I know it’s usually spring that is synonymous with cleaning and sorting out, but I find with any change of season, I look around to find out what needs changing for the time ahead. At home, it’s getting out the gloves, hats and the slow cooker; in business, it’s reviewing the website, planning for the December holidays and ensuring we make the most of what’s left of the year. 

While reviewing our clients and our site, I noticed some common themes, so here they are for your benefit. 

Are you registered with the ICO? 

If you obtain or hold data, you should be, and the ICO provide a handy 5-minute assessment if you’re unsure. Or read our helpful guide for more background information. 

Do you have a cookie permissions banner? 

While many websites have a privacy policy at the bottom of their website and may even have a cookie banner, does it ask for explicit consent before loading cookies? To comply with the regulations governing cookies under the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive, you must: 

  • Receive users’ consent before you use any cookies except strictly necessary cookies. 
  • Provide accurate and specific information about the data each cookie tracks and its purpose in plain language before consent is received. 

In a rush to comply with regulations in 2018, a lot of websites added banners that were available at the time, many of which don’t require explicit consent before serving cookies, or state that the website uses cookies and if the visitor continues to use the website, they’ll assume that’s ok. Neither of these is explicit consent, so they aren’t meeting GDPR/ePrivacy Directive regulations. 

Unfortunately, the level of scripting required to stop cookies loading automatically means that if you’re using WordPress, a premium plugin is required to comply with the regulations. 

Do you have a Covid-19 banner or notice? 

Is this still needed at all? If it is, is the messaging up to date? Does it reflect how you’re running your business now? 

I have noticed a lot of hospitality organisations have left their ‘masks required’ posters outside, even though it’s now not required by law. Some of them have even left guidance around table service when visitors can now walk around freely. Putting to one side the ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ debate with rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, consumers are likely to feel less trusting of organisations, particularly large ones, with outdated messaging. It can erode confidence when your message is irrelevant. 

So revisit what is relevant for your business right now, and if regulations or practices change, your messaging will be more likely to be taken seriously. 

Do you have Google Analytics? Upgrade to G4! 

If the answer to the first question is no, I hope you have alternative tracking software installed on your website? If not, add and optimise Google Analytics. It only tracks from the day you add it, so you can’t go back in time if you decide at a later date that the data would have been useful. 

Now back to G4…when I say ‘upgrade’, there is no need to get rid of the ‘old’ Universal version of Google Analytics (I’ll refer to it as UA moving forward). G4 is a new product, many things are missing from it, and it will continue to evolve, so UA is still important. However, you can run both sets of tracking side by side without any negative impact. The sooner you start tracking with G4, the earlier you can go back if and when G4 evolves to be a better product.   

Claim your website review 

If these points have prompted you to consider whether your website is still working for you, why not claim our free website review? 

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