Website personalization gets easier with the right tools.
The need to deliver the exact right message to every website visitor is a huge task for marketing teams, and one that’s a high priority for their Chief Marketing Officer. In fact, more than 1 out of 3 Chief Marketing Officers at a recent forum agreed that personalized marketing content was their biggest challenge. Without armies of data scientists to analyze the website data, even knowing where to start with website personalization feels impossible, let alone actually starting to implement those plans without quadrupling the size of the marketing and content teams.
Every website visitor expects the website personalization of Amazon or Google, but not every company has the resources to develop their own machine learning algorithm to automatically serve up relevant content or the team to apply the insights from all of the data to guide content strategy.
It doesn’t have to be this hard. With the right tools, it’s possible to simplify the website personalization process and even make it possible with the team you currently have. The answer lies in data that you may be overlooking: site search usage analytics.
How Site Search Usage Analytics Can Guide Your Website Personalization Strategy
How closely do marketers pay attention to their Google rankings on content? For most marketers, it’s a weekly or even daily task to review how the SEO and SEM strategies are performing for at least one person on the team.
But how often do you check in of how your content performs in rankings on your internal site search? Think about it: these are the people that you’ve “hooked” to come to your website with a personalized email, social media blast or other promotion tactic. You’re investing in getting them to your website, but what happens when they can’t find what they need? They leave.
Site search usage analytics is your key to lowering your bounce rate, increasing the average number of pages per visit, and eventually, giving you the insights you need to increase the conversion rate and implement website personalization. Site search usage analytics, which includes a look at your queries, activity and content relevance/click-through rates, will help you understand:
- What website visitors want to see from your website. A major mistake many marketers make now, especially with the rise of account-based marketing, is to send out tons of personalized content in campaigns, but forget to update the website with similar information when the prospect starts doing their own research. Website personalization is key to ensuring this doesn’t happen.
- How to construct more personalized customer experiences for your website visitors. If every website visitor on your athletic store site who types in the same query of “running shoes good for treadmill” clicks on a page for the same pair of shoes, then goes to type in “how to ensure proper form while running on treadmill,” you can use that information. Whenever a visitor types in the query about running shoes on the treadmill, you can prompt them to go to the proper form page as their next step. These can also help you figure out how to create more blog posts, whitepapers and more to build out your website personalization strategy.
- What questions your customers have about your product or solution after visiting key pages. You can reduce the friction of your website visitors’ experiences by automatically answering their questions on those pages. For example, if every website visitor who is looking at a certain fitness watch tracker page then goes to the search box with the query about the watch’s compatibility with a diet app, this is something you can add to the page, or even create a new page about how to connect the watch to the diet app. This leads to a seamless experience, courtesy of website personalization.
- How to adjust your messaging to reflect your customers’ needs. The people who come to your website are actively researching your company, and even possibly, your products. How they refer to your product and the questions they have is vital for understanding how to put your marketing team in the mindset of the customer. Your website personalization needs to take these insights into account.
How Machine Learning can Help You Personalize Your Website Experience
The next step is to use machine learning to automatically apply these insights and implement website personalization. Machine learning within your site search will take the heavy lifting of analysis and manual tuning off of your team, and as you expand your site search, create personalized experiences that lead your customers to the content they need throughout their journey. Don’t fear AI – it’s a useful tool to help your website personalization strategy scale with the growth of your audience.
Looking at your site search usage analytics is a great start. This data will become an important tool in your marketing and website personalization arsenal. Our CMO, Mark Floisand, explained a strategy for analyzing site search data within Sitecore during the Sitecore Global Virtual Summit.