Customer expectations are higher than ever today. Dozens of brands try reaching out to them, but only those standing out from the rest win. Modern consumers expect authenticity, responsive service, consistency, but above all — personalization.
84% of customers say they want to be treated like a person, not a number, to respond to a brand.
A successful business today is not only about curating products or services but providing its target audience with tailored experience via personalized content.
In this article, we’ll discuss how static websites are a thing of the past, the benefits of content personalization for your business, and the different ways you can use it to optimize your website’s content for better conversion.
What is personalization of your website content?
Content personalization is the art of offering an exclusive experience to your website visitors every time they land there. You customize that experience based on consumers’ demographic, contextual, and behavioral data to achieve higher customer satisfaction, lower bounce rate, longer visit duration, and better conversions. Your improved brand reputation belongs within this list too.
In plain English, well-crafted content personalization means two people look at your website page and see different information.
In the last five years, personalization has been a growing trend:
The more you organize content personalization at the website, the better you’ll serve online visitors. Helping them achieve goals, you work toward a better retention rate, customer loyalty, and overall reputation for your brand.
But please note the difference between personalization and customization of your website content.
Personalization is about providing website visitors with a one-on-one experience and meeting their individual needs. It happens through automation based on users’ past behavior and other metrics.
This digital music platform personalizes its homepage for each user based on their previous interaction with the website.
Like personalization, customization is about tailoring content to meet the particular needs of your visitors. But unlike personalization, it doesn’t happen through automation: Here, you offer a visitor to choose the kind of information they want to see.
Example: Nike By You
The website allows a user to design their shoes and order them right away.
In plain English, customization is done by a user, while personalization happens to a user without let or hindrance from them.
Why content personalization is so critical in 2021
Modern users struggle with tons of promotional messages every day, which makes their online experience and shopping process overwhelming. While people like the idea of having many options available, they want to choose among the best and most relevant when it comes to decision-making.
Content personalization is the only way to accomplish that.
According to studies, users experience cognitive impairment when they have to choose among too many options. Back in 1970, Alvin Toffler predicted such consumerism, calling it “overchoice,” and it’s the reason why visitors leave your website with no orders.
Content personalization on your website is how to combat that overchoice, helping customers narrow down their options.
Providing your website visitors with relevant content and experience, you signal that you care about their needs and interests. It’s a sure-fire way to stand out from the crowd of competitors, build customer loyalty and trust, motivate visitors to stay longer on your website, and eventually take the desired action.
Benefits of content personalization for your business
Apart from what already mentioned, the benefits of content personalization for your online business include:
- Stellar landing page optimization: Adding a personal touch for such pages (addressing visitors by their name, greeting them in their native language, etc.) can make your website stand out. Content personalization at a landing page can be done through better converting calls-to-action and showing super relevant content recommendations.
- More qualified leads: Properly segmented and nurtured with targeted content, visitors are more likely to enter your sales funnel and buy from you.
- Better user engagement: By giving website visitors what they want, you encourage them to stay with you longer. It’s a sure-fire way to influence your SEO metrics and help your website rank higher in Google.
Therefore, curating content at your website for better personalization can enhance the user experience by a long chalk. The better you address users’ needs, the higher your chances are to convert them into loyal customers. In the long run, all of this works to strengthen your brand reputation and generate more revenue.
How to personalize your website’s content
First and foremost, ensure you know your target audience inside out. Define your buyer persona with all their pain points, needs, and desires. For that, you’ll need three types of data:
- Demographic: a visitor’s age, gender, and geographic location.
- Contextual: a visitor’s situation when they come to your website (device and browser they use, whether they are new or returning, etc.).
- Behavioral: how visitors interact with your website (CTAs they click, keywords they use to search your website, blog posts they read, etc.).
It will help you segment the audience, understand their intent, and personalize their experience accordingly.
The best option would be to consider a modular content personalization, aka changing particular page elements to match your audience, rather than creating several entirely new site variations. Decide which content sections to change for better personalization and which pages to put into play.
Pages with high traffic and intent would be good places to start.
Below are the top five website page elements to consider for personalization:
1. Homepage headline and hero image
The homepage of your website is the first touchpoint for most visitors. Use its headline, subheads, and image to personalize their experience the best way possible.
That’s what you can do:
- Customize your headline to greet visitors by their account’s name. Example: Optimizely.
- Make your homepage headline or subhead text change for different segments of your audience. Use attributes such as industry, role, or any other differentiating your target segments. Thus, if a marketer and a designer visit your website, they’ll see a different headline there.
- Also, you can try personalizing your hero image for different customer segments if appropriate. Think if it makes sense in your business niche: It could work for bookings products or industries, for example.
2. Featured blog posts
If your website has a regularly updated blog section, you can use it to engage the audience based on specific attributes such as firmographics (industry a reader works in) or behavioral data (blog posts a reader has already read). For example, you can recommend blog posts based on a reader’s role. Or, showcase specific offers, content for further reading, and other related resources on your log-in page. Or display blog posts on the homepage to keep leads on your website longer.
Also, you can suggest blog posts that consider a reader’s previous behavior: Offer articles on related topics, invite to download a corresponding ebook, suggest reading about a certain product, etc.
3. Personalized calls-to-actions
Most marketers and webmasters already know that generic CTAs a la “click here” don’t work anymore. Today, each call to action should provide a better experience for the audience. And you can improve yours even more by personalizing it the best way possible.
Design several CTAs to showcase for different segments of your target audience. For instance, you can “send” new visitors to talk to your sales team or learn more about your brand. As for returning visitors, you can offer them a freebie…
… or a sign-up for a free trial.
Also, you can display certain CTAs to visitors based on their geo-location if appropriate. It makes sense if you have an upcoming event close to where they are based, for example. So you can offer a CTA encouraging them to learn more and register for it.
4. Your product plans or features
If you offer more than one product or service on your website, catering to more than one customer segment, feel free to highlight corresponding offers depending on who visits the page at the moment.
Use your audience’s firmographics or referral context to highlight a specific feature, product, or solution that will resonate most. Also, you can shuffle product features on different pages (home, landings, product) to provide the highest visibility to the most relevant ones.
Example: eCommerce companies and online stores use visitors’ previous behavior to offer personalized product choices. “Recommended for you” or “You may also like” content section may encourage more sales for your business.
You can also consider this element to personalize content choices for visitors’ engagement. Deliver information based on the content they previously viewed on your website.
Customer testimonials act as social proof, establishing your brand’s credibility. They can improve conversion by far, especially if relating to particular segments of your target audience.
So, consider displaying different buckets of testimonials and customer feedback for different segments of your website visitors.
You can also personalize logos of the companies you worked with on your homepage so that visitors in the same industry or geo-location could see corresponding badges.
Are you making the most of content personalization on your website?
Personalized content is a goldmine. Not only does it allow you to stand out from the competitors and engage website visitors, but it’s also a sure-fire way to turn visitors into qualified leads and loyal customers. It’s your right path toward brand authenticity, consistency, and conversion.
Research your target audience, learn their intent inside out, and do your best to provide personalized content for enhanced user experience and value. After all, the better you are at helping your targets solve their problems, the better your chances are to win loyal customers and, in the long run, revenue.