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An Optimization Guide for Onsite Behavioral Targeting

Onsite behavioral targeting can help you personalize your Web pages to create comfort and confidence for your visitors, ultimately driving them deeper into your site with higher engagement.   Based on learned behaviors and predictive attributes, analytics engines can automatically serve content that resonates with each visitor’s intent and drives action.

Such a solution can collect and utilize hundreds of anonymous data point relative to each individual visitor.  Alleged self-learning algorithms can draw out the most relevant attributes for each site visitor, track visitor activity in real time and record and cluster onsite activities. The end result delivers increased loyalty, engagement and revenue.

These analytic and predictive abilities can be used to promote different offerings on your site, engaging your visitors and pushing them into learning more about your products and services. Businesses can run behavioral targeting on pages where people need to make the choice of where to go next on the site, such as the homepage or category pages.

These can be crucial intersections for site visitors who are not necessarily sure of what they would like to see next. Finding out what might be their source of interest and matching the experience to that interest is what onsite behavioral targeting does best. You set several distinct options, each calling for a different need or interest, and the personalization engine will find the group of visitors for which it is most suitable.

Planning For an Onsite Behavioral Targeting Optimization

Before you actually go ahead and start running behavioral targeting on your site, you should spend some time designing your approach and understanding what you are trying to achieve.

For instance, is the goal to increase conversion? Reduce ad spend? Or, build engagement and loyalty?

Find the page or pages where your behavioral targeting optimization will “live.”  Typical pages and page elements usually contain the following characteristics:

  • High traffic, high visibility page and page location such as a homepage promotion banner, landing page or category page.
  • High user diversity with multiple navigation paths.  Behavioral targeting will guide each user to the right location over time.

Select the products, services, promotions or content that you wish to promote on your site and think about how you wish to promote them. Remember that you can try out diverse variations on the same offerings if you are not sure what the best message should be – this is the time to try out some “crazy” ideas.

Select your conversion page(s). The conversion page represents the completion step of the optimized funnel or business flow. This may be the page where your user completes a purchase (the “check out” or “Thank You” page) or a quote request, signs up for a newsletter, or downloads a file. It is the page or pages on which the target for the offering was reached.

Decide which user segments you wish to target. This is where you determine the traffic to which you will be serving personalized content. You may choose to limit the segments that view the optimization, however if you do that, you will limit the behavioral targeting engine from learning about parts of your traffic, reducing the effectiveness of the optimization. We recommend that you only use segmenting for this type of optimization in case the participating offerings should only be displayed to a limited audience such as unique content for new and returning visitors.

Tips and best practices

  • Vary your offerings: Running similar promotions for behavioral targeting will limit your ability to learn about your site visitors’ needs. However, when there is a great variety of offerings, behavioral targeting will be much more effective in serving relevant content to your visitors.  Diversity is key!
  • Want to see your offerings before you show them to the world? Preview: Take advantage of simulation tools to preview your content variations and check out how the different offerings work on your page before you actually go ahead and run them on your live site.
  • Build in “learning time” for your optimizations: On site behavioral targeting solutions study your users, and therefore, it may take some time before you see effective results. Over time, as the technology learns your visitors’ behavior, it will fine-tune matches between offerings and visitors, and produce better results.  The amount of “learning time” is dependent on the quantity of traffic, as well as the diversity of offerings and traffic.

Five-step Guide to Creating an Onsite Behavioral Targeting Optimization

There are five main steps you need to complete in order to begin an onsite behavioral targeting optimization.

1. Define your behavioral targeting settings. The first step in creating an onsite behavioral targeting optimization is defining general setting information.

2. Determine the scope of your optimization. Here you determine where and for which audience your optimization will run: the page site on which the customized content will be displayed, your conversion page or pages that represent business results.

3. Create variations.  It’s time to create the actual variations of content your visitors will see – offerings, promotional copy or banners that you wish to display on your site.

In order to add these variations, you will need to define the page elements in which the offerings appear.  You may choose to display offerings in several elements on your page or only dedicate one page property for them.

After the elements are added, you can continue to create the variations for each page element.

4. Integration, or adding JavaScript tags to your site

At this stage you will be adding simple JavaScript tags into your site’s HTML code so that your behavioral targeting platform will be able to display customized content versions to your site visitors. Tags perform several functions, including collecting information about the pages and categories visited, about your products, displaying optimized content and tracking the visitor behavior for the reporting.  Remember that correctly installing tags will only maximize your site’s optimization.

5. Activation.  Once all of your variations are ready and the tags are integrated correctly on your site, you can begin running your onsite behavioral targeting optimization and reap the advantages of leveraging user data to deliver real-time matching of the most relevant content to individual visitor micro segments.

Category SEO
Rita Brogley Behavioral targeting

Rita is CEO at Amadesa, end-to-End Web site optimization and personalization: segmented content delivery, dynamic personalization, shopping cart optimization, product ...

An Optimization Guide for Onsite Behavioral Targeting

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