Track the Impact of Google Analytics Cookie Consent on Website Traffic

If you are using a cookie consent popup (like the one below) to comply with GDPR, which allow a website user to accept or decline cookies, you would want to track the impact of this cookie consent on your website traffic, sales and conversions over time:

ga cookie consent we are using cookies 1

You can do that by following the steps below:

Step-1: Log in to your Google Analytics account and then navigate to the ‘Admin’ section.

Step-2: Click on the ‘Annotations’ link under the ‘View’ column:

ga cookie consent annotations google analytics

Annotations are notes that you tie to a specific event in Google Analytics.

Step-3: Click on the ‘New Annotation’ button:

ga cookie consent new annotation button

Step-4: Select the date on which you added the ‘cookie consent’ popup on your website and then add a small note, which can easily remind you about the event, in the near future:

ga cookie consent create new annotation

Step:5: Click on the ‘Create Annotation’ button.

Once you clicked on this button, your new annotation will appear in all GA reports, which has got an over time graph.

We are adding annotations to GA reports, in order to create a baseline for measuring website performance in terms of traffic, sales and other conversions.

Step-6: Look at your website usage data of the last one month, before you added cookie consent pop up on your website. Note down sessions, sales volume, ecommerce conversion rate and other metrics which are important to you.

Step-7: Look at your website data of the last one month, after you added the cookie consent popup on your website. Note down sessions, sales volume, ecommerce conversion rate and other metrics which are important to you.

Step-8: Compare the data you collected in step-7 with the data you collected in step-8. Start this comparison by navigating to the ‘Channels’ report (under Acquisition > All Traffic):

ga cookie consent data comparison

Most likely, you will see a decline in traffic, sales and other conversions.

This is mainly due to, losing the ability to correctly track website usage data for the visitors, who declined cookies to be placed on their device.

Most likely the traffic segment which will have the biggest negative impact is the traffic generated from EU countries.

So you would like to compare the performance of EU and non-EU traffic segments in GA.

Step-9: To do that, upload the following two custom segments in your GA property:

  1. Non-EU Traffic
  2. EU Traffic

Step-10: Apply these two segments to the ‘Channels’ report (under Acquisition > All Traffic):

ga cookie consent channels report 1

From the screenshot above, we can conclude that 71% of traffic is from non-EU countries and around 29% traffic is from eu countries.

You can get similar insight, by using these custom segments.

When you compare the data you collected in step-7 with the data you collected in step-8, while using these two custom segments, you can get detailed insight about the changes in website usage data:

ga cookie consent channels report2 1

For example, from the screenshot above, we can conclude that after adding the cookie consent pop-up on the website:

#1 There is a decline of 1.63% in website users from non-EU countries

#2 There is a decline of 8.16% in users from EU countries

You can do a similar comparison for other metrics:

ga cookie consent comparison

Note: You can hover your mouse over one of the custom segment, to get more information about the segment:

ga cookie consent more information

How to mitigate the effect of Cookie Consent Popup on website traffic

The smart way to mitigate the effect of the cookie consent popup is not to show it to non-EU website traffic.

But for that, you would need to use some type of IP lookup solution (like IPinfo, IPData) through which you can identify visitors from the EU and show the cookie consent popup, only to them.

Most IP lookup solutions charge for per lookup and depending upon your website traffic, using a lookup solution can cost you, hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month.

But that’s the price you have to pay if you want to mitigate the effect of cookie consent popup, on your website tracking.

Related Articles:

Other articles on specialized tracking in Google Analytics

  1. Google Analytics Ecommerce Tracking Tutorial
  2. Google Tag Manager Event Tracking Tutorial
  3. Google Analytics Event Tracking Tutorial
  4. Google Analytics Store Visits Tracking Tutorial
  5. Offline Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics – Tutorial
  6. Ecommerce Tracking Google Tag Manager (GTM) – Tutorial
  7. Tracking Virtual Pageviews in Google Tag Manager – Tutorial
  8. Google Tag Manager YouTube Video Tracking
  9. How to unlock not provided keywords in Google Analytics?
  10. Google Analytics Virtual Pageviews Tutorial
  11. Google Analytics and YouTube Integration Tutorial
  12. Google Analytics for Facebook Tutorial
  13. Cross Domain Tracking in Google Analytics – Complete Guide
  14. How to use two Google Analytics codes on one page
  15. The one thing that you don’t know about PayPal.com and the referral exclusion list
  16. Google Analytics Calculated Metrics – Tutorial
  17. Creating your own Google Analytics Tag Auditing System
  18. Google Tag Manager Search Tracking without Query Parameter
  19. Tracking Google Analytics Paypal Referral and other payment gateways
  20. How to Track Phone Calls in Google Analytics – Call Tracking Tutorial
  21. How to track leads in Google Analytics via CRM
  22. Postbacks in Google Analytics Explained
  23. Subscription & Recurring Revenue Analytics in Google Analytics
  24. Tracking Offline Conversions in Google Ads
  25. Implementing Scroll Tracking via Google Tag Manager
  26. Scroll Depth Tracking in Google Tag Manager – Tutorial
  27. Site Search Tracking In Google Analytics Without Query Parameters
  28. Google Tag Manager Youtube Video Tracking via YouTube Video Trigger
  29. How to Correctly Measure Conversion Date & Time in Google Analytics
  30. Google Analytics Social Tracking – Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn
  31. Cross Domain Tracking in Google Analytics – Complete Guide
  32. Google Analytics Linkedin & Twitter Tracking
  33. Creating Content Group in Google Analytics via tracking code using gtag.js
  34. Google Analytics Site Search Tracking via Query Parameters
  35. Google Analytics Site Search Tracking Tutorial
  36. Creating and Using Site Search Funnel in Google Analytics
  37. Learn to Setup Facebook Pixel Tracking via Google Tag Manager
  38. AMP Google Analytics Tracking – Learn to track AMP pages
  39. Setting up Sales Funnel across websites in Google Analytics
  40. Regex Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager – Tutorial

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