Must-Have Chrome Extensions For Marketing Debugging
If you are a developer or product manager working with advertising and marketing products, you've probably figured out that you are in a highly specialized area where competitiveness is extreme and information sharing is limited. You're working with ad tech and marketing tools that are critical for some businesses but not particularly well documented and often lacking in Stack Overflow support.
Don't worry, the learning curve is long but there are Chrome extensions that will help you along the way.
Cookies aren't as widespread as they were a few years ago, but first-party cookies are still an important tool. And when it comes to working with cookies EditThisCookie is the best tool out there. This extension will allow you to view cookies, edit them, and deleting them in a simple, granular manner. It makes cookie inspection simple and effective, which is a great help for debugging.
Google Analytics Debugger
Figuring out your GA event flow is relatively easy when you are just looking at page views, but once you are getting into custom events, conversions, user timing, and other event types things can get hairy. Looking through your networking tab is an option, but it's slow, tedious work to instead all those params and headers, searching for exactly the information you need. GA Debugger puts all the events right in your console, making them super easy to sort through and persistent from one page to the next. This tool has become as important to my workflow as a vertical monitor or great notebook.
Tag Assistant Legacy
It might have "legacy" in the name, but Tag Assistant is still a useful tool for inspecting your GA and GTM tags. GTM's built-in debugger is much better than it was previously, but it's still useful to use an extension some times.
If you are working with advertising networks, each of them will have debugging tools for inspecting pixels and conversion events.
- Microsoft UET Tag Helper - for debugging Microsoft Advertising (Bing) events
- Outbrain Pixel Tracker - For Outbrain pixels and events
- Taboola Pixel Helper - The same thing but for Taboola
RIP Google Publisher Toolbar
If you wanted to get insights into your Google advertising stack, then this is the right tool for that. It works with the Google Ad Manager (DFP) debugging tools, but via extension. This will give a look into Adsense, AdX, and DFP. This plugin was removed from the extension store in May 2020, but it's still missed.
Hopefully this will help you on your journey towards understanding marketing events and user engagement tracking on your site.