We have talked extensively about content personalization on this blog, and you probably already have a good understanding of the concept by now. With all the statistics to back up the benefits of content personalization, you know you want to implement it, and you’ve got your boss approval on project. You are ready! Let’s do this!
But, how exactly do you start…?
Step 1: Planning- the who, what, and where of your personalization
Before you even implement any personalization tools, you need to have a game plan first!
- Who: decide on how you will segment your visitors.
- There are built-in criteria in most personalization softwares – such as location or gender -for you to choose from. In addition to the contextual targeting, you can also use behavioural targeting. Define your segments by grouping your users based on their on-site behaviour. Key- create segments that are high reach and mutually exclusive. Your segments should reach a large portion of your web visitors, but they also need to be different enough from each other so that there won’t be overlap. If you need deeper run-through on the different ways to segment, you can refer to this previous article that we wrote!
- What: create personalized content for each of your segment.
- This can be as extensive as a whole different landing-page or as simple as a unique greeting. It is easy to get distracted when creating content, so just remember that the content has to be relevant to your visitors’ needs. For instance, if you are a consulting firm, and have decided to use industry as a segmenting criteria for your personalized content, you can customize your landing-page on cases you have done that fit with your visitor’s industry.
- Where: decide on which part of your webpage you want implement personalization
- When choosing a location, high traffic pages such as the landing page and the checkout page are good options. You want your personalized content on high traffic sites in order to ensure that the content would be seen by the majority of your web visitors.
Step 2: The set-up- what software do you use?
There are multiple content personalization engines available on the market, all varying in costs and features. There is not necessarily one software that is better than the rest, it all comes down to what resources you have at hand. We have written an article that analyzed five personalization engines that are currently widely in use- check it out if you need a place to start!
Once you’ve decided on what software you want to use, the next step is to specify your segments to the software. From there, your personalization campaign is as easy clicking and dropping different items into boxes.
Step 3: The measurements- what are your metrics?
With your segments made and content up and running, what is left now is measuring your results. Select a conversion metric (i.e. page clicks, subscriptions, or sales) and track it. There are two type of analysis that you could do with the data here:
- Compare metric of personalized content vs. generic content
- Compare metric of personalized content vs. personalized content
In addition to simply comparing to baseline, you also would want to start running your A/B testing with different versions of personalized content. After a series of A/B tests, you will be able improve your personalized content to achieve the highest conversion. Once you have identified a specific message that is most effective with one of your segment, you have succeed at personalization for one for your segments. Now, you just need to repeat the same process with your other segments!