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Have you thought about improving the user journey on your site through the personalisation of content?

19 Apr

2016

Have you thought about improving the user journey on your site through the personalisation of content?
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By Ash Mohanlal

How good is your site when it comes to personalisation of content?

You’re probably reading this because you are aware, that your association’s site is due a overhaul. What should you do? Does this ring bells?

  • You do not use keyword phrases or metadata to label your content, aka SEO fail
  • You treat the form and function of your website as you would a printed document- does it resize itself to the user’s device screens?

  • It is difficult to navigate your site- there’s no apparent navigation system

  • The links and forms are not tested enough and the functionality fails you often

  • There’s too little content on pages

  • Or, there’s too many of everything (clashing colours, too many font sizes and too many graphics that are not necessary and adds to the download time)

 

If any, or all of these apply to you, then you are way overdue a website re-vamp. Website management is a long way away from the thankless and often skeletal presence it used to be for the tech-savvy users. As the customer presence increased, so did the online marketplace- the customer can now choose to view the content they wish to see, not what they had to sit through amidst their favourite TV show or on the commute in to work. This means that companies will now have to establish their online presence and ‘metadata’, to make themselves visible to their target client, should they choose to ever search for the keywords relating to the company.

Navigating this article have a look at these sections:

  1. In the customers’ opinion
  2. Why you should personalise your website
  3. Some do-s and don’ts of Personalisation
  4. Checklist when personalising your website

 

 

 

1. In the customers’ opinions

Below we will look at what we have found from customers who have given us their thoughts on how they found targeted, or personalised content when browsing. Have a look at what companies the likes of Janrain and Hubspot has found in terms of customer response to personalised content and call to actions as opposed to generic content delivery.

 

If you are not convinced that it is not worth the effort to to update your site with personalized content, it may interest you to know that:

 

  • 74% of customers told Janrain that they get frustrated with websites when they are exposed to content that has nothing to do with their interests.
  • Hubspot has found that out of over 93,000 users, 42% of users had viewed to submission from targeted call to actions (CTA) than when presented with the same CTAs for all. That is, if you showed 20-30 year olds from UK an ad relevant to them, they were more likely to confirm subscription, or fill that form, or share that content- rather than, say, you showed a generic, fit-for-all ad that may not apply to everybody.
  • A Monetate/eConsultancy Study found that in-house marketers who are personalising web experiences (and quantifying the improvement) saw a 19% uplift in sales in 2013. What this means is, testing, rather than intuition, results in successful websites. People like personalised approaches, tailored call to actions and relevant content.

 

2. Why you should personalise your website

 

Personalised websites are for users what chocolate fudge cakes are for chocoholics- makes the user warm and gooey and happy all around

Remember the feeling you had when you took a bite into your favourite dessert for the very first time? The warm gooey bite full of delight. Now picture yourself clicking on your site for the first time. What your customer wants is that feeling- that shot of euphoria when they notice that the site they clicked on was loading exceptionally fast; that the site was well organised, and responsive (which deserves a whole post of its own).

As the saying goes- first impressions last- for people, and the same stands true in case of online impressions. Just as we make our office receptions, our posters and our suits exude professionalism, so should our website: our online office, our online marketing powerhouse and the one-stop shop for our potential customers.

 

If done well, they are easier to navigate and use

There is no need for an answer to why the private healthcare business has been flourishing when there is already a free and well-established healthcare system like the NHS. It is because we like the personalised, slick approach to client-interaction and service. Despite having a “free” paid-for system, we like the fast service, the personalised treatment and we’d happily pay more for such a service, given the choice. It is the same for websites. Which would you choose- the personalised treatment or the generic multi-pager without any warmth?

 

It would be a great use of all that data collected on how your visitors use the website and re-invested to generate ROI

The saying goes data never lies. What would you feel more confident with: a site that is expensive and you think it will work well with your market, or a site that is tested and that users have responded to? Just have a look at StumbleUpon’s customer dip after its major re-vamp, leading to the conclusion that while the site may be new, improved and works well, this may not be what the users of StumbleUpon wanted.

 

Using the above-mentioned data, you can repackage your content adequately- thus gaining more clients

What with Google SEO changes, your online presence is now more valuable than ever. Google Analytics, among other tools, lets you use this user data to add in the keyword phrases that your target customers might search for. You can build up your company’s credibility and online presence organically with a good SEO and website strategy.

