Keep Visitors Coming Back
Growing a following for your website from scratch can seem like you are standing at the foot of Everest, with no gear, no food, and no knowledge of the best way to start climbing the mountain. At least, that is how I felt when I first started my site a few years ago. Building a website and marketing it are 2 different things. My original goal was to know how to build quality websites, which I still do, but I have learned over the past few years that even an ugly site can still grow a massive following. What good is it to have a beautiful site if now one is coming to it? One of the main goals of a site is to get people to it, but another goal that you should be aiming just as hard for is to keep visitors coming back to your site again and again.
So how do you keep visitors coming back?
Okay, for some, this may be a no-brainer. They don’t teach you this in school. You learn how to build a beautiful website, you learn web standards, you learn about type, about print design, etc. However, I had to learn some of this the hard way, and I am about to share what I have learned. Here are a few ways to keep visitors coming back to your site.
Some of you might be saying “Duh, James, social media can make your site skyrocket into popularity overnight.” Maybe, but how many of you have tried to get 10,000 Twitter followers in the field of your business? It can be tough to get your company in front of the right people, and get them interested in your site enough to show up in the first place. So how do you generate interest?
Be candid With Them
Nothing is more of a turn off or a downer than for someone to blast sales pitches at you all day. How many times do you get up and do something during a commercial on tv? The same goes for the web.
You aren’t a robot, and neither are your potential visitors. Ask yourself “What do they get out of coming to your site?” Click to Tweet this.
Just be yourself, while still being professional. You’d be amazed at how much more people are willing to Retweet or share something that carries humanistic emotion over something such as spam or a link.
Ask questions, ask opinions, host polls. people love to tell you how they feel about something. Ask them what you can do to improve their experience on your site. For one thing, you’ll get some killer feedback, and you will also show your visitors that you care about them, and don’t just see them as traffic numbers. Sowing people that you care will keeps visitors coming back to your site frequently.
Connect With Others, and Network
Don’t hesitate to visit someone else’s site and leave comments. Reach out and connect with them, and they will connect back. Join communities, comment on a hot-button article, etc.
Make it Easy to Share Content
Put social media share buttons in a prominent place on your site. On Creative beacon, I added the notification bar at the top, complete with follow buttons for Twitter and a Like Button For Facebook. I also added share buttons at the top of every article, so that it is easy for viewers to share a post with friends or colleagues. People aren’t going to look you up on Twitter to connect with you. Since I added the bar at the top, I went from 700 followers to nearly 1000 in a month. Before, there were a few months where I hovered in the 700 range. That is a dramatic turnaround!
A Good Old Fashioned Newsletter Will Keep Visitors Coming Back
It isn’t old fashioned, really. A newsletter is an extremely important way to keep visitors coming back. Why is a newsletter so important? Because people are busy, and sometimes they forget to visit your site. Most people aren’t creatures of habit, and a friendly reminder once per week helps them to remember that they liked your site, and it shows them that you have new content. If you have something interesting, they will come back and read it, or maybe even multiple articles.
Provide Quality Content
People want to see, read, and learn something they’ve never seen before. Providing quality content that people can use is one of the best ways to keep visitors coming back to your site. If your visitors feel like they are getting something truly different, and not the same old recycled content from the rest of the web, they will definitely come back. This can be difficult to do on a daily basis, but providing unique content is essential to generating interest.
Keep Your Content Fresh
New content is one of the most difficult parts of how to keep visitors coming back to your site. You are constantly having to generate ideas, while keeping a schedule and completing other tasks. While later you can delegate these tasks to colleagues, when you are just starting out, it’s all up to you. Being all over the place is fine, and some people succeed that way, but having regular posts can build anticipation for regular visitors.
Keep Your Content Consistent
I bet you are saying “Wait a minute! You just told me to mix it up a little!” This doesn’t mean that you need to write about only certain things on certain days and that is it. You can, and that works very well, but you can have regular posts that you do each week, while mixing in fresh content in between. This will definitely keep visitors coming back to your site.
I am sure you have lots of questions, such as “How to I get people to sign up for my newsletter?” or “How do I get people to follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+?” While this isn’t as hard as you might think it is, you will be investing some time and effort into building your network. I will be covering these topics in depth over the coming weeks and months, as they are all vast topics to cover. Do you have any questions about what I mentioned in the article above? Feel free to post your questions in the comments section below.