The crucial role of content in a world without third-party cookies

The marketer’s nightmare: the end of the third-party cookie era is in sight. With the ban on these tracking cookies, a possibility to efficiently (re)target your target audience online disappears. Fortunately, there are alternatives. Through clever use of first-party cookies and with iron-strong content, your company will be future-proof soon.

First-party cookies

The main function of cookies is to distinguish one user from the other. First-party cookies are placed by the owner of the website. In it, the permission of visitors is recorded or which data the owner may use within the site.

Third-party cookies

Third-party cookies are placed by a company that is not directly involved in the website, often providers of advertising. They are real trackers: a kind of digital backpack with unnoticed collected information about online behavior on various websites. A profile of a user. Convenient for other companies, not always pleasant for the consumer. Read the news on and you will see those shoes you’ve seen once again.

First-party data and email addresses play a central role

What are we going to do without third-party cookies?

We already said it: strong content is an important part of the solution. This way you answer consumer search queries and provide a sustainable stream of visitors to your website. You are still dependent on search engines, so a good SEO strategy is a must.

Good content helps with (re)targeting

High-quality content is also very suitable to ask visitors to leave their email addresses. As the website owner, you can then contact the visitor directly, for example to send a newsletter. Or to keep them informed about developments around a product. First-party data and email addresses play a central role in the solutions to still be able to (re)target well.

Good news: you can still do what you could

Now that no more information comes with third-party cookies, platforms offering advertising space must create a profile of their visitors in another way. Through first-party cookies, these publishers can measure the response of visitors to the content on their platform. That gives them their interests. For example, an advertiser of cars can then advertise around car content, but also around topics where those interested in car content often come (and thus show interest) according to the first-party behavioral data.

Advertisers will also benefit from tracking responses to their content, especially for visitors who have also given permission to share their data anonymously with certain partners. The advertiser can now share a list of anonymous IDs with platforms that attract a lot of public and also offer advertising space. This way you can reach someone who has read an article about a product on your own website elsewhere with an offer again. And also send the look-alikes of that ID the offer. There are different forms of anonymous IDs such as LiveRamp or device fingerprints. More digital safes where anonymous matching is done on email address are also emerging. So (re) targeting is still possible, but as a company you have to prepare for it.

In short, what should we pay attention to?

  • High-ranking, quality SEO content that attracts potential customers to your own website.
  • Good diversity in content, so that the response helps to profile target groups and visitors.
  • Valuable content gets the consumer to share data and/or leave an email address (‘content for consent’).