Explained in 60 Seconds: Real-Time Website Personalization

August 31, 2015

Let’s face it, cutting through all of the noise to deliver a compelling message to prospects gets harder all the time. As a data-driven marketer, you’re well aware of the investment it takes to get visitors to your website, so you get how important it is to capitalize on each visit by delivering the most relevant content for each site user. Enter real-time website personalization.

Personalizing an individual’s marketing experience isn’t a new technique, but it’s now gaining serious momentum as customers have come to expect a better online experience with more specific, relatable web content. It’s a good deal for companies too; those that use data to deliver personalized experiences have 49% higher revenue growth and 30% higher ROI than those who do not.

Clearly there are a number of great reasons to implement real-time website personalization, but before you get going on making your website more relevant to your users, you have to understand how dynamic content works.

Serving dynamic content on your website relies on the practice of predictive personalization, or adapting your site to the changing needs of your users based on their behaviors. As a user interacts with your site, his profile is populated with data that will predict which content he will find most relevant. By configuring and adjusting rules that target specific content for each audience segment based on available profile data, marketers can deliver unique experiences on an individual user basis.

User profile data types that can help create a personalized web experience include:

  • Explicit data – age, gender, interests, or other information a user has entered directly into their profile.
  • Session attributes – date/time, referring pages, click path, search keywords, etc.
  • Visitor attributes – IP address, geolocation, type of mobile device, browser, and OS/platform.
  • Data from third-party databases – CRMs and/or marketing automation platforms.

Anyone who has ever taken a peek into a customer database knows there is a mind-boggling amount of data available to create a personalized web experience. Before you get overwhelmed thinking of all the ways you can use this information, start by implementing small touches of personalization to get your feet wet. Try:

  • Internationalization – change the language, currency, and other details on your site based on the locale or region of the visitor.
  • Geotargeting – tailor messaging based on a user’s physical location by targeting them with specific offers or events relevant to where they are.
  • Site searches – when a visitor searches for something on your site, use that information to customize their experience by showing related content they would find interesting or useful.
  • Inbound keywords – use keywords entered into search engines as the trigger for a change from generic content or imagery to something specific related to the keyword.

As real-time website personalization becomes increasingly popular, the number of available tools to help marketers implement it has grown. By using tools that extend the core functionalities of content management systems, digital marketers have more control over their websites and a greater ability to target specific visitors with specific content. Providers include:

Digital marketing technology changes quickly. Keeping up with it can be challenging, but offering a more relevant, personalized experience that keeps people engaged with your site can mean big increases to your bottom line, which is definitely worth the investment.

Download a Copy of Our In-Depth Personalization Guide

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