Website Personalization: The Ultimate Guide to Maximize Your Revenue Potential

Christopher Lowe

Aug 17, 2021

Website personalization is the process of creating a unique experience for each visitor tailored to their specific needs, interests, and preferences. It’s one of the most powerful tools for increasing engagement with customers, which can lead to increased revenue. This post will cover everything from why you should care about website personalization, what it means, and how to do it right. So buckle up and get ready for a ride! 

Table of Contents
  1. What is Website Personalization?

  2. Why is Website Personalization Important?

  3. The Benefits of Website Personalization

  4. How to Personalize Your Website

  5. Personalization and Customization – What’s the Difference?

  6. Personalization at Scale – Best Practices To Help You Get The Basics Right

  7. Industry-Wise Website Personalization Examples

  8. Conclusion

  9. Frequently Asked Questions on Website Personalization

It’s been said the customer is always right.

This statement may be more true than you think: customers who feel they’re being heard, respected, and valued will return to a website or business time and againspending money in the process.

What if we could get each of our visitors to feel like this? What if the customers feel they are being heard, respected, and valued? Is this even possible?

Absolutely. Website personalization offers just that by making it possible for businesses to tailor their interactions with customers on an individual basis. 

However, it’s more than just the content that can be customized to suit individual interests. 

Website personalization also offers website owners a chance to make their pages look and feel unique according to who’s viewing them—perhaps making their site seem like “the only one” in an industry overflowing with competitors.

And, since each visitor has different needs for your products or services on any given day, why not give everyone what they want? 

Doing so can result in increased sales because of higher levels of interest from prospects and loyal customers. They’ll return since you made sure they received exactly what they needed when they visited your page—every time.

The good news is you don’t need to be a design guru or an IT expert to implement website personalization. 

There are some easy and cost-effective ways for businesses of any size, shape, and niche to start with website personalization right now—and get the best possible ROI on their marketing investment, too!

If your company has already jumped into personalized digital experiences but hasn’t seen those efforts translate into more revenue—or if you’re intrigued by these new possibilities but don’t know where to start—this post will teach you everything you need to know: from understanding what web personalization means (hint: it’s not about creating different websites!) to how this strategy can help grow both your customer base and your bottom line.

Let’s jump right in.

What is Website Personalization?

Website personalization is the process of creating a unique experience for each visitor tailored to their specific needs, interests, and preferences.

What does this mean? 

The key is in the language: “personalized” means tailoring your website or digital experience so it’s relevant to each unique visitor—whatever their individual needs. 

The type of website personalization you choose depends on the requirements of your business.

Examples might range from:

  • Displaying targeted images or video
  • Customizing product recommendations and layouts
  • Adjusting how certain pages load (for example changing the color scheme) 
  • Making sure customer details are captured correctly at checkout/registration
  • Answering questions about products before anyone has had time to ask them!

Website personalization is all about anticipating customer needs. By responding to those needs with a tailored digital experience, they’ll feel valued, reducing the chances they’ll hesitate before making a purchase, and ultimately resulting in more sales.

Why is Website Personalization Important?

First, website personalization is an important part of providing a high-quality customer experience.

Second, it’s key to delivering personalized content and messages that resonate with each individual visitor. When visitors feel they’re being listened to, respected, and valued while browsing your site, you can further improve their experience by anticipating their needs before they ask. The number of sales will skyrocket.

Let’s examine the benefits of website personalization in more detail.

The Benefits of Website Personalization

Strategic use of website personalization can bring many benefits, including:

More Relevant Content Recommendations

Getting irrelevant content recommendations is quite annoying. It’s as if someone is trying to sell you something you  don’t want or already have.

To get the most out of website customization and keep visitors from leaving, recommend content they will be interested in. Use the data you’ve gathered to tailor their experience and show them new and relevant products, services, or content.

You will not only prevent customers from leaving your website, but also increase the amount of time they spend there, increasing customer loyalty, and ultimately resulting in a higher retention rate. 

