Whenever I do anything online or offline for that matter, I think about traffic flow. When it comes to my brick and mortar store, the traffic is actual people coming in to the store. However, when I work online, I picture traffic in my mind as little feet walking in one direction.
It is much easier to picture traffic flow when you see actual people come into a brick and mortar store. They are real people with personalities and needs, and you can ask them directly what brought them in, where they are from, and what they are looking for. I do that often when I interact with new customers. I come right out and ask them where they are from, and if they are from out of town, what brought them to Cleveland. Most people are happy to answer your questions, and tell you what they have been doing. I can then ask them what they are looking for in my shop, and how much they want to spend. That will narrow down what I can show them for the gift they are looking for. In sales, questions like this are called qualifying questions. These types of questions help turn a prospect into a paying customer.
With real people, you might think that the more traffic, the more sales. However, that is not always true. It is more true to say that the more of the right traffic, the more sales. While selling is a numbers game, and traffic is always good, it is better if the people who come in are ready to buy the type of items that we sell.
When I create content online, whether it be an addition to a site that I already have, a single page, or just a post, I picture in my mind a map of where people who land on that site are coming from, and where I want them to go next. The next part is picturing why.
I think that when you do a lot of working online, it is sometimes easy to forget that we are dealing with real people. We usually work alone, away from the people we are serving. Most of us work out of our homes. However, the people that respond to your work are real people, with real problems, needs, and wants. And it is our job to figure out how to drive the right people to our door, and beyond to where we want to send them.