Increasing Cookie Consent Rates: A Guide to Compliance and Optimisation

Katie Holmes
27th October 2023

With laws changing around cookies and data collection for website visitors, we asked experts questions on how they improve cookie consent rates and how to make sure you comply. 

Third-party cookies are dying. 

And with changes to data privacy ongoing, such as Apple’s ATT policy, businesses need to ensure they’re up to date with cookie consent rules and regulations.

Not only that, but they need to be optimising cookie collection pop-ups and forms to ensure they can continue collecting the data they need to track and retarget users to their site. 

In this blog, you can learn:


– GDPR and CCPA require websites to obtain clear and informed consent from users before placing cookies on their devices.

– Non-compliance with cookie consent rules can result in hefty fines, making it essential for businesses to respect these rules. 

– We found that the average consent rate is 31%. But, cookie consent rate ranged from 4% to 85%.

– 60% of our experts prefer pop-up bars for cookie consent notices, but 40% disagree, saying pop-up bars are intrusive and put users off.

– Replaying cookie consent to users who didn’t accept the last time they visited could be a good way to improve your data.

– 90% of experts recommend using standard cookie consent language, over playful language.

– Programmatic display allows you to target your cookie consent banner to users who are most likely to be interested in your products or services

Why do you need to comply with cookie consent rules?

EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA have paved the way for a more privacy-centric digital world.

GDPR and CCPA require websites to obtain clear and informed consent from users before placing cookies on their devices. Websites must also provide users with the option to opt in or out of data collection.

Non-compliance with cookie consent rules can result in hefty fines, making it essential for businesses to respect these rules. 

However, financial penalties are not the only reason to comply with cookie consent rules. Cookie compliance allows you to:

What is the average cookie consent rate? 

Cookie consent rate varies from industry to industry. So, while we did find some data when it came to cookie consent data, remember that it’s not indicative of where you should be. 

We asked marketers for their average cookie consent rate. 

We found that the average consent rate is 31%. However, there was a huge range in numbers. 

Cookie consent rate ranged from 4% to 85%. That’s a huge margin! 

And it’s not surprising. 

Some websites might drive a few hundred visitors per month, while some might drive hundreds of thousands. 

Meanwhile, some websites could be seeing higher consent rates due to having a blog and visitors wanting to read their content, compared to sites that use their content to just drive conversions. 

There are plenty of different factors involved when it comes to cookie consent rate. 

But no matter if you’re seeing click rates of 4% or 80%, chances are you want to improve it. After all, higher conversion rates mean better data access which helps analytics and optimisation. 

Tips to improve your cookie consent rate 

We asked experts for their advice on how to optimise your cookie consent popup, and here are some of the tried-and-tested tips they shared:

Use a pop-up bar for your cookie consent 

60% of our experts prefer pop-up bars for cookie consent notices, but 40% disagree, saying pop-up bars are intrusive and put users off.

Leanna Serras, Chief Customer Officer of was one such expert saying, “We use a floating bar in the form of a bottom banner. Floating bars are better because they are non-intrusive and do not interrupt the user experience of our website.”

But many of our experts said that by using a pop-up, you could guarantee that users click something. They found that a floating bar, while less intrusive than a pop-up, saw a much lower click rate. 

Replay cookie consent to boost numbers 

Replaying cookie consent to users who didn’t accept the last time they visited could be a good way to improve your data.

48% of experts suggested replaying cookie consent to repeat visitors.

Brandon Wilkes, Marketing Manager at The Big Phone Store was one expert who suggested this. He said, “We replay cookie consent to repeat visitors because we believe it is important to obtain consent from our users to provide them with the best possible experience. By replaying consent, we ensure that our users are fully informed about our use of cookies and that they have the opportunity to change their preferences if they so desire.”

But, there are a few things to consider. 

First, how often you display these consent banners is important. As Jodi Daniels, Founder & CEO of Red Clover Advisors said, “It’s not advised to bombard individuals with cookie banners.”

Dan Shepherd, the CEO and owner of VEI Communications said, “We only show cookie consent to old visitors when they come back to the website after thirty days. It can be annoying for everyday visitors.”

Secondly, consider when you reshare cookie consent. A few of our experts suggested using significant sale events as an opportunity to drive a higher consent rate. 

Shannon Steinberg, SEO Manager of Allied Van Lines advised that “marketers can display cookie consent banners during big event sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Users are much more likely to accept cookies during these sales as they are more worried about the best deals rather than privacy concerns.”

Use standard cookie consent language

Some websites play with their cookie consent language, using more playful language. But when we asked our experts their thoughts, 90% agreed you should use standard cookie consent language. 

That’s things like: 

Of course, not everyone agreed. 

Adam Berry, SEO Expert, said that he uses “language that resonates with the website’s audience.

“For example, on a client’s site with a “millennial” audience, I have used ‘Here’s a cookie!’ with a graphic of a cookie itself followed by how the website specifically uses their data. 

“With the CTAs I got creative and have used words such as, ‘Awesome! Thanks’ or, ‘No I’m good.’” 

