Question #2: Is My Personalized Content Driving the Desired On-Page Engagement I Was Looking For?

Jack Maden  |  May 9, 2017

Jack Maden  |  May 9, 2017


This is the second post in a series that aims to put your website on trial. In order to truly understand customer behavior, you have to ask questions that acknowledge your users as peoplerather than as mere numbers in a report. This series asks five such questions, and shows you how to answer them by being clever with website heatmaps.

The first article in the series focused on revealing which content is most valuable to your users. This post asks the following of your website: "is my personalized content driving the desired on-page engagement I was looking for?"


Launching website updates is an exciting – albeit nerve-racking – time. Whether it’s a straight redesign or you’re introducing personalized content, knowing how the updates are performing compared with previous iterations of your website is imperative.

You may have some analytics data that shows changes in metrics like focus time and conversion rate. But do you know how users are actually engaging with your updated on-page content?

The Decibel Insight home page, for instance, changes depending on who views it. For first-time visitors, it displays our usual company summary and call to action. For customers, meanwhile, it usually points to our latest bit of content, or important company news.

In theory, this seems sensible. I sit there all smug while setting up our personalization. Another clever idea. Well done me. 

However, personalization doesn't always deliver the great experiences that those who set it up think it will. Worse still, sometimes those who set it up don't even realize that things are going wrong: they're not measuring subsequent on-page user interactions. 

Thankfully, for me, tracking the performance of updated or personalized content is not a complicated issue, since I have access to Decibel Insight's Live Mode Toggle.

Decibel Insight’s Live Mode Toggle lets you navigate through your live website with heatmap overlays, or see exactly what users saw at the time of the period you set.

Toggling live mode on and off in conjunction with visitor segmentation makes it easy to discover how certain groups of users have responded to any updates in design and content - through testing, personalization, or simply a refreshed look.

The below image, for example, demonstrates an instance of where customers, the segment filtering the Attribution Heatmap on the left, are served an alternative home page to first-time visitors, the segment filtering the Attribution Heatmap on the right.

Live heatmap toggle.jpg

Decibel Insight’s Live Mode Toggle showing how personalized content has affected user engagement

From here, you can filter the heatmaps by different on-page user behaviors and further drill down into how users are responding to updated content by watching back session replays. Are users actually interacting in the way my 'sensible' personalization plans assumed they would?

Understanding how changes to on-page content affect user behavior is vital to knowing how to make informed choices on the design of your site in future. Lists of metrics may provide the outline, but it’s only seeing on-page engagement that provides the color.


Using visitor segmentation in conjunction with Decibel Insight's Heatmaps and unique Live Mode Toggle reveals exactly how different groups of users behave on your website over time. This knowledge is invaluable when it comes to knowing how to make improvements that count. 

Next time, we'll ask the following question of your website: 'Is the layout template I use for all of my product or landing pages working for my users as best as it could?'

Stay tuned - or, if you can't wait til then, get the full, detailed ebook that accompanies this series - complete with exclusive material and bonus tips - by hitting the banner below now.

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Jack Maden

Written on May 9, 2017 by:

Jack Maden

Jack is Digital Manager at Decibel, the best digital experience intelligence platform around! He also runs philosophy break.


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