Have you ever viewed or downloaded a piece of content on a website and not been able to find it again? Or have been too busy to look for it?

I’ve been there. And we know it happens to our prospects too. Like all B2B marketers, we want our site visitors to get the most use out of our content. If they can’t easily re-find a relevant piece of content, then we could be missing out on a lead.  

So we rolled out Evergage SmartHistory to provide our visitors with an easy way to get back to the content they’ve viewed or downloaded on our site. But we didn’t just set it and forget it. We tested it to ensure that it was actually having an impact on our metrics. So what worked and what didn’t? What do we recommend you try on your site? Read on to find out.

What is SmartHistory?

SmartHistory is often referred to as a “shopping companion.” It allows shoppers on e-commerce sites to quickly and easily find products they have viewed or purchased before.

make content easier to find

This site uses this “Shopping List” in a tab on the right side of the site to help shoppers find vitamins and dietary supplements they have previously viewed or purchased

But SmartHistory is also used for demand generation sites (like Evergage.com) to help visitors find content they have previously viewed or downloaded.

Our Initial Test with Lackluster Results

To get started, we created a test where a portion of our traffic saw a blue SmartHistory tab on the right side of their screen. All content they had viewed or downloaded appeared in this tab, sorted by how much they engaged with each piece of content. So if a visitor clicked on two pieces of content, an eBook and a case study, and spent 3 minutes on the eBook landing page but clicked on the case study and immediately clicked away, the eBook would be first in SmartHistory while the case study would be second.

It looked like this:

make content easier to find

We thought this would add value to our visitors, but when we tested it against the control group who did not see such a tab, we found that there was no statistical difference in downloads between those that had the SmartHistory tab and those that did not.

The Winning Approach

Instead of assuming that SmartHistory didn’t work for our visitors, we decided to tweak it to find a version that would positively impact our numbers. So we added another experience to our test. We split our traffic into three groups: one group saw the original SmartHistory tab, one saw a tab with a different label — “Your Downloads” (see below), and one was a control group that saw no tab.

make content easier to find

This time we found our winner. Our new experience resulted in a 69% lift in downloads on our site over the control! And, of course, it beat out the original SmartHistory tab as well.

The Bottom Line

As marketers, we all have ideas about what will provide a better experience on our websites. But it’s not enough to implement what we think will work; we have to test it to make sure we are right.

We implemented SmartHistory on our website, but the numbers told us it wasn’t working. We didn’t give up, though. Instead, we tried changing the name of it. We hypothesized that “SmartHistory” didn’t mean anything to our visitors. “Your Downloads” is much more intuitive. If that hadn’t worked, though, we could have made further tweaks before scrapping the idea. That’s what digital marketing is all about these days!

So what do I recommend if you’re interested in implementing SmartHistory (or any other personalization tactic, for that matter) on your site? Test, test, test. “Your Downloads” worked for Evergage.com, but every site is different. We’ve seen it called “Shopping List,” “Recently Viewed,” and more. Keep testing new variations until you find what works best for you.

For more details on SmartHistory, a feature of the Evergage Recommend solution, view our product page. Learn more about how SmartHistory and other Evergage capabilities can help you create personalized experiences to boost conversions on your website by requesting a 15-minute consultation today.