As many of you might not know I am also a computer tech. I get to help a lot of people with their computer problems and frankly its a lot of fun. It’s also very educational in the Internet marketing aspect. As experienced Internet users we sometimes loose sight of how the average Internet user behaves. We get so caught up in our own habits of long tailed search phrases and properly quoting terms that we often forget that a worthless searches like the term “computers” gets over 200,000 searches/day. I learn more and more every year from the benefits of casually watching friends and family members use the computer. Watching how they browse the Internet, why they click on ads, and how they respond to things like error messages has huge benefits in designing money making campaigns online.
This entire technique focuses on just three common user habits that I’ve noticed over the years with my own clients.
1) Double Clicking- Ever watch your parents or grandparents use the computer? You’ll probably notice one thing immediately. They double click everything. They double click icons, they double click Internet links, they even double click buttons. Double clicking is the first skill taught when learning how to use the computer, and more often than not, teaching when double clicking is not required is often skipped. Simply because it typically brings no harm.
2) The Homepage- Homepage changes aren’t a big deal to the average Internet user. As long as the home page has a search and maybe a bit of useful items like news they simply typically don’t care about the switch or even bother changing it. Its us experienced Internet users that tend to be hardcore about our homepage. Internet providers realize first hand the power of this trate. Installing a new ISP will change the users homepage to their homepage 90% of the time. I can’t tell you how many times a client has commented about how much they “like this new Internet” when they switch providers and see the new homepage for the first time.
3) Decisions- Dialog boxes and error messages = decisions. Our familiarity to dealing with dialog boxes often makes us forget the power they hold on the typical Internet user. Try this, next time you’re on the computer with a common user watching and a dialog box comes up and of course you click out of it quickly without needing to read it. Watch the expression they make. It’s usually something like “WTF? You didn’t even read that! What if it was important?” It’s funny because its true.
The habits definitely don’t stop with these three. The more you look the more you’ll find. I just wanted to list some examples of the types of behaviors to look for because the next step is obviously, monetization. So how exactly are we going to use the power of these three habits for our own profit without of course harming the user. The trick is simply; Turn something useless to them into something useful. How about starting with some made for Adsense sites? Then we’ll take this one step further and turn one user click into reoccurring traffic & Adsense income. The following steps will dive even one step further down the rabbit hole and attempt to increase your click through rates on your MFA(Made for Adsense) sites.
1) Prepare your MFA sites. MFA sites are great for this technique because they draw the common Internet user and very rarely trick the experienced user. So since your MFA network is already up and drawing a gripload of inexperienced surfers lets begin there.
2) Create a nice startpage. Give it some nice domain like mysmartstartpage.com. Make it pretty and easy to use. Include your Google search box code(through your Adsense account setup) prominently. Then include a bit of news links and possibly a local search. Don’t forget to put a few inconspicuous ads on the site. Make it look like a really nice start page that you would use yourself if you weren’t so obsessed with that giant Google logo. Check out Charters homepage as a great example. It never hurts to learn from one of the best.
I recommend you put it as an onload() in the body tag(see comments). That way it will automatically popup when the page loads.
What Will This Do?
The user will go to one of your MFA pages and get faced with a small dialog box asking them if they want to change their homepage to your new startpage you built. The experienced user will quickly click cancel and be on their way. No big deal. The rest will click to get rid of the dialog box. A percentage will click OK. This percentage will become your reoccuring income for a long time. Everytime they open their browser they will get your start page. It will be nice so they usually won’t care. You will get money from the searches they make on your Google adsense search box. You will also get income from the ads placed on the start page. Over a long enough period of time your start page will start to build in its loyal userbase. The more it builds the more reoccuring money it makes.
What About The Percentage That Click Cancel?
Remember the first trate of the common Internet user that was mentioned? They click once: it gets rid of the dialog box. They make the second click for the complete double click: you get a click on your Adsense ad. Your CTR on your MFA page just went up! *Insert evil grin*
You never really loose.
Don’t Forget To Brand Your New Start Page
Another smart tactic to use would be to brand your new start page. Make it prominent but not in the users’ way. This is important because as the user gets more familiar with the Internet and starts to really learn the ins and outs they will start to become loyal to what they are used to. Since they are in the process of getting used to your start page when it gets changed in the future when they are smart they will remember it and will be more apt to change it back to yours. This creates a long term win for you.