The greatest example is Google. The search engine creates precise data based on a user’s browsing history, records their unique behavior, and displays content systematically fitting their interests .

An Improved Customer Experience

Website personalization offers an improved customer experience by anticipating their needs before any questions have been asked, delivering more personalized messages and information for visitors who want it –  in higher levels of engagement with returning customers,as well as new prospects.

Website personalization increases trust among customers since their expectations will already have been met without any need for additional communication between themselves and the business owners/managers.

Better Qualified Leads

Leads that have been nurtured, segmented, and shown relevant content are more likely to enter your sales funnel.

These leads are more likely to buy from and recommed your business to others,  revenue potential and customer loyalty.

Increased Revenue Potential

The ultimate goal of website personalization is increasing the likelihood of visitors becoming customers. 

By providing your website visitors with content they want, when, and where they need it, you’re increasing their chances of making an impulse buy or purchasing something without hesitation—thus, leading to increased revenue potential for your business.

Improved Marketing ROI

The increased revenue potential leads to improved marketing ROI.

More personalized messages, content recommendations, and a better customer experience not only result in more sales, but also less time spent on the front end of your business. This results in  spending less money on digital advertising while still generating higher traffic because of  an enhanced user experience using website personalization.

Now that you know the benefits of website personalization and how it can help your business, let’s talk about how to implement this strategy.

How to Personalize Your Website

When it comes to personalizing your website, everyone will tell you the first and most important step is defining your goals.

We, on the other hand, favor and promote a slightly different approach.

When it comes to website customization, you won’t be able to truly tailor your visitors’ experience until you have the proper type of visitor data to back up your plans.

The more data you have about your visitors, the more personalized content you can create and add to your site, and the higher your conversions and sales will be.

So, here’s how we see a perfect website personalization process:

Step 1: Visitor Data Collection

In today’s highly dynamic and customer-centric marketplace, it’s critical to attract the attention of your prospects and gather the right kind of data to fine-tune your marketing strategies.

When it comes to developing a plan to personalize your website, you must consider what kind of visitor data you can collect. Next, you can use machine learning and predictive analysis to determine how to deliver an experience your visitors have come to expect.

So, what are some ways of gathering customer data? Let’s see.

1. Ask the Visitors Directly

One of the most effective ways to collect visitor data is to ask themcdirectly  for their basic information. You can do this by requesting them to fill out a form when they subscribe to a service, register on your platform, or make their first purchase.

Doing so allows you to collect pertinent information, such as their name, gender, phone number, email address, current location, work industry, job title, company name, and more.

By collecting this type of data, you can better understand your visitors and create a more personalized experience for them.

2. Map Customer Journey

Another method of gathering data is through mapping the customer journey. You can measure a customer’s time spent on each page, their interaction with your site’s content, how far they scroll, where they bounce off, and more.

By observing their behavior, you’’ill gain a better understanding of their interests, preferences, and actual intent. In addition, you’ll see a true picture of what your customer’s really looking for, allowing you to better serve them.

Furthermore, you can track how visitors interact with your campaigns, such as whether they open or click through emails, dismiss or click through push notifications, etc. Getting the correct data is crucial to improving website personalization.

3. Cookies and Web Beacons

Another way to collect visitor data is by using cookies and web beacons. Cookies are small files that store information about your site’s usage, such as what pages have been visited, or when someone has logged into the website. 

Web beacons are small pieces of code embedded into a page on your site. They gather statistics like how many people view it daily and which links they click on.

These two types of data, when combined with other sources, can provide valuable insights into users’ behavior on your website, and can help you customize their experience.

4. Company Records and Social Media

Another great source of information is your company records and social media.  

Examine your customer service and sales records, transaction histories, and customer interactions with sales and support representatives in detail. 

Another way to collect data is through social media, especially if your consumers connect via their Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, or other third-party platforms.

