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How to make your WordPress website ready for the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Google Consent Mode v2

Do you have a WordPress website, but aren’t sure if you’re compliant with the latest privacy regulations or requirements from the big tech platforms? Are you considering using the WordPress CMS for your new business site and want to know if it’s privacy-ready? In this article, you will learn how to put user privacy first with an easy consent management plugin for WordPress.

Nov 20, 2023

Protecting consumers’ data and respecting their privacy has become crucial for effective digital business operations. The introduction of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) has made it even more important for EU companies to understand and follow new privacy requirements if they want to continue doing business with the designated gatekeepers, e.g. advertising with Google or Facebook. Google has also introduced new requirements for third parties to help ensure DMA compliance, including implementation of Google Consent Mode v2. We take a close look at how you can make your WordPress website ready for DMA and Google Consent Mode v2 requirements, with a special focus on consent management.

Understanding the importance of privacy compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA)

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is a regulation aimed at promoting fair digital markets competition within the European Union. The law focuses on ensuring competition, protecting user rights, and providing a more level playing field for businesses operating in digital markets. Compliance with the new requirements set by gatekeepers as the result of their DMA responsibilities will be crucial for website owners with digital operations and users in the European Union and/or European Economic Area

For third parties that rely on the gatekeepers’ platforms and services for advertising, data, etc., noncompliance could mean loss of access to those platforms, resulting in loss of audience, data, revenue, and potential reputational damage. However, compliance with the DMA goes beyond avoiding penalties. It’s about safeguarding user data and privacy and building trust with your audience.

Consent management mechanisms, such as cookie consent banners, are required by the DMA to obtain explicit and informed consent from users before processing their personal data. Consent management not only helps you as a website owner to meet data privacy requirements, but also plays a crucial role in building a positive user experience, engagement, and customer loyalty.

Valid consent management will be a requirement for continued usage of many gatekeeper services, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads. These platforms will require third-party websites to have consent mechanisms in place to both collect and signal valid consent for compliance with their own policies and with regulations. 

Interruption or potential cessation of access to gatekeepers’ services could have a substantial effect on your online visibility and promotional initiatives, particularly if your enterprise is a small or medium-sized business (SMB) heavily reliant on digital advertising revenue.

“In today’s digital landscape, ensuring privacy compliance is not just about avoiding penalties; it’s a critical step in protecting user data and fostering trust with audiences. For example, user consent is required to continue advertising on services like Google, Facebook, or Amazon. The good news is, if you collect user data through your WordPress website, you can easily install the Cookiebot CMP WordPress plugin to enable compliance on your website.”
Felipe Iregui, Director of Platform Partnerships at Usercentrics (Usercentrics is Cookiebot’s™ parent company)

Related article: Is your WordPress cookie banner GDPR-compliant?

Understanding the importance of compliance with Google Consent Mode v2 requirements

As of March 2024, Google is introducing new requirements and enforcement for advertisers in the EU/EEA and UK. This is to facilitate privacy compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ePrivacy Directive, as well as Google’s EU user consent policy. These new requirements particularly apply to audience and measurement solutions.

Publishers in Europe that use Google Ads, Google Analytics and/or Google Marketing Platform for serving personalized ads need to review and update how they obtain and signal user consent from site visitors and customers for personal data use. Organizations in those regions that fail to meet Google’s March 2024 deadline will no longer be able to access personalization functionality or run personalized ad campaigns using Google’s platforms.

To comply with the new requirements, Google requires companies using their services to implement a Google-certified consent management platform (CMP) that integrates with Google Consent Mode v2, its latest version. The CMP enables companies to obtain valid user consent for data collection and processing, and Consent Mode enables signaling of that consent information to Google’s platforms and services, which controls how they function based on users’ preferences.

Cookiebot CMP enables WordPress users to easily integrate Google Consent Mode v2 into their websites. This can be implemented in three different ways:

  1. implement Google Consent Mode v2 directly into the WordPress site via a script 
  2. use the Cookiebot CMP’s Google Tag Manager Template
  3. implement Google Consent Mode V2 via the Cookiebot CMP WordPress Plugin

Exploring the features and benefits of WordPress CMS and website building platform

WordPress is a powerful CMS and website-building platform that enables you to create professional and feature-rich websites without coding knowledge. 

Customizable themes

WordPress provides a wide range of customizable themes that enable you to create visually appealing and user-friendly websites. Choose from thousands of themes available in the WordPress repository or create your own custom theme.

