Your business's ability to convert a website visitor from reader to customer is directly linked to the relevance of the information presented to them on your site.

Using the information your business has collected to make content as relevant as possible to each user that visits your website will increase your conversion rate - that’s the secret.

Think about it: you’ve likely added a suggested item to an Amazon purchase because they made a suggestion based on mountains of data and your past behavior, and Google suggests ads and sponsored search results because they know what you do online.

Facebook does it, too.

If you are a 50-year-old male and Facebook suggests you like the Facebook page of Seventeen Magazine, that’s not good profiling. It’s wasted advertising money for the business and it will probably annoy you. That’s why Facebook looks through your likes, your location, your demographics, and the likes of people in your network to create a profile of you. It uses that profile to make suggestions to you.

If you want to see a dramatic increase in your conversions, clicks, and sales, you need to start customizing what your readers see and market like Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

The payoff to adapting content to your visitors in real time has been chronicled by Marketing Sherpa and McKinsey.

Marketing Sherpa published a case study based on HP’s efforts to integrate dynamic content into their email marketing campaigns. The result? It increased its open rate and clickthrough rate by 300 percent and 600 percent, respectively!

With such dramatic increases in opens and clicks, it’s not surprising that presenting relevant offers and content will also boost the return on investment of your digital marketing.

McKinsey, an international business management consulting firm, conducted a study of companies that use their customers’ web histories to tailor offers saw a 250 percent increase in the ROI of their digital marketing.

If you want to market like Amazon, Facebook, and Google, there are four things you need to do:

Research, collect, and track

Companies that successfully customize content in real time know their customers inside and out - they collect and track their data, browsing history, and purchase history.

For example, you should consider tracking:

  • How people navigate through your site
  • What they view
  • How long they view certain items
  • What they purchase

Without this database of information, you will never be able to develop customer profiles or accurately predict what customers want to see.

Develop customer profiles

Developing customer profiles, commonly called “buyer personas,” involves looking at your data and imaging what the person behind the data looks like. It helps to create an image of that customer, to name them, and to think about what their interests are.

There are nine elements of a complete buyer persona:

1. Age
2. Responsibilities
3. Concerns
4. Pain points
5. Purchasing triggers
6. Where they find their information
7. Preferred type of content (blog post, infographic, video, etc.)
8. When they are most likely to consume your content
9. A name

Having several buyer personas based on your research and customer database will help you craft a series of messages or identify certain products or services that will be most appealing to certain groups.

Segmenting your messaging like this is critical if you are going to offer relevant, customized content for your visitors.

Remember - you cannot ensure relevance without first knowing your target.

Segment products or offers

Thinking everyone will want everything you sell for the same reason will ensure you fail miserably.

Instead, use the information you have in your database and the personas you developed to customize the offers your website’s visitors see.

Selling multiple products required two layers of segmenting:

1. You need to find the products each buyer persona is most likely to find attractive.
2. You must ensure they see the most relevant sales pitch for that item because different people will buy for different reasons.

If you have one product, that means you need to worry about only one kind of segmenting - the offer or sales pitch someone receives.

Track and optimize

As your database grows and your tracking becomes more sophisticated, you should be able to tell which buyer personas and products are more profitable than others.

Tracking and measuring your efforts to provide customized, dynamic content will mean you can adjust your marketing efforts to focus on the products, offers, and personas that deliver the highest ROI.

This “double down effect” will mean your open, click-through, and conversion rates will only continue to improve.

You can market and sell like Amazon, Google, and Facebook, but it requires patience, data, content and optimization. That’s how you will be able to use your customer’s data to improve conversion rates and drive revenue growth.