I was recently approached by a gentleman who was interested in having a website built for him. As we started our initial consultation, I commented that his domain name was somewhat generic for the product that he was building the site for. Upon further discovery, I learned that the site name was intended to cover a broad market that he had long term plans of reaching. One of his goals was to segment his market by the different ways people like to learn. He had no idea how to accomplish this. (Which is why he had come to me in the first place.) So, what did we plan?
Different Target Customers = Different Landing Pages
Some of you may have read the article that I posted about segmenting your website using targeted landing pages with content designed to reach different customer segments. In the example that I used, there were two distinct customer markets. Each market had different needs. Therefore, I wanted to tailor the content around the different benefits to each of the niches. For example, a benefit to the “professional” photographer was to add a new service to an existing business. A benefit to the “amateur” photographer was to easily start a new business. What if you need to create more than a simple landing page? How can you set up a section of your site dedicated to a specific niche or dedicated to your blog?
Sub-Domains & Sub-Directories
There are two easy ways to segment a website. One is to use sub-domains and the other is to use sub-directories. Let’s pretend for a moment that I wanted to take this site and start blogging for large corporations. (I don’t.) I wouldn’t want to reserve a new domain name and build another site. One of my goals would be to drive more traffic to this site not dilute my traffic. My two choices would be:
Simple! The next step is to create a “home” page in the sub-domain (or sub-directory) for people to “land” on when I direct them there. For those of you who have a separate blog and are thinking of incorporating it into your main website, this technique would work for you. (Instead of the word “Corporate”, you could use the word “blog”.)
Hope this gets you thinking about your website. Do all your potential customers have the same needs/wants or would you be better off segmenting your site to better meet the needs of your customers? Are you already using sub-domains or sub-directories on a website?