Why your site has lost 50% of traffic (Cookies)

At our recent launch event Sam Brown said that agencies waffle too much in blogs so I’ll take his advice and cut to it – Cookie blocking. You’re probably losing out on 100% visibility of your traffic – to put that another way, there’s probably twice the amount of traffic being driven by your campaigns than what you can see in analytics.

To be able to track, analytics relies on cookies stored on your devices, ever since GDPR, privacy solutions that have been rolled out on websites will affect how cookies are stored. If you have a digitally connected business with marketing and online teams working together you would probably know the impact of any solution rolled out onsite, but what if you were new to working with the business, or if you had no prior knowledge of the site?

How to test the impact of Cookie control

To determine how much traffic you’re potentially losing from cookie control, you need to implement a way of tracking that isn’t based on cookies (best to loop in any compliance teams before you test!). You can do this using the measurement protocol.

Using Measurement Protocol to track without Cookies

Measurement protocol allows you to send information into your analytics property without cookies – in this case, we want to send a pageview hit to analytics every time someone loads a page so we can compare against the pageviews for the current reporting property.

Step by step guide

  1. Set up a new analytics property to send the test traffic to – you don’t want to pollute your current reporting profile.
  2. Implement the pageview tracking via measurement protocol – if you have a tag management solution such as Google Tag Manager, follow the rest of the guide, if not you’ll need development involvement, or you can contact us.
  3. Compare number of pageviews from the new analytics property with the current reporting property.

Measurement Protocol and Google Tag Manager

Using Google Tag Manager, set up a tag to fire on every page into your new analytics profile, I’ve called the tag ‘Google Analytics GA debug pageview’:

Tracking pageviews with measurement protocol

Here is how the tag is set up:

You’ll need to replace the XXXXXXXXX-X from below the analytics property with your own code and the {{Random Number}} and {{Page Path}} are in built variables you need to activate. The code is below

<img src=”https://www.google-analytics.com/collect?v=1&tid=UA-XXXXXXXXX-X&cid={{Random Number}}&t=pageview&dp=%2Fconnective3tracking{{Page Path}}”/>

Results

Here is what we found for one client, the blanked URL is one of our campaigns:

For this particular client they had two times more traffic onsite than what they were reporting on.

Feel free to get in touch with us if you want more details of how we can help to better track your digital campaigns or how we can help you get campaign results like above.