The real way to make a website work for you is to encourage users to visit it again and again. But how exactly can you make this happen?
In my last article we looked at how to encourage users to visit your website for the first time. However achieving this is only half the battle. The real trick is to keep them coming back. Here’s where the real work begins. Having built a Website and attracted some traffic to it, your objective now is to gain repeat visits.
Why are repeat visits important?
A one time visitor just isn’t enough. As I am sure you already know, the chances of a first time visitor making a purchase is extremely low. They need time to review your competition, weigh the pros and cons, decide that they really do want to purchase. Depending on your sector this could take anything from a few days to several months. The question then becomes, how do you keep them coming back to your site so that your brand remains in the forefront of their mind when they do finally decide to make a purchase.
How to keep them coming back
Many sites are just never updated. This is a sure fire way of putting people off. If people are interested in what you have to offer they will return again and again as long as there is something new each time. However if they come back more than a couple of times and find nothing has changed the chances are they will never return again.
Allow users to discuss your products and services via an interactive forum. You will find that a recommendation by another user is a lot more believable than you telling your visitors how great your product is. Of course you always run the risk that somebody will say something bad about your product but you can always remove such postings from the forum. However be careful. A forum that is full of nothing but praise can seem a bit suspicious!
Special offers are always a sure way to keep people coming back. By creating special offers that are exclusive to the website and that change regularly you can be sure users will keep visiting the site to see what your latest deal is.
If you sell a product or service that might need after sales support you may wish to consider a support section. This could provide frequently asked questions, downloadable updates or even a forum that allows users to support each other. This will dramatically reduce your telephone enquiries as well as encouraging users to return to your site. When they do return it gives you a good opportunity to recommend related products.
Newsletters, ezines and mailing lists
You can have as many special offers and fresh content on your site as you want but if nobody knows they are there then they won’t come back. That is where a mailing list comes in. Send out a newsletter to those that choose to subscribe informing them of updates to your site. Mailing lists are very easy to set up and can generate huge rewards to your business if done properly.
Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you and help to maintain those hits well after the initial burst of activity when the site launches. My final article in this series will look at how your current visitors can be one of the best source of advertising you have.