Website Personalization

What is website personalization?

Website personalization is all about creating a more seamless customer journey and user experience by tailoring marketing messages and website content to individual website visitors.

Marketers and business owners use personalization to show relevant content to their users, like special offers and personalized recommendations. 

This customized website experience uses customer data, like a user’s browsing history, geographical location, or past purchases, to predict what types of content different audience segments would like to see.

Types of web personalization

Website personalization serves different content to different segments of website visitors, and there are two main ways of delivering these personalized experiences to visitors.

1. Embedded content

Personalizing the embedded content of a website involves changing the base content of the website to appeal to individuals within a segment. 

For example, you might adapt a page’s headline to appeal to one group of visitors, or embed a discount offer to boost user engagement for another.

2. Overlays

An overlay covers up some parts of the background content of your website. The most common types of overlays are popups and sticky bars. 

You can use overlays to show same types of personalized messaging you might otherwise show with embedded content.

Why is personalization important?

Website personalization has become much more prevalent in recent years, because shoppers expect (and want) brands and businesses to personalize their websites. In fact, studies show that 71% of consumers expect personalization.

You’ll start to see the benefits of website personalization if you use the right website personalization tools— customers reward businesses that get their personalization strategy right!

Here are a few of the benefits you can expect from personalizing your website:

1. A better understanding of your customers

As you kick off your website personalization efforts, you’ll get to know your customers better by digging into all the data you have. When you figure out the best way to segment your audience using visitor data, you’ll be able to deliver more personalized experiences.

Website personalization also helps you gather data more consistently. Using a survey on your website is one of the best ways to collect data. You can also place CTAs on your website that encourage customers to tell you what industry they’re working in.

2. High-converting CTAs and landing pages

Website personalization allows you to achieve consistently high conversion rates, which is pretty much every marketer’s dream. When you adapt your calls-to-action and landing pages to your website visitors, they’re more likely to give you their email or make a purchase.

That’s why a valid personalization strategy can increase revenue.

3. Increased time on site

Once you show relevant content to a person, they tend to “hang around.” That’s because you’ve proven that you have a solution to one of their problems, so now they want to find out more. 

You can lower your bounce rate and raise engagement by showing relevant, personalized content to your visitors.

4. Improved customer loyalty

Customers are drawn to online stores that they feel value their business on a personal level.

You can use website personalization to give your visitors a warm welcome, showing that you care about them and have put in the effort to get to know them.

The website personalization process

Generally, the process of website personalization can be broken down into three steps.

1. Audience discovery

Find the right audiences to target with personalized messages and create audience segments that share relevant characteristics. 

You can follow these steps to find the right segments to target:

  1. Gather and analyze data: Look into how your audience behaves on your site using tools like Google Analytics and HotJar. See if you can identify customer segments who behave in similar ways. You’ll want to focus on the segments with lower conversion rates. 
  2. Analyze your competitors: Follow along with how your competitors are creating messages for different segments to see if there’s anything you can learn. 
  3. Ask your visitors directly: There’s nothing wrong with being upfront and just asking your customers what they’re interested in, either through an online survey or by reaching out directly through email or over the phone.
  4. Create buyer personas: Based on all the data you’ve collected, group your customers into segments that share something in common. Create buyer personas that sum up what your different segments are interested in. 
  5. Keep revising: Check to see whether the segments you’ve created are actually working. Make improvements to your segmentation by creating more tightly defined segments.

2. Message creation

Once you’ve determined what’s most relevant to each segment, you can provide personalized content. All you need to do is create the right messages for these audiences.

For each message, you should first think about the formats you can use (each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages). Just using OptiMonk’s software, you can choose between dynamic content, teasers, sticky bars, side messages, popups, and full screens.

Next, you’ll need to find the right value proposition. It’s crucial that the message resonates with the specific audience you’re sending it to since they’ll only care about it if it’s relevant to them. That’s why understanding your customers and figuring out their wants and needs is so important.

Finally, you need to craft a high-converting message. Don’t forget that less is more: focus on your main value proposition, and keep your copy and design clear. Small details really matter when it comes to creating a message that will convert, so try to think about it from your customers’ perspective. 

3. Evaluation

Decide which metrics you’ll use to track your success (a.k.a. your key performance indicators). 

You can choose to use leading indicators, which are based on actions someone takes immediately upon seeing a personalized message. Examples of these KPIs include click-throughs and signups.

You can also choose to use lagging indicators (which can take some time to show up) like revenue and customer lifetime value. 

Once you’ve decided on which KPIs you’ll track, you need to get a tool that’s capable of measuring those numbers. For leading indicators, personalization platforms like OptiMonk are perfect. But for lagging indicators, you’ll need additional analytics platforms like Google Analytics.