Gone are the days when digital marketing campaigns only required companies to develop a well-functioning, aesthetically-pleasing website and create new content to attract and retain visitors online.
Today, the digital landscape is entirely different. Every major market is increasingly saturated. Increased competition has driven up the cost of customer acquisition and paved the way for A/B testing as an attempt to improve conversion rate and lower cost per acquisition.
Enterprise websites need to personalise the web experience for each customer by leveraging data such as geolocation, website behaviour, and previous purchases (collected with permission). Customer-centric marketing can easily be extended to other parts of your marketing campaign, such as customised mobile apps, emails, ads, etc.
However, as with any other marketing objective, website personalisation has different strategies, benefits, and challenges. This article will cover all of this and some best practices you can follow to create excellent website personalisation. Let’s get started:
What is Website Personalisation?
Website personalisation is the process of personalising web experiences for a website’s viewers. Rather than providing a one-size-fits-all, monotonous experience, personalisation enables businesses to increase customer engagement by providing a unique, tailored journey based on their needs, identity, and desires.
Personalisation has always existed in various forms. For example, shop owners offer personalised experiences that spark conversations by reading visual cues and figuring out that the person might be interested in talking to them. In digital marketing, we often have a wealth of data about viewers that we can leverage through website personalisation best practices.
Website personalisation presents different versions of your website to various audiences without the need to create multiple versions of the same page. The idea is that you send your visitors to the same page but tailor the content perfectly for them.
Website Personalisation Challenges
As competition grows fiercer, markets saturate, and audience reach expands, website personalisation becomes more challenging.
The primary hurdle appears to be the collection of data and the inability to extract anything useful from it. Non-actionable or raw data requires a thorough analysis to optimise a personalised digital experience.
Another problem is the lack of reliable data on the audience. For website personalisation to work, you need to know who to personalise for. Even if you identify the most profitable viewer segments, you still require scalable ways to target specific messages.
The final challenge is to evaluate how your personalisation campaign has functioned. Sometimes you manage to target personalised content to valuable audiences, but there aren’t sufficient metrics and benchmarks to measure the overall impact of that content over time.
Website Personalisation Benefits
Let’s face it. Personalising your website isn’t easy, to say the least. Hence, you may be wondering: “Why bother? Is all this really worth the time, energy, and money?” Before answering, let’s review the main advantages of personalising your site.
First things first. The whole purpose of website personalisation is to offer relevant product or service recommendations to the visitor. User data is analysed accurately and in detail by real-time personalisation tools to provide the most relevant, timely recommendations that trigger a purchase.
Statistics say 75% of online consumers are overwhelmed or frustrated by websites displaying irrelevant recommendations, ads, and promotions. Personalisation is a way to satisfy your customers with innovative, data-driven creative campaigns that offer them only what they want.
Understanding Customer Persona
Imagine you’re invited to a birthday party and barely know the person. Buying a birthday gift can become a nightmare. But with your old friends, it’s not much of a challenge. You know them, and you know what they like or need. The same goes for your customers.
You can start by identifying the defining characteristics of your regular customers and creating a customer persona. Then begin collecting actionable data, use AI, create different audience segments, and personalise your website for these different personas. So instead of producing a different combination for each customer, maybe create 10 personas that include broader categories. And, of course, you can add, remove, and change your customer personas at any time.
Improve User Engagement
We’re naturally made to pay attention to our surroundings. But we don’t fixate on every little detail. The average user spends 10- 20 seconds on a website before deciding whether to leave or stay. And that’s the time frame in which a website design should aim to keep the viewer hooked to the page.
Time spent on page is a common website metric that almost every marketer uses. The more time they spend on a web page, the more engagement you’ve received from your prospects. Although time spent on page is critical, you should focus on actual conversion on a call-to-action or specific landing page.
Personalised CTAs far outperform typical CTAs. For example, a recent study found that personalised calls to action can increase lead conversions by 200%. Using A/B split testing, you can get closer to the optimal CTA tailored to your customer’s persona and increase engagement throughout the customer journey.
