Dynamic content allows websites to be customized to their visitors. Using various methods, a website recognizes certain characteristics of its user and displays the appropriate content. For example, new customers of a web store can be addressed with different content than existing customers. Experienced users of a website can be guided through a different conversion process than newcomers.
To provide dynamic content, a website must offer the appropriate options. It is almost impossible to add dynamic content to static HTML web pages. As a rule, dynamic websites based on a CMS, a store system or based on PHP are used for this purpose.
Dynamic content can have different forms. Depending on the website, CMS and intention, web shop owners can adapt texts, images, videos, but also newsletters or forms specifically to their users.
Advantages of dynamic content
In contrast to static content, dynamic content can respond individually to the current needs of the user. Thus, it can be more useful, interesting and entertaining for the visitor of a website than static content, which is displayed to every user in the same way. For example, a visitor can be offered suitable products or further articles based on their browsing history, be sent the appropriate e-mail for their status in the customer journey, or be shown the shortest route through a website form. This reduces the likelihood of the user bouncing or leaving the page, saves time, and prevents them from being overwhelmed or frustrated.
How to use dynamic content
In order to effectively create Dynamic Content, information and data about a website's users must be collected. For example, cookies or other tracking methods are used to identify how often a user visits a page and how they use the page. But website operators can also derive characteristics of a user and respond with dynamic content based on data that website visitors provide, for example, during a registration or purchasing process. The profiles that are created with the help of the data are stored in databases in the background and retrieved as needed.
The following criteria, among others, can determine what content a user sees:
- How often has a user visited a website and how regularly do they visit the site? Visitors who are visiting a site for the first time see different content than regular visitors.
- Which websites/products/content has the user previously viewed or purchased?
- At what point in a customer journey is a user? Is he still in the decision-making process, has he already chosen a product and is comparing prices, or does he want to buy but has no credit loaded?
- What specific characteristics does a user have? Professional position, age group, motivation of the website visit - factors like these determine which content, which forms, maybe even which pages are displayed to the user.
- What did the user search for in a search engine, what emotion or motivation is behind it?
- Which way did a user access a website - did they come from a newsletter, a Google ad, or an organic search result?
- From which device does a user access the website? Smartphone, tablet or notebook have different operating concepts and display sizes and should display content adapted (see Responsive Content)
Forms of dynamic content:
Dynamic content can then be played out to the user in many different forms, depending on the webmaster's intent.
- Newsletters/e-mails: E-mails and newsletters are classic means of communication that use dynamic elements. For example, the salutation in the e-mail is generated by a database or the content is compiled individually according to the user's interests. A customer can also be accompanied and guided in his customer journey with precisely tailored e-mails.
- Landing pages: In the best case, a landing page fits a user's search query or profile exactly. A good landing page can not only provide targeted content depending on whether the user is looking for a green bike or a yellow car. It can also respond graphically, for example, to whether the visitor is from the medical or the trades.
- Articles: Content in articles can be designed dynamically depending on the access source, for example. If a user accesses the page via smartphone, they will see a mobile-optimized text; if they access the page via desktop, the content will be adapted accordingly. Visitors can also be recommended further texts based on articles they have already read or on their personal interests.
- Forms and processes: Depending on which options users select in a form or a process (such as an ordering process), website operators can design a form dynamically. This allows them to respond to what the user's goals are, what experience they already have, and what specific characteristics they possess.
- Product pages: Online stores use dynamic content, especially in cross-selling, in an attempt to sell more products to their customers. Dynamic content is particularly popular for recommendations based on purchases or the views of other customers.
- Ads: Google Ads offer the ability to respond dynamically to user requests from the outset. Advertisers can set Google Ads to pick up on a user's searched keywords and use them in the ad. A user who Googles for dog food, for example, can thus see the same ad as a user who Googles for cat food. Only the keyword is changed there.
- Other: Various providers also use the principle of dynamic content for music, films, books or photos. For example, there are music or video streaming services that recommend new suitable content to the user based on the profile and previously heard tracks.
Dynamic content is standard for many sites today and an important tool on the way to a successful customer journey or a satisfied customer. Webmasters can use targeted content in various communication channels to better inform or entertain their users. Dynamic content simplifies processes for users and thus increases the conversion rate of a website. At the same time, however, a site must meet certain technical requirements in order to display dynamic content. The appropriate content must also be produced. Dynamic content is therefore both a great opportunity and a challenge at the same time.