When we optimize the websites of companies entering the European market, in addition to obvious changes like localizing and translating content, we also focus on adherence to local laws. For example, if a website doesn't comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) when processing the personal data of users from/in the EU, it can lead to blocking and heavy fines. This is a major reputational risk, and you might end up investing a lot of money on promotion and ads all for nothing.
What's the GDPR and who's it for?
The GDPR applies to all businesses in the EU or that provide services/products to EU users.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, General Data Protection Regulation, General Data Protection Regulation) is a European Union (EU) regulation used by the European Parliament, Council of the European Union, and European Commission to solidify and unify personal data protection rules for everyone in the EU. It also covers the export of data from the EU. (Wikipedia)
When entering a new market, you can launch a localized site fast and optimize it along the way. But if you don't protect user personal data, the site will likely be blocked for 2-3 months pending the resolution of all legal and technical issues, and your whole operation will grind to a stop.
Basic GDPR implementation principles in the EU
Firstly, note that in the European Union, data protection regulations are enforceable and compliance with the GDPR is mandatory. If you don't follow the GDPR, your business will be held liable the very first time you're checked or a user complains.
Secondly, you can't force users to consent immediately to all your policies, especially by default, without any restrictions on the use of personal data and their transfer to third parties or internationally. If the site works in the EU or is adapted to the European market, at the very least you should add a cookie banner and allow the user to manage their consents independently.
Thirdly, all your company documents need to be drawn up correctly and comply with the GDPR in full:
personal data processing accounting log, and templates for responding to requests from regulators and the subjects of personal data processing.
How to implement GDPR and get GDPR compliant
It's best to consider GDPR compliance before entering the European market. This helps minimize your reputational and financial risks. But if you're already working with clients or users from Europe, you need to audit your business processes, supplement personal data processing policy documents, set up a cookie bot for consent, and fix up your site in general. These are the first steps to form a reliable system for handling personal data.
When it comes to who's responsible for all this, large companies usually hire a specialist to work in-house. But that might not be reasonable for a small or medium-sized company. So outsourcing and automated solutions and services are the best solution. We're already a long-time partner of Defendocs for our GDPR needs. They helped automate all our routine processes to ensure GDPR compliance, all at a rate affordable for both small businesses and startups. They also help consult and manage the entire process of entering the EU market in terms of data privacy, both on the site and in business processes.
GDPR technical implementation and promotion: Alconost's lead SEO specialist on how they mix
Data privacy and privacy policies are therefore clearly part of a site's technical optimization. Without them, it's impossible to effectively promote the site (including from a legal standpoint) and attract organic traffic. So by addressing these issues at the very start once and for all, you free up time and effort to develop your business in Europe and handle more pressing matters.
Alconost is an internet marketing agency that offers search engine optimization for multilingual websites as well as PPC management, SMM and Content promotion. We conduct full SEO audits and website optimization, improve website usability, develop an international promotion strategy and analyze statistics and many others to increase your profits and improve your positions in search engines.
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