Fictive Kin

Know Thy Audience

In most large websites, there are sections of the site that sit outside the core purpose of selling to customers. Instead, they have objectives focused on a different, and typically self-selecting group of people.

Four common examples are:

  • Careers: for recruiting new employees.

  • Investors section: for existing and potential investors in the business.

  • Newsroom: for media / press who may be writing about the business.

  • Docs: for developers to learn how to build on your product.

Your particular audiences may be different, but the way you will think about them should be the same.

Treat each section as a mini site within the site. It should have its own keystone metric and its own business objective focused on the specific audience that it serves.

For Careers, for example, our typical business objective would be the number of high-quality applicants who are applying for a job. So our primary metric might be the number of qualified job applications received and a secondary metric could be the percentage of people who click submit on a job posting.

In these sections, you can and should set aside the site-wide objective and become hyper-focused on the new, audience-specific one. When someone ventures into your Careers section, they are self-selecting into a specific experience. They’re telling you that they are interested in a job at your company. This is not the time to try to convert them as a customer.

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