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Some people love to do the least amount of work possible to get a job done. They find great pleasure in finding shortcuts and discovering what the minimum requirements are to still complete a task. Sometimes finding shortcuts and doing as little as possible is OK, but not when it comes to building a successful web site.

I sat through an interesting presentation during Pubcon a few weeks ago by Matt Tuens from AcuVox Inc. The topic of the session was “Effective Action-Based Copywriting.” He brought up the point that the wrong approach to building your web site is thinking “what is the least I can do to be successful?”

How many times have you been asked, how many pages should my web site have? Or, how many words should I have on this page? Or, how about this one: How many back links do I need for my site? These types of questions are the bases of minimal thinking and are no way to build a successful web site and business.

In his presentation Matt explained that a more effective approach to building your site is to create the ultimate resource for your given industry. What an idea! Rather than trying to figure out the minimum amount of pages or words for your site, figure out how to answer every possible question your visitors may have about your topic. Become the ultimate resource for your industry—then your customers won’t have a reason to visit anywhere else.

There are a few great examples out there of companies who have taken this approach: Google.com, Zillow.com, Amazon.com, Wikipedia.org, Craigslist.org and ESPN.com, just to name a few. These companies have accepted the challenge to become the ultimate resource in their given industry and have seen success because of it.

Quit trying to figure out the least you need to do to be successful. Ask yourself, what are my customers really looking for? What questions do they have? What is their ultimate goal? What concerns might they have? Provide them with answers and solutions to these questions and become the ultimate resource for your industry.