November 18

Web analytics in a cookieless world

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The future of web analytics in particular and online marketing, in general, has been rocked by a user privacy-based shockwave like never seen before.

Web analytics in a cookieless world is facing these very clear situations.

Cookies Fixed Footer

Since the introduction of the GDPR and the ePrivacy Regulation, it is mandatory for websites to include a cookie banner or footer informing users whether they want to accept or reject cookies.

Basically what the regulation seeks is that companies cannot measure, model, and remarket to users without their consent.

The effect of the cookie banner in the first months of implementation has caused a decrease in measured traffic of around 65% and reported sales are 35% lower.

Less data and less remarketing

The fact that users do not accept cookies means that measurement tools such as Google Analytics do not reflect the reality of online businesses in their statistics.

The same happens with remarketing campaigns: from the introduction of the cookie banner, remarketing can only be done to those users who have accepted the marketing cookies placed on the banner.

Less reliable data:

Another big problem we encounter with the acceptance of cookies is that the vast majority of the time, users accept cookies once they have started browsing the web if they accept them at all.

Therefore, when a user lands on your website from Facebook Ads, he browses your website and then accepts cookies. So the cookie “falls” on the user’s browser, and the user is registered as “source = Direct traffic”.

Therefore we have a totally fictitious increase in direct traffic.

Another measurement problem is the behaviour of basic KPIs such as:

  • Bounce Rate: Increases
  • Duration of visit: Decreases
  • Page views: Decreases

They do not really increase or decrease, the problem is that as the user accepts cookies late in their navigation, the previous clicks are not measured, so when the user accepts cookies and then leaves the web; by measuring only partially, data is lost.

New Reality.

The new reality of the cookieless world, is not that everything starts to work without cookies, is that users:

  • Do NOT want to be measured
  • They do NOT want to be modeled or profiled.
  • They do NOT want to be tracked by advertising
  • WITHOUT their consent

And this philosophy is here to stay, so companies have to adapt to satisfy what users are loudly asking for. Logically it is a problem for marketers because we will not have the full picture unless they work with GDPR and ePrivacy Compliant measurement tools like SEAL Metrics.

About the author 

Rafa

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