Adapting to a Cookieless World: Strategies for Effective Conversion Tracking on Your Website

Thinking the implementation of conversion tracking amidst Google Chrome’s ban on third-party cookies requires a strategic approach centered around first-party data, server-side tracking, and robust tag management. Here’s a detailed implementation guide with recommendations. It is tailored for Ingenious Technologies’ clients, however, the approach should be useful for any online shop or eCommerce activity doing conversion tracking:

Step 1: Use a First-Party Tracking Domain

  • Implementation: Set up a tracking domain that is considered first-party to your website. This involves configuring DNS settings to create a subdomain (e.g., dedicated to tracking purposes.
  • Purpose: This domain will store first-party cookies on behalf of your website, maintaining tracking capabilities without relying on third-party cookies.

Step 2: Server-Side Conversion Tracking

  • Implementation: Develop a mechanism to transmit conversion data from your server to the tracking platform or network. This involves capturing conversion events on your server (e.g., via webhook or API call) when a user completes a conversion action.
  • Tools and Integrations: Utilize APIs or webhooks (callbacks).

Step 3: Transmit Attribution Information Server-Side

  • Implementation: Along with conversion events, send as much attribution information as possible to your tracking platform. This includes the click ID, transaction-specific cookie (tsc) value, customer ID, session ID, and any other relevant identifiers.
  • Purpose: This data enhances the accuracy of attribution modeling, allowing you to link conversions back to specific marketing initiatives or user interactions.

Step 4: Implement On-Page Tags (Browser-Side)

  • Implementation: Integrate first-party tags directly on your website to capture and transmit user interaction data to your tracking platform. 
  • Details: Onpage Tags should capture events such as page views and incoming traffic (clicks), and relay this information alongside the session ID or customer ID where applicable

Step 5: Leverage Session IDs and Customer IDs

  • Implementation: Wherever possible, use session IDs (for anonymous users) and customer IDs (for identified users) in your tracking setup. Store these identifiers in first-party cookies set by your tracking domain or transmit them server-side.
  • Application: Use these IDs for linking user behavior and conversion events across sessions, enhancing the continuity and accuracy of tracking without relying on third-party cookies.

Step 6: sGTM Implementation on a First-Party Domain

  • Implementation: For clients using Google Tag Manager, ensure that GTM is hosted on a first-party domain (sGTM) to avoid the instability associated with third-party GTM implementations.
  • Advantage: This setup is more stable and reliable for tracking purposes, as it aligns with first-party data practices and is less likely to be blocked or restricted by browsers.

Important Considerations:

  • Privacy Compliance: Ensure all tracking implementations comply with privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. This includes obtaining user consent where required and providing transparent information about data collection practices.
  • Data Security: Implement secure data transmission practices (e.g., using HTTPS) and safeguard personal data to prevent unauthorized access.

By following these steps, Ingenious Technologies’ clients can effectively implement conversion tracking in a world without third-party cookies. This strategy emphasizes the use of first-party data, server-side mechanisms, and compliant tagging practices to maintain accurate and insightful tracking of user conversions.