Advantages of Page Tags
While web server log files have long been a standard data source for web analytics and traffic analysis tools, page tags have become increasingly popular. That’s because of their accuracy, the speed of data reporting, flexibility of data collection and lower upfront costs. There are also some disadvantages to using page tags for data collection, discussed in detail later.
Accuracy: Client-side data collection applications are generally thought to be more accurate than web server log files. The client-side data is collected directly from the end user, making it more accurate than web server log files. Additionally, client-side data collection measures the use of the browser “back” and “forward” buttons with activation of the code. However, most page tags rely on cookies to gather data, and given that many users delete cookies, this can make the data less accurate.
Speed of Data Reporting: Client-side technologies report data in near real time because there is no need to later parse the data. This allows client-side data collectors to parse the information into their data structures as the data becomes available. This real-time data parsing usually makes information available via reporting minutes after a page view is seen.
Data Collection Flexibility: Client-side data collection systems allow for a greater range of variables to be collected from any given web page. Most of these technologies require variables defining page name and content group but also allow for campaign ID, visitor segment, product, category, brand, price, etc., depending on the application and type of page containing the tags.
Lower Upfront Cost: As mentioned previously, the upfront costs associated with ASP solutions are lower than software solutions.