Add a cookie consent message to your website

Nina De la Cruz Nina De la Cruz 5 min read

Technically, every website on the Internet is required to display a cookie message. But if you haven’t added one to your website yet, fear not. The entire process is straightforward and requires no coding skills.

From this article, you’ll learn how to add a clear cookie policy notification to your website and make it prominent — just as required by the EU cookie law.

The first most popular format for a cookie message is a slide-in that appears from the corner at the bottom of a page. This is what it looks like:

A message like this one pops up when a visitor lands on your website and remains visible until they hit the ACCEPT button. Once they do, the banner will close and won’t be displayed to the same person until the next visit or unless they delete cookies on their browser – depending on the targeting settings you choose.

The second most popular option for a cookie consent message is a floating or sticky bar placed at the bottom of a webpage. Take this template as an example:

Notice that both templates include (optional) links to the Privacy Policy page and consent collection buttons. Both elements are customizable, so if you decide to change the button copy or remove the link, you can do that, too.

With Getsitecontrol’s free plan, you can add a non-targeted cookie consent message to your website at no cost. It will be displayed both to new and returning visitors. If you want to display the message to first-time visitors only, you can use Pro targeting features.

Below, we’ll show you how the process goes, step by step. We’ll also help you answer some of the most common questions, such as:

  • What is the best way to display a cookie notification?
  • Is there an ultimate cookie consent example?
  • Does it have to be formal or can I get creative with the copy?

The fastest way to add a cookie message to your website is by using one of the templates from the gallery. Typically, there’s no need to edit them – unless you want to change the language or add your own link.

If you do want to make the adjustments, however, this is what the process looks like.

Step 1. Adjust the copy and appearance (if needed)

Once you’ve selected the template, it goes to your dashboard. On the first screen, you can edit the copy, the position of your cookie banner, and its style.

How to edit the text on a cookie policy notification

To edit the cookie message or the button text, just click on it and start typing; to change the style of the banner, use the Theme menu. For instance, you can easily switch between the dark and light color themes and select another font – to achieve a better match with the style of your website.

How to edit the appearance of a cookie consent message

If you’ve selected a slide-in instead of a sticky bar, the Position menu also allows you to decide which corner it should appear from.

Step 2. Set correct targeting (premium feature)

Your cookie message will be a part of the user experience on your website. By default, it will be displayed to every visitor, every time they arrive at your website. However, if a large percentage of your website visitors return regularly, you may want to create a less obtrusive experience and target first-time visitors only.

To achieve that, make sure to set the targeting settings properly.

How to make sure your cookie consent message is displayed at the right moment

To indicate when and where the cookie message should appear, you’ll need to use the Targeting tab.

Feel free to copy the settings on the screenshot above. This is what they mean:

  1. the cookie message pops up for new website visitors only
  2. it’s displayed at once – upon landing
  3. once a visitor hits the consent button, the banner will disappear forever

Keep in mind that if a visitor clears cookies on their browser, they will be considered new again.

When ready, save the widget using the Save & close button and activate it on your website.

This is the part where we should remind you this is not legal advice but rather another material provided for informational purposes, so feel free to check out European Union regulations and EU data protection rules website for additional guidelines.

It’s quite unequivocal, however, that the rulebook requires you to obtain a “clear, informed consent” from visitors in order to use cookies that track their data.

With that in mind, here is what we suggest your cookie widget consists of:

  • ✔️ An eye-catching banner appearing at once during the first visit
  • ✔️ A clear “this website uses cookies” message
  • ✔️ A link to the page with your Cookie Policy or Privacy policy
  • ✔️ An interactive element (a button) to collect active consent from your website visitors

The whole point of a cookie message is to notify visitors that your website uses cookies and to provide them with a way to agree to it.

As you’ve probably noticed, some websites use formal lengthy cookie notifications, while others place just a brief note. Both options are okay as long as they deliver the message.

Consider this compact slide-in as an example:

Notice that despite the minimal spacing, this cookie message includes a brief explanation of the reason why the website owner collects cookies. We highly recommend mentioning these reasons because it creates transparency and makes your website more trustworthy.

If you’re looking for more specific wording, here are three examples you can grab:

  • “This website collects cookies to deliver better user experience”
  • “We collect cookies to analyze our website traffic and performance; we never collect any personal data”
  • “Cookies help us display personalized product recommendations and ensure you have great shopping experience”

Again, you can always expand your statement and provide all the details on how your website uses cookies on your Privacy policy/Cookie policy page.

If you’re feeling creative, feel free to use humor in your copy and add a cute image to your cookie banner.

There’s a wide choice of visuals right in the Getsitecontrol dashboard when you choose to add an image. Plus, you can upload images from your desktop.

If you’re looking for more cookie consent examples, there is a good roundup collected by Termsfeed, a Terms and Conditions generating website. And if you’re ready to create a good-looking cookie message for your website, go ahead and log in to your Getsitecontrol account right now.

Nina De la Cruz is a content strategist at Getsitecontrol. She is passionate about helping small and medium ecommerce brands achieve sustainable growth through email marketing.

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