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Definition of Cookies
With apologies to both The Cookie Monster and those of you who are feeling a little peckish while reading – the cookies we’re talking about here aren’t the edible kind. But they do, however, make for a delicious online experience for website browsers and webmasters alike (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves – there’ll be no more cookie puns throughout the rest of this article, promise).
Cookies, when talking about the internet and blogging, are small pieces of information that are stored on the reader/user’s computer to track their experience on the blog/website and store their preferences for the next time they visit.
The kind of information they store really is incredible, from knowing whether or not you’re logged into the site, to whether you’ve clicked on a displayed ad or not. They’re very powerful for their simplicity, and can be a valuable tool in marketing.
Using cookies to keep tabs on how visitors interact with your website can be an excellent method of learning what’s working for your site and what isn’t. With the capability of monitoring button clicks, sign ups, and sales to a specific advertisement, you can use the viewers of your website as a control group to tailor fit your blog to your audience in order to gain maximum exposure.
It’s worth noting that not all cookies do the same job, too. While most blogging platforms such as WordPress utilise Session Cookies, which monitor a visitor’s actions during a browsing ‘session’ on a particular website and stops once the user navigates away, and Persistent Cookies. The use of Persistent Cookies is also widespread, and they continue to monitor a user’s activity after they navigate away from a webpage – it’s Persistent Cookies that are the culprits behind why you can go window shopping for plant pots on Amazon and then suddenly start seeing plant pot adverts all over the websites you visit in the following weeks.
Tip: Utilise the power of the cookie by looking into what aspects of your website and its advertising attracts more clicks. An insight into what’s directing the traffic on your website tells you plenty about your content and its layout. If visitors are being drawn away from your main pages, consider changing your site design or rewording your links and content.
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