We all like a good biscuit and here at Cycle Sprog we do get through quite a few biscuits and cookies, especially when out on a family bike ride. However, you're not here to find out about our biscuit eating habits. No, you're here to find out about our policy on cookies. Hope you're sitting comfortably.
Like virtually every other website, Cycle Sprog uses electronic cookies. A cookie is a small file that is placed on the hard drive of the device you’re reading our website on, that makes a note that you’ve been to our website. Cookies don’t contain any personal information about you - so we don't get to see names, addresses, phone numbers or details of what you were browsing late last night. It's more like a little marker, so the companies we refer to later in this article know you've been to our website and which pages you looked at.
As a small family run business we pride ourselves on being transparent with how we operate so that our readers and our clients continue to trust our website and our work. We don’t have the resources of larger websites, so we don’t utilise very many cookies (due to lack of time and expertise – I’m sure the experts would say we should be using them a lot more!!). However we do use three main types of cookies - you can choose to opt out of them at any point – links are given in the text. Remember that as cookies are device specific you need to take the same action across all devices you access our website on.
Types of cookies we use on Cycle Sprog and how you can opt out of them
We use Google Analytics to get high-level data about the number and characteristics of the visitors coming to Cycle Sprog. We don’t get to see specific data about individual visitors – everything we see is collated by Google. We use this to better understand:
How many visitors we have to each page, how long they spent on the page and whether they moved onto any other page – we use this to make sure we’re writing the type of content our readers find useful and enjoy reading
Characteristics of how people find us, such as whether it’s via social media, search engine, typing our URL direct – this is useful for understanding how people find out about Cycle Sprog, and how we can make more parents aware of our website
Which type of device our visitors are using – this allows us to make sure our articles are formatted correctly. Since we launched Cycle Sprog, this is moved from virtually everyone viewing our articles via a PC, to an equal mix between pcs, tablets and mobile phones, so we want to ensure everyone is able to access our content
Demographics of our readers, including age, location, gender and age – this helps us ensure our articles are appealing to a wide range of people looking for information on family cycling. We are proud that we have a roughly 50/50 split between male and female readers – something quite unusual for a cycling website
This analytical data also helps us sell our services to companies operating in the family cycling industry, such as advertising space, consultancy and sponsored posts.
If you are a user of Facebook, then on occasions you will see Facebook Ads. In order to make these ads more relevant to you, it is possible for businesses to use something called a Facebook Pixel. When installed on a webpage, the pixel tracks which Facebook users visit that page in order to allow the business to build up an audience to receive their targeted ads on Facebook.
At Cycle Sprog we have a unique audience made up primarily of parents looking for information on cycling with their children. This allows us to help other businesses in the family cycling world target their Facebook Ads to this audience. As well as selling traditional banner advertising space on the website, we also sometimes sell “Facebook Pixel Advertising” space to relevant carefully selected companies, so they can build their Facebook Ad audience. We also have our own Facebook Pixel loaded on the site, in case we ever wanted to run our own Facebook Ads to spread the word about our website.
We see this as a win-win situation – we have an advice website with over a million page views a year, but don’t sell anything. There are many other small businesses out there with a great family cycling product to sell, but lack the audience to sell it to. Facebook Pixels allow both us and the other business to benefit - us from getting some financial benefit from having created such an awesome website, and them from being able to advertise to our amazing audience.
We do not get to see any personal data and neither does our client. Facebook controls this data, and they use this to make target audiences for the Facebook Ads.
Another way Cycle Sprog makes an income is via Affiliate schemes. If a reader clicks an affiliate link on our website and makes a purchase from a retailer whom we are an affiliate of, we may get a small commission payment. You can read more about how our affiliate links work here.
Obviously for this to work, there needs to be a method of tracking data from the Cycle Sprog website to the retailers website. We're not clever enough to do this ourselves, so we belong to various affiliate networks, who make all this happen behind the scenes.
We don’t get to see any personal data about our readers – we just get to see that a Cycle Sprog reader has made a purchase and the value of that purchase. Some of the larger retailers report back what products have been bought, which helps us understand what our readers are looking for advice on. We never get to see details of which individual has bought what item.
You can find out more about the cookies from our affiliate partners from the links below – they all provide different ways of turning off their cookies: