In today’s digital age, social media platforms play a crucial role in marketing strategies. TikTok, with its massive user base and global reach, has become a popular platform for businesses to connect with their target audience. To optimize your advertising efforts on TikTok, it is essential to set up server-side tracking using the TikTok Events API. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to successfully implement TikTok server-side tracking for your business.
Understanding TikTok Server-Side Tracking
TikTok Events API allows businesses to track and measure conversions, collect custom audiences, optimize campaigns, and run dynamic product ads on TikTok. Unlike traditional pixel-based tracking, server-side tracking with TikTok Events API ensures more accurate and reliable data collection by sending events and parameters directly to the TikTok server.
By implementing server-side tracking, businesses can overcome limitations imposed by browser-based tracking, such as ad-blockers and changes in privacy policies. This enables marketers to capture a comprehensive view of user interactions with their website or app, leading to better ad delivery, precise targeting, and improved campaign optimization.
Benefits of TikTok Events API
Implementing TikTok Events API offers several key benefits for businesses:
Improve Ad Delivery and Targeting
By capturing events server-side, TikTok Events API provides a more comprehensive view of user interactions. This allows for better ad delivery and targeting by capturing conversions that may have been missed due to browser limitations or connectivity issues.
Granular Control Over Data Sharing
TikTok Events API gives businesses more control over the data they share with TikTok. This allows for customized event tracking and sharing only the necessary data to meet specific marketing objectives.
Resilient Solutions for Evolving Advertising Ecosystems
Server-side tracking with TikTok Events API establishes a reliable and sustainable connection between the advertiser’s business and the TikTok platform. This ensures a smooth transition in response to changes in the advertising industry, such as the phasing out of third-party cookies. By combining Events API with an existing pixel setup, advertisers can adapt to industry changes while maintaining their campaign strategies.
Setting Up TikTok Events API
To set up TikTok Events API for your business, follow these steps:
- Creating a TikTok Developers Account
To access the TikTok Events API, you need to create a TikTok Developers Account. This account will provide you with the necessary credentials and access to the TikTok Events Manager.
- Generating an API Access Token
Once you have a TikTok Developers Account, you need to generate an API Access Token. This token will authenticate your requests to the TikTok Events API and allow you to send events and parameters directly to the TikTok server.
- Installing Google Tag Manager (GTM)
To implement TikTok Events API tracking, you will need a Google Tag Manager (GTM) account and have GTM installed on your website. GTM acts as a container for your tracking tags, making it easier to manage and deploy various tracking codes.
Configuring Events in TikTok Ads Manager
Before implementing the TikTok Events API tag in GTM, you need to configure events in the TikTok Ads Manager. This involves setting up a TikTok pixel and defining the events you want to track on your website or app.
- Creating a TikTok Pixel
In the TikTok Ads Manager, create a TikTok pixel. The pixel serves as the foundation for your event tracking and allows you to collect data from user interactions on your website or app.
- Setting Up Web Events
After creating the TikTok pixel, you can set up web events in the TikTok Events Manager. This step involves defining the specific events you want to track, such as page views, product details views, add to cart, initiate checkout, and more.
- Choosing Event Tracking Options
During the event setup process, you can choose between different event tracking options. TikTok offers both browser-side pixel tracking and server-side tracking through the Events API. For server-side tracking, you can select the “Events API” option to enable server-side event tracking.
Implementing TikTok Events API Tag in GTM Server Container
Once you have configured events in the TikTok Ads Manager, you can proceed with implementing the TikTok Events API tag in your GTM server container.
- Adding the TikTok Events API Tag
In your GTM account, create a new tag and select the TikTok Events API tag template. This template allows you to configure the necessary parameters to send events and data to the TikTok server.
- Including Required Parameters
Within the TikTok Events API tag, include the required parameters such as email, phone number, user ID, user IP, and user agent. These parameters provide valuable data for audience targeting and campaign optimization.
- Transforming Data for Security
To ensure data security, the TikTok Events API tag automatically transforms the required information to lowercase and hashes it using SHA256. This helps protect user privacy while still allowing for effective tracking and optimization.
Supported Events for TikTok Server-Side Tracking
TikTok Events API supports a wide range of events that you can track using server-side tracking. These events include:
- ViewContent: Tracks when a user views content on your website or app.
- ClickButton: Tracks when a user clicks on a button.
- Search: Tracks when a user performs a search.
- AddToWishlist: Tracks when a user adds an item to their wishlist.
- AddToCart: Tracks when a user adds an item to their cart.
- InitiateCheckout: Tracks when a user initiates the checkout process.
- AddPaymentInfo: Tracks when a user provides payment information.
- CompletePayment: Tracks when a user completes a payment.
- PlaceAnOrder: Tracks when a user places an order.
- Contact: Tracks when a user contacts your business.
- Download: Tracks when a user downloads a file or resource.
- SubmitForm: Tracks when a user submits a form.
- CompleteRegistration: Tracks when a user completes the registration process.
- Subscribe: Tracks when a user subscribes to a service or newsletter.
By tracking these events, you can gain valuable insights into user behavior, optimize your ad campaigns, and create custom audiences for retargeting.
Best Practices for TikTok Server-Side Tracking
To make the most of TikTok server-side tracking, it is important to follow these best practices:
Since TikTok does not support event deduplication, it is crucial to share duplicate events through both the TikTok pixel and the Events API for deduplication. This ensures that events are counted accurately and prevents double-counting of conversions.
Advanced Matching for Better Audience Targeting
To improve audience targeting, consider implementing advanced matching. This involves sharing additional data such as email, phone number, click ID, IP address, and user agent. Advanced matching enhances the accuracy of audience matching and allows for better ad attribution and delivery optimization.
Implementing Multiple TikTok Pixels
Creating multiple TikTok pixels alongside server-side tracking can provide additional benefits. These pixels can act as backups or preparations, collecting more conversions and improving the delivery of ads to high-quality custom audiences.
Troubleshooting and FAQs
If you encounter issues or have questions regarding TikTok server-side tracking, refer to the following troubleshooting and FAQs:
Switching Pixel Setup Options
Once you have set up your pixel and chosen a specific setup option, it is currently not possible to switch between options. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider your pixel setup choice before implementation.
Resolving Discrepancies in Conversion Data
If you notice discrepancies between TikTok pixel data and actual conversions, it is essential to troubleshoot and identify the root cause. This may involve checking the implementation of the pixel, ensuring event parameters are correctly passed, and investigating any data synchronization issues.
Overcoming Technical Challenges
Implementing TikTok server-side tracking may involve technical challenges, particularly for custom event tracking and integration with other platforms. It is crucial to consult technical resources and follow best practices to overcome these challenges and ensure a smooth implementation.
Setting up TikTok server-side tracking using the Events API is a powerful tool for businesses aiming to optimize their advertising efforts on the platform. By implementing server-side tracking, you can overcome limitations of browser-based tracking and gain a more comprehensive view of user interactions. This allows for better ad delivery, precise targeting, and improved campaign optimization.
By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can successfully set up TikTok server-side tracking for your business. Remember to carefully configure events in the TikTok Ads Manager, implement the TikTok Events API tag in your GTM server container, and follow best practices for event deduplication and advanced matching. With TikTok server-side tracking in place, you will be well-equipped to maximize the performance of your advertising campaigns on TikTok.