Conversion Killer: Privacy Policy – and Why We Still Stick to It

Michael Firnkes Updated on 21.10.2020
6 Min.
Privacy SEO

The European Court of Justice has cookie opt-ins as a duty that can be warned. This is to protect your data. RAIDBOXES adheres to the guidelines - and loses sales as a result. Why data protection is not equally fair for all companies.

GDPR, ePrivacy RegulationCookie banner obligation... There have been funnier times for webmasters. If you take the guidelines into account, you have a lot to do. You must also keep yourself constantly informed about new developments. The most critical point: Your conversion suffers - you gain fewer customers.

The following is our own experience with the topic of data protection. In particular the Implementation of the Cookie Opt-ins ...is RAIDBOXES hard to deal with.

Note: We believe that privacy should not be driven by marketing metrics. And that there are still enough possibilities to tailor a website to the target group. In this respect, this is not a contribution "against", but "for" data protection.

Disadvantages for companies

Bad for the SEO

Our Google rankings have dropped significantly since we put the cookie banners on ourssites . And that for many of our Top Keywords like "WordPress hosting" or "WooCommerce"

SERP losses
Significant loss at Google for raidboxes.io

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

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

The formula is quite simple: worse rankings = less traffic = fewer new customers = less turnover. The effects of the Cookie Regulation were a little shock for us. They show how legal requirements and court rulings have a direct impact on conversion.

More privacy, less traffic

Decreasing search engine rankings cause a decrease of visitors on our site . But this is not the only cause. Cookie banners increase - as just explained - the abort rate. And this also applies to visitors who come to us via social networks, partner sites or direct access. Sessions on RAIDBOXES have decreased by 25.8 percent since the implementation of the cookie rule:

Privacy Traffic Loss
Less traffic through the cookie rule

As a consequence, we have to place significantly more ads on Facebook, Twitter or Google ourselves in order to even begin to compensate for the shortfalls. 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 must spend disproportionately more on data protection. This is the other side of the coin when it comes to more rights for consumers.

Tip: Your WordPress is not GDPR compliant yet? Then use our GDPR Guide for agencies, freelancers & website operators. He will familiarise you with the most important contents of the EU data protection basic regulation.

Marketing in blind flight

Sometimes only a fraction of the users agree to all cookies, if the corresponding banner has been implemented in accordance with the rules. This shows a recent survey. It'RAIDBOXES s not that bad. Thanks to a skilful implementation of our solution Borlabs Cookie - more about this later.

Nevertheless: Our marketing team knows in less and less cases

  • Where our visitors come from (Google, Facebook, Twitter, other websites, direct accesses...)
  • Which websites use them and how
  • How to navigate through our offer, visit us again, cancel on certainsites
  • Who becomes a customer, how and why, etc.

Now you might say "That is the purpose of the data protection regulations". Or even: "I don't want you to be able to evaluate my visit". For us, fewer numbers mean that we can no longer optimise our website to the same extent. This is at the expense of usability. But we are also gaining fewer new customers.

Tip: You are looking for an WordPress analysis without tracking cookie? 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 to all.
  • We offer the best support in our industry.
  • With our FREE DEV Program host WP professionals and agencies for free. And profit 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're going against it. With our climate positive hosting.

Justified concerns such as the Cookie Regulation make it more difficult for us to pursue this mission.

Unfair competition

What affects us most personally: Not all of our competitors adhere to the data protection rules. The black sheep benefit directly from this decision. We have lost important rankings at Google to those webhosts who do not have Cookie Banner switch.

On the website 2gdpr.com you can check how your website is positioned in terms of data protection and GDPR. Also via the browser you can find out whether your website sets cookies. 2GDPR issues RAIDBOXES a very good "certificate":

GDPR  Check

Others host - also from the WordPress -environment - fail the test with several points. Only very few users see this. And it will probably not be a purchase criterion.

RAIDBOXES and data protection

Of course we discussed it as a team. We don't just put the failures away. However, it is not an option for us to roll back the cookie opt-ins. There are several reasons for this:

  • Warnings: Of course we are worried about a possible warning. The cost of this may be two to four percent of the turnover of a company.
  • Competition law: Competitors are site not allowed to give you a warning for GDPR infringements? That is so not true, as attorney Niklas Plutte in his blog .
  • File a suit: 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 prospects of success too low. And a mutual lawsuit loop does no good to anyone.
  • Warning budget: There are first companies that provide site a warning budget. They deliberately refrain from complying with legal regulations. If a warning notice is issued, they book this as marketing expenditure. Because the sales profit until then is usually higher. This is not our way.

Last but not least, we want to be RAIDBOXES a role model in data protection. It does not suit a serious web host to sloppy with data protection. This is one of the reasons why we regularly show you in Instructions here in the bloghow you implement the current legal framework with WordPress andWooCommerce.

Implementation of the cookie solution

For the provision of the cookie banner in WordPress we rely on the Plugin Borlabs Cookie. Enlargement will help you to comply with the requirements of the EU data protection basic regulation (GDPR) and upcoming ePrivacy Regulation to be implemented.

Borlabs Cookie lets you control first and third party cookies. You can have them confirmed by your website visitors via a banner (also called "cookie box"). This Pluginruns smoothly, the support responds quickly and well.

Tip: Sven Scheuerlehas written a guide for our blog on how to set up Borlabs Cookie: GDPR & ePrivacy opt-in for WordPress. It also shows you the options of the GDPR tool.

Especially exciting: With the solution you can evaluate in detail how often your users have agreed to which cookie categories. This is important to optimize the banner and your online marketing step by step. Because there are several options in Borlabs Cookie to design the buttons, the 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 use. You know other good cookie tools for WordPress and WooCommerce? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

Conclusion

Data protection is a major expense for companies. And not everyone takes this task seriously. Favoured by ambiguous laws and lack of court decisions. Perhaps Google will at some point include data protection compliance in some form as a ranking factor - that would be desirable.

It remains to be hoped that other IT companies will make improvements, provided they neglect the GDPR & Co. so far. Because 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.

How do you deal with privacy and SEO? What questions do you have about the article? Feel free to comment your feedback below. You want to be informed about news and instructions on WordPress, WooCommerce and IT law? Then follow us on Twitter, Facebook , or subscribe to our newsletter.

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