Using visitor groups

Visitor groupsSite visitors with something in common, such as age, geographic location, and so on. Used in the personalization feature of Episerver CMS. (See Personalizing Content.) is one way of working with personalization in Episerver, using built-in functionality. You can, for example, design a product banner specifically for first-time visitorsSomeone who visits a website using a web browser. In most cases, a visitor can use public functions and services but cannot create content and has limited access to community content. In an SEO context, visitor means the number of visits to a URL through channels (external referrers), direct arrivals, and internal links. (See also visitor groups.), or for visitors from a geographic region or market.

You can create your own visitor groups using a set of visitor group criteria. Visitor groups must first be created to become available for selection when applying personalization. There are numerous visitor group criteria available across the Episerver platform; see Administering visitor groups.

 Personalization with visitor groups

In Episerver CMS you can personalize any type of content in the rich-text editor and in a content area. 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 visitor groups, a visitor may match more than one visitor group. You then can use personalization groups to group content to avoid displaying the same content twice, and display fallback content to visitors who match no visitor groups.

The preview option in the top menu lets you preview the personalized content as the different visitor groups will see it, before publishing.

Applying personalization

In the rich-text editor

  1. In Episerver CMS, open the page for editing, and select the content you want to personalize in the editor area.
  2. Click Personalized Content Episerver image in the editor toolbar.
  3. Select one or more visitor groups from the list.

    Image: Personalized content dialog box

  4. Preview the personalized content to verify the result. To do this, click Image: View Settings > Image: Visitor groups view.

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.

    Image: Select Personalize from the context menu

  3. Select one or more visitor groups from the list.

    Image: Who can see this content? menu option

  4. Preview the personalized content to verify the result. To do this, click Image: View Settings > Image: Visitor groups view.

Editing and removing personalization settings

In the rich-text editor

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

In the content area

Expand the desired Personalized Group section and click the desired visitor group link to edit the settings. To exclude content from personalizationAdapt content to customized target groups for a more personalized website experience, such as displaying different content to first time and returning visitors. (See visitor groups.), drag it outside the group, or select Move Outside Group in the context menu.

Search engine indexation and visitor groups

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

Another example is where a date/time visitor group criteria has been applied. If you have a Weekend only visitor group, then the content will be indexed if the crawler comes along at the weekend, otherwise not.

It is good practice to have Everyone content in a group, if it is important that something is shown (or crawled) in a area of the page.

Providing access to content using visitor groups

Administrators can also grant access to specific content using visitor groups. For example, the administrator can make a page or a block accessible only to visitors from the UK, by providing access for the UK visitors visitor group; see Access rights.

Monitoring visitor group activities

You can monitor visitor group activities by following the number of visits to personalized content. The result appears using the visitor groups statistics gadgetSmall application component that is responsible for its own rendering and behavior, accessible from the dashboard or the panes in the Episerver user interface. A gadget can contain functionality that you can use within the gadget interface or link away to other products integrated in Episerver (for example, a direct link to CMS / Pages where you can use the classic editing view features). on the Episerver dashboard; see Gadgets.

Image: Add Visitor Group Statistics gadget

 Personalizing Commerce content

If you have Episerver Commerce installed, there are additional visitor group criteria available specific for e-commerce scenarios. See Commerce-specific criteria.

 Personalization using add-ons

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