It Started With Google
In terms of the digital experiences, personalization has been around for quite a long time now. Google implemented personalization of search results for it’s users in 2005. In 2009 they implemented it for all users, not only those with a Google account.
When it came to personalized search it referred to the web search experience. It was tailored specifically to the user’s interests by incorporating information about them beyond the specific search terms they’d entered into the search engine. Website personalization was born.
Within a few years website personalization was a pretty common practice and many organizations started trying to figure out to harness it's power.
In basic terms, website personalization means creating a customized user experience for visitors. Rather than a single, broad experience that is the same for every visitor, it allows you to give a visitor a unique experience. One that is tailored for them.
Technology is the linchpin of personalization. From the advances and developments in those technologies, personalized marketing materialized. Personalized marketing is the implementation of a strategy by which organizations leverage data collection and analysis to deliver individualized content and digital experiences to users.
Personalization is not for the faint of heart. It requires considerable resources, and is a complex, sophisticated endeavour. Even if you’re not ready to undertake personalization there are things that your can do.
You Can Tap Into Personalization Too
Many organization include digital marketing as part of their overall marketing plan. This is an area that presents lower barriers to entry for using personalization. It all circles back to Google and their personalization of the web search experience nearly a decade and half ago, and yes, we're talking about SEO.
The personalized search results page is predicted to be a game changing SEO trend in 2018. All major search engines now personalize their web search experience. As a digital marketer you can also leverage the information about location, search history or interests.
In terms of the search experience and the SEO behind it, when a person searches for your target keyword for the first time, if they click on your listing, you’re becoming their preferred entity, and their subsequent searches will most likely include your site as the top result.
There are three distinct areas where personalization and SEO naturally converge — Country, Locality, and Personal History. Today, all search engine users get a personalized experience to some degree. Here’s a great resource from Search Engine Land to get you familiarized with personalization and search engine rankings: international and multilingual tips, Google maps, local SEO, and more.
How Personalization affects search engine rankings based on country specific domains & localized results.
Main photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash.