Website personalization can take on many forms, and they are not interchangeable. Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, they could be received with a level of confusion so before determining the tactic, it is important to have a clear vision for what the website requires and what benefits it is expected to deliver.
So what is personalization? Does it make practical business sense to implement?
As with the implementation of any new methodology, it is important to lay a strong foundation on which the personalization will supplement. In other words, before there is a website to personalize the user experience, there needs to be an entity that is usable, accessible, and relevant to what the visitors have come to the website to accomplish. To achieve this, especially if you recognize your website needs, it is always advised to employ the services of design companies in San Francisco with active professionals who will help you achieve your construction goals.
You may have witnessed great levels of personalization of the visitor’s experience on big-name websites. Rest assured that the investment to achieve that degree of personalization is substantial. It is not something that is supplemental to a redesign project, but rather a time-consuming, thoroughly studied business case implementing venture.
When most website owners requirest a personalized website they are not clear about what they specifically mean in terms of personalization, and more often than not, their approaches out counterintuitive and unbeneficial to their actual needs.
There are generally seven different website personalization methods, each with its own benefit and shortcomings. In this post, we will attempt to broaden the definition of personalization. We will aim to look beyond that Amazon personalization approach and look into multiple other options available to website owners and designers. So let’s dive into some pertinent personalization topics.
Campaign Based Website Personalization
The term for the personalization of website content aimed at assisting in both offline and online campaigns is referred to as campaign personalization. If you were conducting a campaign via mailings with the intent of bringing an audience to your website, you are unlikely to include the potentially lengthy and generic website address in your direct mail offering. Instead, you would provide a simple and unique address that interested visitors can then visit leading them to a customized landing page.
This page can be personalized to provide more heavily inflicted messaging to the visiting audience and can be used for everything from specifically targeted email campaigns geared at a specified segment of the audience to promoting referring websites. Whatever the approach, there is one constant rule: the experience must be customized based on the source of the visitors. These sites’ primary and most essential function is to guide the visitor through a highly integrated experience from the start of their journey on the site to a call-to-action completion. In other words, the website’s personalization helps to convert curious visitors to paying customers.
The best part is that these do not need extra technical development to be created, as most landing pages are perfectly put together via standard CMSs (content management systems). While they are an effective mechanism for guiding a visitor to the actual website of interest, they take significant time to put together and are themselves limited in scope. That means that each landing page needs its own, individual personalization and will typically stick to a limited scope of likened campaigns.
Geographically Based Website Personalization
Website personalization can also have its content personalized based on its global location. For instance, one may choose to have users from France redirected to a version of a website specifically tailored to a French audience. Since the user would be coming from France, the site can be customized to suit styles they are familiar with and can be even be translated into French, keeping in mind of course that producing a fully translated variant can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor.
There is an important aspect to keep in mind in this case though. A user accessing a website from France does not mean that person is actually French. If they arrive at a site fully rendered in French, they will likely look somewhere else. People travel for work all around the world and the use of VPNs that bounce the source signal all over the world can muddy the location determination of the visitor even more. Once a user arrives as a site whose content was not customized for them, it can be a challenge to get back to content that is.
Keeping all of that in mind, geographic personalization is simple to put into practice and can be a great tool in attracting international visitors, expanding how many people can see the organization’s offerings, and show a willingness to reach out to people globally. While it may not suit every single user accessing from a particular part of the world, playing the odds, it will likely be well customized for most.
IP Based Website Personalization
Customization of content for users based on where they are coming from can be a powerful method of personalizing the website’s messaging to that particular visitor segment. This type of customization typically involves altering the content of the pages to be more accordingly suitable to these particular visitors.
One method to recognize a user’s whereabouts is their IP address. However, IP addresses are not a tried and true method of identifying a user’s location when factoring in that the visitor may not be accessing the content from their typical location or they could be using a VPN. Beyond that, the action of looking up IPs can be resource taxing, as it typically involves the utilization of third-party software, which can slow things down, hindering performance.
Knowing the IP address implies that you are looking to deliver personalized content based on the company that the visitor is coming from. Such an approach can create an amazingly engaging and personal experience for visitors, and make the website stand with customization features that are directly targeted at the company the visitor is from. However, this also implies immense time and cost input into setting up all of the possible personalization experiences.
Time-Based Website Personalization
Another type of personalization style involves tailoring a website experience specific to the season, time of the year, or even time of the day. This customization is unlikely to be quite as personalized as some of the other approaches, but if executed correctly, can still be very effective.
By using time-based website personalization websites can show empathy to their visitors based on educated guesses made about the user’s status depending on the particular period of time of access. If a visitor shows up during a weekend, holiday, or late at night, for instance, it can be hypothesized that the visitor is working on their own time.
This approach ties in with geographical personalization as well, as to whether it is nighttime or day time depends on where in the world the visitor is. The same goes for the season for users from different hemispheres. It can even matter what day they are visiting as not all countries observe Saturdays and Sundays as their weekend.
The most obvious downside to this personalization tactic is that the hypothesis about user behavior based on time can end up being completely inaccurate, likely degrading the personalization aspect of the intended user experience rather than bolstering it. But being correct can prove powerful in resonating with users in much more personal ways than simply listing out a slew of recommended products.
Like so many other things related to your business’ success, website personalization must be accomplished professionally. The good news is that there are many web design agencies that will help you do this quickly and seamlessly so that your existing clientele won’t feel any discomfort, but your potential customers will start paying more attention to your business. Consider the things described above in order to develop the best website personalization strategy and take your company to new heights.