Improving Brand Image
Trust and credibility are scarce resources and significant challenges for online marketing. But website personalisation can solve this problem. Nearly 75 percent of online customers are willing to buy from retailers they know by name through advertising or based on previous purchases.
There’s no shortage of solutions for personalised sales experiences. From high-quality content to appealing tailored web design and targeted purchase recommendations, all drive more customers to your website.
Moreover, you can gradually gather a wealth of data about how much your brand or product is preferred over the competition and optimise it in your favour. This way, you can interact with your audience and help shape future trends, design better strategies for product development, and gain a decisive competitive advantage.
How To Get Started?
By now, you’ve learned how website personalisation can help your business grow substantially, but the primary question remains: how exactly can you do this? Choosing the right tools is one piece of the puzzle, but you also need a few tried-and-true strategies to create a unique experience for your visitors. Here’s what you should do:
Build A Visitor Info Database
The foundation of every successful business strategy is relevant, reliable data. The more you know about your viewers, the more effectively you can convert them. There are various tools and resources available to collect this information including website analytics, mobile app data, customer surveys, ad interactions, etc.
Remember, you don’t need all the data in the world. You can rely on simple web behavioural information, which isn’t that hard to collect. The important part is to categorise them into meaningful segments and enhance on-site experiences.
Once you’ve run enough A/B testing, start analysing the data collected for meaningful correlations between groups such as intent-level, high-traffic sources, common geolocations, and behavioural characteristics. Over time, you can modify your tactics based on the latest information and analytics you gather.
Define Your Strategic Mission
Now that you’ve established your marketing foundation, you need a plan to direct your tactics. The problem with website personalisation is that it’s a bottomless ocean of possibilities, and if you don’t know exactly where you want to go, you can go astray.
Do you want to improve cross-sells and upsells or lower your blog’s bounce rate? These overall goals play an important role in determining the small details of how personalised content can help you achieve your goals.
As a rule of thumb, you can always target your website personalisation campaigns to reach the largest audience. Once you understand your audience persona, you can create compelling, on-site tailored experiences that appeal to them. But you need to plan carefully and manage the complexity of your project with a solid plan.
Get Your Message Straight
Once you’ve identified your overall direction, you can now focus on building a clear value proposition. What’s your message to visitors when they land on your site? What unique value do you offer them that your competitors don’t?
Your brand message will shape your content strategy, the combination of images/videos, sale offers, and the design of your CTAs. Remember that digital marketing doesn’t just thrive on promoting products and services. You also need to get your visitors to explore your website and determine how they can benefit from it.
Personalise your visual elements based on the audience you want to target and the data points available to them. Your visual cues represent your brand. If you hire a professional web design team, you can convey your brand message without saying a word.
Evaluate Your Success
Personalisation is a journey, not a destination. It may be tempting to imagine that it’s a one-time campaign, but keep in mind that your business and audience’s behaviour and needs constantly evolve. And you need to keep up with that change.
Optimising your web personalisation campaign is critical to maximising long-term results. Below are some metrics you can use to determine if your personalisation efforts are paying off:
- Visitor Frequency is a metric indicating how many people visit your site repeatedly within the same day and how many repeat visits they make. If your visitor frequency is up, then your content is successful in attracting the audience.
- Time Spent On Page shows the time users spend on your site or the page you’ve personalised.
- Pages Per Visit is another widely used metric to measure the number of pieces of content (web pages) a viewer looks at on a single website in one session.
If figures look good, you’re all set. If they don’t, take a step back, modify your strategy, and start over.
Website personalisation is a crucial factor in the success or failure of a business. It certainly requires significant effort, but the rewards outweigh the costs. In a digital world where more and more people have increasingly diverse needs and interests, personalising your website is the only way to stay in the game and keep your customers happy.
Website personalisation helps set a website apart and provide a memorable experience for the viewer. But to truly leverage your available data and deliver creative and engaging content and offers, you need a team of experts who understand all aspects of website optimization – from design and development to SEO, maintenance, performance optimization, and security audits.
Not sure where your start point is? It’s right here, at Broadweb!