Personalised web experiences are a must, not a nice-to-have

From analytics to copy tone to a chat function, here are five ways to build personalisation into your site

A recent Forrester white paper (Digital Experience Technology And Delivery Priorities) stated that “Personalised Experiences Are No Longer A Nice-To- Have.” So, putting it bluntly, if you don’t have personalisation at the heart of your digital comms strategy, you run the risk of being outdated.  

Nobody wants an outdated digital comms strategy

One of the most important components of this strategy is your website. If you’re about to embark on a new build, great - you’re in the best place to consider personalisation. You can consider your audience goals, generate personas, define user journeys and build an engaging interaction, and a personalised customer experience. Re-Imagineering the customer experience as Alan Thorpe says.

But what if you don’t have a new website project on the horizon? How can the benefits of a personalised strategy be achieved on your existing website? Here are a few simple options to consider to introduce personalisation to your site, and begin to meet the ever-increasing customer experience expectations.

1. Give them what they want - Review analytics

This may seem rather obvious, but look at Google Analytics with a fresh eye. Get a list of the top performing pages, review them and create more like them. Too often the information that can be gleaned from analytics is overlooked.  

Was the copy tone informative, light hearted, to the point? 
What kind of images were used? Abstract or related? Bold or subtle? Illustrative or photography?
What template/layout was used?

2. Stop asking the same question - Pre-filled fields* 

If a user has been on your site previously, remembering some of the information they’ve already provided helps to speed things along. Nobody likes answering the same question twice.

Remember previous search criteria.
Make use of browsers autofill functions by naming forms fields correctly.

3. Make newbies feel welcome

If a user is visiting your site for the first time, then the language used on the home page should be welcoming. A message that highlights what the user can expect from you as a business, and what you have to offer. 

Simple cookie logic, or lack of a cookie can help identify that the user is new.

4. Been here before, know what you’re looking for?

By using simple cookie logic, the last content that a user viewed can be stored, and on returning to your site they can pick up where they left off.

On your homepage, use images that relate to the content the user was last viewing when on your site.
Direct the user back to content which they previously looked at, or content which they didn’t look at but is related.
Make use of a user’s search criteria by using images and content which relate to the values they have searched for.

5. Let’s just have a chat, shall we? 

Without doubt, a live chat function on your website really can help support the user. What could be more personal than a direct conversation?

Simple free to use Live chat solutions are available, which you can try on your site. If it works, then you can invest more in a paid solution if needs be.
We’ve been really impressed with Tawk to**, very easy to setup and well worth a trial.

Personalisation is about providing a positive user experience, and through their positive experience, you’ll benefit. But don’t just personalise for the sake of it. Use a test and learn strategy to see what works best, and if benefits are not reaped, try something different. Keep on trying until you have the opportunity to start afresh. 

*A really useful tech blog to read if you are inclined 
** Tawk to 

Post by

Brian Lavis