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It’s good to be back in the USA after spending nearly two weeks in England and Wales. There are a few things that I’ll miss, though.

The people.

The cooler temperatures.

Fish & chips.

The beautiful scenery and clean air.

Sheep dotting the hills.

But there’s one thing that I won’t miss…..

The effects of GDPR.

We’ve talked a couple of times over the last few months about GDPR and what those of us stateside should do to be compliant. For those of you who need a reminder, GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation and applies to EU citizens and their online data privacy rights.

Here in the USA, we saw a few changes related to GDPR, such as permission checkboxes on optins, privacy notifications, and a slew of terms of use update emails earlier this year. But our day-to-day life has continued mostly unaffected.

Not so in EU nations.

Browsing the internet now is more of a chore. The pop-ups are annoying and disrupt the user experience, as website after website asks for permission to use private data.

Of course, this data usage is nothing new. We’re just now being reminded of the data harvesting that happens constantly.

It’s a reminder that often instead of a website being about giving value to me, it is sometimes about getting value from me. They want permission to store cookies on devices and collect data so they can make money off me.

I don’t want to sound like I’m condemning ads, browser cookies, and marketing, as obviously, I use them and will continue to use them. But I think it is easy for marketers (and I’m including myself in this) to forget that we need to use them responsibly and that something is much more important than website ads, cookies, and data harvesting.

That important thing to consider is a website’s content.

If your website provides amazing value to your audience, you won’t have to hound them with cookies to buy. They’ll eagerly purchase your product.

If your website provides amazing value to your audience, you won’t have to hound them with pop-ups to give you an email. They’ll eagerly contact you first.

For every hour we spend monetizing, advertising & data gathering on our websites, we should spend at least 5 hours on content creation. Your ad isn’t going to help change a life, but your content can.

It’s an oft-used cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true:

Content is king.

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Aaress Lawless

Aaress enjoys helping small businesses and ministries, having budget travel adventures with friends, and blogging about life lessons on Instagram.

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