Learn Judo and Beat the Summer Traffic Blues


Did it seem like as the Fourth of July fireworks went up, your traffic went down? Or perhaps you are dreading your visitors taking a vacation and leaving your site home alone this summer? If this is you, then I advise taking some time out to learn a bit of Judo.

Judo and the art of website management

Judo? What on earth is the connection between seasonal traffic problems and Judo? Well let me explain a little about Judo and it might start to make more sense.

Judo is an interesting form of combat, because Judo techniques don't rely on outright strength or size. Instead, the participants use suppleness and flexibility of response (ju means "flexible" in Japanese) to turn their opponent's apparent advantages against them. In Judo, you don't actively resist an opponent's move. Instead, a Judo player uses the momentum generated by his opponent's attack to bring him down.

Are you beginning to see the connection? If your visitor numbers or conversions nosedive at certain times of the year, don't fight it ? use it to your advantage. This is how you can manage your online business Judo-style.

But how does this work in practice? Well, when fewer visitors and customers mean you have more time available, you can?

1. Overhaul your site

Have you been too busy dealing with orders and enquiries to give your site that much-needed makeover? Take advantage of the extra time to implement all those great content, navigation and conversion-improving ideas you are too busy to even think about during the rest of the year.

2. Add to your product line-up

This is a great opportunity to add both new tangible products, and extra downloadable ones as well. If you have nothing else to do, a few relatively undisturbed days will give you more than enough time to put together a new ebook on your area of expertise.

3. Build links and credibility

Articles (like this one) are a great way to generate both links and credibility. Any extra time a traffic lull gives you can be used very effectively in writing and posting informative articles. As they are picked up and start appearing across the Internet, your both your inbound links and credibility shoot up.

4. Create new partnerships

Your busy schedule may not allow you much time to do your own browsing, so take advantage of this slow traffic days to get out and look around a bit yourself. Are there any potential partners out there who you could work with to your mutual benefit? A new joint venture can potentially be worth hundreds of additional customers, so this time of browsing and exploring new possibilities has a huge potential payback.

5. Save your advertising bucks

You're keeping track of your conversions as well as your visitor stats, right? Well, if you notice a drop-off around weekends, holidays or other vacation times then, whatever you do, don't use paid advertising to make up the shortfall. If your search engine-generated free visitors aren't in the mood to buy, visitors coming through paid advertising probably won't either. Instead, save your money and use it at those times your historical data tell you give the best bang for your buck.

6. Have a summer sale and get rid of old stock

Kill two birds with one stone: Clear out old inventory while simultaneously encouraging those visitors you do have to spend money with you. Make sure you email all your previous customers about the summer deals too, and you may find you get a stampede of repeat visitors cleaning out your store.

7. Christmas is coming

You may not be able to hear those sleigh-bells just quite yet, but in retail terms, Christmas is just round the corner. Have you thought about how you will get the most out of this year's holiday season? Set your strategy now and ensure this year will see bumper sales.

8. Take a break yourself!

Come on, even following half of my suggestions is going to keep you very busy - even if you do have fewer visitors than usual. So, the final thing to remember is that you are your site's biggest asset and, since you need a break sometime too, why not take it now?

If your visitors are packing up and going to the beach this summer, don't panic: Learn a bit of Judo, and let "The Way of Flexibility" (the literal meaning of "Judo") help you turn your summer blues into a bonanza of new opportunities.

About the Author

Stephen Munday lives in Japan. His most recent project is a Kanji name translation website (http://www.japanese-name-translation.com/) where you can get your name in beautiful Japanese calligraphy.

This article is (c) Stephen Munday 2005. Permission is given to reproduce this article in whole with the URLs correctly hyperlinked.

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