Choosing the text for your cookie consent notice is important. You want to give your user clear information on how you’re using their data and what it means. 

We suggest testing different copy to see what resonates best with your audience. 

Test allowing visitors to ‘reject all’ cookies 

48% of experts agreed you should give people the chance to reject all cookies as opposed to just ‘manage settings’ or something similar. 

Ronald Williams, Founder of Best People Finder added, “We include ‘reject all cookies’ as an option to make our audience more autonomous about their consent. We have experienced that if your content offers value and directly relates to and resolves the pain points of your audience, they don’t mind clicking “accept all cookies”.  

Meanwhile, Leanna Serras, Chief Customer Officer of felt that “the frequently used “Accept All” and “Cookies Settings” buttons are not enough. If you offer an “Accept All” button, there must be a “Reject All” button next to it of the same size, design, and format.”

From a legal standpoint, Shad Elia, CEO of  New England Home Buyers advised, “ the DPC is clear. You are under no need to add the phrase “Reject All Cookies” in the pre-loaded notification that shows up on a user’s initial visit.

“You merely need to provide the option to “Accept All” and a method for users to manage cookies more thoroughly, such as “Manage Settings.”

“’Manage Settings’ must have equal visual weight as ‘Accept All,’. Although admittedly not many websites follow this rule, you must not influence consumers’ choices.”

Don’t create an obtrusive experience 

Many websites use cookie consent notices that take up the full screen and are obtrusive regarding user experience. 

This could be why many businesses opt for the floating bar instead of a pop-up. 

Of course, you want people to see the cookie consent and accept it, but you don’t need to cover the full screen. 

Abdullah Prem at Bloggers Need said, “Place the cookie consent notice in a prominent location on the website so that users will see it before they start browsing.”

Franceen San Andres, Growth Manager of CocoLoan, emphasises the importance of making the cookie policy easily accessible and understandable. She says, “Users should be able to find the cookie policy easily and should be able to understand it without difficulty.”

“Offer a clear and concise explanation of what cookies are and why they are being used: Users should be given a clear explanation of what cookies are and why the website uses them.”

Improve the consent banner design

Think of your cookie consent as a CTA. Just like any other CTA, the performance will vary depending on how it’s styled. 

So, it’s essential to assess how your cookie consent looks both on desktop through to mobile, and create something that stands out. 

Alice Eve, Marketing Director, Cicinia France added, “Consent rates can be greatly influenced by the colours, text, and layout of your consent banner. 

“After all, it is a user’s first impression of your website, and it is frequently a pop-up that they try to close as quickly as possible. 

“As a result, the design should aim to capture the user’s attention, encouraging them to click ‘Accept’ while reassuring them that you care about their data privacy. It is important to note that you can personalise your consent banner design using a CMP (Consent Management Platform) or in-house.”

And think about who you’re targeting when it comes to styling. 

Simon Brisk, CEO of Click Intelligence, advised, “Visually appealing cookie consent banners work for the audience that doesn’t read content much – it’s a psychological trick. 

“For those who do read, marketers should add two or three readable bullet points about how cookies help them give better results. Convincing with logical reasoning is the best way for increasing cookie consent rate on a website.”

Try programmatic display 

Gary Hunter, Director of CompareGolfPrices suggested programmatic display for improving cookie consent. He said, “The use of programmatic display is something that I would propose to other marketers as a means of increasing cookie consent. When it comes to programmatic display, the benefits of contextual permission are instantly apparent, however, you need to delve further into data analysis when dealing with programmatic display. 

“Find out which subpages and landing pages have a high trust factor by using the data collected from users who have opted in, and then perform the cookie consent procedure once more on these pages using the data obtained from users who have opted in. 

“It is essential, in my opinion, to maintain a close watch on the progress that is being made in programmable display.

“It is recommended that the display be first limited to a small percentage of users and that the frequency of displays should only be increased when the data indicates relevant signals. This will ensure that the experience is as unobtrusive as possible for the user.”

And he wasn’t alone in this suggestion. Oliver Hudson, the Marketing Manager of Word Finder agreed, adding, “I would advise marketers to use a programmatic approach to increase their cookie consent. This allows them to gather relevant data to find out each landing page’s trust factor. Then display cookie consent on the landing pages with the highest trust factor.”

Wrapping up 

And there you have it. Seven easy ways to improve your cookie consent rate. 

But before we sign off, one more tip for you from Andy Carter, the CFO at Freedom Dividend

He said, “it’s important to track how well your cookie consent notification is performing. Do a survey or use a tool like Hotjar to see how many people are clicking on it.

“Based on the findings, you can then make changes to improve clickability. For example, if a few people are clicking on your notification, try using a pop-up instead of a floating bar. Or, if many people are clicking on the “reject all cookies” option, consider removing it from your notification.” 

Being nimble and agile with your testing is the ultimate way to consistently improve results with little wasted time. 

Want to learn more about how else you can optimise your marketing? Here’s the full walkthrough on how to optimise your marketing using Ruler. 

If you’ve got any more questions on cookie consent, get in touch with us over on social media. Or, sign up for our newsletter where we share more content like this.