How to get better results from your search personalization effort?

According to a recent report by Gartner, Top Marketing Predictions for 2020 and Beyond, in the next five years as many as 80% of the marketers will not put in much thought to personalization. The reason these marketers cite is lack of ROI and data management difficulty, or both. Marketers spend a great deal of time, effort and finance into personalization of a platform for a great user experience, but fail to extract the real benefits. Do you know if you take care of basic hygiene of your platform, it would improve ROI of personalization in a great way. Not only will it generate leads for your business, but will also create a great user experience and better impression on your audience.

In the same report from Gartner, one of the leading analyst firms, it is reported that 14% of the total marketing budget is now dedicated to personalization. Out of this, marketers spend as much as 6.2% of the total budget into technology. But are they using the right technology to derive benefits of personalization?

Personalization could be a way for brands to contextualize user experience. One aspect could be to deliver solutions in the form of personalized SERPs according to a user’s unique profile. SERPs are based on user’s queries, which can be classified in different categories, i.e.- Navigational, Informational and Transactional. Of these three, the last two tend to offer greater benefit from personalization perspective. Most of the businesses adopt search models which are query-based. These models may be employed by businesses to give users better search results, which fit into their requirements.

Despite knowing that the efforts may be required, there is little that the businesses are actually implementing. Small steps go a long way in getting better results, but we often don’t know what needs to be done and how?

How to do it?

If your business targets a specific market, you must make it evident to your audience and search engines. In 2009, Bryan Horling and Matthew Kulick posted a video on Google Blog indicating how Google started extending personalized search results to not just the signed in users, but also to the ones who have logged out of their Google accounts. The largest search engine uses 180 days of users’ search activities on the basis of anonymous cookies they’ve dropped in their browser, so as to fetch them customized search results.

What to Do? How?
Location Optimization Get Google My Business listing
Use local structured data
Get reviews and testimonials from users
Optimization for different languages Have different site versions targeting different languages
Multiple Device Optimization Stick to responsive websites design for desktop
Optimize site for mobile search
Follow mobile-first indexing guidelines of Google
Track rankings of website separately for mobile and desktop
Ensure that mobile pages load no longer than 2 seconds
SEO in social media Create shareable content
Do not let go of Google Plus account
Google co-operates closely with Twitter too


Resources to help you track page performance for better personalization

If you suspect that the website is affected due to any reason, you can employ different resources to evaluate and fix the problem. These resources help you give better user experience to your target audience.

  • Chrome User Experience Report - This will give a business a dataset which has useful UX metrics.
  • Lighthouse – Helps business in tracking web-page performance. This is an automated tool.
  • Page Speed Insights – Helps businesses in showing suggestions of optimization and quality of page performance. It shows you an optimization score.
  • CRM- Helps you employ personalization strategies better.
  • email marketing resources
  • CSV imports
  • DMP and DSP platforms
  • Data warehouses
  • UTM tracking URLs – These can be applied to understand visitors better and customize messages. This tool allows businesses to know the source of their visitor. For example, it will help you know if a paid ad campaign has fetched you the lead. The information may be used later for better personalization and great digital UX.

In a Nutshell

Relevance holds much importance when considering personalization for great digital UX. Search results, whether of a product or information, will be considered relevant only if it is useful to the end user. Search engines give “relevance score” on the basis of user behaviour, which include dwell time and clicks. To make a user increase his/her “dwell time” on your page, the content must be optimized for the user so as to enhance their digital user experience and satisfaction with the information needed.