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Strategic insights
How to Get the Right Visitors

Written by on May 25, 2004

Getting the right visitors to your site is very important

During the crazy era of dot.com, success was based on visitors. Get as many visitors as you possible could and your company would success.

Today we know that it was a complete failure.

Visitors are still a very important; we would not have much of a website without them. But, we need to get only the right visitors - those who actually generate profit. That is what the dot.com companies forgot. They spend a tremendous amount of time and money on people who would never buy anything.

How to attract the right visitors?

Step 1: Identify your target group

Do not find out what you would like them to be (that comes later), but you need to know who your target group is today. I cannot stress this enough. Knowing your "readers" is the most essential thing for any website. It can tell if your efforts are focus on the right people - and if not, it will provide the basic knowledge for you to make the necessary changes.

Step 2: Focus your efforts

The web is an individual media - it is not like TV, newspapers or billboards. Your visitors are single individuals searching for something specific for them. This requires focus instead of generalization. If you stick to your core-business, or at least something closely related to it, you will attract those visitors who are interested in your business.

If you want to expand your focus - do not expand the website (it is only a tool) - expand your core-business and have the website follow it.

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone.

- Bill Cosby

Step 3: Be upfront about what you do

When you attract visitors you need to instantly tell them what this site has to offer. On the web you have less than 30 sec. to make people stay or leave - and 2-10 sec. is spent just loading the front page.

For the right visitors this will give them instant gratification that they are in the right place. For the wrong visitors it will give them a chance to leave before you waste any more of their time and efforts (not to mention yours).

Step 4: Advertise with care

Advertising on the web is still important. But, it needs to be done right to attract the right people. Again, the trick is too keeping focus. If you website is about bicycles it will not be a good idea to advertise with keywords/sites like cars, family, nature etc. These keywords will no doubt generate some of the right visitors, but you will get a low ROI (Return of Investment).

To give an example: Google has a great ad system called Ad-words. It basically takes the words people search for and place ads accordingly. If a person searches for "car" and you display and ad for bicycles you have lost him. He wants a car, you give him a bicycle.

You will get a much higher ROI if you display ads with keywords like bicycle, cycling etc. This way when a person wants to go out cycling you would give him just that.

In short

To attract the right visitors you need to

  1. Know who they are
  2. Focus on that
  3. Then give them what they want

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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