Advanced Floodlight troubleshooting with developer tools

Once an advertiser has set up a Floodlight activity on a webpage, you can use chrome developer tools to confirm that everything is working correctly, or to troubleshoot any problems.  

Contact the web developer that implemented your Floodlights if you are unsure of where they are located. Generally Floodlights are on a landing page, or other page where a user action is being tracked.

Steps to check Floodlight implementation

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1. Use browser developer tools to check the Floodlight request

You can use the developer tools that are included with standard browsers such as Chrome or Firefox. While using the developer tools, load the webpage that contains the Floodlight tag you want to troubleshoot. Ensure there is the following in the pages code:

  • A call to fls.doubleclick.net (or ad.doubleclick.net if you're using image tags). The call should begin with http://, or https:// if you're using a secure tag.

  • The correct values for src=, cat=, and type=, matching the expected values for the tag you're checking. Here's an example:

    <iframesrc="http://1234567.fls.doubleclick.net/activity;src=1234567;type=abc123;cat=fghij456;ord=[Random Number]?" width="1" height="1" frameborder="0" style="display:none"></iframe>

    • src=: The value should be the advertiser ID that is the source of the Floodlight activity.

    • type=: The group tag string, which identifies the activity group with which the Floodlight activity is associated in Campaign Manager.

    • cat=: The activity tag string, which identifies the Floodlight activity.

  • A random number within the Floodlight call, which changes each time you reload the page.

  • For sales tags, any transaction information that belongs in the tag, such as revenue or quantity.

  • Any dynamic tags that should be served along with the Floodlight tag. Make sure you see the corresponding default tags in the list of URLs on the Media tab.

  • How long it took to make the Floodlight call after the page began to load.

What did you find?

The Floodlight call is working correctly

Great! Skip to step 3.

There's no Floodlight call

Either the Floodlight activity tag hasn't been implemented on the webpage, or it's been implemented incorrectly. In the next step, you'll check the implementation of the tag in the webpage source code to see if you can find the source of the problem.

The Floodlight tag is there, but takes too long to load

The Floodlight tag should load within the first 2 seconds after the page is called. We recommend this quick loading time to ensure that conversions are counted even if a user quickly stops the page from loading, clicks away to another page, or closes the browser.

If the Floodlight tag isn't called within the first 2 seconds, there might be a problem with where the tag has been placed within the webpage code. In the next step, you'll check the placement of the tag in the webpage. It should be close to the top of the page, just after the <body> tag, so that it loads before other items that can take a while.

2. Check the Floodlight tag in the source code

Check the source code to make sure that the Floodlight tag is there and placed correctly:

  1. In your browser, view the source code for the advertiser's webpage where the Floodlight tag is implemented:

    • Chrome: Choose View > Developer Tools > View Source.

    • Firefox: Choose Tools > Web Developer > Page Source.

  2. In the source code, search for the activity tag string, which is the value of the cat= key-value in the Floodlight activity tag, and serves as a unique identifier for the activity. You can find this value on the Floodlight Activity tab for the activity.

  3. Check that the Floodlight tag is near the top of the page, just under the <body> tag.

 

Did you find the Floodlight tag in the source code?

Yes, just after the <body> tag

If you found the Floodlight tag, but it didn't show up in the HTTP tracer, there's probably a problem with the implementation. Check it carefully to make sure that it matches the Floodlight tag in Campaign Manager exactly. One common problem is an extra quotation mark (") somewhere in the tag.

  • If you find a difference, resend the tag to the advertiser with details about how to implement the tag correctly, without the error you found.

  • If the tag is implemented correctly in the code, but doesn't show up in the HTTP tracer, go to step 3.
Yes, but far from the <body> tag

If the Floodlight tag is far down the page, other calls to other servers will be sent first. In some cases, users might stop the page from loading or click away to other pages before the Floodlight call gets made. That would result in an undercounting of conversions.

Ask the advertiser to implement the Floodlight tag closer to the <body> tag. Once the change has been made, run the HTTP tracer again to check the Floodlight loading time and see if it's better.

No

If the Floodlight call isn't in the HTTP tracer data and the tag isn't in the source code, it might not have been implemented at all. It's also possible that the Floodlight tag was implemented on a dynamic page that doesn't show up in the source code, but implemented incorrectly.

Resend the Floodlight tag to the advertiser and ask that they implement the tag on the webpage. If they're sure that they already have, contact customer support.

3. Check standard key-values like ord= or num=

Depending on the counting method of the Floodlight activity you're using, you'll need to check the values for the ord=, num=, or qty= key-values. These values can be found in the Floodlight tag when you run an HTTP tracer. If the Floodlight tag is long, you can copy it from your HTTP tracer and paste it into a text editor so that it's easier to read. Learn more about activity types and key-values

The counting method for an activity can be found on the activity's properties page in Trafficking.

Here are the values you're looking for, depending on the activity type:

Activity type ord= num= qty= cost=
Standard Random number None None None
Per session Session ID None None None
Unique 1 Random number None None
Transactions Order ID None 1 Transaction cost
Items sold Order ID None Number of items sold Transaction cost

Are the key-values working correctly?

Yes

Congratulations. You've finished the basic set of tests to confirm that your Floodlight activity is implemented correctly on the advertiser's website, and all is well.

No

If you're seeing an unexpected value for a key-value in the Floodlight tag:

  1. Confirm the counting method on the properties page for the activity.

  2. Ask the advertiser to implement the key-values so that they receive the expected values.
You can also investigate Campaign Manager tags on the page and whether they're working with the Tag Assistant Chrome extension.  Get Tag Assistant
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