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5 Common Tracking Issues (That Aren't iOS14)

Jacob Moran at Lab270
common tracking issues featured
common tracking issues featured

The iOS14 update is on everyone’s mind right now, but most marketers struggle with a lot of other common tracking issues and problems that aren’t Apple-related.

If your Facebook news feed is like ours, it may seem like every other message is about politics, Facebook account bans, or iOS14 and everyone's pixel tracking problems.

Before you start blaming the iOS14 apocalypse for your tracking woes, it would be worthwhile to make sure that your system is set up correctly to start with.

And even if you are ready for a deep dive into common tracking issues and pixel problems, it’s important to manage your expectations.

Because collecting data with perfect accuracy is a myth.

There will always be things outside of our control that will halt our ability to have a perfect score. Things like ad blockers, refreshing pages, devices, unsupported browsers, etc., can work against us in the tracking world. We always presume that there is a margin of failure.

Two Categories of Common Tracking Issues

The two major red flags in tracking are either no tracking data or excessive events in what seems to be multiples (it looks like double, triple, etc).

That said, if your tracking is off by a marginal amount, there may be things that can be done to help improve your results.

Here is the list of the most common tracking issues Lab270 clients faced in 2020.

1) Check The Fine Print

This is by far the most common problem we have found when clients install their own tracking pixels.

Symptom

The pixel has been installed on the page, but when you check using pixel helper it’s either working intermittently or not at all.

This doesn’t make sense, because you haven’t done anything differently and all of your other pages work. What could be the issue?

The Problem

Here are two examples of the same Facebook pixel code. One is working, the other is not. Let’s see if you can spot the issue.

Working Script:

Common Tracking Issues Working Script

Broken Script:

Broken Tracking Script

Did you catch the problem?

Here's a hint -- it all comes down to the difference between ‘ and '.

Common Tracking Issues Highlight

The Fix

Replace all apostrophes in the code to make sure they are all formatted correctly. Just one can break the code and can cause issues across the whole website.

This occurs due to text formatting on text editors or messaging services. When sending code to someone avoid placing the code straight into the messenger, email, text files, etc. Yes, the code block on Slack is there for more than just making it stand out with a fancy box!

Other ways to transfer code properly are with Notepad (.txt files), using an HTML editor, or using Pastebin to email code.

2) Manual and Automatic

You’ve spent a bunch of time setting up manual events across your properties, but now it’s not tracking right. You’re seeing events fire on Facebook that don’t add up.

If you’re using manual events, you need to be sure to disable automatic advanced matching:

Automatic Advanced Matching

Automatic advanced matching works by reading your website and applying pixel events to where they believe actions are occurring. (If a button reads “checkout”, Facebook will typically fire a conversion).

If you have manual events placed, the automatic events will also fire, which will throw off tracking data.

Also, Automatic Advanced Matching may not be for you if your landing page has text that will mislead Facebook on what event is occurring. Sometimes on-page terms like “checkout” or “complete purchase” will fire a conversion even if you are using that button on a lander to redirect the user to a checkout page.

3) Thank You

Are your purchase events not lining up with your purchases? This is another of our common tracking issues, and it can happen if you choose the wrong place to fire the pixel events.

It’s common practice to place your conversion pixel on your thank you page. If you have pages between your checkout page and thank you page (upsells, video, etc.), users may exit the funnel before they reach your thank you page.

You can fix this by setting up the events to fire at the end of the checkout process or when they hit the ‘Submit’ button using Javascript.

Note: In this scenario, you may want to disable the submit button after it has been clicked. If the user gets impatient for the next page to load, they may click the submit button multiple times, thus firing multiple pixels.

4) Domain Blocking

Your tracking isn’t working, but your account isn’t banned. What’s going on?

The domain you are using may have been flagged and banned on Facebook. When this happens, Facebook stops all tracking from your domain. If you’ve had a Facebook Ads account banned before, the process to get your domain reinstated is similar.

Submit an appeal and find a way to increase your good Karma. You’re in the Facebook Court, where your judge is either an automated response or a review where someone spent little time. Good luck!

Note: if you are running gray-area offers, this can be common for you.

5) Refresh

Dialing in your conversion events is very important.

Let’s say that everything is set up correctly but there is still some margin of error with your conversions. If your conversion/purchase pixel is placed on the thanks page/receipt page and the user refreshes that page, it can cause that event to fire again.

Facebook typically de-duplicates the events if they occur within a three-minute window. This commonly happens because users do not close out of the page on their mobile device so the next time they go to that tab it will refresh the page, thus firing the pixel again.

You can solve this by setting up the pixel to only fire on a transaction/submission.

Do you need expert technical support to make your marketing and advertising campaigns seamless and successful? Lab270 can help. Click here to learn more!

About Jacob Moran at Lab270

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