Erin Everhart / Digital Strategy / September 24th, 2012

How to Serve Multiple Target Audiences With One Website

Your website isn’t going to appeal to everyone. In fact, it rarely should. You have a set target audience for your product or service for a reason, and your website should mimic that same targeting.

But what happens when you have more than one brand with more than one target audience? Just like marketing a product to everyone is a sure-fire way to ensure it reaches no ones, marketing a website to everyone will just leave you with multiple mixed messages and one hot mess.

Before you throw up your hands in defeat and swear off this whole interweb thing — please don’t do that, seriously — there is a solution. With careful planning and a little bit of labor, you can architect a website that appeals to multiple people and personalities

I’ll use one of our clients, GelTech Solutions, as an example.

They have two very different brands, FireIce and Soil2O, that each target two very different audiences. Each of those brands has their own, and sometimes multiple, audience segments.

  • FireIce needed to reach professional firefighters and homeowners.
  • Soil2O needed to reach casual gardeners and professional framers with their soil amendment product and construction companies with their road dust control product.
  • They also had their main corporate identify, GelTech Solutions, to think about.

In short, they needed a website to appeal to at least five different types of people. There were three key things we did to help them meet this goal.

Know Your Users

You’re building a website for people, not data, so you need to make sure you know what those people want so you can tailor your messaging that way. For example, GelTech Solutions had very specific guidelines when speaking to professional firefighters, which was a complete 180 to the casual tone of Soil2O. User research told them that.

Once you know your end user, whether that’s through stakeholder interview, focus groups or a combination of the two, move into persona development. Don’t just have a list of qualifying information that talks about your audience; create personalities for each segment.

Keep It Centralized

 

“If I’m attracting different people, I need different domains, right?” Wrong. So, so wrong.

With different websites for each of your brands, you run the risk of creating a disunited identify. It’s also not the best practice for SEO because you’re splitting up your company’s authority across multiple different domain names, domain names that can, and will, compete against each other.

GelTech Solutions multiple audiences

  So, we created three different microsites, keeping the layout and company branding consistent among GelTech Solutions, FireIce and Sol2O while still bringing individual personality to each brand. They all live under one domain name and are easily navigated to and managed within the backend.

Create Multiple Entrance Points

 

Landing pages are your best friend. Repeat that until it’s engrained in your brain.

Landing pages are like having retail stores with multiple entrance points for each department. Wouldn’t your life be easier if you could walk directly into the home goods section at Target and bypass the kids clothing all together?

Because GelTech’s target audiences could really care less about one another, we created multiple entrance ways unique to each target audience. Commercial firefighters enter differently than homeowners looking to protect their home against who enter differently than construction companies.

FireIce landing pages

That will all be tied back to your keyword and user research. Once you know A) what your users want and B) how they search for it online, you’ll easily be able to tell what entrance points you need to create. Photo Credit: Bogdan Suditu via Compfight cc