SEO and optimization may help bring traffic to your website, but if you aren’t investing in ways to keep the traffic that visits interested, they won’t be motivated to come back. How do you change this scenario and maximize the potential of every visitor on your website?
Why do we need Onsite Behavioral Targeting?
A website is where you tell the story of your brand. It is the space where visitors get to know what you are all about, and customers come back for the familiar experience they have grown to know and enjoy. The catch is this: not everyone likes the same stories. A good example of this is news websites. I may land on a website expecting to read about politics, new cinema, new music, and the environment. A friend of mine who likes sports however, may want to see who won the football game from last night the minute he lands on a news website. As readers, we’re both just as valuable to the news website, so shouldn’t there be a way that we can both see what we’re interested in first?
Netflix: Asking one simple question before creating a unique, personalized experience.
This is why brands need Onsite Behavioral Targeting. Onsite Behavioral Targeting is part of an ongoing process of implementing proven methods and experimenting to see what can create more ‘sticky’ customer experience on a website. A key way to do this is to use AI to power on-site recommendations. No matter the industry, unfolding relevant content to your users help them through their journey in discovering new opportunities to fall more in love with your brand.
Anonymous Visitors Vs Returning Customers
One of the primary differences with onsite behavioral targeting is between anonymous visitors to your website and returning customers. Traditionally, most websites have treated both the same. Over the past couple of years, it has become an increasingly important distinction.
Why is this?
Anonymous visitors are people on your website who you don’t know. They’ve never been to your website before, they’ve never shared much information with you nor have they signed up for any of your offerings. Let’s say you are throwing a party. Your mom made you invite her friend’s son who is new in town and who you’ve never met before. What would you do as a good host to make sure he has a good time? Chances are, you’d put in a little extra effort to give him more attention, introduce him to people, and check on him every once in awhile to make sure that he’s having a good time.
Obama’s Personalized Campaign for Anonymous Visitors from Reddit
Anonymous visitors on your website aren’t very different. They’re new, and you need to check on them every once in awhile to make sure they are having a good time. What you also need to do, is to make sure they see something they like when they first visit. This is why the best marketers recommend onsite behavioral targeting to show anonymous visitors your most popular content and products. With the right onsite behavioral targeting tool, you can even show the most popular content and products available in the specific geographical location your anonymous user is from.
So what then of a returning customer? Would you ignore your friends at the party just because they already know each other and have been to your house before? I hope not! While you may not have to show them around and introduce them to people, you probably could fix them a drink because you know what their tipple of choice is, or introduce them to someone you know they’d get along great with.
How are you able to do this? Because you know your friends. You have years of shared experiences together that have built the bond you have today. So you know exactly how to make them feel right at home.
Landing Page Personalization. Image: MotionDen
That’s how it is for returning customers on your website. You need to make them feel comfortable, provide a familiar experience and prove to them that when they showed you something they liked or were interested in, you were paying attention. This is especially important considering how much more revenue returning customers can bring to your brand. With an onsite behavioral targeting tool, you can fine-tune every piece of content or every product you show a customer, based on what you already know about them.
The Elements of Onsite Behavioral Targeting
So what elements should you look for in tools that promise to use onsite behavioral targeting to boost your engagement and revenue? Here’s a few to get started with.
Personalized Landing Pages
According to Infosys, 86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions. Offering options and choices based on a customer’s preference, taste, style and that resonate with their beliefs is an essential way to increase both engagement and conversions.
Some of the factors you can consider when you personalize landing pages, irrespective of whether customers are anonymous or returning are
- Source of referral
- Campaign source
- Past behavior and interests
- Geographical location
- User’s time of day
- Weather forecast
- Major holidays
Recommended Products and Content
Showing customers the content and products that they are interested is one of the most common, yet effective ways of onsite behavioral targeting. Once you’ve classified your articles or products right, leave it to AI-powered personalization tools to put together the best set of recommendations based on your customer’s history or what is most popular at the time. Onsite Recommendations are so powerful that websites like Amazon report them as the source for almost 35% of their revenue.
Adaptive eCommerce is something essential to creating a personalized onsite experience if you have an eCommerce website. Here, you make use of the information you have (or don’t have) about anyone on your website create a more personal experience.
Let’s say you want to give customers who are regulars on your website and are coming back to visit an extra discount on your sale. You can use business rules for onsite behavioral targeting to make sure that only they receive your special offer – your special way of saying ‘thank you’ for all the past purchases. For your anonymous visitors, you may want to offer them just the initial discount, to get them more interested. Not a problem with onsite behavioral targeting. Just tweak the right rules, and display different products or product prices to them respectively.
Real-Time Conversion Optimization
When you use onsite behavioral targeting, especially powered by AI for anonymous visitors, personalized recommendations on your website will surface better content and products that will encourage them to convert to a known user by entering their email or converting to a purchase as first-time customers. Some of the ways you can experiment with real-time conversion optimization based on the user experience you offer is to create custom offers and content depending on factors like the following:
- Adwords referrer Campaign/Ad group/Keyword
- Real time user behavior & interests
- Abandoned Carts
- Traffic Sources
- Product interactions and transactions
Whether AI recommendations power certain sections of your website experience or the entire experience, many brands are experimenting with ways to move away from broadcasting and into communicating on a 1:1 level with their audience. Amazon, the company that pioneered personalized web recommendations now dedicates around 70% of space on their product pages to personalized recommendations. It’s all about striking the right balance for your audience and your brand.