a hit, but your quality control process with Tag Inspector has revealed the presence of incorrect information. You have a few options:
    • Generate an automatic error report, which you can share with your technical teams. They’ll make the corrections and then give you the “GO” to push your site live.

Use the Data Manager tool to correct tagging on your own. Create your own rules for modifying the tag, without having to go through your technical team! More information about Data Manager can be found in our Knowledge Base.

Warning! In this article, we’ve covered the most common problems. You may of course be confronted with other sources of error, requiring different actions that may be more complex (for example, should you have a problem with your TMS configuration…). Feel free to get in touch with your digital analytics provider’s support teams, who should be able to assist you with this type of situation.

Finding the hit and verifying that it matches with your tagging plan is now complete. You’ve taken care to check each strategic page to ensure that the tagging is reliable. Now, you can go even further by verifying all pages on your website. To do this, you’ll need a crawling tool (AT Internet has developed Tag Crawler for this). When and how should Tag Crawler be used? We’ll talk about it in an upcoming article. Stay tuned!

Data Quality in Digital Analytics

Product Manager Before assuming his role as Product Manager, Florian spent 3 years as a digital analytics consultant here at AT Internet. A self-taught learner, he dabbles in web development, computer graphics and hardware. What else sparks his interest? New technologies like the Internet of Things, web development technology, and digital analytics, of course.

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