Duncan Hendy, Content Strategy Manager, Kentico Software
In the digital age, people are increasingly aware of what they want and how they want to consume it. If a business is not offering content online that is both relevant and interesting, they will face significant challenges in converting visitors to customers. Personalization is key to earning the respect and trust of online visitors. Businesses that only offer static content, which fails to take into consideration who they are as individuals based on location, demographics, site history and interests, risk losing potential customers forever. However, those businesses that adopt a dynamic online approach that provides visitors with a truly immersive experience can engage with these potential customers on their level. And it is their level that really interests them.
One of the key benefits of personalizing a visitor’s online experience is that it will lead to increased website conversions and on-page time, which also helps with a business’ all-important Google ranking. Through this increased activity, Google gets a better understanding of the type of content your business is delivering, which will help increase organic traffic. Additionally, when visitors reach a website and discover that there is new, tailored content available, they are more likely to return, generating even more traffic.
“Performing a content gap analysis is as important as refining the content a website already has”
Delivering personalized, dynamic content across all digital channels, not just the website, means that a business is keeping visitors on its pages longer, which in turn increases their conversion rate. It doesn’t matter what sector a business operates within, speaking to their audience on their level and with their interests in mind makes content more attractive and credible.
I Think We Need a Better Strategy
In order for a business to have a valid strategy for personalized online content, it must consider content mapping. Establishing a visual guide to every stage of the visitor’s digital journey,including how they are accessing the website and then moving through it, will help build a clear visual guide. From this research, a business can understand visitor habits as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their online content. Are there any areas where there is something lacking that is causing a digital communication breakdown?
Performing a content gap analysis is also as important as refining the content a website already has. Filling in these gaps will make the visitor’s transition through the website smoother and more engaging. Businesses need to think from the point of view of their visitors to see where personalization would be most effective on their website so that they are maximising the consumers’ online experience.
While undertaking research to gain a clearer picture of the content, a consumer is interacting with is hugely beneficial, many businesses struggle to put this data into effect. It is not enough for a business to carry out a content audit, they must also have the right systems and technology to deliver it. It is critical that businesses have a CMS that can combine its visitors’ interactions in order to build a clear profile to ensure that their personalized content is delivered to the right person at the right time.
If a visitor responds to an email content item, favours one section of your website, has a purchase history or has completed an online form, businesses need to be sure that this information is being gathered and processed efficiently. Not delivering a consistent experience means a visitor might leave when shown content that has nothing to do with who they are and what their interests are.
This Is the Content You Are Looking For
While personalized content should be the key pillar of any business’ digital strategy, there are other considerations that need to be factored in. Like making the navigation intuitive and attractive through a website by organizing the site based on its relevance to the visitor. The shorter the path to the content they need, the better it is. This means businesses need to think about how consumers can discover content through the website’s menu, the CTAs that are present on pages, the ease of the check-out process or how the search function works. And do not forget the content itself. Writing complex text is going to send visitors away. Consumers need text that is clearly aimed at the reader first and that is easy to digest. Overloading visitors with numerous CTAs and too much content will confuse and frustrate them—and could ultimately overshadow any work that has been put into personalizing a website, costing the business potential sales.
Consumers of content also respond positively when they feel there is a sense of community— reviews of products and services, social media share buttons, forums and a blog with the possibility to add comments are especially important. Because, if a consumer wants to talk about a business, and they feel they can connect with other like minded people around a brand to discuss topics and products that are relevant to them, the level of engagement and the way that company is perceived in the community are enhanced. This should be the ultimate goal of creating a personalized online experience for consumers— happy, engaged, customers that become brand advocates in their own right.
Founded in 2004, Kentico Software is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner headquartered in the Czech Republic with offices around the world. Kentico has 1,000 digital solution partners and powers 25,000 websites across 100 countries.