5 Ways to Personalize Your Website with Google Optimize

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07. November 2018

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Google recently added website personalization functionality to their conversion optimization tool, Optimize. With these functionalities you can customize your visitors' experience on your website. Using information about their location, their device, or your campaigns you can change your site content to give them the very best experience possible. Until now some of these features had been reserved for enterprise clients of other conversion optimization tools.

You can make simple personalizations that change your site based off a single variable like the advert the user clicked on to get to the site. Or you can combine variables to create complex personalizations that show vastly different sites to different users.

In this blog we will explore a simple use case for 5 of the most interesting variables available.

1. Google Ads Personalization

An interesting way to personalize your site is to leverage the keyword that brought visitors to your site. If you are running a campaign on Google Ads you can modify the landing page based on the keyword for the Ad the user clicked on.

For a use case lets imagine a company that has a Software as a Service offering. They run a Google Ads campaign with different keywords advertising various attributes and features of their product. These could be attributes like the ease of use or how quickly the tool can be setup; or they could be the specific functionality of the tool. The goal is to have visitors fill out a lead capture form on the landing page. This lets them download a useful guide highlighting all the products attributes and features.

Using personalization they could change their landing page to reflect the particular attribute or feature that piqued the visitors interest. They can change the landing page banner image, headline, text, and images of the guide to fit with the keyword. So if a user came through with an "ease of use" related keyword the landing page could feature content describing highlighting this and describing a bit about why it is so easy to use.

2. Geographic Personalization

Perhaps the most commonly seen personalization on websites around the world is to adapt based on where the user visits from. We see this when websites change their language or show the local currency. Often this requires  a large setup in the websites CMS and whole new sections of a site to be built. With Optimize you can change large or minor aspects of your website without the need for developer involvement or making major changes to your CMS.

As an example we will use a small specialist online retailer like a rare book or antique store. They may be a small operation but still ship their unique goods around the world. The retailer could make some important information available to the visitor immediately rather than them having to go find it. They could display the available shipping methods, estimated shipping costs and delivery times to the visitor's country in the site's header. This means the visitor does not have to go looking for this information on the delivery or shipping page making it easier for them to buy products.

3. Campaign Personalization

As part of marketing efforts to both existing and potential customers many businesses send multiple email campaigns, or even large scale marketing automation efforts. A key to these campaigns, as with all online advertising campaigns, is having a landing page that works well with the email content. Unfortunately this usually means building a new landing page for each campaign which can be resource intensive.

If the end goal of these campaigns is similar - such as lead generation, highlighting a product, or sharing an offer – then a single page can function for multiple campaigns. In a similar mode to the Google Ads personalization the landing page design elements and text content can be modified depending on the email the visitor clicked on.

4. Device Personalization

With the variety of devices and browsers that people use to access websites it is useful to be able to personalize your site based on the technology your visitor is using. These days responsiveness is key to web design so that your website looks as good on a mobile device as it does on a desktop. However, this can be taken a step further to make sure that the visitor interactions with your site is customized for the device they are on.

A simple example of how to do this with personalization is the options provided for your visitors to contact your business. If you have several ways a visitor can get in touch with you - email, telephone or through a contact form - then you could focus on the most appropriate one for each device. On a desktop you could have the primary contact button lead to the contact form which is simple to fill out with a physical keyboard. However, on a mobile, where a visitor is more likely to call in, you could have the primary contact button say "Call us" and link straight to your phone number.

5. Data Layer Variable Personalization

The last personalization option we want to highlight is slightly more technical and it shows the relationship that Google Optimize has with other Google tools. If you are using Google Tag Manager you can use a Data Layer variable to trigger personalizations.

The Google Tag Manager Data Layer allows information to be made accessible to Google Tag Manager that it would not otherwise have access to. Google Optimize can read these pieces of information and show different content based off of them. As you can push almost any information into the data layer the scope of what is possible as a personalization is large but here is an example.

If your business has a mobile app you could use Google Optimize and the Data Layer to encourage existing customers to download the app. If you store whether the visitor's account has ever logged into the app this information could be pushed to the Data Layer. If they have never logged into the app before then Google Optimize could show a pop up box that presents the app to them.

Google Optimize has several other variables that personalizations can be triggered on. All of these can be used separately or combined with each other to be as specific as you like. With them you can improve the experience that visitors have on your site and so increase conversion rates and repeat visits.

If you have any questions then leave a comment below or send me an email.

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