Sam Martin-Ross

With the enforcement date of 25th May 2018, GDPR is rapidly approaching. Marketers have been concerned about the impact of GDPR for months if not years, and a lot has been said about it already.

Here is our view on the impact GDPR will have on PPC and SEO, and tips on how to prepare for compliance.

GDPR’s Impact

In the short term GDPR presents challenges to all advertisers and agencies, difficulties in ensuring compliance and significant fines if they’re not. These challenges however present an opportunity to improve digital marketing for everyone, by giving consumers complete control over their data. This means improved PPC & SEO performance for advertisers in the long run.

Personal data drives digital marketing, in particular many display, and social media advertising platforms are entirely based on personal data. The targeting we use as advertisers relies on the personal data users give these platforms (whether knowingly or not).

One major issue these platforms have is personal data accuracy, and inaccurate data means less effective ad targeting. According to the Pew Research Centre, 24% of Americans have given “inaccurate or misleading information about themselves” online.

When advertisers are fully GDPR compliant, consumers will not only have full control over their data but will ideally understand the benefits of sharing their data before doing so. This makes users more likely to give accurate data, to who and when they want. Improved data means improved PPC & SEO performance over time.

Compliance & PPC

*Firstly we have to mention that we’re not lawyers and this isn’t legal advice on how you can comply with GDPR. Please do consult with lawyers if you have concerns about your compliance with GDPR.

Having said that, here are our tips for compliance based on our knowledge of GDPR, current AdWords policies, and PPC in general.

1. Facebook & Google Ads

If you’re advertising on these platforms, it’s good to know they have both committed to being compliant with GDPR. You can read more on there statements here – Google & Facebook.

This ensures their ad platforms stay compliant however there are circumstances when advertisers need to ensure their campaigns are compliant too. This is in particular when advertisers use personal data of EU citizens.

2. Remarketing & Cookie Consent

Remarketing works because websites leave cookies on computers, and later these are targeted by ad platforms. The issue here is without consenting to those cookies, users have not consented to being remarketed to.

There are not necessarily any personal data concerns here however I would recommend a solution such as iubenda to ensure users consent to cookies, and even have the ability to opt-out of them before they have loaded. If not for GDPR, there is still the EU cookie law to comply with.

3. Email Based Ads

Before uploading an email list for AdWords’ Customer Match, or for any ad campaigns, you will need to ensure any EU citizens in the list have explicitly consented to be included. Beyond that, the email lists should be uploaded directly to the platforms and not shared with any third parties.


Hopefully the above has helped, and if you’re interested in discussing this further, or need any help with PPC, feel free to get in contact with us today.

No Comments

Join the conversation