One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face is getting their business in front of potential customers. Marketing attracts leads, leads become customers, and customers provide profit. It is a never-ending cycle. However, the question then becomes where does one start? One of the most practical and cost-effective methods of increasing web traffic is the automation of tasks that need to be done on a routine basis.
Automation increases web traffic by freeing users up from tedious work, but it also has other perks. Automation in a website can become much more interactive than its manual predecessor over time, as new features are built-in without any additional cost or effort needed on behalf of the business owner.
For example, eBay started out as a simple search engine where users could buy and sell goods online. It then became a virtual bulletin board with lots of forums. These forums were used by members to communicate with one another. In 1994, eBay launched “The Case Forum” where members could ask questions about specific items sold on the site.
In 1998, The Case Forum was incorporated into the main user interface as an option for members to post a question about something they had purchased on eBay and receive feedback from other members who had previously purchased similar items. The results were astounding, in that the number of posts grew more than 65% over the previous year’s statistics and eBay’s membership grew by 50%.
By 2001, eBay had become one of the top 10 most-visited websites in the world and customers started to spend more time on the site than ever before. However, this was still not good enough for eBay executives, and they began to think about ways to make their website even more engaging.
One of the best ways of increasing web traffic is to engage users with new content or more content. Thus, eBay launched a new feature in 2003 called “Top Rated Sellers.” This feature allowed users to search for items based on whether or not they were recommended by other members. This increased member satisfaction with eBay’s products and services and increased web traffic as a result.
This feature is one of the best ways to increase web traffic naturally as it takes away some of the tedium from browsing eBay’s website — a very important part of the buying process. This new feature, combined with eBay’s search engine and social networking features, helped to increase web traffic by 2.5 times in just two years.
In addition to this new feature that allowed members to recommend items they had sold on eBay, eBay also launched an online forum called “Ask a Question” in 2003. It was created as a resource for users who were having problems with their transactions or needed help because they could not find the answer to their questions on eBay’s FAQs pages.
It was a huge success right from the start, and in one month alone, eBay had to add three additional servers to handle the demand. By 2005, over 10 million members were registered on eBay’s Ask a Question forum. Thus, eBay’s use of automation increased web traffic by providing members with more unique content to interact with and helped to increase member satisfaction — a key ingredient for any successful business.
The moral of the story is that there is not much point in trying to increase web traffic by creating new content or features if it does not elicit some sort of response from users.
Interested in reading more about other ways to increase website traffic?10 Proven Ways to Increase Website Traffic discusses other ways to increase the number of traffic on any website.
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