first party cookies

Why You Should Be Using First-Party Cookies Instead Of Third-Party Cookies

In order to effectively target consumers online, advertisers use cookies, which provide them with data concerning their online behavior. A cookie is a snippet of data that saves information about a user’s browsing history. This means that these cookies can provide a lot of helpful information to the advertiser. The thing is, there are two types of cookies that you can use — third-party cookies and first-party cookies. While third-party cookies can be very helpful to your advertising needs, depending on them may be a mistake.

The Difference Between First-Party And Third-Party Cookies

Usually, when someone visits a website, both a first-party cookie and a third-party cookie are generated. First-party cookies will be created by the website that a person visits directly. A third-party cookie is created by a party outside of the website. For example, if you visit a website that has third-party advertisements on it, any third-party ads that are viewed as part of the website by the visitor will generate their own cookies. These are third-party cookies.

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The Benefits Of Using First-Party Cookies

You can obtain a lot of useful data from visitors who come to your website. The following are just some of the ways that first-party cookies can help you obtain valuable insight as well as help to improve the website experience of your visitors:

  • Remember visitor session activity. For example, their logins, game scores, or what they’ve added to their shopping cart. This helps to improve their experience the next time they visit.
  • Remember their privacy controls and settings.
  • Profile users, segment them, and optimize your site for them to improve how your website engages with each visitor.
  • Use visitor behavior on your site for analytics, attribution, and verification.
  • Map your visitors across multiple platforms.
  • Cap the frequency of your ads.
  • Improve your ability to target and retarget your leads.first party cookies

The Drawbacks Of Using Third-Party Cookies

If first-party cookies are so helpful, why not use third-party cookies as well? If you’re running ads on other websites, wouldn’t the information you can collect on users of that site be helpful for a variety of different reasons? While this is true — you can collect and act on insightful data through third-party cookies — users tend to view them as an invasion of their privacy. First-party cookies at least help to improve their website experience, which means that they won’t be frowned upon nearly as much. Additionally, even if you plan on using the data you collect responsibly, people can actually block third-party cookies using the following methods:

  • Surf the web using a private mode, such as incognito mode, on their browser, which essentially disables third-party cookies.
  • Browse the web on their Apple devices using the Safari browser, which will automatically block third-party cookies.
  • Change their browser’s cookie and tracking settings.
  • Use software that enables anonymous communication, such as Tor.
  • Install an ad blocker extension to their browser.

Using first-party cookies makes much more sense. Not only do you have greater control over the data being collected due to the fact that you have full ownership, but first-party cookies have a longer lifespan. Although they can be deleted, they are not blocked nearly as often as third-party cookies are. Last, but not least, first-party cookies are more user-friendly since they improve the website experience.

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Terry Becker
Art Director at Stevens & Tate Marketing
Terry offers over 15 years experience providing web, video design/production and print, as well as marketing and advertising. Battle-tested with regard to client needs. Diversity and understanding in skill set, constant exploration of new technologies, and a passion for personal education. Proven competence and knowledge in the entertainment, healthcare, beauty, sports and real estate industries.