Website Personalization: Definition, Strategies and Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Having an engaging, interactive website is a useful strategy for making connections with site visitors and building a loyal audience. Website personalization is a popular tool that you can implement to make web content more appealing to visitors, encouraging them to explore the website or make a purchase. If you work in marketing or website development, understanding website personalization can help you improve conversions for your clients and access new career opportunities.

In this article, we explain how website personalization works and share tips for using website personalization to engage visitors.

What is website personalization?

Website personalization involves adjusting website details to display customized content to each individual visitor. This ranges from minor changes to website text, such as including the visitor's name in a welcome message, to curated page recommendations based on the visitor's search history. Website personalization uses automated processes to decide what kinds of changes to make and select the best content to show viewers to encourage clicks, purchases or other conversions.

You can personalize website content based on a visitor's browsing habits, purchase history and personal information. Types of data you can track to guide website personalization include:

  • Source of traffic: Knowing if a visitor came from a search engine, social media referral or paid advertisement can help you understand their interests and goals.

  • Browser type: The best type of personalization to use can vary based on how users access the site, such as through mobile devices or web browsers.

  • Location: You can use a visitor's location data to provide information about local topics that might interest them or provide automatic translations.

  • Landing page: You can provide more relevant links and pop-ups by customizing them based on the type of page the user is browsing.

  • Time: Knowing the time of day, season and other time-based information for your user can help you align website information with a visitor's schedule and routine.

  • User history: Tracking the pages a user visits, what links they click, what products they buy and how many times they view a page on your site can help you generate relevant personalizations.

  • Third-party information: You can use third-party information about a visitor's demographics, interests, favorite websites and demographics to add extra customizations to a website.

Related: Complete Guide To Marketing Analytics

Why is website personalization important?

Website personalization is important because it makes website content as relevant as possible to visitors, showing them how the website's information and features could benefit them specifically. By using website personalization, you can automatically adapt to meet the expectations of multiple types of visitors.

Website personalization is especially useful for e-commerce websites because it gives shoppers a similar experience to buying something in a store. When people make purchases in person, salespeople can ask them questions and respond to other cues to create a customized shopping experience. Website personalization is an essential part of meeting customer expectations and helping them feel comfortable while shopping online.

Related: Your Guide To Creating a Great Digital Customer Experience

Benefits of website personalization

Using website personalization has a range of benefits for both the website owner and their viewers. Some of the positive aspects of website personalization include:

  • Capturing customer interest: Providing users with personalized recommendations can make them more likely to click on links, continue browsing and spend more time on the website.

  • Increasing sales: When customers feel understood and appreciated through a personalized experience, they may be more likely to make a purchase.

  • Understanding your audience: You can use the information you gather for website personalization to learn more about your target audience, allowing you to create more relevant products, features and advertisements.

  • Improving brand loyalty: Website personalization directly shows how the site can provide value to each potential customer, which can build brand loyalty and encourage return sales.

Types of website personalization

Here are some ways you can use personalizations techniques on a website:

Recommendations

Providing website users with customized recommendations is one of the top ways to personalize a website. You can use information about the visitor to recommend products they might enjoy, suggest relevant search terms or promote location-specific events. Here are some examples of how you can use personalized recommendations:

  • Promoting a pair of sandals as a featured product for a user that already viewed multiple other pairs of sandals

  • Featuring winter coats on the front page for a user that lives in a cold climate

Pop-ups

Using custom pop-ups and overlays can directly target users based on their interests and behaviors. Consider why a user might visit each page and customize pop-ups to cater to their needs. You can set up different notifications, chat prompts and banners to appear to users and encourage them to interact with the site. A few ways to use pop-up personalization are:

  • Showing a coupon pop-up when visitors click on the website's pricing page

  • Displaying an email sign-up overlay to first-time visitors

  • Including a chatbot pop-up on the website's contact page

Links and navigation

You can personalize the way a website displays links and navigation features to help users access the information they want to find. By making slight adjustments to the links, buttons and menus on a website, you can make the browsing experience more intuitive for visitors. For example:

  • Arranging menu buttons based on how often a user visited each category in the past

  • Simplifying the format for buttons and links for visitors using mobile devices

  • Organizing related links according to their popularity with a specific demographic

Messaging

Adjusting the messaging on a website's landing pages, calls to action and headers can provide visitors with targeted content that makes them want to learn more. You can automatically switch the text on different parts of a website to appeal to customers in various categories. Here are some examples of personalized messaging on a website:

  • Displaying a welcome message that inserts the visitor's name once they sign up for an account

  • Showing a call to action about back-to-school shopping to users that regularly browse the kids' section

Related: 51 Call-To-Action Examples and Why They Work

Automated lists

You can use the data you collect about website visitors to build automated lists that help guide your personalization strategy. Automated lists can automatically add users to certain email lists based on their behaviors on the website, such as removing someone from getting emails about free trials once they've signed up. Building multiple types of lists helps you determine where each visitor is in your sales funnel and constantly optimize their experience. These lists help visitors receive targeted content on the website plus customized emails and advertisements when they're not actively browsing the site.

Related: 14 Examples of Personalized Marketing

Tips for personalizing your website

Here are a few tips you can use to get the most out of website personalization:

Ask visitors for information

Use surveys and account sign-up questions to collect additional information about your website visitors. While tracking web metrics is useful, gathering information directly from your users can provide you with more ways to personalize the website. Surveys can help you get more specific insights about your visitors that you may not be able to discover on your own.

Use context to guide content

When interpreting your data to personalize website content, think about the context of the information. Consider why a user would click on a particular page and imagine their intent for different browsing behaviors. For example, if a user visits a website's sale section, you can assume they're looking for deals and want to save money. You could use this context of why they visit the sales page to use pop-up coupons on that page strategically.

Implement multiple personalizations

Select multiple forms of website personalization to make visitors extra comfortable when using your site. By customizing each user's experience in multiple ways, you can make them feel like the website understands their needs, wants and interests perfectly. Use several personalization tools and strategies at once to strengthen customer relationships and get the most out of your website automations.

Explore more articles