Website Personalization: How Combining 6 Basic Tools Can Make a Huge Impact on Conversion Rates

#CRO #Personalization

We as online retailers constantly develop new ways to earn our visitors’ trust. We work on convincing designs, community building, collecting social proof, and do everything we can to gain trust for our brand. At this point, we have a new weapon in our arsenal to make our webshops even more persuasive, and increase conversions.

This is the ability to display personalized landing pages based on three elements: purchase history, on-site activity, and social interests. The best result comes from the combination of these three data elements.

With this post, we’d like to show you how to do website personalization right, and how to create and optimize sites and ads. By combining a few basic tools, such as Google Analytics and Facebook Login, we can do just that.

This is a work-intensive process, but the payoff can be huge!

Compared to other expenses that go into creating and popularizing online content, your costs will be minimal, and it can make all your other efforts more profitable. In my experience, online shops that employ this method can expect at least 10 to 15 percent uplift in conversions. And in some cases even more.

After all, wouldn’t a family man see a car in a more favorable light if its ad was about the safety features instead of the off-road capabilities? Wouldn’t he be more interested in a product if its ad featured music from his favorite band?

There is a reason why we don’t see stinking, dirty cars in dealerships, even though they have the same value!

A few stats about website personalization and CRO:
59 percent of online shoppers believe it is easier to find interesting products on personalized e-commerce sites
56 percent of online shoppers are more likely to return to a site if it has product recommendations
– It could be seven times more expensive to get a new customer than to retain an existing one
74 percent of U.S. web users feel frustrated when content or an advertisement presented to them is not related to their interest.
91 percent of marketers working at large corporations currently use or intend to use personalization in the near future

 

The framework

We created an easy Four-Step Framework to show you how to boost conversions on your site with personalization. Our concept was simple: understand your users, personalize their experience and see what happens. Then use what you’ve learned to refine and scale your campaigns.

Some of the steps in our guide are interchangeable, and you don’t need to use every tool we’re going to introduce to reach the desired effect. For example, if you’re more familiar with Facebook adverts than search ads, use only the social network to popularize your campaigns.

These are the steps and tools we are going to write about in the following paragraphs:

  1. Shake Hands with Visitors

o    Google Analytics

o    Facebook Login

o    Social analytics

  1. Personalize the Experience

o    Google AdWords

o    Facebook ads

o    Landing page builder

  1. Analyze Visitors’ Reactions

o    Goals and events in analytics         

o    UTM parameters

  1. Refine and Convert

o    Retargeting with custom email lists

o    And all above

 

Step 1. Shake hands with your visitors in order to understand them

Before you can personalize your landing pages, you need to understand who your visitors are and where they come from. Google Analytics provides an overview of the age, gender, and interest categories of your visitors. It also informs you about the paid and organic traffic sources, and shows you which are your most popular pages.

If you’d like to understand your audience on a deeper level, and find out what influences their purchasing decisions, encourage users to log in with their social media profiles to your site!

Studies show that around half of the visitors prefer to sign in this way, and are willing to share personal information with you if they trust your brand.

2016-05-23-16_01_56-booking-com

Social log-in on Booking.com – a more convenient way to register.

When combined with a social analytics tool like SpringTab, Facebook Login will allow you to collect information about the likes, preferences, professional interest, education, and other attributes of your visitors, too.

Armed with this data, you can determine more precisely which groups to target with your ads and landing pages, and create buyer personas that will help you communicate more effectively with the chosen groups. On top of this, it will let you create your own database.

 

Adding the analytical tools

We presume you already track your visitors’ actions with Google Analytics. If not, here you can find a guide, which will help you get started. It is a free tool, and it is fairly simple to integrate into your website. In order to find out about the demographic attributes and interests of your visitors, you will need to enable those reports.

This official guide will show you how to add Facebook Login to your website. Installing it can make a registration process or a sign-up much more convenient for your visitors. But to collect information about users that can give you the insights you’ll need to create personalized landing pages, you’ll have to integrate it with a social analytic tool.

When a visitor chooses to sign in with Facebook, the log-in app asks permission to access information on his or her public profile. While configuring the app to request these permissions and store the data won’t be a problem for your developers, turning that raw data into useful information that will aid you in decision-making and online marketing is much more difficult. And unless you can devote a large developer team for this task, it probably isn’t worth it.

This is where analytical tools like SpringTab can help you. If you install our application with Facebook Login, you’ll be able to explore your visitors’ social data through a user-friendly interface, and export any piece of information that is relevant to your campaigns. Would you like to know whether your visitors like a certain brand or a travel destination? With a few clicks, you’ll be able to find out!  

diagram

The number of Facebook page fans in millions. But what does your audience like?

