Website personalization is a strategy in which visitors are served different website experiences that are tailored to their specific needs, with the intent of providing more relevant, personalized content that delights visitors and drives performance. Organizations who use website personalization often realize major benefits. Research shows thatÂ brands that use website personalization see an average of 19% uplift in sales.
Personalized website experiences focus on providing information targeted towards specific use cases, therefore leads often come in with better product knowledge, and enter the sales pipeline closer to purchase than they would otherwise. Personalization can be especially useful for boosting eCommerce conversions by adapting the shopping experience to fit the consumerâ€™s needs. A recent survey of consumers revealed that 86% of consumers say that personalization has an effect on their purchasing decisions.
Unlike other digital growth strategies, website personalization doesnâ€™t lend itself to a broad, scattershot approach. In order to execute personalized campaigns effectively, you need to have a deep understanding of your buyerâ€™s journey. As a result, website personalization requires a significant amount of customer research and analysis. In this article, we explore how taking a data-driven, strategic approach to website personalization can delight your website visitors and drive website performance.
Creating Targets for Personalization
One of the first steps you should take toward developing a website personalization campaign is to define your audience. Successful personalization hinges on having a strong sense of who your audience is and how you can best engage them. There are many ways to segment your audience into actionable personas. Some of the most common visitor segments used in personalization campaigns include.
1. New vs. Returning Visitors
Oftentimes, the expectations and goals of a first-time visitor to your site will vary greatly from the fifth time they visit your website, or the fiftieth. Personalization based on how many times a visitor has come to your website ensures that you serve more relevant content and encourage visitors to take a desired action. Moreover, website personalization can help keep your site feeling polished and easy to use, by eliminating irrelevant content.
2. Â Use-Case Specific
The more you know about your audience, the more specific your buyer personas and your personalization efforts become. Honing in on specific use cases and personas can be one of the most powerful tactics for improving conversion rates. The broader your overall audience, the more you can benefit from personalization — and the more segments you should accommodate for. Segmentation by age, gender, income, education, time of day, time of year, and purchasing intent can help drive campaign choices in a way that is meaningful to your audience. For B2B audiences, understanding industry-specific and vertical-specific buying patterns are also an important considerations.
If you offer different products or services in different geographic locations, providing location-specific content and informationâ€”like currency, taxes, systems of measurement, and languagesâ€”is absolutely essential. But even if you donâ€™t, location-specific content can be an effective way to connect with customers and anticipate common buying behaviors. Location-specific personalization can include translating copy into different languages, currencies, and measurement systems. It can also encompass adapting content such as testimonials and imagery for cultural differences. Spot the differences between the United States and United Kingdom versions of the Ikea website below.
Up to 52% of all browsing activity comes from mobile devices, so tailoring a userâ€™s experience to their device can make or break a sale. Ensuring that your website is optimized for mobile-viewing and optimizing mobile checkout flows for ease on smaller screens are two considerations for device-focused personalization.
Developing a Data-Driven Personalization Strategy
Once you have identified your target segments, youâ€™ll need have a solid understanding of their goals. Anticipating audience needs helps ensure that the content and products served to your target audience are effective. For example, an online jewelry retailer may have a portion of their traffic coming from men shopping for engagement rings. The retailer should consider creating an experience that caters to their specific needsâ€”like a headline that says â€œBuy the perfect ring for the perfect woman.â€
Researching the Buyerâ€™s Journey
You most likely already have access to several important resources for developing buyer personas. One of the most effective ways to identify potential opportunities to improve is to study visitor behavior. Looking at Google Analytics data can garner valuable insights into how people use your siteâ€”and where theyâ€™re likely to lose interest. Pay close attention to metrics that indicate where your audience is likely to drop off, including navigation path,exit rates and bounce rates. This strategy will help you find segments and pages that are underperforming and give you clues about how to improve them.
Your existing customers are an excellent resource for understanding what users are looking for when they come to your website. In the case of the jewelry retailer, interviewing men who are planning to buy an engagement ring soon can give great insight into what their target audience needs before they make a purchase, from reading articles about how to select a ring setting, to having the ability to make a wishlist on the retailerâ€™s website that they can come back to multiple times before making a decision.
If possible, speak directly to your customers about their experience of your brand. How easy was it for them to find the information they cared about most? Did they have questions about your product that were not addressed on your website? Even if you cannot speak directly to customers, implementing tools such as on-site or email surveys during or after browsing sessions can be an effective way to gather real-time feedback about how customers use and think about the experience you deliver.
It sounds obvious to say it butÂ the most critical aspect of customer experience is understanding your customer.
The marketerâ€™s ability to positively impact the customer experience will not be effective if decisions are based on generalisations, assumptions or gut instinct.Â
– Ben Potter,Â Commercial Director at Leapfrogg Digital Marketing
An Overview of Elements to Personalize
Once youâ€™ve established a target audience and have a hypothesis about how to improve their experience, youâ€™ll need to take inventory of what elements youâ€™ll need for the campaign. While there are many ways to approach personalization, there are a few common elements youâ€™ll want to consider personalizing:
- Landing Pages: If PPC is a major channel for your lead pipeline, you should consider creating a range of customized landing pages for your target audiences. Routing all organic and paid search traffic through a single, generic landing page, even if you have tailored content elsewhere on your site, is a sure fire way to lose leads.
- Copy & Content: Changing the message and CTA of landing pages and web pages can have a huge impact on conversion rates. By focusing in on keywords and phrases, you can indicate to your audience that youâ€™re in sync with what they are looking for.
- Links, Navigation and CTAs: From product offerings to recommended articles, are you offering the right next steps to web visitors when they ask â€œwhat next?â€ Your calls to action should anticipate the questions and needs of your audience, and should guide them down the path to conversion as smoothly as possible.
An Iterative Approach to Personalization
Just because youâ€™ve established your buyer personas and built out your marketing assets doesnâ€™t mean you should set up your campaigns once and forget about them. Even well-researched personalization campaigns require a few iterations to really hit the mark. Testing and experimenting continuously will help you improve performance, drive revenue, Â and positively impact on how users interact with your website over time. Testing against your original copy and content with as many variations as your resources and traffic will allow can help you gain valuable, actionable information about your buyersâ€™ preferences. A great example of the impact of testing different versions can have on lead generation can be found in a recent survey by Hubspot. The study found that companies that use more than 30 targeted versions of their landing pages generate up to seven times more leads than those with 1 to 5 versions.
Be sure to track your website personalization efforts thoroughly to ensure that you can get a good idea of how theyâ€™re performing. Using tracked links (UTMs) and other behavior tracking tools will help you zero-in on what’s working and what isnâ€™t working well for your target audience.
Leveraging Kaizen to Drive Personalization Campaigns
Website personalization can be an effective method to give you pipeline a huge boost, but executing personalization successfully requires the right tools and expertise. Kaizen offers website personalizations services to help you improve your conversion rate methodically. Read more about the Kaizen Platform and how it can help you improve your pipeline through personalization to learn how Kaizen can help you achieve the results you want, faster.