When 2023 rolls around, online marketers will no longer be able to rely on cookies. These cookies aren’t the kind you eat but automated bots that assist massively with tracking consumer behaviour and gathering marketing data.
Marketers may find their ability to pursue PPC (pay-per-click) conversions seriously hampered without cookies.
Although the transition to a marketing world without third-party cookies seems grim, there are alternatives to pursuing PPC conversions. Let’s look at this new development and explain how your brand can evolve and thrive once again.
What Are PPC Conversions, and Why Do They Matter in a Cookieless World?
PPC or pay-per-click conversions are when a visitor “converts” into a customer, subscriber, or another targeted user. A “conversion” can be a purchase, subscription to a newsletter or email chain, or signing up for a brand’s membership program.
For several years, marketers have used cookies –automated bots that site visitors must voluntarily accept – to track consumer behaviour, sales figures, and other essential marketing metrics.
But Google recently announced that it would do away with third-party cookies on Chrome, one of the world’s largest and most used web browsers.
How Can You Track PPC Conversions Without Cookies?
Although this news is alarming to many digital marketers, there are ways to track PPC conversions – and other vital forms of marketing data – without third-party cookies entirely.
For example, platforms like Facebook will now allow conversion API technology to share data from their server to those of advertisers. This bypasses cookie tracking and works for advertising and measurement needs regardless of the browser a customer or site visitor uses.
Many advertisers may wish to become early adopters of conversion API technology.
Alternatively, Google Ads should start using machine learning and historical data to scale conversions and provide marketing recommendations to advertisers.
More directly, advertisers can and should implement good tagging infrastructure on their websites.
These should enable them to collect a lot of observable data and still model consumer behaviour without using cookies.
Steps Marketers Should Take To Ensure Their PPC Campaigns Are Effective in a Cookieless World
But even with lots of data, digital marketers may be thrown off, making their PPC campaigns less effective without cookies.
Fortunately, there are ways to master new digital marketing in a cookieless world.
Audit Your Current PPC Campaigns To Identify Areas of Improvement
First, marketers should audit their current pay-per-click ad campaigns so they can improve areas that need a bit of streamlining or bolstering.
By examining your current PPC campaigns, you can improve your current ads before the cookie transition occurs and see how they perform after your tracking metrics shift.
Analyzing ads can also help you understand your true retained earnings for each ad you publish.
Refine Your Targeting To Ensure You’re Reaching the Right Audience
Next, marketers should refine their PPC ad targeting.
It is the best way to ensure their ads reach the right audience rather than relying on useless data gathered from cookies attached to random visitors or those less likely to make purchases.
Optimize Your Ads for Maximum Impact
Naturally, this can all be supplemented by optimizing ad quality, layout, and performance for maximum impact. In other words, marketers should try to make their ads more successful, persuasive, and emotionally resonant.
With the loss of cookie tracking, making your ads connect deeply with consumers or visitors – and forming immediate emotional connections – could become more important than ever.
Keep an Eye on Your Budget and Adjust Accordingly
Make sure to keep an eye on your marketing budget in your business bank account and adjust it as needed. This way, you won’t waste money on ineffective ads sent to people who are less likely to make a purchase.
Review Your Bid Strategy and Adjust as Needed
All digital marketers should try to review their Google Ads bidding strategies for better effect.
Right now, many marketers simply bid for the most competitive keywords their budgets allow for and call it a day.
This may not be the most cost-effective method in the future.
Instead, it could pay to adjust your Google Ads bidding strategy as needed to account for your new targeting metrics and PPC conversion data/models.
Similarly, minimize excess fees to funnel more money to your marketing needs. For example, a recent study by GetWeave shows that optometry companies could save on average $200 a month by eliminating paper invoices.
Track Results and Analyze Performance Data Regularly To Make Necessary Changes
Above all else, advertisers should continue to track results and analyze PPC ad performance data regularly. There are multiple ways you can do this aside from relying on cookies, as we’ll break down below.
Other Implications of Going Cookie-Free That Marketers Need To Know About
In addition to making marketing data more challenging to gather, marketers need to be aware of other potential impacts of the transition away from third-party cookies. These include:
- Having to spend a bit more money to reach the same conversion goals over the next year. This could be a new permanent facet of the industry or a temporary change as marketers learn the new best ways to gather marketing data for their needs.
- An expansion of email marketing software. Email marketing could be more effective (both in terms of raw conversions and cost-effectiveness) if PPC marketing data becomes less reliable.
- Increased usage on algorithmically driven, modeled conversions to predict large-scale consumer behaviour rather than targeting individual users.
The biggest change the industry will likely see is an increased focus on population-level advertising and data gathering rather than specifically gathering data on individual customers and visitors.
The Problem With Not Having New Measurement Systems
For now, marketers will have to contend that there aren’t new measurement systems in place for them to gather PPC marketing data as reliably as before.
This can lead to PPC signal loss and other problems.
How PPC Signal Loss Can Occur
PPC signal loss is a lack of data to measure ad campaign performance. The more signal loss a brand receives, the harder it is for marketers to optimize their PPC campaigns over time and create audiences for new advertisement distribution.
It also makes it harder to drive growth within digital marketing channels.
What You Can Do To Prevent This From Happening in Your Campaigns
Although this sounds dire, there are ways marketers can prevent this from happening in their campaigns. As noted above, there are many ways to gather data on a large scale, such as by using automated algorithms and big models for populations of consumers.
However, marketers will also need to go back to the drawing board and redo their marketing campaign analysis frameworks.
This way, you’ll still be able to gather data on PPC conversions and make educated, successful decisions for your brand that lead to big growth later down the road.
Make no mistake; tracking PPC conversions without cookies will be more difficult. But it is still possible to do so – and use that data to excellent effect – with some alternative strategies.
The transition to a cookieless world will surely throw many marketers into a loop.
But it’s important to remember that you can still track important consumer data and master your PPC marketing campaigns by using alternative methods and leaning into creativity.
You can also contact TechyWise for Internet marketing services of all kinds – see how we can help you today!