Increasingly common over the past few Internet years has been the surge in “consent requests” that make it possible for websites/business to comply with GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation – or any cookie consent initiative.
What impact do these now essential but mandatory notifications have on the digital experience? It’s hard to tell but understanding why through data available in Google Analytics will reveal the answer.
Track the Impact of Cookie Consent
Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to track the impact of GDPR – you simply have to get creative and draw whatever insights you can from the information you have tracked previously.
Here’s my personal method for analyzing the impact of GDPR and other related cookie consent notices.
Ideally you will have several views already set up within Google Analytics, and we’ll need to employ our test view (no filters!) to make this works (again, this is far from perfect but it’s really all that’s available – if you know a better way, I’m all ears).
Start by comparing traffic from before the time you implemented a cookie consent notice with a similar time period after. What you may notice is a decline in traffic and conversions – and there’s a reason for that: when users don’t provide their consent, their data can’t be tracked!
How to Mitigate the Impact of Cookie Consent
It is very likely that the cookie consent request being presented to your users is negatively impacting the accuracy of your reporting. The easiest way to mitigate the impact is to not show it unless it’s neccessary. What that means is that you should likely only show these messages when appropriate. If the user is in the USA, there’s simply no reason to show it at this time – why interrupt their experience if you don’t have to.
It’s not a perfect system, I get it, but it’s the best one we have right now to mitigate the impact of presenting cookie consent requests.