This easily accessible information will shed a new light on your visitors’ behavior and let you create the perfect landing pages for them. For example, if you see that some of your marketing messages are not working as intended, you might discover that you are talking to the wrong kind of people. Or if your visitors are not willing to purchase a certain product on your site and you don’t know the reasons, social data might give you the answer and help you popularize your products in a completely different way.

You can check out another tool at Prateek Agarwal for more practical tips!

Step 2. Personalize your ads and pages

After you’ve set up Google Analytics and the social log-ins, you will have a much a clearer picture about what type of people visit your site and purchase your products. This can greatly increase the efficiency of your campaigns.

For example, let’s say you’ve identified that most of your visitors are either in their twenties or thirties. You also know what many of the users from these age groups like on Facebook, and what type of education they have.

If you create two landing pages, as well as Facebook Ads/Google AdWords for these groups, it’s very likely that they will outperform any one-size-fits-all solution. But you wouldn’t have to guess how effective your campaigns are since you can measure them precisely. Especially if you pay attention to two important things.

The goals and conversion funnels of your different campaigns should be the same. In other words, don’t try to sell apples for the younger, and pears for the older group, because you won’t be able to find out which group is more likely to buy one type of food.

Your ads and landing pages should also harmonize with each other. If you only pay attention to one-half of the equation, your campaign will not deliver the desired result.

sprindash3

Page views based on interest from the SpringTab dashboard.

Setting up the destination pages

Creating the different landing pages for a product is not a particularly difficult task nowadays even if you’re not into coding.

There are several free landing page builder applications and an infinite number of themes for these pages. If you have the budget, you can, of course, use a subscription-based service, which will help you measure the effects of the different variations, too, but to use the method we’re writing about, they are not necessary.

It’s also possible that by making a few changes on your existing pages, you’ll be able to create the different versions in a very short time. Especially if you’re only going to change the description or the images on your landing pages to better reflect the preferences of your target groups.

In case the original page of the product that you’re advertising will be available while you are running the campaigns with the personalized versions, we suggest you to use a rel=“canonical” tag on the new ones. Doing this will ensure that the different versions won’t have a negative effect on your SEO. You can use both Google’s and Facebook’s ad services to find and direct people to the tailor-made landing pages.

Here you can find everything you need to know about choosing the right audience, and creating interest with demographics or location-based adverts on Facebook. While Google’s search ads are more well-known, you can also target consumers based on demographic factors or interest groups on the display network of AdWords.

 

Step 3. Find out what they are doing on your site

Google Analytics can show you exactly how the target groups of your campaigns respond to your personalized ads and landing pages, but you need to prepare the app for measuring their performance.

First, add parameters to the URLs of the landing pages that you would like to use for your campaigns. This will inform Google Analytics if someone clicked on your link.

To do this, visit Google’s URL builder page using the Chrome browser and create a new link for each of the advertisements and other channels that will popularize your personalized landing pages. Then use the URLs created this way in the ads. You don’t need to do any additional task to track clicks from your campaigns, just fill in the form with the required fields, and the results will show up.

urlbuilder2

 

When creating the campaign URLs, keep in mind that these links will contain the names you enter into each field and will be visible to the users. So try to write relatively short URLs and avoid using capital letters, spaces or special characters, when you fill out the form.

If your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts are connected, you’ll only need to create parameterized links for the campaigns outside of Google’s ad network, since, in this case you can measure the rest without them.

It’s possible that you won’t be able to avoid using special characters like the ampersand. If your campaign URLs contain them, read Google’s guidelines about dealing with them.

Once your ads are running, select Acquisition from the menu in Google Analytics, and choose Campaigns and All campaigns if you’d like to see the number of clicks on your parameterized URLs, or find out how much time the visitors who click on the links spend on your site.

These metrics in itself won’t give you a complete picture of your campaigns’ performance. To find out what the visitors are doing on your site after they clicked on your ad, you will also need to set up goals in Google Analytics.

Events and goals

Goals in Google Analytics can inform you about the conversions your campaign URLs bring to your site, and show you what happens on each step of the journey toward the final goal.

 

To add a new one, click on the Admin panel of the application and choose Goals from the options. Then name your new Goal and select Destination from the options below.

goal-tracking-in-google-analytics-step-3

 

This will let you add the URL that visitors reach when they complete a conversion. Most e-commerce sites direct shoppers to a thank-you page after they go through the checkout process. If your site applies a similar solution, use the URL of this page as your destination.

