Thursday, May 28, 2009

Increase website traffic by being different

I want more Website Traffic NOW!
This is the most common question I receive from website owners. It seems everyone is concerned about getting more website traffic. No one seems to focus on what happens when they get that traffic, but that's their choice.

Today I want to answer your questions on how to get more website traffic. But instead of just listing the tools you can use, I want to change the way you think about the traffic you so desperately want.

Being Different gets Attention
Most websites have a lot of competition. If you don't have direct competitors, you still have a billions of other websites all vying for your visitors' eyeballs.

So how do you stand out amongst the crowd and become worthy of visiting? You do something different of course...who would have seen that answer coming!

Being different gets attention, full stop. It may be bad attention the way you look at someones strange clothes on the street and wonder why anyone would want to pierce that part of their body. Or it could be good attention that makes you stand apart from the crowd.

In Seth Godin's book, Purple Cow, he talks about driving through the countryside and looking at the cows. At first, cows are new and exciting because they don't see them wandering through the city.

But eventually all the cows are the same so they get boring. Then they come across a purple cow! How strange, how unique, how wonderful. And of course the wonder of the purple cow lasts for a while but as they encounter more purple cows, the effect begins to diminish again. [I think I remembered the story correctly - it makes my point anyway]

To spell out the message, first you need to be different to everyone else. Then you have to consistently work at being different so you don't lose your purple cow effect.

Difference for the Sake of Difference
What I'm not telling you to do is be different just for the sake of it. You don't just suddenly decide all your staff should be wearing Santa hats every day of the year. Sure it'll get attention, but if your a bank your customers might not like the difference.

What you have to work out is what makes you different and align it with your passion and strength as a business. Every business has core values, whether by accident or design, and it needs to live those core values every day. You need to always work in line with those core values and maximise their effect as your differentiating factor.

In Good to Great by Jim Collins, the book discusses how the companies that went from good to great all found an specific area and decided they could be the best in the world at it. They didn't look for something that was making money, they simply picked the niche that they could completely dominate.

It's a little strange thinking about giant companies choosing niches, but it's exactly what they did. Most of the companies even changed the direction of their business to focus on a completely different area. If a huge company can do it, it's a lot easier for your business.

Also note, that when they found the area they were going to be the best in the world at, they didn't change their minds. They might change strategies, but the goal was the same. There's no point in building up momentum only to squash it by changing direction constantly.

This brings me nicely back to website traffic...I promise!






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