Such data is valuable since it’s often direct and unfiltered, providing you with the kind of information that can help you better understand your customers. 

5. Email Activity Tracking

Email activity tracking is another way to gather visitor data.  

This can be done by tracking how many emails are opened, which links have been clicked on,  when they were clicked, the number of times an email has been viewed daily or weekly, what time it is typically opened during the day, etcetera.

All this information helps you understand your visitors’ interests and preferences so you can better target them with personalized content.

Plus, such data provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of different emails, as well as identifying certain users needing more attention than others. In other words, email activity tracking offers huge potential for website personalization success.

Step 2: Visitor Profiling

After collecting data, the next step is your visitors in order to understand their needs,and how you can serve these needs to the best of your ability.

The first thing to do is to identify your visitors’ demographics. 

This includes basic personal information like their age, sex, location, occupation or industry. Itit can also include other details such as marital status or education. 

Collecting this type of data helps you tailor the website content for users by providing them with a wide range of attractive options useful and relevant to what they need at a given moment in time.

Next, identify your visitors’ interests

This can be done by investigating what they like on social media, their purchases, and their reviews of products or services.

For example, if you notice many of your visitors buying a specific product or service and writing reviews about it on social media sites, this is a clear indication of their interest in the topic.

This information can be used to tailor content around those topics so they’re able to find what they’re looking for much faster than previously. For instance, instead of showing them articles with general advice, you might want to show them more targeted posts.

The next step is to identify your visitors’ expectations. This is one of the key areas where website personalization can be most beneficial. 

If a visitor’s expectations are not met, it can lead to frustration, resulting in their leaving the site and not returning.

Luckily, this is an area where you have more control than on other channels, such as social media or email marketing, because they’s typically only visit one page at a time. at a time. 

It’s easier to tailor their experience according to what they’re looking for based on how much previous knowledge of your brand and industry they have before visiting your website.

For example, if they know about the product or service you offer, chances are high less information will be required. If they don’t know anything about what you provide, it makes sense ggiving them more so they can be better informed.

Your next task is to identify their online behavior such as their browser type,, what devices they use, and at what time of day they visit your site.

Most likely, there will be certain days when a significant number of people from a particular region visit your website. During other times, there may only be visitors who live in a certain city or country. 

Regardless, understanding how these factors affect the experience you provide can greatly help you to tailor the content on your website to meet your customers’ needs.

Step 3: Set Your Goals

Next, you must identify goals for your website personalization. 

Having a clear goal as the result of this process will help you figure out what to focus your efforts on, as well as what kind of data you need in order to test different ideas.

Here are some common personalization goals:

Before you begin, make sure you have answers to all the questions about goal-setting that arise in your mind. Here are a few relevant questions to address:

  • What are the concerns you’re trying to resolve?
  • What are the best ways to get your website visitors to engage with you?
  • Is there a preferred language for your target audience you should focus on?
  • Is there anything in particular where your users will benefit from your personalization efforts?

Step 4: Plan and Implement Website Personalization Strategy

After you’ve determined the goals for your website personalization strategy, it’s time to plan and implement.

How is that accomplished?

Follow the  four simple steps below.

1. Identify Campaigns

First, you need to identify which campaigns will be used in your personalization strategy.

For instance, if one of the objectives is to reduce bounce rates, it would make sense to test different content providing visitors with quick solutions or containing information ther’re specifically looking for when they arrive on your site.

Or, if increasing conversion rates is more important than all else, showing them personalized recommendations about related products based on their past purchases might be worth exploring.

Now, make a list of all the tactics, the appropriate channels, the campaign’s run time, as well as the metric(s) you’ll use to measure its effectiveness.

2. Prioritize Campaigns

The next step is prioritizing the campaigns you identified in your plan. 

For example, if visitors are more likely to convert on a campaign featuring personalized recommendations for related products then it should get priority over any other type of content which may be less effective.

This will help make sure all personalization efforts are working towards achieving the same goal and not getting distracted by secondary goals at times when they’re most needed.

