SEO - Search Engine Optimization

The Homepage is Dead: A Story of Website Personalization

Last Updated: May 2, 2017

Posted by cara.harshmanIn 1998, Jeff Bezos had a vision for the Internet. At that time he was four years into building Amazon. It was taking off as a humongous online emporium of books and music. In an interview with the Washington Post that year, Bezos made a visionary statement about the web. “If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store. We should have 4.5 million stores,” he said. Fast-forward 19 years and here we are in 2017. My Amazon homepage is extremely personalized to me. (In August it was showing me glow sticks and solar-powered lamps. It clearly knew I was going to Burning Man.) Bezos’ vision is reality for Amazon.com and many more e-commerce sites. At this point, personalized product recommendations are table stakes for online retail. But we haven’t seen personalization become as popular across the rest of the non-retail web. Most businesses have one version of the homepage that is supposed to cater to all different sorts of people. The sites still say, “come one, come all!” This is troubling. Marketers spend so much time and energy developing personas and messaging for the myriad audiences we want to turn into customers. But it usually stops there. It’s time we start extending this persona-driven, personalized marketing to our websites, and specifically the homepage. The homepage is the proverbial front door of our brands; often a landing page, it’s the first page you’ll go to find out who a company is and what it does. As marketers, it’s our job to crack open the black box on how to do things that may seem like a mystery. SEO? Moz takes care of that one. Website personalization is another one of those mysteries. What are the problems you need to work through to get it done? How much does it cost? How valuable is it? I want to help bust open that black box by sharing first-hand experience personalizing Optimizely.com. In my time on the marketing team there, we redesigned the homepage. We went from one average best homepage to 26 different versions of the homepage uniquely personalized to different visitors. Let’s talk about why we did it, what we did, and how it all performed (because of course we measured it). The average best version of our homepage. Homepage personalized for visitors from Target. Homepage personalized for visitors from the travel industry. Homepage personalized for visitors browsing optimizely.com late night. Homepage personalized for visitors from Microsoft. Why invest in website personalization?We redesigned and personalized the homepage for three reasons: To get closer to a global maximum. We had reached a local maximum on our current site. After four years of iteration and conversion optimization, we had…

Source: The Homepage is Dead: A Story of Website Personalization

About the author / 

S K Routray

S K Routray is a computer science graduate and Co founder at Gracioustech.com. He worked as a Online Marketing lead at many MNC Companies. He has passion for writing on SEO techniques, Social Media Marketing and digital marketing techniques. If he wasn’t an online marketer, he'd take his love for food and become a great chef cum hotel entrepreneur. Join NAS Writers team to write for NAS.

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