How AI Uses Data to Convert Online Traffic6 min read
As a human, it’s a tedious and complicated task to analyze your company’s online data across multiple marketing channels and consumer touchpoints without the help of AI technology.
You must manually sift through the database to find valuable customer interactions on the website and attempt to cross-reference those leads across your digital advertising and third-party reporting. You then need to unify that consumer data to not only get big-picture marketing insights but also to track a lead all of the way through to the sale.
Once the company is ready to make changes to its digital marketing strategy based on data, it can take days if not weeks to implement through various vendors. By the time the changes happen and you analyze those results, so many factors could have changed in your market.
“The process is very slow, it’s very cumbersome and there’s a lot of room for error,” says Russ Chandler, PERQ Product Marketing Manager. “AI gives you an advantage because it can collect, analyze and centralize all of that information in real time, and compare it against millions of other aggregated data points — far beyond what a human brain has the capacity to do. AI allows you to take action on it in real time as well.”
Data Advantages of AI Technology
Artificial intelligence is smart because it learns from the information it collects and automatically acts on that streamlined data to give consumers a personalized online experience. Using a company’s lead and sales data alongside external data points, AI predicts the most likely path to conversion for each type of customer. It also tells a company what kind of consumer is most likely to purchase from them, building an ideal lead profile that a company can use to create targeted digital advertising.
AI is a computer trained to know what online behaviors we classify as “good” and which behaviors we don’t want to happen. By activating a company’s lead data and analyzing it alongside big data collected across all markets, AI predicts the type of interactions that increase the propensity to buy and decreases the chance for something “bad” to happen, like a website visitor quickly exiting.
The dynamic programming remembers shoppers every time they return to a website and makes relevant shopping suggestions as it guides online visitors along the purchase path. AI can also use the data it collects to power automated emails and digital advertising campaigns. By linking the website to online advertising accounts, AI uses the data to automatically adjust individual campaign budgets based on performance and the data that’s constantly flowing in.
Without AI, companies make decisions based on past data that’s quite old by the time it’s enacted. “AI allows you to avoid situations where you’re analyzing data from Q4 and you make a decision to take action on it, but it doesn’t come to life until Q1,” Chandler says. “Now, part of the problem with that is, you’re applying something that might have helped you more in Q4 because of the market conditions, seasonality or some other timely circumstance.”
Ed Massood, owner of Home Inspirations Thomasville in New Jersey, says AI helps his home furnishing stores identify more leads from website traffic than in the past, when visitors remained anonymous unless they filled out a Contact Us form. It also gathers valuable information on each lead. “That’s the real strength of the technology,” Massood says. “The amount of data we are capturing, and then we’re using that data to follow up and retarget leads through things like email nurturing.”
Convert Website Leads with AI
AI website technology starts collecting consumer profile information the moment a visitor lands on a company’s website. The AI takes in data that shows what channel of advertising the visitor came from, if this is their first time or they are a returning visitor, where they’re located, and what they do on the website as they visit different pages and engage with interactive website experiences.
This allows AI to make some immediate basic assumptions about a website visitor by comparing the consumer’s behavior and where the lead originated from to all other data points stored in the system. The computer can predict with high probability that person’s intentions, what products or services they’re most interested in, and when they plan to buy home furnishings, purchase a vehicle or lease an apartment, for example.
“We can finally mine the information to get good demographics on our prospects and where they came from,” says Cindy Scanlan, Director of Operations at Thalhimer, a property management company with apartment communities in Virginia and North Carolina. When Thalhimer added AI to one of its property websites, Scanlan says the number of consumers contacting the property tripled and the percentage of online leads that converted to leases increased to over 25%.
Using data collected as consumers engage with the website, AI technology automatically personalizes each person’s experience on the website. If they indicate they’re still in the research phase, the website will offer an interactive assessment to help the shopper narrow down their choices, versus a more direct call to action or incentive targeting a lead that’s ready to buy right away, such as “Schedule a Consultation.” When a consumer lands on the site from a digital advertisement, the website automatically adjusts based on which ad they came from and personalizes the online shopping process for a connected experience that’s more likely to convert.
If a customer searches Google for “weekend sales on mid-century modern living room furniture” or “move-in timeline for local apartments” and lands on a local furniture website, interactive AI can automatically incorporate those keywords into a incentive for “20% off Mid-Century Modern Furniture This Weekend Only” and display it on the landing page or provide a scheduling tool with a call-to-action button that reads, “Move Into Our Luxury Apartments Tomorrow!”
“They interact with our technology and the AI can start to personalize their experience by putting in an offer that speaks very personally to what they are looking for and where they are at in their shopping journey,” Chandler says.