Plugin ecosystem

One of the biggest advantages of WordPress is its extensive plugin ecosystem. There are thousands of plugins available that can enhance the functionality of your website and help you achieve compliance with DMA requirements. For consent management, you can use plugins like Cookiebot CMP for WordPress, which enables you to easily create and customize cookie banners, implement granular consent options, and track user consent preferences.

Content management 

WordPress offers a user-friendly content management system that enables you to easily create, edit, and publish content on your website. Create blog posts, landing pages, and other types of content to engage your audience and promote your products or services.

SEO optimization 

WordPress is well-known for its search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities. It provides various SEO plugins and features that enable you to optimize your website’s content for search engines and improve its visibility in search results to grow your audience.

Analytics integration

WordPress can be easily integrated with analytics tools like Google Analytics, enabling you to track user behavior, monitor consent management, and gain insights into how users interact with your website. This can be valuable for achieving and maintaining compliance with privacy regulations and DMA requirements.

Now that we have a good understanding of the importance of privacy compliance and the features of the WordPress platform, let’s delve into the steps to make your WordPress website compliant with requirements that will come with the Digital Markets Act, with a focus on consent management.

Related article: How to make your Drupal website ready to comply with the DMA

Consent management plays a crucial role in DMA compliance, as it ensures that website visitors have control over their personal data and the ability to provide or withdraw consent for data processing activities. To implement effective consent management on your WordPress website, we recommend using a consent management platform (CMP) plugin like Cookiebot CMP for WordPress.

Cookiebot CMP WordPress plugin seamlessly integrates with your WordPress website, enabling you to easily create and customize cookie banners, implement granular consent options, and track user consent preferences. Here are the steps to implement the Cookiebot CMP plugin on your WordPress website.

  1. Install and activate the Cookiebot CMP for WordPress plugin from the WordPress repository.
  2. Configure the plugin settings according to your preferences and regulatory responsibilities. This includes selecting your consent type, language, design, and other customization options.
  3. Add your website to the Cookiebot CMP dashboard. This will generate a script that needs to be added to your website’s code.
  4. Paste the Cookiebot™ script in the appropriate field in the WordPress theme editor. This will enable Cookiebot CMP to scan and control cookies on your website.
  5. Define the different types of cookies and other tracking technologies used on your website and the corresponding consent requirements for each type.
  6. Publish your changes to make the consent management features live and enable DMA privacy compliance on your WordPress website.
  7. Update your cookie settings and consent types as needed to ensure ongoing compliance with the GDPR, DMA and other relevant data privacy regulations.

By following these steps and using the Cookiebot CMP for WordPress plugin, you can easily implement consent management on your WordPress website and enable compliance with DMA requirements.

How to add Cookiebot CMP WordPress plugin to your website
How to find and install Cookiebot CMP on WordPress CMS

Detailed video instruction on how to install and activate Cookiebot CMP WordPress plugin:

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Why use the Cookiebot CMP plugin for WordPress?

Using the Cookiebot CMP plugin on your WordPress website provides a host of advantages that support compliance with privacy regulations and elevate the user experience. Explore the key Cookiebot CMP features and benefits below.

Customization options: Tailor the appearance and behavior of your consent banner with Cookiebot CMP to match your brand and website design, ensuring a user-friendly experience.

Automatic website scanning: Save time and effort by enabling Cookiebot CMP to automatically scan and categorize the cookies and tracking technologies used on your website, maintaining an up to date cookie inventory.

Consent management: Use Cookiebot CMP’s user-friendly interface to obtain valid user consent, track and manage user engagement with your consent banner, and increase user trust while complying with privacy laws and regulations set by gatekeepers.

Multilingual support: Offer a localized cookie consent experience for your website visitors with Cookiebot CMP, which supports multiple languages.

Regular updates: Stay compliant with the latest privacy regulations effortlessly as Cookiebot CMP is automatically updated, enabling continuous compliance on your website.

Get started with Cookiebot CMP

Make your WordPress website GDPR-compliant and ready for the new Digital Markets Act requirements.

Download Cookiebot CMP plugin

How to leverage the DMA compliance updates on your WordPress website 

In addition to consent management, there are other aspects of your WordPress website that you should consider to achieve and maintain data privacy compliance:

  • Blog posts and landing pages: Create website content that clearly communicates your data processing activities and provides users with information about their rights and consent options. Publish a clear and accessible privacy policy and provide users with options to manage and control cookies. 
  • Analytics: Use analytics to track user consent preferences, monitor the effectiveness of your consent management setup, and optimize the CMP for higher consent rates.
  • User experience (UX): Ensure that your website’s design and navigation are user-friendly and intuitive. Make it easy for users to find information about consent management and exercise their rights. Provide clear and concise information about your data processing activities, consent options, and user rights.
  • Privacy policy: Provide a comprehensive privacy notice or privacy policy that provides detailed information about data collection and use, users’ rights, and how to exercise them. Users must also be able to withdraw their consent at any time. Check out our privacy policy generator.

