How To Become a Popular Company.

I was out driving recently in Los Angeles and saw an amazing sight.

A famous hot dog stand called Pink’s had a line of people outside that went half way around their entire building.

The question is, why?

Is it because their hot dogs are so amazing?

Well I’ve eaten there and while they’re good, a hot dog is a hot dog. There’s only so much you can do with it.

Is it because they spend a fortune on marketing?

No way. In all my time in L.A I’ve only seen one ad for Pinks.

Is it because they cost less than other hot dogs?

On the contrary, they cost more than many of their competitors.

No, in my opinion the reason Pink’s has people waiting for an hour just to taste their dogs is because of a factor far more strange and subtle.

People line up outside Pink’s because they see other people lining up.

They assume that because so many are lining up the hot dogs must be amazing, and so they decide that they too must visit this place.

So it becomes self perpetuating.

There’s a term for this in behavioural research – it’s called Social Proof.

Humans tend to get more interested in things when we see that other humans are interested in them.

So, think about this:

How can you create the appearance that lots of people love your company?

If you could just achieve that, then you too would get an ever increasing number of people desperate to buy from you.

As I see it, there are three ways:

1. Get lots of testimonials.

When potential customers read about other customers that adore your products, their desire for your stuff will dramatically increase.
2. Initiate a PR campaign about popularity.

Plan a campaign of hitting the media outlets with stories about the fast growth and popularity of your company, product or service.

3. Create shortages.

Consider occasionally making your product unavailable or booked out, due to high demand.

None of these strategies cost much money, but together they will go a long way to creating the impression that your company is popular, and that your product is something really special.

Pretty soon you could end up like Pink’s.

Not selling hot dogs, but selling hot products.

Getting More People To Your Website

There’s an enormous amount of confusion amongst entrepreneurs about how to optimise their website to rank higher on Google.

So I thought it would be valuable if I wrote a quick primer on how to maximise your website’s ranking.

The good news is it’s easier than you think.

Here are some of the ways I use to rank higher on Google searches.

1. Add lots of content.

Basically Google assumes that if one site has 50 pages and another has only 10, then the bigger website is more useful and should be ranked higher.  (As long as that content is relevant of course.)

2. Keep changing the content.

Goggle’s searchbots look at how often you refresh the content, not just how much you write. So be sure to add new articles or information at least every month. Weekly additions are even better.

If that sounds like a hassle, consider outsourcing the article writing to the Philippines or India, you’ll be surprised at the quality of writers available. (Check out Elance or O Desk to find such writers).

3. Include video.

In the last year Google has been on the look out for sites that offer a rich video experience. Create an introduction video on the first page, or some useful instructional videos and your ranking will benefit.

4. Make the site fast loading.

This is a new criteria Google have started looking for. As websites get more complex, usually they become slower to load. This problem has only become worse with the rising ubiquity of video. All things being equal, the faster loading site will be ranked higher.

5. Link to .gov, .org or .edu sites.

There was a time when just linking your site to lots of others guaranteed a high Google ranking, but Google have smartened up. Yes it’s still of value to have links, but most people aren’t aware that all links are not valued equally by the Google team. What they really love are links to .gov, .org or .edu sites. So see what non profits, universities and government departments you can connect your site to.

6. Advertise on Google.

They won’t necessarily admit this, but there is evidence that Google will rank you higher if you advertise on Google. (Hey, they’re a business after all). Using Google ads also creates more links to your site of course.

There are lots of more complex ways to improve your ranking on Google, but if you do those six, you’ll be doing better than 95% of the business websites out there.

And you’ll be getting oodles of customers.