We’d probably be surprised at how many websites tailor their content based on what they know about us. The majority of us may not have the resources to go down the technologically complex path of tagging visitors for when they return, but there are ways of dipping a toe in the water more simply.
One of these is considering where visitors have come from. Many of you probably already do this without thinking, with the language in which the site is written. If there’s more than one language, you’ll have ‘language selection’ prominently on every page. However, if the visitor is coming from a website or email in a specific language, you’ll send them straight to the page in their language.
Similarly, if any advertising can be segmented by audience characteristics, it’s worth thinking about how you might use this information. For example, many businesses – although they deal nationally – have a separate USP as being a local supplier. In an ideal world, you might like to tell visitors within 50 miles that you’re the largest widget supplier in the area, but you wouldn’t want that as standard on your home page, because most of your visitors come from outside the area and it would sound too parochial. The solution is to have an alternative landing page for local visitors which majors on the benefits of a supplier based close by.
If you had an advert in a local newspaper, you’d send people to this page as standard. But search advertising can easily do this too. Set up two campaigns, one showing in the local area, and another for the rest of the country. The adverts will have different messages, and you’ll send them to different web pages. One campaign will be declaring prominently where you’re based, and confirming the benefits of dealing with a supplier close by. The other will be concentrating on your national capabilities.
If you’re generating website visitors through any medium under your control (such as advertising), you probably know something about them, or can arrange things such that you do. Think about how you might use that information to tailor the content smartly.