You’ve got a well-designed website and your team is pretty prolific when it comes to updating it with fresh, relevant content. So far, so good!
But with so many types of people visiting, how do you make sure that each of your site visitors are finding the website content that was created with them, specifically, in mind? Imagine if they could arrive at your site, tell you about themselves, and have all of the content they want presented to them without ever having to dig through posts and articles that are irrelevant to their search?
Oh, but they can!
What you’re looking for is website segmentation, and according to a recent OpenView Labs report, it’s one of the most underutilized conversion tactics in web design. On top of that, it’s one of the easiest ways to increase the ROI of your content marketing.
The idea is that when you streamline your website content in such a way, you’re making it easier for your visitors to find what they need. They don’t waste time (and we all know time is money) clicking through a lot of pages, posts, and other material that doesn’t apply to them. The result? Their time is maximized on content that speaks specifically to their needs and is created with them in mind. This will ideally tip them off to how user-friendly and knowledgable you are, and thus increase the amount of visitors you can convert to leads.
Identify Your Segments
Unless you’re running a niche site (and maybe even then), chances are pretty good that there are different kinds of people visiting your site in search of different types of information. The first step is to make sure you can identify your segments. If you’re not sure what I mean by that, here’s an example (and I think you’ll probably find that many sites in the education field are like this).
When you arrive on this homepage for Susquehanna University (shameless plug because I love my undergraduate alma mater!), you can see some definite segmentation at play. At the top of the page, you see that you, the visitor, are able to self-select. Are you a current student? Faculty & Staff? Parents & Families? Alumni & Friends? Or down below, called out in orange letters, is a special page for accepted students. Perhaps that’s you?
While there is some overlapping content (which is to be expected), each of those pages is different. Have a look and see. Each is created with its audience in mind. These options are present on every site view for ease of accessibility, as well. Who knows? Maybe you’re a current student about to graduate and you want to check out what the alumni network has to offer. Your role then changes, but the site allows for that.
Information is organized in this manner to allow each of the aforementioned groups to find what they need. Parents of current students won’t necessarily be interested in the same content that alumni will, so why lump it all together?
The same goes for your site. You’ve got different groups of people visiting you. Figure out how you can get what they’re looking for in front of them in as few clicks as possible. Self-selection is the best first step for that.
Keeping It Clean
Once you’ve got your content organized by role, make sure you keep it clean. That is, when your visitors are looking for something quickly, you don’t want to present them with the arduous task of unearthing relevant content. In an insightful segmentation best-practices video, OpenView Labs suggests that you keep clean, simple designs, and make navigation easy and effective.
Keeping Them Interested
The basics of content marketing still apply to what you’re giving your visitors, so make sure you have a good content mix. Evergreen, timely, short posts, long posts, whitepapers, videos, webinars, reports, and so on. Give them a variety.
This can include interactive content, as well. Amanda Maksymiw says in a post for the Content Marketing Institute that even social media profiles are a good way to engage and interact with your audience when using segmentation.
These are, of course, the very basics. For lots of examples, make sure you check out the OpenView Labs’ Website Content Segmentation video, and read their report for some more in-depth information and ideas.
Does your website implement content segmentation? Have you noticed a difference? Let us know your thoughts!