Real-Time Website Content Personalization: What You Should Know Right Now

October 21, 2014

Remember when websites were a ‘one size fits all’ experience? We’ve come a long way since then, now embracing tools that allow for the creation of websites that offer personalized experiences for each visitor.

Adding real-time website content personalization features to your website enhances a visitor’s experience, promoting more meaningful engagement that can result in a call-to-action completion like a request for more information, initiation of an online chat session, or a resource download. And by keeping personalized, relevant content in front of prospects throughout their website visit, they are likely to spend more time on your site.

Using digital marketing tools to incorporate real-time website content personalization into your website improves the website experience for visitors. By capturing user behaviors, you can get a better sense of the type of information a particular user is seeking and cater the content you serve to their needs. Some behaviors to track include:

  • Browsing and activities. By tracking which content your visitors are viewing and engaging with over the course of multiple site visits, you can customize future experiences based on their activity.
  • On-screen actions. When a user takes an action to exit a page on your website, you can send them an “offer” that can re-engage them.
  • Content preferences. Website content can be customized based on the particular site pages a user visits. For instance, calls-to-action can be modified, changing from generic to specific, as can offers like downloadable brochures, events.
  • Webform completion. Sign-ups for more information, contact requests, or other actions.

In the past, there were two big challenges to incorporating real-time website content personalization, however these barriers are no longer an issue as technologies have improved.

First, there is no longer a need for login or registration in order to present personalized content. Customization occurs by defining actions and leveraging data from analytics.

Second, personalization happens in real time. Changes occur based on user interactions during the first visit. In fact, personalization events can be triggered and occur on the same page. For example, if a user clicks a “view more” link at the top of a page, content in “personalization zones” on that same page can update to display more information related to the specific subject matter of the page.

How does real-time website content personalization help conversions?

Providing more personalized content for visitors throughout the entire site visit improves the user experience greatly. With more relevant information, specific calls to action, and better-targeted offers, site visitors are more likely to take the action you would like.

If a prospect provides an e-mail address or other piece of unique identifying information through the completion of a website form, their full history of website interactions (even before registration) can be accessed.

This extremely valuable information can help digital marketers expand their view of expressed intent or interest. It can also be used to trigger drip marketing campaigns and to tailor content appropriately.

How to execute real-time website content personalization

To create a personalized website experience, you must ensure these tools and processes are in place:

  • Clearly define business goals
  • Determine a baseline measure for each business goal
  • Set up website personalization software – these are usually software as a service tools that require no change to the current site
  • Define and develop triggers for personalized content
  • Create personalized content
  • Deploy personalization tool and related content
  • Test and refine based on the data
  • Expand personalization to more sections of the website

For more on real-time website content personalization, check out:


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