11th Jul 2024 4 minsread

Website Cookies: How Do You Keep GDPR Compliant?

Cookie Feature

One of the latest challenges for businesses is navigating the world of cookie policies. These compliance policies move fast, but luckily our digital experts can keep pace with these updates so we can take you through the decision-making process.

Cookies are small bits of data that websites store on a user’s device. They play a crucial role in remembering preferences, tracking user behaviour, and ultimately helping businesses understand their audience and tailor their marketing efforts. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires websites in the EU to get explicit user consent before placing cookies on their device. This means users have the right to decide whether they want websites to track their activity and personalise their experience.

In short, every website needs a cookie policy. Regardless of where your target audience is located, implementing a cookie policy demonstrates your commitment to user privacy and transparency. It also helps you avoid potential legal headaches.

That leads us nicely to Google Consent Mode v2, which is an update to Google’s systems to help websites respect user privacy in Europe and adhere to stricter data privacy regulations. Websites using Google tools like Analytics and Ads need user consent to track data and Consent Mode v2 tells Google what kind of consent a user gives. It offers two options: basic (no data collection if there is no consent) and advanced (allows some modelling on non-consented users). Basically, it’s a way for websites to balance user privacy with getting useful data for analytics and advertising.

Cookie Consent vs. No Consent

Now that we’ve established the importance of cookie policies, let’s explore the two main approaches you can take:

1. Cookie Consent with Advanced Google Consent Mode V2 Compliance:
  • Pros:
    • GDPR Compliant: Ensures your website is compliant with UK & EU regulations.
    • Accurate Data: Allows anonymised data collection with Google Analytics and Google Ads, even without explicit user consent, maintaining accurate data for marketing and advertising decisions.
    • Improved Performance: Helps you understand your audience better and optimise your marketing campaigns for better results.
    • Reduced Management: Services like CookieBot automate cookie management and are Google Consent Mode V2 compliant.
  • Cons:
    • Cost: Cookie management services like CookieBot have a monthly fee.
2. Bespoke Cookie Plugin with Basic Google Consent Mode V2 Compliance:
  • Pros:
    • Budget-Friendly: No additional cost for the cookie plugin itself.
  • Cons:
    • Limited Data: Without Google Consent Mode V2 compliance, data collection through Google Analytics and Google Ads will be significantly impacted, hindering your ability to understand user behaviour and optimise marketing efforts. Data is only passed when a user explicitly accepts the cookies.
    • Reduced Ad Performance: Data gaps can lead to suboptimal ad performance and potentially wasted advertising budget.
    • Manual Management: Requires manual setup, ongoing monitoring, and classification of new cookies to maintain compliance.
    • Potential Non-Compliance: If not managed diligently, there’s a higher risk of non-compliance with GDPR regulations.

The Verdict

While the Bespoke Cookie Plugin appears to be the more budget-friendly option at first glance, the long-term downsides can be significant. Incurring a small monthly fee for a service like CookieBot offers peace of mind regarding GDPR compliance, ensures accurate data collection for better marketing decisions, and ultimately helps you achieve better results with your advertising spend.

At Reech, we understand the complexities of navigating the digital marketing landscape. We can help you implement a GDPR-compliant cookie policy that works for your business, ensuring transparency with your audience while maintaining the data collection you need for success.

If you’re unsure of your cookie policies or want to maximise your website experience to ensure you’re tracking all the unmissable data snippets, get in touch with our experts today.