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Why are custom events missing standard properties like page_path and page_domain?

  • 15 March 2023
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My understanding is that if we used the Browser SDK along with the Marketing Analytics SDK, we would get attribution tracking (e.g. UTM params) and the ability to turn on automatic pageview events.

However, given discussion in my other question and the benefit of more specific events in amplitude reports, we are implementing custom events for each page view in our site and thus disabling automatic pageview events in the Marketing Analytics SDK.  All good so far.

Our custom events are making it through to our development project in Amplitdue but but I’m surprised to see that there are properties missing that I expect to be there like page_path, page_domain which you do get on the automatic generic pageviews if we left that feature on.

I then looked at custom events for click tracking we are doing on some buttons and see that they are also missing context of domain and path.

No web analytics platform I’m aware of fails to add these properties automatically (which I’d consider essential). I can’t imagine Amplitude would make every customer with the web SDK have to pass these event properties in manually with every track call, when their pageviews collect it automatically. 

Our track calls couldn’t be simpler which is why I’m confused. e.g.

amplitude.track(“View Pricing Clicked”)

and

amplitude.track(“Mktg Homepage Viewed”)

Given this I’m thinking it must be our own error that’s causing these properties to be missing. what could it be? Or do we really have to set page_path and page_domain (along with other basics) in event props for all custom events?

 

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Best answer by dangrainger 15 March 2023, 10:15

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Userlevel 5
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No error….remember that Amplitude is not a “web analytics” tool akin to the old school likes of Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Matomo and Piwik (and dare I say it, Webtrends). It’s a tool that started app-first, so concepts you might be used to/ expect to just be there might not be….this is one of those cases. But while some of these things might be “missing” today, the platform provides many others things that you simply wouldn’t get out of the box with the “web analytics” tools.

In this particular case, yep, just set up a bunch of event properties for the browser data...I pass these as a “standard” set via GTM on all events, it’s quick to configure.

 

 

Pro-tip….create a “template” Amplitude tag which contains all settings/ properties you know you’ll use in any tag and just pause it in your tag manager container. Then you’ve got it readily available to copy/ paste/ build from for any other tags.

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

No error….remember that Amplitude is not a “web analytics” tool akin to the old school likes of Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Matomo and Piwik (and dare I say it, Webtrends). It’s a tool that started app-first, so concepts you might be used to/ expect to just be there might not be….this is one of those cases. But while some of these things might be “missing” today, the platform provides many others things that you simply wouldn’t get out of the box with the “web analytics” tools.

In this particular case, yep, just set up a bunch of event properties for the browser data...I pass these as a “standard” set via GTM on all events, it’s quick to configure.

 

 

Pro-tip….create a “template” Amplitude tag which contains all settings/ properties you know you’ll use in any tag and just pause it in your tag manager container. Then you’ve got it readily available to copy/ paste/ build from for any other tags.


totally can see how it has more than other web analytics tools but the mystery here is that amplitude clearly has the logic to support this via its marketing sdk. I am puzzled why this wouldn’t be made available beyond that as an option. 
 

for you suggestion on using GTM to add these standard props, can you elaborate more on what you mean? Are you using GTM for your track calls and hence just adding the properties that way?

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Yes, exactly that….Amplitude has tag templates in GTM’s Community Template Gallery, so I just configure all the options/ user properties/ event properties using those.

Userlevel 3
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Yes, exactly that….Amplitude has tag templates in GTM’s Community Template Gallery, so I just configure all the options/ user properties/ event properties using those.

Ah we aren’t using GTM for this for a variety of reasons. Thanks for your help!

Userlevel 5
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Like this…

 

Userlevel 5
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Ah pity, could save you a pile of time!

Userlevel 3
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Ah pity, could save you a pile of time!

Perhaps.. but I tend to not like GTM for analytics stuff if we can avoid it. Avoids complexity of management and removes an additional layer of dependencies.

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