blog-editorial As marketers, we all want to make our websites as informative and relevant to our visitors as possible. That's how you convert the most leads, right?

Marketers looking to customize content to be more relevant for their target audience have likely embraced smart content to do that -- customizing a contact's web experience using the information we've collected about them. But what about the people who we haven't identified yet?

If we don't know who a visitor is, how can we make their first experience on our site better and more meaningful?

That's why at INBOUND this year, we introduced a new feature called Anonymous Personalization. With this new feature, we can target our website even if we haven't met you yet. This post will delve into what those features look like -- but even if you're not a HubSpot customer, it should give you some ideas of what you can do with functionality like this on your own sites. (Want to learn about the other marketing tools launched at INBOUND? Register for our Marketing Product Showcase on Oct 1.)

Wait, what is smart content again?

First, let's take a step back and discuss what smart content is. Smart content allows you to target website content based on any data you've collected from a contact. For example, if you wanted to have one version of your homepage for leads and one for customers, you could use smart content to build your website so it would dynamically change whether it was a lead or customer visiting you.

Now with the addition of Anonymous Personalization, we can personalize messaging for unknown visitors, too. The three different elements you can target are Country IP address, device type, and traffic referral source.

So why is this so exciting? By surfacing more personalized messaging to your website visitors -- not just your leads, but your visitors who haven't necessarily converted yet -- conversion rates increase. With that in mind, let's walk through a few ways marketers might use something like this.

Customize Your Content to Country

CountryIP targeting allows you to identify anonymous visitors based on the CountryIP address where they are. How might you use this, you may wonder? Even if you are a multi-national company, you can act like a local by serving localized content that is relative to that particular region. For example, if you have a visitor hailing from the UK visiting your US site, you can show him/her local case studies or testimonials that will be more relatable to the visitor. It will also emphasise that you are an expert who has the ability to support customers in that region.

Targeting countries also allows you to display prices in local currencies, which improves the user experience for foreign visitors by giving them relevant pricing scales. Do you have a multi-language site? Many web searchers customarily search for a website on .com and may not realize you offer a local language version too. Country targeting gives you the opportunity to promote these local language websites to specific country visitors.

Optimize Your Content for the Device Viewing It

If someone visits your homepage from an iPhone instead of a PC, would you want to display your site's content differently for that user? Or better, display different content entirely?

You can now target anonymous visitors based on what device they use to visit your site. Whether it be on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device, now you can distinguish that audience and showcase a custom user experience.

For example, if you don't have a mobile version of your website, create a highly optimized page for users by stripping down your text to the most important information to be seen on the small screen. This also makes it easier to read the bare basics on a mobile phone. You might also use device targeting to offer more simple calls-to-action for mobile and tablet users, perhaps also including informative text to get your point across quickly and succinctly.

Relate Content to the Traffic Source That Referred the Visitor

When you customize your content to referral source, that means you're changing what visitors see based on the traffic source that sent them to the page. Those sources include organic search (like Google), referral traffic (or referral links), social media, direct traffic, paid (like Adwords), email, and other campaigns.

How might you use this? Well, maybe over time you've learned there's a specific traffic source that closes leads into customers the best. Let's say that source is organic search. Use this information to optimize your marketing process with anonymous content. For example, you could set it up so whenever someone visits you from Google, you show him/her a more sales-driven offer. Now that visitor has the chance to close even faster. And what's better than shortening the sales cycle?

Three Tips to Be Smart With Smart Content

Of course learning a new tool can be tricky. To help, here are three tips I share with my customers to help them be more successful with Smart Content.

1) Search Optimize Your Default Content

Although you will want to jazz up your content for your targeted Smart rules, don’t overlook the importance of your default content. Should someone not fall into one of your targeting criteria, the default content is what they'll see. More importantly, your default content is what search engines, like Google, will actually index. Take the time to search optimize this content for your best keywords to help with future lead generation efforts. 

2) Don’t Accidentally Hide Your Primary Site

Smart Content should allow for a great user experience by surfacing relevant content for your users, but be careful not to go over the top and use Smart Content too often on a page. Not only will that be incredibly complicated, you might also accidentally hide the basic fundamentals of your site. Use Smart Content to optimize your web experience, but make sure all visitors still have access to the broader parts of your website and content.

3) Start Small

There are so many different ways to target visitors with Anonymous Personalization that it can be overwhelming. Start small -- you don't have to do a total overhaul of your entire website. Pick one area to experiment with first and test the results. Tweak that one initial area until you are happy with the results you are seeing from your visitors. When you measure impact, look at whether you improved conversion rate, and look for feedback that they had a better user experience.

Will you start using Anonymous Personalization? How might you use it? Share it with us!

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Originally published Sep 25, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017

Topics:

Smart Content