What makes a good website? Personalize for your Customers!

August 1, 2013 / by Vicky Zancanella

what makes a good websiteSitting at your desk, writing another email, a friend pops in and gives you a gift. You open it, and see your favorite type of candy.

Your heart sings, there is a huge smile on your face and you thank her.

You not only thank her, but you acknowledge her thoughtfulness--How did she know you love {insert your favorite candy here}?!

It was so nice of her to think of you, and take the time to give you a gift. How thoughtful and considerate!

Now, think about the question, what makes a good website?

You are searching online and you find a website that seems to be speaking directly to you. There are images of items you have been looking to buy, an ad for a vacation you have been dreaming about for years, and even your high school graduation year pops up in the side column.

Weird. Creepy. Maybe a little too coincidental. You shiver and want to leave the site.

Humm…interesting how we can be flattered by someone who notices something about us and we view them as thoughtful, but when a company notices things about us and tries to be helpful, we can get creeped out or annoyed because we feel our privacy has been invaded.

How does a good website find the right balance?

One of the job descriptions for a good website is to be helpful to visitors, so helpful in fact that it works to bring you new customers. A good website should not just be a directory or an online brochure; A good website meets the needs of visitors and converts those visitors into leads and to customers.

So what make a good website? One that is customized to your visitors and customers. Is this doable?

Yes! There are a varitey softwares available to create a dynamic website experience that is customized for leads coming to your website. What you choose to do and how you do it is what makes it creepy or thoughtful.

Think of the possibilities!

$1.1 Trillion of all retail sales were “web-influenced” in 2011 and only expected to grow- this was offline sales that were influenced by online research. (Source: Forrester Research)

So, whether you are an ecommerce company or not, online research is going to affect your business. How much better could it be if you can personalize your website for your visitors and their needs?

Scenerio:

You are a clothing company with a variety of seasonal wear.

If your visitor comes from a location in Canada or the Rocky Mountains, images of warm sweaters, jackets and gloves can be viewed on your homepage.

If your visitor comes from a location in Florida or the Gulf Coast, images of swimwear, sandals and sunhats can be displayed.

If your visitor has previously been interested in backpacking gear, when they return to your website, the “smart” calls-to-action can change to give them a downloadable offer and “10 Tips for High Country Backpacking.” The blog module shows blog articles focusing on backpacking topics.

 

As you can see, being thoughtful and helpful without coming across as weird or creepy is what makes a good website.  Now there is definitely an art to all of this and finding the right balance. As in a New York Times article, a company can have the customization backfire and actually offend customers; there are many ways to personalize your website visitor’s experience so your company is being more helpful, personal and relevant to the needs of your visitors.

With just the right amount of personalization, you will see your visitors happy with their experience and feel your website was helpful and valuable.

When it comes to dynamic personalized content on websites, 69% of North American Marketers say it is of high importance, 26% say it is of moderate importance and only 5% say it is of low importance. Wow!  So maybe personalization is what makes a good website!  (Source: Marketing Charts)

But how extacly could this work for your company's website?

For a great whiteboard conversation/demonstration on how personalized, dynamic content on your website can benefit your visitors and increase your businesses success, take the time to watch this video.  I love that Luke wears a shirt with the HubSpot logo as a “shout out” to HubSpot and how their software provides the ability to personalize web content for their customers!

 (Source: Savvypanda.com

There are many factors that need to be considered when thinking about what makes a good website, but when it comes to current website trends, dynamic personalization of content for visitors is definately something your business should be focusing on or at least having discussions about.

Thoughts? Ideas? Concerns? We would love to hear what you have to say! 

Topics: Lead Generation, Website Development

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