8 Reasons Personalized Websites Are the Way of the Future
June 4, 2015
By Amber Kemmis
Out of the 100 billion searches conducted each month on Google, there is one thing in common of all searches - everyone is looking for something. And, when someone is looking for something online, you must either help them along the way or get out of the way.
Technology and the Internet is making it easier and easier for each of us to be in control of our purchasing decisions. When we want something, we get it now or maybe even yesterday (via UPS from Amazon). Anything that stands in the way or makes this difficult for us to do is negatively perceived. The fact that technology allows us to be more personalized and in a hyper-speed way is all the reason you need to realize that personalization is the way of the future for websites, but before we explore even more reasons for a personalized website, let’s look at what website personalization is.
What Is Website Personalization?
Website personalization is the use of behavioral, demographic or even anonymous user data to create dynamic and customized website content for each user. Website personalization allows marketers to create a unique marketing experience that ultimately helps to grow business. To make website personalization happen, marketers need to effectively use marketing software to collect data through cookies, forms and other data sources, but they also need a CMS that allows them to seamlessly turn it into action with website content. Some examples of website personalization in action include:
eCommerce sites displaying similar products or making past purchases easily accessible
A sign in screen for customers vs. demo request on the homepage
CTAs with content relevant to the user’s interests
Website personalization puts the user’s needs first. In today’s Internet savvy world, the user’s needs have to come first to win the sale. Although the need for website personalization is already very evident, in the future, website personalization will no longer be an option but a necessity. Here are 8 reasons why:
8 Reasons Personalized Websites Are the Way of the Future
1. Google Is Doing It
Every minute 2 billion searches are performed on Google helping to make it the most visited website on the Internet. What is it that makes Google more successful at navigating the online world than any other company? Arguably, it is their deep concentration on putting the user first. From local search results to a smarter inbox, Google is the way of the future, and the company is the future because it cares deeply about customizing the web experience to the user.
2. The Way of the Future Is in the Device
One of the most effective and pretty much necessary elements of a personalized website is tailoring the experience to the user’s device. According to a study by Compuware Corp, 49% of tablet users say they are less likely to visit a website again in the future if they experience problems on their device. On top of this fact, Google’s Mobile-Friendly algorithm change that favors search rankings to websites optimized for mobile makes website personalization based on the device necessary.
3. Personalized Websites Keep Negative Emotions at Bay
Nearly 75% of online consumers get frustrated when a website displays irrelevant content. “Frustrated” - this is just one of the many ways to describe the feelings and consequences that occur when marketers neglect to personalize their website experience to the user. Personalization leaves visitors delighted not feeling negative about their interaction with your brand and website because you shared content that was “irrelevant.”
4. The Timing Is Always Right
Time has always been of the essence, but it is even more important in the online world where a web interaction can be disconnected by the quick click of a mouse. Time, however, doesn’t have to work against marketers. The back button doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship with potential customers. With website personalization, you are able to wisely time how and when to interact with visitors. If the time is right for them to buy, you allow them to easily do that. However, if the time is right for them to learn more about their problem, your website can do that.
5. Visitors Stick Around Longer
When IBM wanted to boost their website's performance in 2013, they turned to a more dynamic content approach that uses real-time data to deliver the most relevant content to their website visitors. As a result, IBM has seen a 269 percent increase in average time spent on the site. The more time visitors spend on a website, the more opportunities you’ll have to engage and move them further down the funnel!
6. Conversion Rates Improve
In a comprehensive study, HubSpot found that calls-to-action targeted to the user had a 42 percent higher view-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that were the same for all visitors. This means that personalized calls-to-action go a long way, nearly 50 percent, in improving overall conversion rates for your website.
7. The Future Won’t Tolerate a One-Size Fits All Message
Seventy-five percent of consumers like it when brands personalize messaging and offers, according to an Aberdeen Research Report. Outside of growing submission rates from CTAs, a personalized website also allows you to personalize messaging and offers to make your brand more influential. Personalized websites are the way of the future because one-size fits all messaging won’t work with today’s consumers.
8. Personalization Is Only Creepy if You Make it Creepy
You may have heard the argument that personalization is creepy or invasive. However, context means everything with personalization. For example, you wouldn’t want to be like, “Oh, hey first time site visitor who I’ve never met before, would you like to get married?” A bit of an exaggeration, but, point being, personalization is only creepy if you take it out of context. Yes, you’ll have to use your social skills a bit to judge the extent of personalization you should do. Just don’t be that weird guy at the bar asking a girl to feel your biceps. On your website, it’s OK to treat a customer like a customer by presenting a sign in button conveniently. Conversely, it’s OK to recognize a repeat visitor interests by displaying relevant content.
Personalized websites are a great asset to marketers as well as website users. In the end, marketers are able to more effectively utilize websites. At the same time, users have to deal with less noise and only get the content they want. Why do you think personalized websites are the way of the future? Share your comments!
About the author
Amber Kemmis was formerly the VP of Client Services at SmartBug Media. Having a psychology background in the marketing world has its perks, especially with inbound marketing. My past studies in human behavior and psychology have led me to strongly believe that traditional ad marketing only turns prospects away, and advertising spend never puts the right message in front of the right person at the right time. Thus, resulting in wasted marketing efforts and investment. I'm determined to help each and every one of our clients attract and retain new customers in a delightful and helpful way that leads to sustainable revenue growth. Read more articles by Amber Kemmis.