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We Are Hungry - Feed Us Please

By John Calder
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004


As a child, we learned the power of food to entice animals to
do our will. Ducks, chipmunks, and dogs could all be enticed
to come closer to us for viewing or petting. Even our young
siblings were sometimes enticed --- and led as a puppy ---
with a trail of M&M's.

On the Internet, we can also use food of a sort to pull people
to our websites. Rather than appealing to a person's desire for
sustenance, we appeal to the desires and whims of the human mind
through the use of strategically placed words and images.


To truly appreciate the analogy of food and the Internet, you
must first examine your own methods of finding what you are
looking for online.

When you are searching for specific information on a specific
topic, product or service, how do you get from your starting
point to your satisfaction point?

The truth is that the world does not search for information
much differently than you do. Although the world may have
different activities, have different interests, and use
different tools than you, the process or pattern is not going
to be very different at all.


The search either begins with a desire or a desire is triggered
while an individual is viewing a website or doing other online


If the individual sits down to his or her computer with a
desire in mind, his or her search will generally begin at a
search engine. With hundreds of search engines to choose from,
the exact starting point is rarely known unless it turns up in
your server logs.

According to a February 25, 2003 Search Engine Watch report,
the most used search databases are as follows:

Service Searches Per Day

Google 250 million
Overture 167 million
Inktomi 80 million
LookSmart 45 million- includes MSN searches
FindWhat 33 million
Ask Jeeves 20 million
AltaVista 18 million
FAST 12 million


Although these numbers provide the results of "one day in the
life" of the Internet, they have remained somewhat consistent
moving forward in time.

The search begins with selecting a search engine and then
follows with picking keywords that one feels will best deliver
the desired results.


Ads or articles seen during everyday online activities can
trigger desire. The ads or articles may be seen in the user's
favorite ezine or on their favorite website. They may see a
banner ad or a pop-up ad. Or they may see a link in their
travels, which triggers their curiosity and interest and
perhaps a new search.


Edward Lorenz was the first to show empirical evidence of the
Chaos Theory.

"Lorenz had obviously made an immense breakthrough in not
only chaos theory, but life. Lorenz had proved that complex,
dynamical systems show order, but they never repeat. Since
our world is classified as a dynamical, complex system, our
lives, our weather, and our experiences will never repeat;
however, they should form patterns."


I believe without fail that the chaos theory as described here
applies perfectly to the process of how visitors reach your
website. Patterns will emerge, but the process will never repeat

Sure some people will follow the same link through the same ad,
but the process by which people reach the particular link will
never duplicate itself.


If only you could see what was in the mind of the Internet
surfer when he or she visited your website or purchased your
wares, then the marketing game would be so much easier.

If only you could see the path that the customer followed to
reach your website --- reaching ten or fifteen pages backwards
in time --- then it would be easier to duplicate the successes
that have come your way.

If you could truly understand the environmental variables that
were required to bring traffic and convert your traffic to
sales, then you would not need to be reading this article right
now. Instead, your name might be Midas and all that you touched
would turn into gold.


As mere human beings, we do not have a Midas touch. We cannot
possibly understand all of the nuances and variables required
to bring traffic to our domains and to turn our traffic into

If anyone tries to tell you differently, run far, far away,

The best we can hope for is to recognize certain patterns in
our traffic and our sales, and then to utilize that knowledge
to increase our traffic and sales.


If we can begin to understand the patterns that people use to
find our website and to make purchases of our products and
services, then we will better understand which "brain food"
to lay out for our target marketplace.

When all else fails, lay out hundreds or thousands of pieces of
"brain food" for your visitors to utilize to reach your site.
And utilize sales copy for each visitor based on the kind of
"brain food" crumbs that you have laid out to help your visitors
to find you.

I wish you the best of luck in your continuing quest for traffic
and sales.

About the Author
John Calder is the owner and editor of (http://www).TheEzine.Net
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