A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Who’s Visiting Your Website?

Friday, November 6th, 2009

It ain’t your clients.

As Marcia Golden pointed out yesterday on her excellent blog for professional services marketing, investing a lot of effort or expense in building client-only areas is usually misguided. Clients don’t want to navigate to some URL, remember their ID and password, wait for the login to process, click through to the right page and then review or download whatever material you need them to see.The bulk of your site traffic is probably from prospects, not clients.

Prospects want to learn more about you, so they’ll explore your Website.

Clients want you to email them personally, sending the info they need or a direct link to it. No logins, no passwords. (Obvious exceptions aside: banking, certain legal docs, etc.)

Though the Golden Practices post is aimed at professional services firms, it makes good sense for just about any B2B or B2C site. Build for the audience you have and cater to your clients’ needs separately.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t encourage your clients to re-visit your site by regularly upating it with fresh, valuable content. You should.

But you should make that good stuff available in ways that are convenient for them.

  • RSS feed
  • Twitter
  • Email subscription
  • Printed newsletter
  • All of the above

The goal is to build a body of high-value content that sets you apart from your competition. Making it available on your Website is great way to attract new prospects. Providing a variety of ways for clients to pull it in however they prefer is a powerful way to strengthen your relationship with them.

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