Digital marketers are in a panic. Google just announced that it will begin to deprecate first-party advertising cookies from websites starting in Chrome version 71. So what is Digital Marketing Without Cookies? What do you need to know about Digital Marketing Without Cookies? Digital Marketing Without Cookies is really important? Here is your complete guide about Digital Marketing Without Cookies.
If you’re reading this article, that means you have about six weeks to get your house in order before the new guidelines go into effect. If you’re like me, this news came as a shock. As a digital marketer, I’ve been advised for years that first-party Google and Facebook advertising cookies are essential to tracking visitors and their interests so we can target them with ads accordingly.
What Is a Cookie?
A cookie is a small file that is stored on the computer or mobile device of a website visitor. It is designed to help retailers understand how consumers are using their websites, and to help advertisers understand how their advertisements are converting. Cookies are often associated with user privacy concerns, and as a result, many companies have adopted a “no cookies” approach to their website.
The new click-to-cookieless advertising model is being adopted as a replacement. The click-to-cookieless model provides retailers and advertisers with similar information to cookies via a simple click-through. Since there is no tracking technology to be blocked, this new model is far less intrusive.
What Does This Mean for Digital Marketers?
If you’re like me, you mostly rely on Google Analytics to track your website traffic. While Google Analytics is indeed the most widely used web analytics software, it relies entirely on cookies. With this new Chrome update, you’ll need to find a new way to track your visitors without cookies.
That means you’ll need to find new ways to track your conversion rates, to understand how many people are visiting your site, and to track which pages they’re most interested in. And, you’ll need to do all of this without using Google Analytics. This is sure to impact the way advertisers use remarketing to retarget their site visitors with ads. If you’ve ever used Google’s Display Network, you’ve probably used retargeting ads. They’re the ones that follow you around the internet after you’ve visited a retailer’s site and then click on one of their advertisements. Now, retargeting won’t work without Google Analytics.
So, What Do We Do Now?
Keep Calm and Carve Out Some Time to Research! – Now, don’t panic. Remember, you’ve got six weeks before this gets implemented on Chrome. That gives you some time to research what you need to do to make this transition. The key is to find ways to track your visitors without using cookies.
There are a number of ways to do this, but they all require a bit of upfront work. Here are some ideas: – Use Google Analytics Content Grouping. Google Analytics has a feature called content grouping. It analyzes the words on your web pages and then groups similar pages together. That way, you’ll still see data about how many people are visiting each page on your site, but you won’t see it broken down by individual visitors.
This can be a helpful workaround while you’re figuring out how to do more granular tracking. – Use Google Analytics IP Exclusions. Another way to track your visitors’ page views without using cookies is to manually exclude IP addresses from which you don’t want data.
For example, if you want to keep data about page views for an internal page that isn’t public, you can exclude the IP addresses of your internal computers from being tracked. Using this method, though, you won’t be able to track demographics, conversion rates, or engagement data. – Use Google Analytics Segments.
Google Analytics segments let you add custom filters to your data. So, if you want to keep your cookies and still track the number of visitors to each page, you can set up custom segments for each page to do so. The downside is that you have to set this up for each page on your site. – Use Google Tag Manager to Trigger Custom Data.
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tag management system that lets you easily and quickly add custom tags to your website. Using GTM, you can add tags that will fire when a user lands on any page on your website and trigger data to be sent to your analytics platform. In addition, GTM lets you exclude certain pages, users, or IP addresses from triggering data to be sent to your analytics platform. This means that you can track everything you need, but still leave cookies intact for Google.
How to Track Visitors Without Cookies
This is where things get messy. There are a few ways to track visitors without cookies, but they’re not all created equal. The problem with not having cookies is that now you’re at the mercy of your website visitors. If they’re not willing to click a button to send data, you won’t have any information on them. Here are some common ways to track website visitors without cookies: – Click-to-Button. A click-to-button system places a button on your website that asks your visitors to click to send data to your analytics platform.
This is similar to the click-to-cookieless model that Google is adopting. The difference is that you’re asking your visitors to click the button and send the information to you versus it being automatic. – Use User Context. User context is a fancy way of saying,
“So what are they doing on your website?” If a visitor is on a page where they are expected to enter an email address, they might not click the button because they don’t want to send false data. If they’re on a page where they’re not expected to enter anything, however, they’re less likely to click the button.
This means that you can track them, but they won’t be able to send false data. – Use a Form that Requires an Interaction. A form that requires an interaction, like a radio button or a drop-down menu choice, is a great way to capture data without requiring a click. You can set your form up to automatically send the data to your analytics platform.
Google’s Other Cookie Announcement
As if this wasn’t enough, Google also announced that it’s deprecating its first-party remarketing (frequency capping) cookies from websites in September 2020. This means that if you use Google’s remarketing platform, you’ll need to switch to the click-to-cookieless model by next year. Don’t worry, though! You still have two years to prepare for this change. This announcement is particularly important for ecommerce companies that rely heavily on Google’s remarketing program.
Now that you know what cookies are and why they’re important, you can better understand why the click-to-cookieless model is being adopted as a replacement. This model is less intrusive, and it provides retailers and advertisers with similar information to cookies via a simple click-through. If you’re a digital marketer, you need to make sure that you’re ready to switch to this new model. This doesn’t mean that you have to make all the changes today, but you do need to start preparing. Start by researching ways to track your visitors without cookies.