Your Website Is Not "One-Size-Fits-All" – It's Time To Get Personal

Posted by Murray Sye

on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

A year ago HubSpot conducted a survey asking marketers for the primary motivation behind their most recent website redesign. What they found was that the decision to redesign was often driven by internal marketing needs. What's interesting is that in the same study, HubSpot asked regular consumers and website visitors what they most look for in a design of a website. What they found was this: 79% of website visitors want a site that "makes it easy for me to find what I want."


What marketers want and what the consumer wants has created this disconnect. We push when we should pull. People are not static. They access your content from multiple devices and access your website pages from a number of different channels. And, perhaps most importantly, as their experience with your company grows, their needs and interests change. And yet, most websites still treat them all the same.

Using new technology, marketers are now able to create personalized websites that go even farther to serve the needs of your core audience. It allows marketers to adjust the content to each person on your website sees depending on their changing needs, challenges, behaviors and how far along they are in your sales process. What this allows you to do is adopt all the great optimization tips you've learned and create a site for the specific person behind your screen.

These new personalization tools are beginning to deliver for marketers. According to an Adobe/eConsultancy study, 37% of marketers today are adopting personalization and audience targeting into their overall strategy. Adobe's Quarterly Digital Intelligence Report also found that using information such as social graph history can increase marketing ROI by 88%.

Adding personalization to your website design means creating a site that adjusts to each individual audience member – based on who they are and what they want, need, or do. Rather than "one-size-fits-all," your various touch points with an audience – from email, to landing pages, to lead-gen forms and more – change based on the individual interacting with you at that moment in time.

Use technology to create a more relevant experience

A cohesive online experience eliminates a lot of confusion for the buyer by making every touch point between you and your visitors on your website about them. It takes the lessons of email segmentation – the channel most frequently personalized to audiences by marketers – and uses technology to create an end-to-end online experience for each prospect that starts with them, not with the business.

Rather than marketing to one broad audience with one non-specific message, we can now market to an audience of one, delivering a consistent, personalized message specific to each individual across every medium. And these little details matter.

HubSpot looked at data from more than 93,000 calls-to-action created using HubSpot over a 12-month period. They found that calls-to-action targeted to the user, performed 178% better than calls-to-action that were the same for all visitors. According to Marketing Charts, 69% of North American marketers say dynamic, personalized content is important for their website.

Personalization in action

Because of the diverse traffic (translated: diverse people) landing on you site, including new visitors, existing leads, established customers, and even potential employees, website are often the hardest to personalize, especially without cookies to identify your traffic. As a result, many marketers default to generic "catch-all" CTAs or product recommendations in a standard column that shows on every page of their site.

Unfortunately, this practice creates a confusing site for most visitors. Returning customers are unlikely to find what they need if your site is a sales tool, while new visitors may want to learn more about your company before clicking on a "Buy Now" button.

The following is an example of a landing page for first-time visitor followed by a personalized landing page for a previous visitor to the same website.

first-time-visitor-landing-page.jpgNon-personalized versus personalized for repeat visitor


Personalization features in your website are certainly advanced functionality, so you'll want to think through a strategy before employing the technology. In order to personalize you website, you need to start with individual customer profiles and a contact database. So, before you launch a personalization campaign, make sure you have a robust contact database to fuel personalization across your site.

Even without the features however, you can ensure every persona has a good experience on your site by building content for each of your main target industries and each stage of the purchase process. For more information on contextual marketing, download the eBook below.

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Context Marketing
Flickr Photo Credit: by Ron Doke

Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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