Integrated marketing automation and website platforms, such as HubSpot, allow you to create dynamic web content that changes based on the demographics, sources, and location of your website visitors.
The most common implementation of personalization is in email marketing. Using a contact's first name at the opening of a templated email is standard in today's marketing world.
There are other locations you can use personalization. Website headlines, call-to-action buttons, and landing page copy can all be adjusted to appeal to individual users. You can even tailor the types of content offers a user receives based on their demographics.
Still, the point of personalizing a website's content is to make your lead generation more effective. And, thus it's critical to analyze how well personalization is working. You need to understand how personalized content—in its many variations—is improving the way visitors interact with and convert on your website. Thankfully, there are a few tools and methods out there we can employ to understand what works and what doesn't.
3 Tools That Are Critical to Analyze Personalized Website Content
1. Google Analytics
Let's start with the tool everyone should already be using. Google Analytics is a deep well with lots of information on the users visiting your website. Not only can it help you analyze your website's performance, but it can also provide you with key demographic information on your visitors. Returning visitors, geographic location, and operating are just three of the many types of user information Google Analytics provides.
Google Analytics lets you create experiments in their behaviors section. Experiments let you compare different metrics for 2 or more pages. These metrics can be bounces, page views, session duration or custom goals you define.
A good use of this setup would be to create two variations of a landing page—one with personalization options and one without. Then you can track to see which page generates the best conversion ratio.
HotJar is one of the hottest (#sorrynotsorry) companies when it comes to measuring page performance. The platform lets you generate heat maps of clicks and page scroll to know which parts of your pages are actually being seen and interacted with. You can also view randomly selected recordings of your pages and create conversion funnels to view how visitors are being lost.
HotJar recordings are a particularly useful tool to view the effectiveness of personalization. Because the recording shows you what the users see, you can view their specific personalized page.
Similar to Google Analytics, you can create two versions of a page—one with personalization and one without. Then you can review recordings of each and see if the personalized items encourage more click-through and conversions.
3. HubSpot Enterprise
If you have the good fortune to be on HubSpot's enterprise platform there are tools that can help you see the impact of personalization on your website. Enterprise gives you access to A/B calls-to-action, emails and landing pages. Using the A/B abilities of enterprise you can compare the difference in conversion using personalized vs. static content.
2 Approaches to Measuring Contextual Marketing Success
As aforementioned, A/B testing is using two versions of a page with one variable changed in order to determine the impact of that change. It is important to only change one variable at a time so you can determine what specifically is leading to any fluctuation in performance.
Using this approach with personalization allows you to determine if personalization makes sense for the page you are working on. If you enable personalized content and see an improvement in the target metric, you know it is a good idea to build out more personalization onto your site.
A/B testing can also tell you which personalization factor works best. For instance, does talking about your visitors' industry get them to covert better, or do they prefer you talk about their geographic location?
Conversion Funnel Optimization
Another way to measure improvements from personalization is using conversion funnels—either using your marketing automation platform or Google Analytics.
A conversion funnel has you identify particular website traffic patterns that lead to a desired outcome. For example, you can track how many visitors to a specific blog post click through a CTA to a landing page and then finally fill out the form and end up on your offers thank you page.
To measure the impact of personalized content, you can first analyze a conversion funnel over a set period of time, say a week or month, with no personalization. Then, you monitor the same funnel for the same amount of time, but with personalization enabled.
When it comes to understanding how personalization can improve your marketing, creating results can take time. Creating and reviewing HotJar recordings, capturing enough conversions to generate meaningful results, and A/B testing changes to a landing page one at a time is not a small effort. It is important that you use analytics to understand where your efforts can be used to have the most impact.
But with the right tools in place and a sound methodology to approaching testing you will be well on your way to showing the impact content personalization can have on your marketing's effectiveness.
Posted by Jonathan Stanis
An engineer by training, Jon focuses on the technical delivery of an effective inbound marketing program. He builds client website plans that solve for conversion potential and utilize smart user experiences. He is also responsible for analyzing and monitoring the success of inbound projects. Jon fits the definition of being a "whole brain marketer" because he is both a strong writer-designer and a deeply analytical thinker.