Have you ever thought about the difference between a guest and a visitor? They are very closely related in meaning, but each has a unique definition.
I ran across this definition of the two words, and it seems to be pretty spot on:
And we know this is true by how we talk about them:
- Someone comes to your house for a visit.
- You have someone over as a guest.
So what does this have to do with your website? This:
We think of those who come to our website as visitors rather than as guests. And this is a mistake!
It’s not your fault, we’ve all been trained this way. Every day we collect, review, and analyze data from our website. This data, when interpreted correctly, can tell an amazing story about your website and how people find, use, abuse, and refuse your website. Yet, that very same data can also lead us astray.
One of the problems with data is it can impersonalize our marketing efforts. For instance, one of the key metrics we look at is site visits. We want to know how many visitors are new and how many are returning. We analyze how visitors use our site and whether or not they convert. We want to know where and why visitors leave.
But therein lies the problem. We are thinking in terms of visitors, not in terms of guests. Which means we often treat them as such as well. Take a look at these five differences between a visitor and a guest:Now, go look at your website’s content. Which of these to categories does your content focus on? What changes you can make to make your content more guest-oriented?
Now go put it into practice. Stop catering to visitors and make every site visitor feel like a guest!