How to monitor DMA-related compliance level on your WordPress website

Ensuring compliance with requirements of laws like the DMA involves a continual process of analysis and assessment. To maintain ongoing compliance, consider implementing the following best practices:

  1. Conduct regular audits to verify that your website accurately reflects your current data processing activities, including what data you collect and via what tools.
  2. Periodically review and update your consent management settings in response to changes in regulations or modifications to your data processing practices.
  3. Maintain secure and detailed records of user consent, ready to provide evidence of compliance upon request.
  4. Stay informed about updates or guidance from regulatory authorities and gatekeepers concerning the DMA, as well as other relevant laws and consent management practices.

By actively monitoring and auditing your compliance measures, you can promptly address potential issues, underscoring your dedication to data protection.

Cookiebot CMP WordPress plugin and Google services

The Cookiebot CMP is a Google-certified consent management platform, so you can rest assured it meets Google’s requirements and gets regularly updated. It seamlessly integrates with Google Tag Manager and Google Consent Mode.

Through the integration of Cookiebot CMP with Google Consent Mode, you can respect the privacy preferences of end users while minimizing the impact on your website’s ad revenue, analytics, and more.

Once the integration is completed on your website, Cookiebot CMP will automatically signal visitors’ consent choices to Google. Google will then use the granular consent provided by the end user to adjust tag behavior accordingly.

The Cookiebot CMP also enables the function of tags, enabling Google to respond to signals sent by Cookiebot CMP for activities such as re-marketing and logging analytics data.

Summary and next steps with DMA compliance on WordPress

Meeting gatekeepers’ requirements for third-party companies, relating to DMA compliance, is crucial for EU companies with digital operations that rely on the gatekeepers’ platforms and services for audience, data, and revenue. Follow the steps outlined in this article and use the features and benefits of the WordPress CMS. Benefit from the seamless integration with Cookiebot CMP. Optimize your website’s data compliance, maximize the effectiveness of your online advertising campaigns, and build trust with your visitors.

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news from the data privacy landscape.

Get started with Cookiebot CMP

Make your WordPress website GDPR-compliant and ready for the new Digital Markets Act requirements.

Download Cookiebot CMP plugin

What is the Digital Markets Act (DMA)?

What is the DMA? The Digital Markets Act is a new law that applies to large technology companies operating within the EU and/or EEA. Its aim is to improve fairness, enforce innovation and protect competition in digital markets. Its obligations relate to data sharing processes, transparency and interoperability.

The law directly applies to six companies that have been designated by the European Commission as “gatekeepers”. But smaller businesses must also familiarize themselves with the law because it will directly affect their business usage of the major online platforms and services operated by the gatekeepers. EU companies will need to adhere to the regulatory requirements set by digital service providers like Google and Amazon.

When does the Digital Markets Act come into force?

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) came into force on November 1, 2022, and the majority of its requirements will be actively enforced starting May 2023.

Who does the Digital Markets Act apply to?

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is applicable to companies that operate large online platforms and fulfill specific criteria. These criteria include exerting a significant impact on digital markets, serving as intermediaries between businesses and users, and holding a durable position of market power with substantial influence over innovation. Such platforms are officially designated as “gatekeepers” by the European Commission and are subject to heightened regulatory obligations and scrutiny under the DMA.

The six gatekeepers to date are:

  • Alphabet (owner of Google and Android)
  • Amazon
  • Apple (owner of the App Store)
  • ByteDance (owner of TikTok)
  • Meta (owner of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and others)
  • Microsoft (owner of LinkedIn)
What are the regulatory obligations of the Digital Markets Act?

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) imposes specific obligations on gatekeepers, including the elimination of unfair or anti-competitive practices, providing access to platform-generated data, ensuring interoperability, and preventing favoritism towards their own or specific partners’ services.

What is the Digital Markets Act’s impact on businesses?

Gatekeepers will need to make substantial changes to their operations and processes in order to comply with the new obligations. This will require significant investments in technology, staffing, and legal resources, potentially leading to increased operating costs. Additionally, the provision for imposing fines on noncompliant platforms adds to the financial burden for gatekeepers, while noncompliant third parties risk losing access to gatekeepers’ platforms.

The most used solution for compliant use of cookies and online tracking

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