 

Above all, personalising your website is a great opportunity to audit your content (which might even predate your time with the company) and realign it with your brand

Ever come across a content or piece of work at your company that sounds almost relevant, but needs a little update? Now is the best time to audit your content and re-use, recycle and renew your content to align with your website’s content/marketing strategy. Time spent updating an article is time saved in research, original content creation, and developing a unique stance. Your content is likely to be relevant years to come, just with some updates along the way, as the rules change with the time.

 

3. Some do-s and don’ts of Personalisation

 

By now you should all be convinced that personalising your website is in the best interest of your organisation as well as your client. So here are some do’s and don’ts for making the change, for personalising your website.

Dos:

 

  1. Iterate changes quickly and measure results (use metrics such as Marketing Attribution to provide comparisons of the effects of personalisation tactics)
  2. Separate content from presentation (keep a structured central repository of content. Use tags, categories and custom fields to store content together with its personalisation-specific information such as targeting filters or persona-specific messages)
  3. Look for ideas in your data, by using predictive analytics. It can detect hidden data trend and generate ideas on how to use personalisation to drive a predictable improvement in business metrics
  4. Do follow the bakery model and produce small changes quickly in a staggered manner and measure successes to implement more changes.

 

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t take the water fall approach (as opposed to a staggered approach), where all the changes are implemented all at once- but very delayed, costing months of productivity if it had been staggered otherwise
  2. Don’t rely heavily on unstructured content- audit thoroughly and restructure your personalised content with re-use in mind
  3. Don’t take blind guesses or go with your ‘feelings’- use data to back up your guesses and configure proper tracking to figure out the art (and science) or personalisation.
  4. Don’t under-estimate the time it will take to re-do your website.

 

4. Checklist when personalising your website

Elective or Ascribed?

 

We are all familiar with that pesky ad banner on a lot of webpages where it brings up stuff you may have searched for once in the last 12 months. (Made me regret looking at wedding dresses on a lazy afternoon for the next 6 months or so, same with another curious search for baby tuxedos- aren’t they the cutest?! Not after being bombarded with Next shopping sites though) These are just some personal experiences of Ascribed personalisation, where the algorithms give you suggestions based on what you have looked at in the past.

 

Elective approach, on the other hand, gave the clients the control and put the choice as to what they find important in their hands. A prime example is the company Sales Benchmark Index, whereby the visitors can choose their professional ‘role’ to get inbox-ed the content related to these roles. For instance, one can sign up from roles beginning with ‘sales rep’ to HR leader, sales or marketing leader and finally a CEO. The greatest thing about this is that the choice is in the user’s hands. Whether they are a marketing “leader” or an admin assistant aspiring to be a CEO, the reader’s behavioural interests are given a back seat to what they actually think they are interested in.

 

So good luck on your journey. Whether you decide to personalize using an ascribed or elective approach, there are cases for each. Contrastingly, you may wish to use both in different areas of your website. The principal point of personalisation is to help your company achieve its goals, whatever they may be.

 

Make sure you think about:

 

  • What your goals are for visitors

  • What your Call to Actions are

  • How you will personalise and how the users use your website

  • What the visitors use it for

  • Then decide where you will personalise.

 

And above all, measure your results, and make the changes measureable so that you can go back to the drawing board with more, or different changes, and re-develop your communications and media strategy.

 

Each of the case studies we had moved the visitor down their marketing funnel (because as we all know, marketing is never a one step process) in a meaningful way. Know your goals and then work to move your visitors from how they use the website to how you want them to use the website in a very meaningful way.

 

Finally, use data from what’s already out there as your freely available road-tested examples. Look at competitors and how that works better (or worse) than your site in order to do a better job! Google Analytics happily provides you with statistics on all websites’ measurable, landing pages, time on page etc. Use it wisely and you can create a killer site.

 

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2 Ears 1 Mouth

We listen to what you want and understand how your business can take advantage of the online world, by transferring your proven sales techniques online. We pride ourselves in developing bespoke eCommerce business systems to take your business to the next level.

Our partnership with you is the key to a successful project. Regular meetings and open contact ensure the initial specification is correct and that all areas have been explored thoroughly.

Once the project is running we maintain a free flow of ideas and information by phone, messaging and email. Everything is logged online by our project management system which you can view anytime.

Of course, we are always available for face to face meetings when required.

Caged Creativity

Good websites combine creative design with functionality to bring an enriched user experience. For this reason we start with a wild creative journey and have a process to tame this beast into something visitors will enjoy experiencing (having considered the brand identity, product features, the navigation and user experience).

