It’s been a little more than a month since the much publicised GPDR Compliance deadline has passed. This latest development in the world of compliance has had its fair share of ups and downs for businesses with a vested interest in the online environment. If this is the first time, you’re hearing about the Irish Data Protection Commissioners updated guidance, fear not, you can read everything you need know right here.
As digital marketing professionals, we may have taken for granted the incredible insight and knowledge we could generate through the likes of Google Analytics. We’ve previously written about the value of Google Analytics when it comes to monitoring and making decisions on your digital assets, and however insightful, this unfortunately falls under the nonessential tracking as set out by the Data Protection Commissioners updated guidance.
Many clients have started to report downturns in traffic,
conversions and goal completions being tracked in Google Analytics as users now
must opt into non-essential cookies. Queue the worry and fear of
underperformance among website managers and digital marketers alike. This
sudden, and in many cases exponential loss in traffic, has sparked
conversations in many circles about non compliancy or varied levels of
compliance when it comes to the latest guidance.
This prompted Dmac Media to conduct a number of experiments using our own website to help navigate the murky waters of GDPR Compliancy and help assess the options when it comes to web performance evaluation and GDPR Compliance. To date, we have implemented two variations on compliable cookie notifications and in turn assessed what happened with our Google Analytics profile.
Scenario 1 – Multi Click
In this scenario, we left the opt
not allow users to set nonessential cookies by clicking on “Accept All”.
Instead, users had to navigate to the cookie settings panel and click the
slider to enable analytics tracking.
Requiring users to carry out multiple
steps to give insight into their session and behaviour was never likely to be
positive, and unsurprisingly it wasn’t. While implemented we saw a 98.31%
decline in users, and a 92.38% decline in sessions tracked in Google Analytics.
The conclusion, website users are very
unlikely to go out of their way to give businesses more insight into their
Scenario 2 – Single Click
notification, to allow users accept or reject non-essential cookies or manage
their cookie settings. Essentially, this removed a step for the user and allowed
them opt in to or out of none essential cookies in the same fashion that they
have become accustomed; by clicking on a single button loaded when the website
loads. As expected, users began to
“Accept All” by default and in turn traffic returned within our Google
Analytics account. However, this was at much lower volumes than before our
Naturally, this got us thinking.
Our search visibility has never been higher yet traffic in Google Analytics has
Surely this couldn’t be right.
It was then, we considered the
device bias. As a B2B business, the vast majority of our website traffic
arrives via desktop devices. When viewing our website, our eloquently designed
(hat tip to the graphic design team) Cookie Notification sits at the bottom of
our website and is minimally intrusive on the end user when engaging with our
website. While the notification remains in place until such a time as the user
interacts with (as required under the guidance), it poses little, if any,
impact on the user while engaging with the website, and could in fact be
overlooked by many of our website visitors.
However, the same implementation
on Mobile Devices is far more intrusive thanks to the smaller screen size and
length of text.
As a result, the bias of our
tracked traffic shifted from 70/30 in favour of desktop before implementing any
changes to 60/40 in favour of Mobile after implementing the second scenario
So Where to Next?
While it is pleasing to see a
return of traffic to our Google Analytics account, we certainly do not believe
all the questions have been answered just yet.
Do users continue to opt for blind
acceptance? Are users choosing to reject non-essential cookies when visiting
simply glossed over by users on desktop?
Later this month, we will attempt
to answer the latter of those questions when our development team implement a
more intrusive policy for desktop visitors.
Stay tuned to find out how it goes and how it effects our tracked traffic to dmacmedia.ie