Metrics That Matter For Web Personalization

Marketing Metrics


You know you should be personalizing your website, but where should you start? What should you test? Who should you target? These are all questions that marketers face as soon as they have access to a web personalization tool. They move from can’t to can, and then suddenly find themselves having to think of questions to ask that they have never been able to ask before.

When it comes to website personalization and website optimization and where should you turn your attention, it’s great to think of your website as a leaky bucket.

Leaky Bucket

The bucket is your website, and the water is your visitors’ attention. Your job is to keep the bucket full; to present them with information that is relevant, useful, and helpful for them to achieve their goals. Or in other words, your job is to stop the leakages. But how do you identify where the leakages are?

Here are three questions to ask:

1. Where Is There a Lot of Traffic?

(Pages with the most entries)

We all have very short attention spans, and we need to make sure that the first page we see is relevant and addresses visitors needs quickly. Take a look at your web analytics platform to see where most of your visitors are entering your site. A lot will come in through the homepage, but you’ll probably be surprised that product and category pages get a lot of entries. From there, think: are those audiences’ needs being addressed adequately? Is there a segment that isn’t being catered to? What friction points are there on these pages?

2. Where Are There a Lot of Bounces?

(Pages with most exist & most bounces)

If someone leaves your website (bounces) then either they have finished their task, they have given up, or they didn’t find what they needed. It is not always immediately apparent if a bounce is a good thing or a bad thing. However, if someone enters your site on the homepage, goes to the category page and bounces without viewing a single product that isn’t a good sign. Explore pages with high bounce rates which are not natural endpoints for a site session, you can also look at pages per visit for people who enter through specific pages.

3. Where Does Value Exist?

(Pages with conversion points)

The last thing you want is someone finding your brand, exploring your site, deciding to do business with you, but getting stuck on contact us, inquiry, or purchase call-to-actions that are buried or even worse, don’t work! Think about the key pages on your website and determine if there is any way you could remove friction or increase the persuasion on the page to progress to the next step.

When you do get your hands on a web personalization tool, have a look at your 10 highest performing pages for entries, exits, and bounces along with the other suggestions above. And remember, what we’re trying to do is keep the bucket full, to keep your visitors’ attention, to remove friction, and increase persuasion.

What are your favorite ways of identifying web pages to test? Have you had any particularly good (or bad!) experiences testing different variations of web content? Tell me about your experiences in the comments.