Best Practices for Personalizing Your Ad or Search Landing Page

Today's most popular ad platforms, such as Google and Facebook, care a great deal about the overall user experience from the time they are shown an ad through their consumption of the landing page or associated content. It is imperative that both the content and overall experience be considered when attempting to get the highest return from these platforms.

Personalized modals are no exception to this rule. In fact, when not approached strategically, modals may negatively impact both conversion rates as well as overall impressions. In the simplest of terms, an auction occurs to determine which ad(s) are served to any given user. Ads with bad experiences are penalized by either requiring a higher cost to serve or being eliminated entirely from the candidate pool to make room for ads with more potential.

There is, however, a silver lining. Gone are the days of blanket marketing initiatives which force an experience that may be optimal for the few while sacrificing the experience of the many. With Lytics, you gain an understanding of each individual's past behavior or lack thereof in real-time. This knowledge can and should be leveraged to deliver an experience that is relevant, personalized and positive. Which in turn is the best way to get the highest return from your ad and search initiatives.

The topic of ad and landing page optimization is broad. We simply could not cover all important aspects here. Rather, we've pulled together a handful of important considerations to keep in mind as you develop your marketing and personalization strategies. In addition, some may find the following content useful when attempting to triage a recent decline in impressions or other anomalies in performance.

1. Targeting

Though it may be obvious, considering who you're targeting with modals is extremely important and often overlooked. Put yourselves in the visitor's shoes. If, for example, you are visiting a site for the very first time, it is unlikely your experience will be positive if the vast majority of the site that you are visiting is covered with a giant offer modal as soon as the page loads.

Example of full page takeover on the second click of a user's first visit before they had a chance to explore the brand.

Example of half page takeover on user's first visit.

Added for comedic value. First page view popup on article talking about discussion one of Google's many announcements to penalize such experiences.

Because Lytics allows you to target users based on profile details, audience membership and behavior in real-time, perhaps you take a more subtle approach for new customers while being a bit more bold with visitors showing strong signs of conversion or history with your brand.

It is all too common on the web today to see companies take a "spray and pray" marketing approach where all visitors get blasted by intrusive data collection or offer modals at the beginning of their experience. This is seen as a negative for nearly all search and ad providers, many of which addressed this particular topic publicly.

2. Modal Size & Position

To build on Targeting, there may be cases where delivering a message at the beginning of a visit is important and actually improves the experience. Consider the size and position of where that message is delivered. Does it cover prime real estate requiring the user to alter their patterns in order to see the content they want? Does it leverage a small slide-out and offer a more efficient path to value while not restricting consumption? There is no silver bullet here but testing various applications to determine the right balance can yield great results.

3. Device

The device being used is often not considered when attempting to locate the root cause of a negative change. Keep in mind that modals and the site experience in general can be drastically different from device to device. A modal that is not intrusive on desktop may cover the entire canvas on mobile. Be sure to leverage your analytics tools to determine what devices are suffering from a drop off. Follow up by altering the targeting and presentation based on device or consider shutting web personalization modals off entirely in the case of mobile.

Example of cookie acceptance modal on desktop - small and not disruptive.

Example of cookie acceptance modal on mobile - much larger and more disruptive.

4. Time on Site & Session Depth

As we mentioned in our first example where the visitor received an offer immediately upon their first page view, one thing to consider and test is when a modal is shown. Lytics offers a variety of display options which allow you to only show the modal after a set amount of seconds, after some amount of scrolling, etc. All of these levers can ensure a message is delivered after a visitor has made a connection and consumed enough content in order to make the modal experience positive.

5. Inline Personalization

The Lytics web personalization SDK is one method for delivering personalized communications on site. It was designed to offer a light lift and quick time to value but may not meet the needs of every use case. As such, the Lytics JavaScript tagand various Personalization APIs can be leveraged in more custom applications to offer hyper targeting and personalized content in virtually any situation.

At the end of the day, the user experience is everything and this should be a core focus of all marketing applications when looking to get the most out of ad and search related tools.