3. Use the Right Algorithms to Fine Tune your Campaigns

Machine-learning algorithms offer greater scalability than age-old personalization-driven rules, which is one of the most important things to remember when creating a campaign.

Algorithms allow you to go deep into the sea of website personalization, despite the fact they’re still beneficial for developing simple campaigns. They enable you to provide a more personalized experience, which not only helps you capture the attention of your defined customer personas, but also helps you meet your goals.

4. Test and Iterate

The final step is to test and iterate. In order for your personalization strategy to be successful, it’s important you keep testing different ideas.

Don’t get stuck on one idea or find yourself constantly trying the same thing over and over again in hopes of getting a new result. Chances are good this isn’t going to produce results immediately, so stop doing what doesn’t work well and continue with those things providing desired outcomes.

Step 5: Measure Success

The final step is measuring success. 

Success will be different for every website. It’s important you define what success means before beginning the process.

For example, if your goal is to increase conversion rates, measure this by comparing how many people purchased something after viewing a personalized product recommendation against those who viewed an unpersonalized one.

If your ultimate goal is reducing bounce rates, compare the total time spent on the site by the visitors who view content with personalized recommendations to those who don’t. If someone views more of your content when they’re receiving personalization than without, chances are good you’ve found some valuable metrics!

The downside? Such numbers may only tell part of the story since other factors can still be at play in affecting the results.

What’s important is you’re able to accurately track the effectiveness of your website personalization efforts and ensure they’re producing your desired outcomes. That way, if something doesn’t work as planned, you can make changes accordingly without investing too much time.

Personalization and Customization – What’s the Difference?

Customization and personalization are two terms often used interchangeably. After all, why not use them together? 

In a way, they both serve the same purpose: to provide a dynamic, personalized experience, boost user engagement, and help with conversion rate optimization. 

However, there is a fine line separating the two methods. Let’s see what’s the difference between them.

Personalization

Personalization is a way to give visitors a one-to-one experience while effectively and efficiently meeting their individual needs, making interactions faster, and improving the odds of them becoming regular customers.

Personalization is most commonly achieved through automation, in which a system customizes a visitor’s experience depending on their previous behavior and other relevant metrics.

Spotify, for example, one of the world’s most popular digital music platforms, customized its homepage for each of its users based on their previous searches.

What’s even better?

Personalization is a continuous process of adapting website content to users’ changing needs and preferences, giving them a variety of options.

Customization

Customization is more of a manually-driven process and provides users with greater control over the content they see.

It’s considered more of an interactive process relying heavily on the user as it doesn’t automatically adjust based on previous behavior.

The main benefit of customization is giving users a sense of control over what they see, how much they want to interact with the site or app, and when. 

This process also helps keep user retention rates high as their needs are met specifically according to their preferences, generating more revenue opportunities for businesses.

Nike By You is a great example of customization in practice.

It provides its users with the ability to select every element of their shoes, from color and style, to materials – even shoelace color.

Personalization at Scale – Best Practices To Help You Get The Basics Right

Knowing the difference between personalization and customization, let’s see how to implement them at scale and boost revenue potential

When it comes to personalization, companies must constantly innovate and test their strategies in order to provide the greatest personalized experience for their visitors, andstay ahead in today’s highly competitive online market.

In this section, we’ve created a list of 6 best practices for personalizing your website.

1. Real-time Decision Making

The first best practice is to have real-time decision making. This means when a visitor visits your site, the decisions about what they see should be made at that instant and not hours or days later.

This ensures the experience is relevant and up to date, which improves conversions.

For example, Amazon uses a real-time recommendation engine for its homepage when visitors start typing in their search query, it’s able to make decisions about what they should see before they finish typing by suggesting products based on previous searches or popular items from other customers viewing similar pages. 
This practice not only helps them stay ahead of competition, but also provides an added layer of convenience as it stops users from having to type out entire sentences, giving them better results quicker.

2. Don’t Overdo your Recommendations

While personalization promotes the idea of showing your customers what’s most relevant to them, sometimes doing so can be very annoying. 

Customers may become irritated when they see the same product/service or content recommendation repeated. They may leave your site.

Allow them to explore your site beyond your recommendations.

This will not only encourage people to explore areas of your website, but also allow you to improve your website personalization efforts.

3. Proper Channeling is Important

Not all of your website’s channels or pages work the same way in every situation.

As a result, understanding your target audience and determining where to deliver the right message or offer relevant recommendations is critical.

When a customer searches your website, personalizing their search experience by sending them to a page closely matching what they’re looking for – be it your homepage, category pages or product details – increases the likelihood of converting someone who is just browsing.

On the other hand, when you are trying to close a sale and there’s one specific product in mind, directing customers towards those individual products may help generate more revenue opportunities.

4. Test your hypothesis before deploying

Every website personalization campaign is based on a hypothesis that must be evaluated and measured before being implemented.

Some personalization efforts successful for one company may not be successful for another.

Adopt a systematic and thoughtful approach.est the impact of your proposed hypothesis the same way you’d A/B test changes on a website.

The information gained from your testing can help determine whether your personalization efforts are on track to accomplish your goals (increase site visitors, conversions, or time spent on your site) or whether you need further improvement.

5. Regularly monitor your analytics

You should track the performance of your website personalization efforts using qualitative and quantitative analytical tools such as Google Analytics.

When combining quantitative and qualitative analytics, you’ll be able to make more accurate predictions about how your future website personalization efforts may work out, as well as optimize them for maximum success.

6. Revisit your website personalization strategies regularly

Personalization isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution nor a “set it and forget it” strategy.

No matter how well website personalization is working for your business, you must adjust your efforts periodically to meet your customers’ changinging needs.

Regularly review your personalization strategies and make any necessary adjustments. The more innovative ideas you try, the better you’ll be able to serve your customers.

Industry-Wise Website Personalization Examples

Because of the numerous advantages website personalization provides, an increasing number of businesses are entering and exploring this realm of experimentation.

Let’s take a look at how some popular industries are using website personalization to provide their customers with a more personalized experience and grow revenue.

1. Ecommerce Industry Personalization Examples

Personalization has been a very important aspect in the B2C industry in recent years. More importantly, it’s not something that customers expect. Instead, it’s something they demand. 

Let’s take a look at 2 great examples:

Example #1: ASOS

ASOS is a popular eCommerce platform selling a wide range of clothing, accessories, beauty products, and many other products for both men and women.

When you first visit the ASOS website, you’ll see the following homepage:

Meanwhile, if you travel across the site, say, to the “Men” section, you’ll see a homepage focused on your most recent search. It looks something like this:

The brand ensures its visitors see what interests them the most by using particular personalization techniques. More specifically? Cookie retargeting.

Example #2: Amazon

Amazon is by far the best example of personalization. The ecommerce giant has integrated personalization to its roots. For example, check out the image below:

Amazon uses a variety of personalization techniques to serve the needs of its customers including:

– Personalized product recommendations based on your recent purchases and browsing patterns

– Tailored offers for products you might like to buy, delivered right when you need them. For example: if it’s close to the time of year when a certain toy is expected to be in high demand, Amazon offers special deals featuring this popular holiday gift.

– A personalized website experience, tailored to your search history and browsing preferences

Amazon leverages customer data to tailor the shopping experience on their site. ustomers don’t have a generic or “cookie cutter” experience where they’re shown items from all of Amazon’s departments regardless of whether or not it suits what they were looking for in the first place. 

This personalization technique has resulted in higher conversion rates for Amazon as opposed to other online retailers not using this approach.

Example #3: Aesop

Aesop is an online retailer of beauty and grooming products,  skincare, haircare, makeup, fragrance, and bath & body care.