To ensure the success of this we have a structured and planned approach for every project.

Our system is divided into 3 stages to find your ideal design.

Stage 1: The concept Stage: This is where all ideas are discussed openly enabling the design team to draft a number of different styles and concepts.

Stage 2: Design Consolidation: Here we pull together mock-ups as well as developing the ideas drawn out by the concept stage. Suggested designs are presented to you in line with the brief.

Stage 3: Final rollout: Removes any imperfections and once the final design is agreed it is rolled out over the site and incorporated into the backend functions.

OFEC Website Design Process


Jacob Senior - Cherwell Placement StudentThis infographic was created by Jacob Senior as part of his work placement experience from Cherwell School. He's in year 11! Boy did we luck out, isn't it amazing. Jacob's looking at a career in the creative industry and with this talent let's hope he hangs in there.

We have hosted a number of work placement students, they are always well worthwhile for all concerned, we are proud to put their work on our site and encourage other firms to get involved.

 

The Devil's in the Detail

We build quality websites that are robust.

Delivering quality websites and web solutions to our clients are paramount to our philosophy as a company.

We take pride in the quality of the work we do to bring you peace of mind. This allows you to concentrate your efforts on your core business, while we take care of your online presence.

We have many years of experience in web design and development and as a result we have a strong portfolio of highly satisfied clients who return to us for all their subsequent ecommerce and design requirements.

By following tried and tested OFEC practices and W3C guidelines we create scalable and tested web sites and systems.

The features of our sites include:
XHTML 1.0 Transitional valid code as defined by W3C
CSS valid code as defined by W3C
No extraneous elements, only lean, fast code
Comprehensive use of style sheets & external JavaScript files
Use of CSS inheritance
Particular attention paid to header titles, meta tags, h1 tags, A tags and Alt tags for search engine purposes.
On-line system for de-bugging and bug reporting

All work is guaranteed and we can commit to Service Level Agreements as required.

Understanding the consumer AND the system

Online marketing is a loose term, and can encompass many areas such as website optimisation, online PR, email marketing and web campaigns. The key to understanding online marketing is the idea that it must be guided by strategy and supported by detailed insights into results.

We look at how your company performs by looking at your data and from this we devise the marketing strategy. From the power of the web you can segment your market and target your message right down to micro consumer behaviour, and of course with this level of targeting, increase analysis of sales results and increased ROI.

Linking online marketing such as Google Adwords and Pay per Click with traditional (off-line) marketing we seek to deliver the strategic goals and sales targets of our clients through web marketing. By bringing these practices together to achieve the common goals of a company, whether that is promoting products, services or information, we aim to achieve the best results for our clients.

     

iPad Friendly Websites

Users of the iPad or similar tablet device interact with web content in a new, unique way. Simply being able to swipe to the next page, to dart around web pages with your finger, to zoom in and out by squeezing digits together, means there are new ways to navigate websites, so why not look at iPad friendly websites?

 

If you want iPad users to really get the most out of your website, you need an iPad modified site optimised for the iPad (oe other tablet). Obviously the intention is that by improving the experience you’ll improve inquiry rates, sign-ups and sales. Whether you need this or not depends more on the design and requirements than whether its an e-brochure site, micro-site, second generation website, multi-lingual or e-Commerce website.

 

National newspapers and major consumer brand websites are already investing substantial sums in developing specialist websites for iPad as well as being optimised for alternative formats to suit smartphones and tablets. For example, newspaper iPad friendly websites are all about creating new ways of displaying advertising as they seek to monetise their websites.

 

At OFEC, recreating your website to be iPad friendly or an alternative format doesn’t need to cost the earth. An iPad version of your website can be created from your existing website, with our expert team of coders can recreate your site specifically optimised for iPad tablet users. And we can set up your existing site so that iPad tablet visitors are automatically redirected to the version that suits their hardware best.

 

Keep all your website visitors happy, through iPad friendly websites especially if they are visiting on their iPad – call 01865 556070 now to find out how.

How We Work

2 Ears 1 Mouth

We listen to what you want and understand how your business can take advantage of the online world, by transferring your proven sales techniques online. We pride ourselves in developing bespoke eCommerce business systems to take your business to the next level.

Our partnership with you is the key to a successful project. Regular meetings and open contact ensure the initial specification is correct and that all areas have been explored thoroughly.

