If you let your users’ natural actions help you craft the design and content that gets the best results, you won’t be guessing (or arguing) about what to do any more because the facts from an objective test like this will drown out everyone else, including the boss man (as long as it’s his idea).

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Comments


Written by smallbiztrends
685 days ago

Tom, this is a key issue we've faced time and again. In the past I confess we've not always made the right decision. For a small company with limited resources, it can be a huge drain to try to develop out multiple sites. We've learned the hard way to do it only when there's a compelling reason.

For instance, in the case of Small Business Trends and BizSugar, they are two completely different types of sites. It makes sense to have separate brands.

But it didn't make sense to have a different domain and different site for our Small Business Trends podcast and radio show - we should have had that underneath the main Small Business Trends site. The time and costs of updating designs, updating Wordpress and plugins, moderating comments on different blogs -- not to mention crafting good SEO and keeping content fresh -- are merely a drain. There are more negatives than positives in the podcast situation to having multiple sites vs. a section.

- Anita



Written by tomshark
685 days ago

Anita, yes I think I see your perspective on how complicated it can get to try to effectively manage two different audiences and it's great to see your effort to do so!

One reason I wrote this is because many small businesses don't know they have two distinct audiences and that there may be benefits to addressing them separately. What you've described might be a great case study for when it makes sense to do something like this or not.

I just realized in my description "boss man;" I should have included "boss woman" as well.

Thanks for the comment.



Written by crom84
687 days ago

I've run into having two distinctly different target audiences ... it can get tricky. We had to sit down and determine who the main target audience was for each URL, and adjust content accordingly. The solutions-based messaging was very different for the two audiences!



Written by tomshark
687 days ago

Were you able to keep all content on one domain name or did you create a new site?



Written by HeatherStone
689 days ago

Hi Tom,

I really think it comes down not only to the similarities between the topics but to the similarities between the audiences you are trying to attract. Are the audiences completely different, say, tech entrepreneurs vs. recreational tech users? Or are they more closely related, say those who build a particular brand of guitars and musicians who are a fan of playing that brand?



Written by tomshark
688 days ago

I agree but I also think the motivation to buy is a key issue to evaluate when weighing two audience's similarities and differences.



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