It’s worth noting that Aesop built a loyal following by providing personalized recommendations based on what their customers purchased in the past or were browsing at the time.

For instance, a customer who has dry or sensitive skin might be recommended products designed to help conditions while someone with oily skin might recieve product suggestions with mattifying and oil control formulas.

2. Travel Industry Personalization Examples

The travel industry is also utilizing website personalization.

Example #1: Booking

Booking is an excellent example of a travel site that recognizes the importance of personalization.

When you log in, booking.com displays a recommendation widget. The widget is personalized in real time.

The site determines the location of its visitors when they arrive, making recommendations based on their IP addresses.

These suggestions are usually based on the most commonly searched travel locations by people in and around their area.

Example #2: Expedia

Expedia is one of the world’s largest travel companies, providing booking services for airlines, hotels, motels, vacation packages, and car rentals.

The company has made it its mission to deliver excellence in customer service by catering to every individual visitor on the site, all while making sure they find exactly what they want without any hassle. 

One method is using personalization techniques such as geo-targeting which can tell if you’re visiting from London or Tokyo before displaying flights accordingly!  

The result? User engagement skyrockets because visitors receive relevant content without having to do anything.

3. Media & Entertainment Personalization Examples

Online users are used to seeing content matching their interests, from movie/series recommendations to song recommendations.

Customers are more likely to stick with brands that know them by name, understand their needs, preferences, and tastes, providing content that is most relevant to them. Here are a few examples of businesses doing exceptionally well.

Example #1: Spotify

It’s no secret that Spotify, the digital music service provider, has revolutionized the way media and entertainment companies think about and implement personalization.

The music giant not only personalizes playlists based on listeners’ tastes and preferences, but also assures they value their one-on-one experience.

Spotify occasionally introduces new and enhanced personalization tactics to entice clients and provide them with a plethora of options. 

For example, in the past, this music service platform provided customised playlists such as “Discover Weekly”, “Release Radar”, and “Daily Mixes” to allow its customers to enjoy their favorite music while also being introduced to new, trending songs suited to their interests.

Example #2: Netflix

In the 21st century, we are all in a race to find time for work and leisure. Netflix has made it their mission to provide users with an exceptional experience at any given moment of the day or night.

Titles on this platform are displayed based on your tastes, and they also offer a personalized homepage so you don’t waste time searching for content. Netflix offers recommendations based on your previous viewing habits. It’s perfect if you don’t know where to start or what type of show might suit your needs.

Netflix also provides suggested programs similar in genre and tone to some of the shows you’ve already watched.

They alsooffer parental controls so users can keep their children away from inappropriate content without having to monitor every single episode.

Conclusion

The key to a successful website is personalization. 

We know your customers are different and have unique needs, so why not give them an experience on your site tailored just for them? 

The benefits of personalizing your website are clear. Visitors find it more engaging, and conversion rates go up. It also makes you stand out in the crowded digital world where customers have an endless supply of choices for their purchases or services needs. So, what’s stopping you? 

Take advantage of these tips now and see what results they can produce for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions on Website Personalization

What is personalization in web content management?

Personalization in web content management tailors the content of a website to suit the needs and preferences of individual users.

How do you implement personalization?

To successfully implement personalization, first, you need to identify your target audience and do your visitor profiling. Then you need to set goals, create campaigns and prioritize them. Finally, measure the results. 

The final step is very important since it enables you to accurately track how effective your website personalization efforts are and ensure they’re producing desired outcomes.

That way, if something doesn’t work out as planned you can make changes accordingly without investing too much time into it.

What is a personalized experience?

A personalized experience is a journey a company provides to its customers based on their previous purchases, location, or behavior, with the aim of providing quality customer experience, increasing visit duration, improving conversions, and building brand reputation. 


Christopher has a long history of driving value and creating personalized, omnichannel journeys that enhance customer experience. He's passionate about learning and development and has a keen interest in developing economies, especially ones with a lot of room for digital growth.