conversion killer data protection

Conversion killer data protection?

The European Court of Justice has declared cookie opt-ins to be a duty that can be enforced. This is supposed to protect your data. Raidboxes complies with the requirements - and loses sales as a result. Why data protection is not equally fair for all companies.

GDPRePrivacy Regulation, mandatory cookie banners ... There have been more fun times when it comes to websites. If you take the requirements into account, then you have a lot to do. You also need to keep up to date with new developments. The most critical point: your conversion suffers - you gain fewer customers.

The following are our own experiences with the topic of data protection. In particular, the implementation of cookie opt-ins is a major headache for Raidboxes\.

Note

We believe that data protection should not be driven by marketing metrics. And that there are still plenty of ways to tailor a website to the target group. In this respect, this is not a post "against", but "for" data protection.

Disadvantages for companies

Bad for the SEO

Our rankings on Google have dropped significantly since we started placing cookie banners on our pages. And that for many of our top keywords such as "WordPress hosting" or "WooCommerce":

SERP losses
Significant loss at Google for raidboxes.io

This is because the rankings in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) depend indirectly on numerous factors that the banner influences. Among others, these are:

  • Abandonment rate of the website. This indicates the percentage of visitors who leave the portal immediately without actually using it.
  • Duration of use and page views per visit.
  • Lack of tracking by Google if the associated cookies are not accepted.

The formula is very simple: lower rankings = less traffic = fewer new customers = less revenue. The effects of the cookie regulation were a bit of a shock for us. They show how legal requirements and court rulings have a direct impact on conversion.

More data protection, less traffic

Falling search engine rankings are causing a decline in visits to our website. But this is not the only cause. As just explained, cookie banners increase the abandonment rate. And this also applies to those who come to us via social networks, partner sites or direct calls. Sessions on Raidboxes have decreased by 25.8 percent since the cookie rule was implemented:

Privacy Traffic Loss
Less traffic due to the cookie rule

As a result, we have to place significantly more ads on Facebook, Twitter or Google itself to even begin to compensate for the losses. That costs a lot of money. Not every start-up will be able to afford this. In this case, the legal requirements clearly distort competition. Small companies have to spend disproportionately more on data protection. That is the other side of the coin when it comes to more data protection.

Marketing in blind flight

In some cases, only a fraction of all cookies are accepted if the associated banner has been implemented in accordance with the rules. This is shown by a study. It's not nearly as bad at Raidboxes . Thanks to a clever implementation of our Borlabs Cookie solution - more on this later.

Nevertheless, our marketing team knows in fewer and fewer cases

  • Where the people come from (Google, Facebook, Twitter, other websites, direct calls ...)
  • Which websites use them and how
  • How they navigate through our offer, visit us again, cancel on certain sites
  • Who hosts with us, how and why, etc.

Now you may say "That's exactly the purpose of the data protection regulations". Or: "I don't want you to be able to analyze my visit". For us, fewer figures mean that we can no longer optimize our website to the same extent. This is at the expense of usability. But we also gain fewer new customers.

Tip

Are you looking for a WordPress analysis without tracking cookies? GDPR compliant? The plugin Statify makes it possible. See our blog post on the topic.

Young companies pursue a mission. So do we at Raidboxes:

  • We make high-quality WordPress hosting available and affordable for everyone.
  • We offer the best support in our industry.
  • With our partner program, WP professionals and agencies host for free. And benefit from attractive commissions. This helps freelancers and smaller companies.
  • We invest in climate protection - significantly more than our competitors. Because your website consumes a lot of resources. We do something about it. With our climate-positive hosting.

Legitimate concerns such as the cookie regulation make it more difficult for us to pursue this mission.

Unfair competition

What affects us personally the most: not all of our competitors adhere to the data protection rules. The black sheep benefit directly from this decision. We have lost important Google rankings to web hosts that do not display cookie banners.

On the website 2gdpr.com you can check how your website is set up in terms of data protection and GDPR (GDPR). You can also use your browser to find out whether your website sets cookies. 2GDPR gives Raidboxes a very good "report card":

GDPR  Check

Other host - also from the WordPress environment - fail the test on several points. Only very few people see that. And it is unlikely to be a purchase criterion.

Raidboxes and data protection

Of course we discussed it within the team. We don't just put the failures away like that. Nevertheless, it's not an option for us to roll back the cookie opt-ins. There are several reasons for this:

  • Warning letters: Of course, we worry about a potential warning letter. The costs for this can amount to two to four percent of a company's turnover.
  • Competition law: Competitors are not allowed to warn your site about GDPR infringements? This is not correct, as lawyer Niklas Plutte explains in his blog.
  • file a lawsuit: At the same time, we are not prepared to take action against our competitors who do not care about data protection to the same extent. The costs are too high for us, the chances of success too low. And a mutual loop of lawsuits benefits no one.
  • Warning budget: The first companies are setting up a warning budget at site . They deliberately refrain from complying with legal regulations. When a warning letter is issued, they book it as a marketing expense. This is because the sales profit until then is usually higher. That is not our approach.

Last but not least, we at Raidboxes want to be a role model when it comes to data protection. It is not fitting for a reputable web host to be sloppy when it comes to data protection. This is another reason why we regularly show you in instructions here on the blog how to implement the current legal requirements with WordPress and WooCommerce .

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Implementation of the cookie solution

We rely on the plugin Borlabs Cookie to provide the cookie banners in WordPress. The extension helps you to implement the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the upcoming ePrivacy Regulation.

Borlabs Cookie lets you control first-party and third-party cookies. You can confirm this via a banner (also called "Cookie Box"). The plugin runs smoothly, the support responds quickly and well.

Tip: Sven Scheuerle has written a guide to setting up Borlabs Cookie for our blog: GDPR & E-Privacy Opt-in for WordPress. It also shows you the options of the GDPR tool.

Particularly exciting: The solution allows you to evaluate in detail how often consent was given to which cookie categories. This is important in order to optimize the banner and your online marketing step by step. Borlabs Cookie offers various options for designing the buttons, animations or even the text of the banners:

Cookie Box Settings
Here are just some of the options of the Borlabs cookie Plugin

Alternatively, you can also use the WP GDPR tools. Do you know any other good cookie tools for WordPress and WooCommerce? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

Conclusion

Data protection is a major headache for companies. And not all of them take this task seriously. Favored by ambiguous laws and missing court decisions. Perhaps Google will include data protection compliance as a ranking factor in some form at some point - it would be desirable.

It is to be hoped that other IT companies will make improvements if they have neglected GDPR & Co. so far. After all, the protection of personal data should be a concern for all of us. No matter how annoying and ambivalent the implementation may often be in practice.

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