Content Marketing, Owned Media
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As a marketer, a website redesign presents you with an overwhelming number of choices and decisions. Between visual experience, design, functionality, and branding there are a significant number of considerations to make before your redesign even begins to take shape. However, website redesigns also present an opportunity to make high-impact choices about the functionality and form of your website that can improve your key business metrics, such as incorporating personalization.

Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Research your customers and visitors

Before incorporating personalization, first you need to understand your visitors’ and customers’ behaviors. Conduct a deep-dive of your website analytics by working backward from key conversion points and the metrics you use to manage and run your business.

At a high-level, you need to have a clear understanding of the metrics that really move your business. Then, take that information from your analytics solution and look at it across time, sources, pages and various segments that are key to understanding how customers are using your website. If you already have a dashboard solution, this can be a great way to see top-level metrics and run quick comparisons. However, ensure you also dig deep into website metrics for a full understanding before getting started.

Taking all of your marketing analytics into account will provide a full picture of how visitors and customers use your website. This information will, in turn, provide a framework for how the redesign should be conducted and how to incorporate personalization.

Step 2: Build your site with personalization in mind

When putting together the various components of your redesigned website, think about how you will personalize each element. In addition, think through the technical considerations of personalizing your website and ensure that you do not have to make significant website changes or involve IT each time you want to customize messaging for different audiences.

Think of your next campaign, or goals for next quarter and how you are going to achieve them. Based on the campaign that came to mind, consider how you would incorporate personalization into those campaign landing pages, homepage, email, and other key areas.

For example, if you are running a campaign to promote and generate downloads of a new content offer, here are the pages that you could consider personalizing:

  • Thank you page – Utilize information gathered from the registration form to personalize this page. In addition, because a significant amount of web traffic now comes from mobile, I would remove extraneous information from the page and ensure it’s mobile friendly. If the contact that is arriving at the thank you page is a current customer, you can implement a Call-to-Action (CTA) that allows them to log in, whereas if it’s a lead, you could present them with a CTA for a free trial.
  • Landing page – There are a significant number of ways you could personalize a registration page, but one simple example is showing different questions to visitors that have already downloaded an offer from those that are registering for the first time. In addition to the form itself, you can show different versions of the registration page by referral source. For example, visitors coming from Facebook are more likely to share the content offer with their network on Facebook.
  • Blog post – If the intention of an offer is to generate new leads, link to a CTA at the bottom of the post, but only show it to new leads and marketing qualified leads. Current customers should receive a separate personalized CTA for a different offer or resource.

These are examples of how to think about personalizing pages across your domain, but you’ll also need to look at the technical considerations of implementing these personalized elements to ensure your CMS supports all of these various use cases.

Step 3: Ensure your CMS meets your business needs

A website redesign is a great time to consider changing CMS systems. If you are using a CMS that does not have security built-in, does not employ automatic responsive design, can’t help you optimize pages for SEO, and doesn’t have strong community support from partners then it may be time to switch. HubSpot’s Content Optimization System (COS) has the capabilities to help designers build a beautiful and functional website while enabling marketers to easily implement personalization without IT or significant website changes.

When determining if your CMS meets your business need, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my CMS require significant technical integration?
  • What are the ways that my CMS can show personalized content to visitors and customers?
  • What areas of the site do I want to personalize the experience that visitors have? Does my CMS support all these areas?
  • What are all of the components I want to personalize (site pages, landing pages, CTAs, etc.) and does my CMS support all of these?

Step 4: Consider the whole experience, not just a page

One of the most common mistakes in personalization is only personalizing part of the users’ journey. If you have a goal of increasing webinar registrations and heavily personalize the invitation emails but then invitees land on a generic registration page, then the experience is only partially complete. Think through the holistic strategy of how you want to create an experience for people and then implement that across the relevant content areas.

Think back to the last time you encountered remarkable marketing. What made it remarkable? Based on those questions, implement personalization across pages that will give viewers the same reaction.

These are a few steps that you can take to implement personalization in your next website redesign. Personalized marketing opens up a world of possibilities and the potential for greater impact. The time spent considering and planning how to personalize the customer journey will pay off once your redesign is complete.

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