Personalize with audiences

  • Updated

One way to personalize a digital experience with recommendations in Optimizely is to create an audience (formerly called a visitor group) with criteria for that group. For example, you can design a product banner specifically for first-time visitors or for visitors from a referrer URL, and so on. See Audience criteria.

In Optimizely Content Management System (CMS), you can personalize any type of content in the rich-text editor; personalize part of a text, an image, or a block in the CMS rich-text editor, or personalize an image, a block, or a page in a content area, if you have these in your web pages.

If you have multiple audiences, a visitor may match more than one audience. You then can use recommendation groups to group content to avoid displaying the same content twice and display fallback content to visitors who match no audiences.

The preview option in the top menu lets you preview the personalized content as the audiences will see it before publishing.

Apply personalized recommendations

In the rich-text editor

  1. In CMS, open the page for editing, and select the content you want to personalize in the editor area.
  2. Click Personalized Content  in the editor toolbar.
  3. Click the Select Audiences field to display available audiences. Select one or more audiences from the list.

  4. Click Save to save your selection.
  5. Click View > Audiences to see the content according to the audience criteria. Select Preview to display the personalized content as the visitor will see it.

In the content area

  1. Open the page for editing, and select the content you want to personalize in the content area.
  2. Select Personalize from the context menu.

  3. Select one or more audiences from the list.

  4. Click View > Audiences to see the content according to the audience criteria. Select Preview to display the personalized content as the visitor will see it.

Edit and remove personalized recommendation settings

In the rich-text editor

Click edit for the personalized content, update the personalized recommendations settings, or select Remove Personalization.

In the content area

Expand the desired Personalized Group section and click the desired audience link to edit the settings. To exclude content from personalized recommendations, drag it outside the group, or select Move Outside Group in the context menu.

Rich-text editor example: Display content to multiple audiences without a fallback. The non-personalized text at the top of the rich-text editor in this example is always displayed. The personalized text displays only to visitors matching any of the audiences UK Audiences and US Audiences.

It looks like this in the content area. UK Audiences see the Recipe Block, and US Audiences see the Event List. An audience that does not match any group sees nothing in this content area.

Display content to multiple audiences with fallback

You want to display specific information to visitors from the UK and US and other information to visitors from other countries. To avoid displaying information twice for UK and US visitors, you must use a personalized recommendations group for fallback content.

The order in which the personalized content is placed within a personalized recommendations group does not matter, but placing the fallback content at the end makes it easier to follow the personalized recommendations flow.

In the rich-text editor

Select the fallback price information text and personalize it without selecting an audience. Instead, create a Pricing personalized recommendations group and apply this.

Personalize the price information texts for the UK and US audiences and include them in the "Pricing" personalized recommendations group. The personalized recommendations group is displayed to the right.

Now the personalized recommendations for this content is matched within the same personalized recommendations group.

In the content area

The following example shows information as individual blocks, and the Default pricing is the fallback content displayed to visitors from other countries than the UK and the US.

Select Personalization in the context menu for a block to create a personalized recommendations group, and drag the other blocks into the group.

Personalize each block within the group by applying the appropriate audience. Use the Everyone option to display the fallback content displayed to visitors not matching any audience.

Search engine index and audiences

Search engines crawl your website to index your content. So what if your content is personalized through audiences, what will the search engine crawler see? It depends on how the audience is assessed at the point of crawl. If you have an audience Visitors from the UK , the crawler will index the content personalized for the UK if the crawler has an IP identified as being in the United Kingdom. Otherwise, that content is not indexed.

Another example is where a date/time audience criteria is applied. If you have a weekend-only audience, the content is indexed if the crawler comes along at the weekend; otherwise not.

It is good practice to have Everyone content in a group if something must be shown (or crawled) in an area of the page.

Provide access to content using audiences

Administrators can also grant access to specific content using audiences. For example, the administrator can make a page or a block accessible only to audiences from the UK. See Access rights.

 Personalize Optimizely Customized Commerce content with audiences

If Optimizely Customized Commerce is installed, additional audience criteria are available for ecommerce scenarios. See Customized Commerce-specific criteria.

 Personalize with connector add-ons and audiences

You can also personalize content through marketing automation connectors, for example, if you have Marketo installed on your website. See examples in the following video tutorials.