Most people are looking in the entirely wrong direction to for the solution to fix the problem they have getting people to come to their web site. The reason your web site gets so little traffic isn’t what you think.
You’ve got a business. You heard sometime back in the 90’s that you needed a web site to be considered “legitimate” anymore.
So somewhere along the way maybe you paid a bunch of money for someone to build you a site. And it looks snazzy. If they did it in the last couple years perhaps they talked you into springing for the flash site option built with mostly animated graphics.
Or maybe you were horrified at the prices web companies were charging so you got a friend of a friend to do it for you in trade. And in those moments when you are alone and honest with yourself you don’t really like how it looks.
Of course there is the possibility that you paid a ton and really don’t like what your web vendor put together either. There are some web development companies out there charging a ton and producing absolute crap in return. Makes me angry.
Appearance Isn’t the Secret
Even so, the appearance of your site has very little bearing on how much traffic your site gets. It has some, sure, but much less than most people think.
For example check out Doc Searls Weblog. Even though the site is visually unappealing (sorry Doc, but it ain’t pretty) the site is still in the top 25,000 websites in the world for traffic according to Doc’s Alexa rankings.
Think that’s an anomaly?
Check out Craigslist, perhaps the King of Ugly sites. I mean from a design perspective it doesn’t get much uglier than Craigslist. Ugly is almost part of their brand. Yet even in their ugliness Alexa says they are one of the top 50 sites worldwide for traffic.
Pretty doesn’t matter to them. And it doesn’t factor into your site’s traffic figures anywhere nearly as much as you probably think either.
The Secret to Big Traffic Numbers
The thing that Doc Searls and Craigslist have in common, the thing that gives them such high traffic volume in spite of their lack of visual appeal, is that they constantly have new information that lots of people want to see.
Did you get that?
They have new content. That you can’t find anywhere else. And they are constantly adding to that content.
Think about the sites that you go to regularly: Google, Amazon.com, Yahoo, CNN, eBay, BBC, Netscape, The Weather Channel.
What do all those sites have in common?
They constantly have new information that you want to see. So you go back, again and again to see it. Because it changes.
So why do you think you can have your web site built, not change a thing on it in years, and expect traffic to be heading your way in droves?
What makes you different?
Growth Takes Work
You want your traffic numbers to grow? Somewhere there has to be some energy put into the equation. One viable option is to spend some money on advertising your site. That costs money, but a good marketing campaign can drive traffic your way.
A much more cost effective method to see traffic growth over time is to regularly add new content to bring people back. That takes an investment of time from someone on your staff, for sure. But it is a much more steady and reliable option over the long haul.
You rely on advertising alone and your traffic will be dependent on your ever increasing advertising budget. If you ever stop spending, your traffic will stop.
But. If you add new content your traffic will build over time naturally regardless of your advertising budget. How much money do you think Craigslist or Doc Searls spend advertising their sites? My guess is not much if anything.
You want traffic? Update your site. Often.
And if your web company makes that a difficult process, go to my contact page and tell me about it. We can talk about solutions to that problem and get you on track to see traffic growth at your site.