Everything a Website Owner Has to Know about Cookies

Everything a Website Owner Has to Know about Cookies

Many businesses today use cookies to track user activities on their websites. Over time, cookies become an integral part of the overall online experience. So, whether you like it or not, cookies are literally and digitally everywhere. And for better or worse, they have completely changed how we use the Internet. As a matter of fact, during a survey conducted among adults in the U.S., 28% of respondents cited that they completely understood how cookies on the Internet work.

If you own a website using cookies, you probably have firsthand experience with how cookies help you track your visitor’s browsing activities, etc. And this shows how helpful cookies are, especially for your website and audience.

Read on to learn more about cookies, how they are intended to be used, their different types, and some of the best practices you can carry out for cookie use and compliance.


What are Web Cookies and Why are they important?


Cookies are files with information sent from a website and stored directly in the user’s browsers. Cookies are used to remember the user’s login details, preferences, and other information, making the overall browsing experience smoother. And as a construction website owner, having all of your visitors’ information can help you get to know them on another level. Ultimately, you can gain more insights on enhancing your website performance and find better ways to give them a better user experience.

It is crucial that you have to understand better why cookies are worth tracking and keeping – and when they are not. For a more thorough explanation, here’s how cookies are intended to be used:

  • Session management: For instance, cookies let websites recognize website visitors and recall the user preferences and login details.
  • Personalization: Customized marketing is the major way cookies are being used to personalize sessions. Whenever your visitors view some parts or sections of your site, cookies will use the data to build targeted ads that will be beneficial on your part.
  • Tracking: Some sites use cookies to track items users previously viewed, allowing the website to suggest other items they may like while they continue scrolling or shopping online.


Different Types of Cookies 


In actuality, different types of cookies are used today, and it is worth noting that each can help you improve your SEO performance and website traffic. They are as follows:


1. First-party cookies

First-party cookies are most recorded by the domain (your construction website) that your users visit directly. As a site owner, it allows you to collect analytics, store and retrieve language settings, and conduct other useful functionalities that can help provide a great user experience.


2. Third-party cookies

These are cookies that are placed to see what interest your web visitors. In turn, they act as ads and are useful when visitors leave your website. Did you know that Google has announced that they will stop using third-party cookies in Chrome in the second half of 2024? However, the end of this does not mean you will stop paying attention to cookie tracking anymore. There is still a need for legible end-user content to process data.


3. Session cookies

These cookies usually expire instantly within seconds following the visitor’s departure from your website. Among its various uses, session cookies are used by most website owners to keep users all connected and to compute every single user session for analytic purposes.


4. Persistent cookies

These cookies are stored on the user’s device to help recall previous information, login credentials, and setting preferences that the user saved. Persistent cookies are proven to create a faster and more hands-on website experience.


5. Secure cookies

This type of cookie is one that can only be delivered to the server with an encrypted query via HTTP protocol. With these cookies, sensitive data cannot be stored directly in the cookie since it is unsafe; hence, there should be encryption.


Best Practices for Cookie Usage and Compliance


Using cookies have limitations, too, especially when it comes to privacy. That is why you have to follow the compliance to protect user data privacy. Here are some of the best practices you must implement now as a website owner.


1. Provide clear and accurate information on cookies

As a website owner, you must deliver concise and clear information concerning the cookies you use on your website. This includes the purpose of the cookies and their duration. Also, ensure that this information is provided in a way that is easy for all your web visitors to understand, like a dedicated page or a pop-up banner.


2. Implement a consent banner

As a website owner, you should place a cookie consent banner that specifies what your visitors want. This consent, also called a pop-up banner, should be clearly visible and easy to understand by your web visitors. Also, it must have options just in case the users want to withdraw their consent at any time.


3. Allow the visitors to withdraw consent and delete cookies

In continuation to putting options to withdraw the content, it is clear that some of your web visitors do not want to consent. As a website owner, you have to make sure to give that permission to them as well as the right to delete cookies at any time. This often includes delivering an easy-to-use and clear method for all the users to withdraw their consent, like a dedicated form or cookie settings page.


4. Limit the use of non-essential cookies

Ensure to limit the use of non-essential cookies, like marketing cookies. You can use them when necessary, especially for firewalls and encryption, and it is best to use when protecting sensitive data from any unauthorized access.


5. Implement security measures

There is also the need to implement the right organizational and technical measures to protect sensitive data, like payment options and personal data. This generally includes firewalls, SSL encryption, and other security measures to prevent data breaches.

A regular, scheduled website audit provides a clear picture of what is lacking on your website. It ensures that you immediately catch and resolve any major issues (data breaches) that often cause major problems. And most importantly, an audit provides a solid benchmark for future website improvements.


6. Monitor and update cookie use regularly

You must monitor and update cookie usage consistently to ensure compliance with data privacy laws and regulations. The first stop should be evaluating and updating the cookie policies, tracking the use of cookies, and scanning for security issues and other vulnerabilities.

Take advantage of Google Analytics – this platform uses cookies to collect information and report website usage statistics without personally identifying visitors. Tracking and assessing cookies is made easier using GA.


7. Make use of automated tools

Using automated tools is necessary, and you can opt for configuration templates and cookie scanners. These tools can help you simplify the overall process of ensuring compliance and help you to determine and assess the use of cookies on your construction website.

Here are some tools we recommend and best for starters like you:

  • Osano Content Manager is the Editor’s Choice. This cloud-based consent management system has a dedicated consent scanner and a consent pop-up. Some of its key features include cookie discovery, cookie classification, legal landscape monitoring, etc.
  • TrustArc Cookie Consent Manager is another option. This hosted cookie management system automatically adapts to the browser settings and location of the site visitors. Its key features include cookie discovery and classification, hosted consent manager, and regional awareness of legal compliance.
  • Cookiebot: This hosted consent management platform offers consent banners in forty-six languages. Some of its best features are generating the right consent form, discovering and classifying cookies, and responding to law changes when needed.
  • CookieYes: It is a straightforward and dedicated cookie consent system that can be integrated into your other systems. The cookie consent banners that this platform will generate can provide compliance. Some of its best features include Cookie discovery and Integration with other content management system platforms.


8. Consider browser-specific requirements

A lot of web browsers, like Chrome, have different requirements when it comes to cookie use and consent. And knowing Chrome is the dominant web browser with over 60% of the market share, its stance on blocking cookies has a huge impact.

So, know how to navigate the impact and the many changes underway. Expect things to change and tracking cookies will become more challenging. Yet, one thing is only for sure, as a website owner, you need to adapt to the new ecosystem.


Take Advantage of Cookies for Your Online Marketing Strategy


Now you have a better understanding of what cookies are the some of the best practices to take hold of them responsibly, and it is your turn now to use them for your online campaigns. As you may know, Cookies play a big role in digital marketing. By taking advantage of it, especially for your lead acquisition efforts, you can easily capture user data, resulting in more insights and effective ways to convert visitors into leads.

So, what are you waiting for? Today is the day to make the best of cookies. If you need help knowing where to begin, our people can help!

At ConstructionMarketing.io, we have a team of marketers and specialists conducting cookie tracking on your website. We implement ways to understand your audience better and will devise new strategies to optimize your conversions. With the latest tools we use for cookie tracking, we can improve your site’s overall user experience and create more seamless sales funnels tailored to your target audience.

Our agency has a strong background in construction, and we work closely with the people in the industry – The first in the market. So, trust that we are the right partner for you!

Get in touch with us today, and let’s start tracking your Cookies!