While most marketers recognize the benefits of website personalization, the vast majority of respondents to a new Ascend2 survey [download page] indicate that they’ve yet to personalize website pages for individual website visitors. In fact, only 5% said their companies are using personalization extensively, with an additional 18% reporting that personalization is being used moderately. Among those using personalization, some 36% are using automated rather than manual practices.
Marketers responding to the survey appear to be generally satisfied with their websites, though not very enthused. Roughly 7 in 10 rate the success of their website in achieving the important objectives set for it as “somewhat successful,” while 8% deem their websites “very successful.”
What are those objectives? The largest share of respondents cited increased lead generation (60%), followed by increased traffic/visitors (50%) and increased visitor engagement (42%). Only 1 in 10 indicated improved website personalization to be a top objective in the coming year, suggesting that the rate of adoption of these practices is unlikely to dramatically increase.
Almost half of the respondents are performing tests on their website pages for optimization purposes, though far more are doing so moderately (41%) than extensively (6%). The most important pages or processes optimized during the past year are the homepage (57%) and product or solutions pages (44%), while the study authors note that pages associated with lead generation (the top objective) are lower down the list of priorities. For example, only about one-quarter optimized their lead registration forms during the past year.
As for the visible page elements that have the most impact on website performance when optimized, respondents pointed first to calls-to-action (62%), followed by headlines (50%) and page layout (41%).
About the Data: Ascend2 and its Research Partners fielded the Website Optimization Benchmark Survey and completed interviews with 336 marketing and sales professionals from around the world. The largest proportion (64%) are from companies in the US. The breakdown by business category was as follows: B2C (29%); B2B (42%); and agency/marketing services (29%).