For website owners, getting traffic is only half the battle. Once someone arrives at your site, you want to make sure that they stay there and eventually convert, which could mean signing up for your email list, making a purchase, downloading your white paper, and more.
Enter website personalization: tailored content, promotions, and messaging to the needs of your individual website visitors. By giving your visitors content that appeals directly to them, you’re more likely to create brand enthusiasts and eventually convert them into customers. And, with a little hard work and a bit of ideation, you can create killer personalized content that’ll help you do just that.
The Big Players Winning on Website Personalization
Amazon, Yahoo and Netflix are three big brands using website personalization to drive business. They’re setting the gold standard for serving up content that’s specifically of interest to you. And as a result, they’re seeing much higher retention and engagement on site.
You’re probably thinking, “Well duh, these are huge companies with endless budgets.” But don’t worry. You don’t have to be a multi-billion dollar company to implement website personalization. We’ve got three ways you can start applying website personalization to your site right now.
Where to Begin: What Makes Your Visitors Different?
The first step in implementing website personalization is identifying how you want to differentiate your visitors and then thinking through ways to personalize content, promotions or messaging.
Get started by considering who your likely visitors are and what makes them different and unique. Are the majority of your visits from mobile or desktop users? This will impact your site’s design and how much dynamic content you’ll want to create. Also consider that first-time visitors to a website are likely to navigate differently than repeat visitors. Customers who have found your company but are still in the decision-buying process may need exposure to different content than those who are ready to make a purchase.
Solve some of these woes by building specialized landing pages for different audiences and traffic sources. Send social media followers to a different link with varied CTAs than what you’ll include in your email marketing campaigns.
Another easy and effective way to get started with website personalization is with AddThis Targeting Tools. Build your email list, promote a specific page or link on your site, including discounts or sales – all with targeting capabilities that help you reach different segments of your website’s audience, including new and returning users, visitors from social media, and more.
1. Let Your Guest Be Their Own Guide
Website visitors navigate and view landing pages differently based on their specific needs. Are you creating content with the CEO, Head of Sales, or Marketing Director in mind? If your business caters to a B2C audience, are most visitors the primary consumer or are they shopping for someone else?
Personalizing the user’s experience based on their needs can create a valuable experience that decreases bounce rates and encourages conversion. When we launched the AddThis Academy, we kept that top of mind, creating a landing page where you could select content based on your needs.
2. Show Them Relevant Content Based on Their Location
Personalization can have a huge impact on how customers find your business, both off and online. Use geo-targeted personalized messages to drive traffic to your website and allow customers to filter content relevant to the specific location of their choice.
We love the way babysitting website SitterCity does this! They connect those needing reliable childcare with babysitters and temporary daycares in or near their neighborhood. In terms of hyper personalization, the site takes it a step further by automatically locating mobile users and providing them with specific contacts based on where their mobile phone signal lands.
Consider using a similar strategy for content pieces and promotions or discounts. Geo-targeting gives you the chance to not only segment customers and provide them with different offers, but also provide a more tailored experience that speaks to what they’re looking for.
3. Welcome Guests with the Right Offer
Now that you’ve worked hard to drive new traffic to your website, think about ways you can build relationships with these visitors. Using a marketing overlay is a great way to start. You can use overlays to engage new customers with free or downloadable content. For repeat visitors, be sure to include a signup form for your newsletter or email list. If a customer has come to your website more than once, they’re more likely to be interested in receiving additional information from you than a first-time user who’s still in the decision-making process and just beginning to get to know your brand. This is the kind of personalized targeting that can really help spike your conversions and get more out of the traffic you’re driving to your website.
Career consultancy The Muse has an irresistible pitch to get visitors to sign up for their website: “Browse jobs, explore the inside of top companies, and meet the people that work there. Get expert advice and connect with a career coach who’ll help give your career a major boost.”
Remember, website personalization does not have to be costly and is not only for the technologically advanced. The process is all about thinking about the visitor, what their purpose for viewing your site would be, and thinking of more effective ways to speak to them.
Ready to start converting more of your visitors with personalization? Try our free Targeting Tools!
Using AddThis Targeting Tools, you can target your website overlay or welcome bar based on new vs. returning user, device type (mobile, desktop, or tablet), referring social source or URL, and more.