Website Personalization: Fine tuning your website to optimize your marketing efforts.
Target your customer demographic and increase your sales conversions.
The days are numbered for one web page design serving the needs of many visitors. Forward thinking business owners are now using website personalization to generate and display different content depending on their visitors’ interests, age, gender, location, device type, shopping habits, search history and more. In the process, they are maximizing their conversions and generating more sales.
Website personalization is relatively new to the mix, but it’s coming on strong, and for good reason. People are much more likely to buy if they immediately see what they are looking for. Here are some statistics from Triblio.com.
- Marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized web experiences.
- Personalized CTAs (calls-to-action) result in a 42% higher conversion rate than generic CTAs.
- Leads nurtured with personalized content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities.
Say you are an ecommerce clothing site, you could change the content of the homepage based on whether the visitor is a male, a female or a parent. Or, a travel agency may check the search words you typed in and have different banners for “trips to Italy” or “cruise Alaska.”
Sometimes, a business will ask you who you are, and go from there. For example, visit OldNavy.Gap.com. At the top of their site, under the logo bar, icons and links are there for women, men and kids. The homepage changes based on the button you choose. Moreover, if you purchase, and you come back, you’ll see that’s the selected option next time.
Service industries can use this tactic as well. Let’s say you are an insurance agent. You can change your homepage banners and calls-to-action, depending on whether the person searched for auto or home insurance.
Another frequently used personalization determines the device type a visitor is using and specifically targets your calls-to-action based on that information. Instead of saying “Click for More Information” you can say “Tap for More” or “Tap for Details” on a mobile device. Sometimes they will even use different systems—text for instance, to interact, rather than email.
Many shopping carts are now combining personalization with automated emails that are sent out to shoppers. Say you bought a shiny new laptop. You might get emails suggesting new cases for it, specifically chosen depending on whether you are male or female.
Sounds awesome? Let’s get started.
The first thing you need to implement website personalization is data. Who are your visitors, what do they do, where do they live, and what do they like? You need good, detailed analytics to determine who your visitors are. This is generally basic data, information you can get by using Google Analytics, with demographics enabled.
Second, you need explicit data. This is information intentionally given by the customer, such as name and email address. You can get this information through forms they fill out, like newsletter signups, event registrations, or when making purchases.
Third, you need behavioral data. Behavioral data is gathered as you track a person through your website. What did they search for? Have they downloaded e-books from your website? What have they put in their shopping cart and purchased? Or didn’t?
Of course, you can track this manually, but that would be tedious. A better solution is to sign up for one of the behavioral tracking services like Engage, Personyze or SiteApps, or if you have ecommerce site, use Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics. These systems have a line of code you add to your site and they follow your visitors around as they visit your site.
Then comes the fun part! It’s just a matter of creating the different pieces of content for the different groups or people, and tracking results.
There is no magic formula for perfect results. Personalization is a matter of testing and comparing the results. So get in there and find out who your visitors are and start personalizing their experience.
By Stephanie Nugent
Stephanie Nugent is the President of CyberSpyder Marketing Service, a local web design and internet marketing firm. In 2000, she had a dream: to use her talents to help small and medium-sized businesses claim their place on the world wide web. She and her team work hard to do just that for over 200 local businesses.