Personalizing Site Content for Every Visitor
posted July 1st 2019, 10:34 am by Maddy Strange
Something I get weirdly proud about is when I've gone to a coffee shop often enough that they remember my name and coffee order. There's something about a personalized greeting and recognition that is just super pleasant. My bank account probably doesn't thank me for my frequent coffee habits but at least I smile out of it, right? These baristas are actually employing a marketing technique (whether they know it or not). They've clued into the fact that I'm more prone to going back to the coffee shop that knows me rather than a new coffee shop where I'm unrecognized. This concept transfers over to website content. Personalizing site content for every visitor engages and retains your visitors.
Personalizing Site Content for Every Visitor
Why should I personalize site content?
Who do you personalize for? You might be able to guess the answer of this question from the title of this blog post: you personalize for every visitor. The key to personalization is to target every visitor specifically. It's a win-win situation—your company benefits from happy visitors and your visitors are more engaged.
Visitors expect personalization
Your site's visitors are increasingly expecting personalized content on any website. This is because things like news pages and social media feeds now customize to our interests. According to Paper Thin's research, the majority of website visitors expect personalized content:
- 74% of site visitors get frustrated when website content appears that has nothing to do with their interests.
- 61% of site visitors feel better about an organization that delivers custom content, and are more likely to buy what you’re selling.
- 78% of site visitors believe organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships.
- 90% of site visitors find custom content useful.
How do I personalize site content?
In your quest for personalized content, there are a few different venues to pursue.
Persona specific personalized content allows your visitors to tell you who they are. Providing options for them to tell you who they are easily lets you know what content to show them. For example, on a industrial website, giving options like "buyer" or "manufacturer" allows you to tailor to your visitor's specific roles.
By collecting data from your visitors, your website utilizes location based content. YouTube employs location based content well. The homepage of YouTube will be different depending on what country you're in. This is because what's popular in the US might not be popular in the UK. In a similar vein, location based content on a B2B website tailors website content to the visitor's location, such as showing business contact information for the region that the visitor is in.
Device specific content connects to mobile optimization. Visitors come to your website on laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones. If a website isn't mobile-friendly, the visitor will most likely leave. This means that making your content device specific is integral to personalization.
Think of Amazon when you think of behavior specific site content. Amazon notices what you browse and uses that information to inform what they show you on their site and what they email you about. On a smaller platform, behavior specific content could be suggesting blog posts that relate to the blog post they're reading. It could also be giving leading them to products/services that are similar to what they've looked at on your site previously.
One-to-one messaging allows you to communicate directly with your visitors. One-to-one messaging personalization engages the customer personally. Chatbots are an option for one-to-one messaging. Email campaigns are customizable one-to-one messaging as well.
To research before personalizing content, look into keywords that your visitors are searching. Use these to inform the audience that is finding your website. Divide your audience into segments (persona, location, device, etc) and then work those groups into your personalization plans.
To begin working on personalized content, first check your website's capabilities. Check with your CMS provider to see if your website has personalization capabilities. Otherwise, you can use a personalization tool. There are a multitude of services that can personalize your site. Once you've figured out that you can personalize your website content, decide how you will ask your visitors for data. An opt-in choice can collect information so that you can customize for your visitors. For persona-based content, you can add a landing page that lets your visitors click who they are, giving you permission to show them relevant content.