Your Guide to Website Personalization

As marketers and content developers, we’ve heard a lot about data, personalization, and 1-1 buyer experiences over the last few years. But what exactly does website and content personalization mean? And more importantly, how can marketing and content teams implement web personalization programs that drive results?

I like to explain web personalization as the process by which we show one specific content to one specific user on your website using one specific data point or parameter. For example, if “Jake” types your website URL into Google and arrives to your home page, and Jake has visited your site before, we could identify Jake as a repeat home page visitor and show him customized a customized message like “Welcome back!”

We’re all familiar to email personalization to some degree. For example, when you receive an email blast that begins “Dear (Your Name)”, that’s a personalized field that pulls your name from the email list database and populates your email. Web personalization works the same way – only with a lot more potential data sources, data points, and content customization options.

But there’s another important difference. With email, you have a captive audience and and known profile / user that has been added to your email list. With web analytics, we are typically dealing with anonymous or mixed data traffic, so while we know something about the user, we often don’t know exactly who they are. We’ll get more into that in a bit.

Why Personalization Matters

According to some of the most recent research reports, web content personalization can make a significant impact on results. According to a recent study by Evergage, 96% of marketers are in agreement that personalization builds customer relationships. Even more impressive, that same report found that 58% of marketers experienced a lift of over 10% using personalization, and 15% of marketers experienced a lift of over 30% using personalization.

To give some more context about how personalization is used, let’s say you’re a personal trainer and sell an exercise program direct to consumers. If you’re able use a user’s search history, ad engagement history, or referring website to likely identify a website visitor as a man or a woman, you could then personalize your landing page content with more contextually relevant content.

Instead of showing all visitors the same image of a woman running, you could customize the image shown based on the visitor profile and data. In this, case, you might show the right side image to profiles instead of the left side image.

But let’s say you wanted to create a more personalized based on experience based on the a user’s geography. In this case, after identifying your user’s geo as Los Angeles, you could show them localized content, in this case custom text and imagery specifically for the Los Angeles market.


Whether your goal goal is improve buyer engagement or generate more leads, or both, it’s not hard to see how personalized web content can make a big impact on your buyer’s online experience.

One of the most effective ways of using personalization is with Call To Actions – such as a button, form, or popup. According to Hubspot’s review of 330,000 call to actions, personalized CTA’s performed 202% better than those without personalization!

Identifying and Tracking Users

While most of your visitors will remain anonymous – meaning you don’t know exactly who they are – we often have a lot of data about users at our disposal. This includes a demographic (age, gender) and behavioral (search history, interests, device, intention). From the moment a user lands on a page on your website, we use cookies begin tracking user.

In addition to data about the user, we’re interested in knowing what that user did after they arrived. For example, a user that spends a lot of time on your pricing and services page could be ready to make a purchase. In contrast, when a user spends time on your blog or subscribes to your newsletter, they be more interested getting more acquainted with your business and experience, but not ready to buy.

The way a user navigates your website, as well as other websites in their browsing history, enables personalization software to create a user profile. That data can be used to create a more engaging user experience.

Making Web Personalization Work For You

How could web and content personalization help your business boost buyer and customer engagement? With adoption rates of web personalization tech growing quickly, it makes sense for companies to start viewing web personalization as a part of their marketing arsenal, not a nice to have add on.

The good news is that personalization technologies and platforms are becoming more effective and – in some case – more affordable. If you’d like to discuss personalization for your business, shoot us a message.

About mordy

Mordy Karsch is Chief Optimyzer at Optimyz Interactive. He writes on topics related to content, strategy, and customer acquisition.

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