Parachute

We Have Cookies!

Yes, we have cookies. Sadly, not the ones most people would be expecting. Though I do have a stash of them hidden at my desk right now as a ‘research tool’ for this blog…The cookies I want to tell you about are internet cookies. Not as tasty but just as fantastic. If you have a website (if not, find out why you should) then cookies are a great ingredient to help you make dough!

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What are Cookies?

Let’s start with the basics. A cookie is a small file created by your (or anyone’s) website to recognise users and keep track of their preferences. This means you can ensure a more personalised experience for users. Cookies get a bit of a bad rap from some people. I imagine these are the kinds of people who prefer raisin cookies over chocolate. Cookies cannot ‘track’ what you do elsewhere on your computer, access your files or your biscuit tin. So relax, your Jaffa Cakes are safe. Of course, there is the odd malicious cookie (perhaps a biscotti, they can cause serious damage to your Granny’s false teeth). These track your online activity then sell your data but they but if you update your browser regularly, this is not something to worry about.

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What’s so good about them?

By having cookies on your site, it means you can get into the deeper analysis of your website. If you’re a user of Google Analytics, you will know how helpful a tool it is. Without cookies, this level of analysis would not be possible! If you don’t know much about the analytics side of websites, I’ll share a few crumbs of wisdom with you. If you want to know about your website visitors, Analytics can show you almost everything you want to know. It probably can’t tell you if they prefer HobNobs or Digestives but it’ll help you none the less. Ever wanted to know how visitors get onto your website in the first place? Through organic search? Through a PPC campaign? Or perhaps from your hilarious Facebook post? Cookies make it possible to find that out. Want to know how many pages they view and for how long? Cookies make that happen.

Internet cookies give benefits to those who use your website too. Have you ever wondered how Amazon is able to remember what you looked at weeks ago and recommend you products that you would actually buy? Guess what…It’s because of that wonderful thing I keep telling you about, cookies! Online consumers prefer content on websites (including adverts & promotions) to be relevant to them and 74% get frustrated when it isn’t. This can give your site a lower bounce rate, longer time on site which in turn will usually lead to an increase in sales.

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I hope I have now made you understand the fabulousness of internet cookies. Ok, enough about cookies…we’re starting to get peckish again!

 
Image by Kimberly Vardeman from Lubbock, TX, USA (Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons