How to increase web visitors by copying shopping malls

Fernando Maciá

Written by Fernando Maciá

Woman shopping online like in a shopping mallSome of the strategies applied by shopping malls to attract audiences can be copied by webmasters to obtain a higher level of web traffic.

A Venezuelan magazine published a few months ago several interviews with the managers of the most successful shopping malls in Venezuela. Many of the interviewees agreed in identifying a series of factors as the protagonists of a shopping center receiving more or less public.

Many of these factors can be applied to the management of a web site with a view to obtaining the highest level of web visitor traffic possible.

Massive bid opening

“The immediate success of a shopping mall is also related to the massive opening of stores in conjunction with the opening of the mall. Shopping centers are like envelopes in which there are a series of surprises and elements that meet the needs of the public, who come to them for various reasons.”

In the case of the web, the fact that a web page at the time of its launch does NOT have a wide range of offers will result in low visitor loyalty. For example, a real estate portal, if it intends to receive visits, needs to have in its database a wide portfolio of properties so that the user of the portal, in spite of not having found the property he was looking for at that moment, has the certainty that for a next visit there is the possibility that he can find it because the portfolio of properties is very wide and it is rotated with a certain frequency. Otherwise, that will have been the user’s last visit to the real estate portal.

Anchor effect

Originally, shopping centers based their convening power on elements called “anchors”, that is, department stores with a great commercial name, very well positioned in the market, with huge spaces, with a great variety of products and that can capture a significant amount of public.”

In the web case, if we look in detail at the traffic statistics of our web page, we will probably find that there are certain pages that receive a greater flow of visits than other pages due to the contents displayed. Or it can also be the case that in an online store a product page is more visited than the rest of the pages because it is an item that has a higher demand. We must identify those “anchors” that our site may have and place a single click to the page where the profitability of the page occurs. (the quotation request page, shopping cart page, etc.)

Accessibility and usability

“Among the strengths that make a mall get traffic are architecture, wide aisles, cleanliness, convenient parking, security, etc.”

The equivalence of these off-line factors applied to a web site is simply web accessibility and usability. The fact, for example, that a Flash intro page takes 20 seconds to load can be an obstacle to a user’s visit; or also, that the resolution of the web page is very distant from the average resolution of your visitors can cause a drop in visits.

Focus on the people who visit us

“We focus first on the people who visit us. We need to know with what recurrence, what positive or negative aspects they find, to eliminate what is detrimental and reinforce or improve the things we are doing well.”

In the case of our website, it is mandatory to have a web statistics system that allows us to record the footprint left by the visitor and thus be able to identify profiles of visitors likely to become customers. A good statistic system will tell us which pages are being visited more than others, with which keywords they visit us, how many times they have repeated the visit in the last month, etc. All this data, properly interpreted, is the raw material for effective decision making.

The exposition of the above elements leads us to the conclusion that many successful strategies used in the off-line world can be successfully applied in the on-line world. It is all about using logic and making the corresponding analogies to find out which are the weapons that can give us competitive advantages in the difficult goal of getting profitable traffic to our companies.

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Fernando Maciá
Fernando Maciá
Founder and CEO of Human Level. Expert SEO consultant with more than 20 years of experience. He has been a professor at numerous universities and business schools, and director of the Master in Professional SEO and SEM and the Advanced SEO Course at KSchool. Author of a dozen books on SEO and digital marketing.

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