What’s the perfect recipe for remarketing, I hear you ask? It’s all in the cookies! So, this National Cookie Day, we’re bringing you all you need to know about digital non-edible kind of cookies…

What are cookies?

Web cookies are tiny text files that are stored by your computer in your browser directory or data folders. Every time you visit a website that uses cookies, it tracks where you go on-site. Cookies are like elephants and remember everything: your login details, on-page preferences as well as a multitude of customisation options. The cookie has a twin file that is stored by the website with the same ID tag, with the site able to keep track of your information (such as your email address) and where you visit.

But, you don’t need to worry about cookies storing your information… As they’re quite basic, cookies only contain the URL of site that made the cookie and when the cookie will expire. Therefore, cookies don’t have the ability to expose your personal identity.

Different types of cookies

The two types of web cookies you’ll find are: session cookies and persistent cookies. Session cookies are only temporary, and are kept in your web browser’s subfolder until you click off the page and the cookie is deleted.

Like their name suggests, persistent cookies stay in your web browser’s subfolder, and are re-activated when you visit the same site again. The life span of persistant cookies depends on how long its duration is set for in the cookie file.

Are there cookie security problems?

There is a misconception that cookies are viruses, but this is not true. As mentioned earlier, because these are tiny plain text format files, they don’t have the ability to store or implement a virus.

However, cookies can be used as a means of malicious spyware as they are able to store information about a user’s web preferences and history. Anti-spyware products and software are a great way of combatting this issue. Although the chances are extremely slim, there is also the risk of cookies being intercepted by hackers; the risk is heightened if you are using an unsecure and unencrypted WiFi network.

The Cookie Law

When users visit a site, they now have to opt-in to allow their cookie ID to be stored. This came into effect for all EU countries in May 2011, and in the UK is subject to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. If you don’t follow the regulations for the Cookie Law, you risk getting fined.

How do cookies help remarketing?

Remarketing is a smart and effective way of targeting and enticing potential customers back to your site when they’ve previously been browsing your pages but haven’t made a purchase. Google remarketing works when your have cookies on your site that meet the benchmarks you’ve set out according to a user’s actions on your site, and saves their cookie ID to a remarketing list.

You can build remarketing lists in Google Analytics, and this is where it gets clever: you can segment the lists into different types of users e.g. targetting only people who have converted, or people who have been on site for more than 1 minute. It’s key to get the cookie lists properly set-up for your remarketing to be effective and fool-proof.

You can play around with various advertising settings to adjust how your cookies function, such as a maximum amount of impressions you want to attain from the remarketing ads, how long cookie IDs stay on your remarketing list, and the blocking of the ads on particular sites to name but a few.

You also need to bear in mind that you need at least 100 cookie IDs before a remarketing list can be activated. You can read more about the importance of remarketing here.

Want to know more about cookies and remarketing?

Cookies give a more personalised online experience, which overall leads to more of your potential and existing customers more likely to make a purchase. Get in touch with us on 01303 240715 to learn more about remarketing, or take a look at our other services. We’d love to help!