Once the project is running we maintain a free flow of ideas and information by phone, messaging and email. Everything is logged online by our project management system which you can view anytime.

Of course, we are always available for face to face meetings when required.

Design Process

Caged Creativity

Good websites combine creative design with functionality to bring an enriched user experience. For this reason we start with a wild creative journey and have a process to tame this beast into something visitors will enjoy experiencing (having considered the brand identity, product features, the navigation and user experience).

To ensure the success of this we have a structured and planned approach for every project.

Our system is divided into 3 stages to find your ideal design.

Stage 1: The concept Stage: This is where all ideas are discussed openly enabling the design team to draft a number of different styles and concepts.

Stage 2: Design Consolidation: Here we pull together mock-ups as well as developing the ideas drawn out by the concept stage. Suggested designs are presented to you in line with the brief.

Stage 3: Final rollout: Removes any imperfections and once the final design is agreed it is rolled out over the site and incorporated into the backend functions.

OFEC Website Design Process


Jacob Senior - Cherwell Placement StudentThis infographic was created by Jacob Senior as part of his work placement experience from Cherwell School. He's in year 11! Boy did we luck out, isn't it amazing. Jacob's looking at a career in the creative industry and with this talent let's hope he hangs in there.

We have hosted a number of work placement students, they are always well worthwhile for all concerned, we are proud to put their work on our site and encourage other firms to get involved.

 

Quality Control

The Devil's in the Detail

We build quality websites that are robust.

Delivering quality websites and web solutions to our clients are paramount to our philosophy as a company.

We take pride in the quality of the work we do to bring you peace of mind. This allows you to concentrate your efforts on your core business, while we take care of your online presence.

We have many years of experience in web design and development and as a result we have a strong portfolio of highly satisfied clients who return to us for all their subsequent ecommerce and design requirements.

By following tried and tested OFEC practices and W3C guidelines we create scalable and tested web sites and systems.

The features of our sites include:
XHTML 1.0 Transitional valid code as defined by W3C
CSS valid code as defined by W3C
No extraneous elements, only lean, fast code
Comprehensive use of style sheets & external JavaScript files
Use of CSS inheritance
Particular attention paid to header titles, meta tags, h1 tags, A tags and Alt tags for search engine purposes.
On-line system for de-bugging and bug reporting

All work is guaranteed and we can commit to Service Level Agreements as required.

Online Marketing

Understanding the consumer AND the system

Online marketing is a loose term, and can encompass many areas such as website optimisation, online PR, email marketing and web campaigns. The key to understanding online marketing is the idea that it must be guided by strategy and supported by detailed insights into results.

We look at how your company performs by looking at your data and from this we devise the marketing strategy. From the power of the web you can segment your market and target your message right down to micro consumer behaviour, and of course with this level of targeting, increase analysis of sales results and increased ROI.

Linking online marketing such as Google Adwords and Pay per Click with traditional (off-line) marketing we seek to deliver the strategic goals and sales targets of our clients through web marketing. By bringing these practices together to achieve the common goals of a company, whether that is promoting products, services or information, we aim to achieve the best results for our clients.

     

iPad Friendly

iPad Friendly Websites

Users of the iPad or similar tablet device interact with web content in a new, unique way. Simply being able to swipe to the next page, to dart around web pages with your finger, to zoom in and out by squeezing digits together, means there are new ways to navigate websites, so why not look at iPad friendly websites?

 

If you want iPad users to really get the most out of your website, you need an iPad modified site optimised for the iPad (oe other tablet). Obviously the intention is that by improving the experience you’ll improve inquiry rates, sign-ups and sales. Whether you need this or not depends more on the design and requirements than whether its an e-brochure site, micro-site, second generation website, multi-lingual or e-Commerce website.

 

National newspapers and major consumer brand websites are already investing substantial sums in developing specialist websites for iPad as well as being optimised for alternative formats to suit smartphones and tablets. For example, newspaper iPad friendly websites are all about creating new ways of displaying advertising as they seek to monetise their websites.

 

At OFEC, recreating your website to be iPad friendly or an alternative format doesn’t need to cost the earth. An iPad version of your website can be created from your existing website, with our expert team of coders can recreate your site specifically optimised for iPad tablet users. And we can set up your existing site so that iPad tablet visitors are automatically redirected to the version that suits their hardware best.

 

Keep all your website visitors happy, through iPad friendly websites especially if they are visiting on their iPad – call 01865 556070 now to find out how.


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