As website owners, we depend on returning visitors to account for a major part of our traffic.
For one, returning visitors are far easier to convert into paying customers, due to the fact that they have already been exposed to your company. And the more often they return to a site, the more trust is built, and it is much more likely that they will spend money.
Here are a few methods to keep them coming back for more:
- Forums, chatrooms, shoutboxes
When you start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox, you are providing your visitors somewhere to voice their opinions, and interact with yourself and other people easily. As conversations build, a sense of community will arise and users will keep coming back to your site to check out the latest conversations and discussions.
- Polls and Surveys
The classic marketing rule. Ask someone a question, and you will get a response, state them a fact, and you aren't really promoting discussion. Creating something where your users feel as though they are contributing, and that their opinion counts, generates even more trust, and also creates a sense of community and belonging. They will also come back to find out the results of your new poll or survey.
- Blogs and Articles
Keeping a journal, or an online identity where you publish updates, is a great way to keep your visitors coming back. Not only do people like to hear the latest news, but humans are naturally curious creatures, and if you divulge a little information about yourself, they will feel a connection. The best part of this of course is that you are not only now "just a website", youare showing them that there is an actual person behind it, and they are reading your thoughts, suggestions, and get an insight into who you are.
- Puzzles, Quizzes, Competitions
These are great. Give stuff away! While it may cost you in the short term, in the long term, your users will come to expect such things, and keep your site on their regularly checked websites list. Hey, everyone wants something for nothing right? You might as well tap into that, and create a regular readership by challenging them!
- Regular Updates
Make sure you update your site regularly with fresh content. That will keep visitors coming back, and when they realise that you actually do update it on a regular basis, they will know that they haven't just stumbled upon another stale, faceless website, but a site that is actually being kept up with, and on a topic that they are interested in. The double-up effect of this is that search engines like Google and Yahoo, absolutely love fresh content and will come and grab your new stuff even more frequently making sure that you rank for any of the terms you provide in your articles.