Monday, June 23, 2008

Building Traffic to Your Site

When we set out on this adventure to build a quality retail website that would sell art and fine, handmade things, we were just naive enough to do that. Since 2003, when the project was started there have been nearly 20 million websites added to the world wide web. That statistic is enough to blow your mind, much less get you up in the morning. And yet we still persevere. We do so, not so much as to make a profit, albeit, it would be nice to be able to afford the light bill, but out of altruism. But when it comes to business, there really is no other purpose than to be a "for profit" establishment, otherwise we probably should apply for 501 (c) 3 status. Anyway, I digress.

What it boils down to when you are hawking wares on the Internet, whether your are Target, Wal-Mart or a very little guy like us, is traffic. If you build it they will come is a nice platitude for a movie, but really that saying doesn't have much to do with reality. Reality is, "if you have traffic to your site, they might buy."

Competing with Wal-mart and Target for Internet surfers with expendable income is a challenge, when you consider their advertising budgets and ours. Constantly fishing for strategies to get the word out about our site organically, I came across a little book by Dave Balter called "The Word of Mouth Manual II. " Balter is founder and CEO of Bzz-Agent, Inc. one of the worlds' first word of mouth media companies. I found this little gem on the Word of Mouth Marketing Association site. Balter asks the question would you like to be like the Grateful Dead who had an intensely loyal following, or would you like to be a "One Time Wonder" rock star like the guy that brought us "Rock Me Amadeus," released in 1985. (See you don't even know his name.)

Balter makes the point that the Grateful Dead did not experience instant overnight success, but aside from being musical geniuses, they were very open about their personal struggles, and their creative direction. They allowed the public into their lives. They shared creatively with other artists.

What brings this to mind, is when I review this site's statistics on Google Analytics, one article in particular continues to bring a great deal of traffic to our site. It is about my daughter's wedding over a year ago in San Francisco. It was one of the most beautiful, and very non traditional weddings I've ever been to, and I've been to quite a few.

It seems the search strings: (nontraditional, non traditional, and non-traditional) weddings is quite a popular search. What an oxymoron, marriage, steeped in tradition from time immemorial, is more interesting to the Internet public if it is labeled "non" traditional. So our experience seems to validate Balter's theories on building "Word of Mouth" strategies to bring traffic to our site.

People are so funny. Go figure. Anyway, we have what we think is a pretty distinctive site, with fabulous art by artists all over the world. Try visiting a few of our pages. You'll of course be building traffic. Traffic begets traffic in the world of Google logic. We thank you for your perusal and in return, perhaps we can return the favor by introducing you to your next favorite personal possession. It is our mission, and our desire to get people to embark into Creative Consumerism™.

While you're at it, take a look at this lovely giclee print by George Wittenberg.--Ruth Mitchell

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