Rob Frankel - Branding Expert

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Web Traffic and Genital Size.

So there you are at your client's cocktail party, when some lugnut in a checkered sport coat ambles up to you and starts bragging about his website for Remanufactured Hydraulic Prune Whip. "We're getting 100,000 hits a day!" he brags, cramming another brie-laced cracker into his face. "We'll probably be up to a million by next month."

Yeah. Right. Maybe the guy's site really is pulling megahits from his site. But who really cares? And does it really matter? I've always found that the rules about bragging apply as much to web traffic as they do to genital size: everyone brags about how big they are, but the guys running around with smiles on their faces know that it's effectiveness that counts. Personally, I prefer Low Volume Sites to High Volume Sites, and if you're still with me, here's why:

High Volume Sites are traffic-intensive. They depend on large numbers of visitors to ensure their success. They are, not unlike Porsches and supermodels, high-maintenance propositions -- come to think of it, both are also prone to generate a fair amount of whining. That's due to Frankel's Theorem of High Volume Sites, which states "the more repeat visitors you get, the more often you have to change your site's content". Nothing turns people off faster than visiting a site they expect to change daily, only to be greeted by the same stuff the saw last Tuesday. And once you burn a visitor, they're gone. Like forever.

The problem I have with High Volume Sites is their hidden agenda, in which actual content matters less than selling ad space on the site. I'm still waiting to hear from anyone who's made a major profit this way, but the real point here, is that if you don't need high volume, why bother? Go for what most of us really need: quality traffic.

And quality, in my book, is spelled L-O-W V-O-L-U-M-E.

Low Volume Sites are the exact opposite of the High Volume Site: They don't require lots of traffic to be successful and for total capability presentations that are open more hours than your local Stop'N'Shop, you can't beat a Low Volume Site. In the first place, visitors to a Low Volume Site are almost always people who have specifically sought you out. They spend more time at your site. And if they like what they see, they have a higher propensity to buy what you're selling.

Low Volume Sites also save you time by screening out the people who DON'T want what you're selling. Hard as it may be to believe, not everyone who visits the Frankel & Anderson site falls in love with our style of Advertising, Marketing & Killer Creative. Since a visit to the site tells them all they need to know, it's saved us both a lot of time and money. Conversely, those who DO fall in love with our impish-yet-strategically-intensive samples save time and money by cutting out the introductory meetings and getting straight to business.

The fact is that unless you're running a website as a business in and of itself, trying to create high volume traffic for your site is a major waste of time, chiefly because updating content and generating publicity campaigns take you away from what you normally do for a living. Listing with engines? Sure. Sourcing links? Absolutely. Identifiers in your sig line? Bien sur! But let's not get carried away, eh?

The next time the knucklehead in the checkered sport coat starts bragging about his hit rate, hit him with one of your own: ask him what his hit-to-sales ratio is. Then tell him how yours measures up.

And don't forget to smile.


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