The Secret of Success: Help Your Customers Get Lost

by Ken Mueller on June 26, 2013 · 9 comments

The Secret of Success: Help Your Customers Get Lost

The other day I read an article by Victoria Elizabeth Barnes, a woman who spends an inordinate amount of time on Craigslist, much to the chagrin of her husband. The two are remodeling and redecorating an old Victorian mansion, and she uses Craigslist to find things. Big things. Expensive things. (Do yourself a favor: read the article. It’s one of the funniest, most well written pieces I’ve read in a long time). But in the article it becomes apparent that when she gets on Craigslist, she gets lost. She clicks on one link. Then another, then another.

She loves Craigslist, and I’m sure Craigslist loves her back.

We’ve probably all done that. I know some folks who love Pinterest, and they get lost in there, moving from one pin to another. There are boards for everything there, and I know I could get lost looking at recipes. Have I mentioned I love food?

I know I’ve gotten lost in YouTube. I click on a link from a friend and once you’ve finished watching the video, there are suggestions for others I might like. So I click on another. And another. And so on.

This doesn’t just happen online. I’ve gotten lost in book stores and libraries. I’ve even gotten lost in grocery stores. And I don’t mean lost as in:

“Mrs. Mueller, there’s a lost gentleman in aisle 9 who says he belong to you.”

I mean lost in a good way. Digging deeper and deeper, running down rabbit holes, moving from one discovery to the next.

Give your customers a reason to stay. to explore. Whether it’s online or offline, find ways, good ways, to get people to spend more time with your business. This could be on your website, or in your store. The key is to make them stay of their own volition, not because they can’t find what they want. It’s more about them finding everything they  want and more. Create an environment or experience that draws them in so that they keep wanting for explore and look for new and interesting things.

We have a few stores like that here in Lancaster. No matter how often I go in, I find something new, something interesting, something to catch my eye.

Your customers should feel like kids in a candy shop. In some businesses this will be easier than others, but I think it can be done with a bit of creativity.

How are you helping your customers get lost, in a good way?





I often get lost on Wikipedia and Reddit.  My husband recently told me about a game where all players start on a random Wiki page and then see who can get to a specific designated Wiki page in the fewest amount of clicks.  


Hi Ken,

I was intrigued by your subject line (it shows that it did its job!) so I just had to check out this post.

I love this concept! Helping your customers to get lost in a good way - absolutely brilliant! I can totally relate to this as I, too, often find myself getting 'lost' on YouTube, so much so that I usually forget what I was originally there for!

If we can achieve these types of results with our blogs or businesses then we're surely on to a winner. We definitely want our prospects to hang around and keep interested for as long as possible so we need to do all we can to achieve this. Although it's something that I've always done right since building my very first website many years ago, I'm trying to be particularly aware of internal linking on my blog. I'm sure that I can still improve in this but I'm trying to make sure that I'm always aware of putting in relevant internal links, for the very reason of encouraging my visitors to remain on my site and to look elsewhere to see what else of interest I have to offer.

Thanks for the great post, Ken.

Kind regards,


KenMueller moderator

@stillplayingschool Ha, that's a total nerd game, but very interesting sounding. Great meeting you tonight, as well!

KenMueller moderator

@gsshepherd74 Thanks, Glenn! It certainly isn't easy, and won't happen overnight, but if we can make this happen for our businesses, we'll be better off for it. It shows that we are "on to something."


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