What Is Website Personalization?
Website personalization is the practice of providing a user experience that takes into account user history, preferences, and demographics to deliver tailored content and product recommendations.
With major companies like Amazon and Facebook leading the way in providing ads, content, and product recommendations that are based on customer engagement history, consumers have become accustomed to this mode of browsing and expect all brands to anticipate and deliver the information they want when they want it. With the right technology in place, B2B and B2C companies of all shapes and sizes can achieve website personalization.
Website personalization solutions grant companies the ability to collect and leverage information — such as their contact’s industry, role within their organization, pain points, and interests — in order to deliver information and solutions. Having the tools to provide smart and targeted content and product recommendations enables marketers and companies to adapt to a variety of customer journeys — improving their ability to attract, engage, and nurture relationships with their prospects and maximize conversions.
Who Uses Website Personalization?
The potential for website personalization extends far beyond your marketing team, and the capabilities and insights it provides will enable several key players at your company to see results and optimize their efforts. These are just a few of the professionals within your organization that you can expect to regularly leverage and reap the rewards of website personalization.
Content Marketing Manager
Website personalization can help content marketers maximize content engagement. Metrics such as time on site, pages per session, and conversion rates enable them to directly attribute ROI to their efforts, determine which content is resonating best with customers, and focus their time and resources on creating content that is more likely to attract and engage customers and generate results.
Marketing Decision Maker (Manager, Director, VP, CMO)
Your head of marketing wants to ensure that your team is generating results and investing their time and resources on activities and opportunities most likely to reap the biggest reward. Website personalization enables them to ensure their marketing team is delivering the right message at the right time, efficiently nurture customers from one phase of the customer journey to the next and focus their attention on marketing efforts that produce the best ROI.
Members of your sales team rely on key customer data and insights to have more meaningful conversations with prospects and clients that help seal the deal. Website personalization leads to improved customer engagement, which drastically improves your team’s ability to collect the information your salespeople need to effectively interact with customers and determine how to best position your product or service to stand apart from that of your competitors.
Web developers are tasked with ensuring that your organization’s website is looking and performing its best while guiding users through a simple and intuitive journey to purchase. The right website personalization solution should be easy enough for them to implement and give them peace of mind that the user experience is fully optimized and the site is performing as expected –– often even better than before.
Your organization’s marketing strategist wants to ensure and measure the success of every activity and campaign executed by your marketing team. Website personalization allows them to track key website and content metrics that enable them to report on the overall success of your content marketing efforts and provide recommendations that benefit your marketing team across the board.
What Are the Benefits of Website Personalization?
As previously mentioned, website personalization has become a necessity as customers have become more accustomed to receiving tailored recommendations from vendors. In fact, studies show that 74% of consumers feel frustrated when companies fail to deliver products, content, and solutions that fit their needs, and 91% claim they are more likely to shop with brands who do — putting those that don’t prioritize website personalization at a severe disadvantage (1,2).
of customers feel frustrated when website content isn’t personalized
of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who deliver tailored recommendations
Website personalization empowers you to meet your audience wherever they’re at in the customer journey and deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. This tactic leads to improved engagement, time on site, and pages viewed per session. In addition, it allows you to collect key user insights that empower better conversations, shorten the sales cycle, and allow you to improve your marketing and sales strategies at regular intervals.
What Are the Challenges to Achieving Website Personalization?
Although executing thoughtful and effective website personalization strategies places companies ahead of the competition, delivering personalized content isn’t always an easy feat for marketers to achieve and often requires more than just a few lines of code.
In order to successfully implement website personalization and reap all the rewards, marketers must first overcome the following challenges:
Data Collection and Audience Discovery
Knowing which content and product recommendations customers will find most helpful at their stage in the sales cycle requires substantial data collection and tracking on behalf of the marketer. Traditional methods of data collection are often very labor-intensive, and marketing teams often need an experienced data analyst to fully leverage these insights. The time it takes to gather and analyze data not only takes away time and resources from marketing teams, but it also delays them from taking immediate action, making them vulnerable to the competition.
To fully leverage website personalization and ensure a seamless omnichannel user experience, marketing teams must make sure that the solution they use fully integrates with their MarTech stack. Marketers must also look for a website personalization solution that is easy to install, works well on their website, and allows them to leverage the insights gathered to improve their marketing strategy across the board.
Targeted Content Development
Website personalization only works if you have the right content to deliver to your audience when they need it. For organizations that are dealing with a multitude of customer journeys and customer personas, creating enough content to match these needs can seem overwhelming. The right website personalization solution should enable companies to leverage the content they currently have, learn what is resonating with their audience, and help them identify any gaps.
User Journey Complexity
Not all customer journeys will start and end at the same place or even follow the same path. The right website personalization solution should enable marketers to automatically adapt to the endless amount of buyer journeys so they never miss an opportunity to reach and convert new leads.
Many website personalization solutions are too complicated for marketers to install on their own and require companies to invest in outside resources. For smaller organizations with limited resources, the cost and time involved alone can prevent them from seeking website personalization solutions altogether. Organizations of all sizes looking to continue to benefit from website personalization over the long haul should seek a solution that is easy enough for them to implement and leverage over time without the help of outside resources.
What Content Do You Need to Provide a Personalized Website Experience?
To provide a personalized web experience, content marketing teams should create content for all stages of the buyer journey: top-of-funnel, middle-of-funnel, bottom-of-funnel, and retention/expansion (upsell and cross-sell). Content marketers should also consider their target customer’s industry and role within their organization by developing unique personas for each. This will allow them to tailor their content to speak directly to each audience segment and address very specific pain points and interests.
Building a great content library isn’t going to happen overnight; it takes months and even years to develop compelling content across the buyer cycle for each of your target audiences. Still, the most effective content marketing teams are always looking for opportunities to expand and refine their available content. This process should be informed by engagement insights gathered from your website visitors, as well as any required changes and updates (such as industry trends or laws) your team determines will help make new and existing content more relevant and appealing to consumers.
What Website Personalization Solutions Are Available?
There are a few website personalization tools available that are offered as either marketing automation platform add-ons or standalone solutions. The challenge with many of these offerings is that they require marketing teams to manually analyze data, choose content recommendations to attract their target audience segment, track and review results, and update their efforts accordingly. Not only that, but many of these solutions require marketing teams to work with a developer to get up and running and then maintain and update over time.
Adaptive Web is Act-On’s solution to the many challenges involved in website personalization. This innovative marketing and sales tool leverages machine-learning to track website behavior and automatically provide customers with targeted content recommendations as they navigate the website. Unlike other website personalization technologies available, Adaptive Web requires no extra lift for the marketer — saving companies time and resources and also freeing up content marketers to focus on creating more personalized content. In addition to these benefits, companies gain access to key insights to measure their marketing ROI and continuously enhance their marketing efforts at all stages of the buyer journey.
How Do I Know if Website Personalization Is Right for My Organization?
Website personalization is crucial for companies that want to stay ahead of the game and can be a gamechanger for organizations of all sizes across all industries. Meeting customers where they’re at enables marketers to more easily and effectively identify the best opportunities, nurture prospects through the sales cycle, and pass qualified leads to sales professionals.
An effective website personalization solution, such as Adaptive Web, eliminates the manual labor often involved in providing a tailored user experience, allowing companies to generate results at scale. This benefit enables companies, specifically smaller organizations, to do more with less and focus their time and resources where there is the most potential for impact. Whether you’re looking for personalized content or product recommendations, website personalization can help grow your business by eliminating digital noise and streamlining the customer experience.