Once you’ve set up the destination page, turn on funnels. This will let you track every page your visitors have to go through before they arrive at the thank-you page.

google-analytics-goal-setup

 

After your campaigns kick off, you’ll be able to find out about their performance either by using the Campaign tab or by navigating to Conversions>Goals. Both reports will show you the number of conversions from your different campaigns and provide insights about your conversion funnel. You can use them to find out whether the subpages in your funnel are working properly or not, and improve the ones that produce a larger-than-expected bounce rate.

If you have a one-page checkout, or you want to measure clicks on certain items inside a page, following the visitor’s journey is a bit more complicated, but with event tracking it’s also possible. And you can apply this technique to measure the effects of your social log-ins. For example, if you add Facebook Login as an event, it will let you see how many people use this channel and where they come from.

In this guide, you can find a detailed description about creating and tracking events. After you added the event code to your log-in button, you’ll be able to use it as a goal, similarly to the subpages of your site. To see it in the same place as your other conversions, just choose Events instead of Destinations, when setting up the goals.

 

Step 4. Refine and retarget

In this post, I only showed you how to create and compare two campaigns for different age groups, but imagine that you could have infinite numbers! Actually, it is possible, and you can optimize any number of ads with the same method.

You can create personalized landing pages based on the source of your traffic, the location of your visitors, their favorite brands, and so on. If you want to go one step further, you can also experiment with creating different variations for each of these campaigns by setting up A/B tests in Google Analytics.

It’s also possible to add monetary value to the conversions you track in Google Analytics. If you run several tailor-made campaigns and measure all of them with Google’s app, after a while you’ll be able to answer most of the following questions:

– Which are the most effective marketing channels for your products?

– Where should you advertise if you want to reach a certain group of your audience?

– How should you communicate with the different segments of your visitors?

– What strategies affect the different types of your visitors, and what makes them leave?

– How can you improve your conversion funnel?

You can use this information to further develop and scale your existing campaigns. If you created a database with the users who logged in to your site with their social media profiles, use this list to identify who your most active visitors are. Then find similar people to them with ad services, and send them back to your optimized channels!

Download/upload

Both Facebook and Google allow you to use your customers’ email addresses for this purpose, and with SpringTab, you can create lists based on any information your visitors provide during sign-in.

So, for example, if you have an optimized landing page for a new mobile phone, with our service you can download a list of your male customers who like the pages of mobile manufacturers or cell phone providers on Facebook, and are younger than 35. If you’d like to go one step further, you can narrow this list by comparing it to your own CRM, and delete the addresses of those visitors who haven’t purchased anything from you for a while.

Once this rather targeted list is completed, all you have to do is upload it to the ad services, launch the campaigns, and wait for potential new clients to enter your refined conversion funnel.

Here you can find information about creating custom audiences on Facebook. This is the option that will let you upload the list. To find similar people on the social media site, create a lookalike audience using the custom one and target them with your advert.

This guide explains how to upload the customer lists into your Google AdWords account. Doing this will let you target similar audiences on YouTube or Gmail, and adjust bids and optimize search campaigns for them.

Of course, you can also use retargeting to increase the number of potential shoppers on your site. In this post, we explain how to display various ads to people who entered your conversion funnel, but haven’t reached the destination.

 

A different version for each visitor

And one more thing. Do you remember the permissions? The various attributes that visitors can allow you to access through a social log-in?

With SpringTab you can connect any piece of information obtained this way with dynamic events on your website. It is similar to the way you create adverts on Facebook. You define the target group based on the likes, age, interest, and other attributes of the visitors who used social log-in. And when the app identifies somebody who fits into this category, it will allow you to display a personalized version of your website for him or her.

The changes you can trigger this way, of course, depend on your site’s layout. You could set up subtle changes, like changing the order of your slider or the items on your product page to reflect the preferences of your visitors.

springtab-dash

Hmmm…They might click on my iPhone case slider.  

It could also affect every page on your site. You could, for example, automatically enlarge the font size for elderly people, or display different colors for men and women. It’s also very useful for setting up landing pages for your campaigns.

If you decide to use SpringTab to create dynamic destination pages for your campaigns, you’ll be able to test a lot more variations than you could with a more traditional approach. And, since you’ve already set up social log-in as an event, you can also measure the results of your campaigns effectively.

Our motto is to create “As many versions of a website, as many visitors they get.” We’re not there yet. But the ability to create any number of visitor clusters. and personalize the experience for each of them is a big step along the way. The more versions you craft with SpringTab, the bigger chance you’re going to have to impact conversion rates in a meaningful way.

A few months ago, Lexus made 1,000 customized videos for a Facebook campaign. These short films were based on information found on social media profiles. They targeted their tailor-made ads taking into account the interest and likes of the Facebook users. In the end, the company saw a 300 percent increase in the efficiency of their social advertising.

 

 

#sharingiscaring 😉

by Péter Szántó
on Wednesday, November 2, 2016

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