Jul 4 2011
When websites are designed they’re built for a certain audience. A website about horses will cater primarily to the horse community. A site about quilting will be most welcoming to those who are interested in quilting. And so each site takes on a different look and feel based upon the users they’re targeting.
The reality is we have many different users who visit our sites. Let’s say we have a site that describes everything you need to know about motorcycles. Some people who visit the site will be long time riders and some will be novices. Then there are those that visit your site frequently or those that are there for the first time. And of course each of them visits your site from a different location. Knowing this information can help you adjust your site according to their needs and interests. If someone’s a repeat visitor you can welcome them back. Or if someone’s visiting from a certain location you can display news or advertisements local to them. There are a lot of ways to make users feel more welcome on your site.
How to gather this information and make adjustments based upon it is the question. As it turns out there is a way to gather data about your visitors and make real time targeted changes to your site based upon it. BTBuckets is a free on-site behavioral targeting service that can identify visitor segments and serve customized content based upon their characteristics. It’s a tag based solution that separates users based upon behavioral, demographic, and technographic information.
BTBuckets is able to do all this because they’ve integrated with analytics services including Google Analytics as well as content management systems. A full list of all the services they’re integrated with can be found here. A few highlights include their WordPress and Joomla plugins which allow you to create a customized website based upon bucket segmentation.
The crux of working with BTBuckets is setting up and identifying effective user segments. For this BTBuckets can only provide the tools, it’s up to you to select the users you’d like to focus on. This task is typically delegated to marketing departments. For smaller companies we take off our coding hat and start thinking like a marketer would. A few other integrations include ones for Twitter and YouTube. The Twitter integration allows you to automatically tweet about user behaviors on your site. With YouTube you can create segments based on the YouTube API based upon the videos your users watched on your site.
As would be expected from a site that offers potentially complex integrations, BTBuckets comes with a strong community. It has forums and blogs that are valuable sources of information to help you get the most out of their service. There’s also a full help section which includes a quick start guide, definitions, API, and, details about integrations.
Most websites take the one size fits all approach with their users. They provide one and only one presentation. If people like it great, if not then too bad. It’s not surprising they aren’t as successful as they could be. BTBuckets gives sites the ability to get the edge they need with building custom experiences for their user base. It’s a dynamic and powerful way to make users feel the most welcome.