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We are at present living in a World Wide Web era of ruthless competition, wherein even customer satisfaction is not enough to guarantee a prolonged business existence. Over the time, users have become more proficient in terms of web surfing and internet exposure, which is why the definition of user experience has also changed with the passing tides. What online entrepreneurs are trying now is ‘personalizing’ their websites in a way that appeal to the prospects in a much better manner. This article will successfully explain the basics of website personalization and the advantages associated with the process.

What do you mean by Website Personalization?

Personalization process is about offering ‘tailor-made’ environment to a visitor with dynamic content, which varies as per the needs, selection and user behavior. Website personalization is manifested in different ways along with latest technological trends to improve the magnetism of a website. The process of website personalization starts with the collection of user data, which is then integrated with user needs, demands and the result is a specifically designed website. Some basic elements of website personalization include content, imagery and even the theme of the website.

Basis of Website Personalization

Location
This includes targeting a customer based on his geographical location. In some business types, the geographical location of the client matters a lot, especially if you have a physical presence (store or a shop) as well. This is because the mindsets of people who approach you actually vary depending on the proximity travelled. Suppose you have visitors who are in proximity to your physical location, then you may want to welcome them with a customized message, which may be quite different from the regular ones shown to others; this will help in initiating action in a much better manner. Besides that personalizing a website based on regional segments like country, state, city etc. can help you in associating a customized landing page that will immediately trigger call-to-action.

Type of Device
If it were 7 to 8 years ago, then this point would have been termed as invalid, as desktops and laptops alone dominated the market at that time. However, today things are different, as tablets and Smartphones are subjugating the market. This technological explosion makes it even more important for an entrepreneur to analyze the traffic from modern handheld devices, as this understanding will lay the platform for website personalization process in the future. Websites who are trying to cater PC users and smartphone users in the same fashion often end-up being major losers on a long run. Moreover, personalization process makes website segmentation and later on, optimization much easier for a website owner.

Category of Visitor i.e. New or Old/Returning
There are two different types of visitors on a website that is old and new. Old or returning visitors are those who are not new to the website, whereas new visitors are those who are visiting the website for the very first time. This is when ‘personalization’ appears into the scene, as you may wish to greet or address the returning visitor in a different manner compared to a new visitor. Much like that, a new visitor has to be treated different from a returning visitor. The process of personalization assists you in segmenting your visitor database and thereby addressing each category with customized messages. This will assist in promoting website conversion largely.

Time Aspect
While personalizing a website, ‘time’ is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to addressing your prospective audience. There should be a whole lot of difference between addressing a visitor during business hours and during non-business ones. For instance, addressing a visitor with a lively ‘Good Morning’ during business hours is perfect, whereas during non-business ones even an informal ‘Hi’ would do just fine.

Benefits offered by Website Personalization

  • Results in a customer-focused and a much comfortable website
  • Information catered and presented in a much better manner
  • As the user will be presented with limited information as per his needs, a lot of time will be saved
  • Content presented as per the needs of the user will trigger better user experience on the website and a much productive results
  • Higher call-to-action

What to consider while personalizing a website?

Performance
Personalizing a website will definitely have its impact on the website performance, which is why one should consider the technology being used very closely, to make sure performance is minimally affected.

Authorization
Authorization is also one of the primary areas that must be considered prior to personalization, as the website should be able to recognize the user, which will require a ‘login’ mechanism.

Caching
Caching deals with the delivery of personalized search results to the user, which is also the deciding factor when it comes to judging the performance of a website. A webmaster should pay key attention to appropriate implementation and configuration of Caching process.

Accuracy of Rules
Personalization rules often include tracking users surfing behavior, as per which personalized results are displayed back. These rules should be accurate and above all, these should be logical enough to please the user. Tracking user behavior must compliment data protection and confidentiality at all cost.

Data Access
Personalization never restricts any user; rather it streamlines content that is available to the user. Creating restrictions on the data that is allowed to a user will automatically create personalization of User Experience in a website.

Conclusion
Website personalization not only helps you in establishing a positive brand image, but also makes sure you have a sharp edge over others when it comes to user experience. People now may have visited thousands of websites prior to yours, which is why it’s time we personalize web-surfing, to offer an entirely new experience to the visitor.

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About the Author: The Managing Director and an experienced web technology expert at Lexolution IT Services, Maneet Puri has been offering valuable website personalization suggestions to his clients dotted all over the globe. In his spare time, he prefers to write on upcoming web technology trends and web design concepts that are new to online entrepreneurs.

9 Comments so far

  1. web dev1 says:

    Superb post

  2. This is really important for making a website popular. If visitors find out what they are looking for at a single glance they feel comfort and come back to the website again. It is the best way to increase traffic of a website.

  3. Drose2022 says:

    I really enjoyed
    reading the article. Hope to get something better than this.
    custom home builders Vail, Colorado

  4. Pavan Sudarshan says:

    Hi Maneet,

    You have nailed the basics of personalization. We have been developing a personalization offering at NudgeSpot (www.nudgespot.com/personalize-website). I am actually glad to say that we have kept in mind all the things that you mention here :)

    Would love to get your feedback about it.

  5. Moon Micro Systems says:

    Very helpful article thanks so much for sharing with us..
    http://www.moonmicrosystem.co.in

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