5 Ways to Retain Web Visitors
Picture the scenario: you have spent months designing, building, and fine-tuning your website. You launch your site successfully and visitors come in their hundreds in the first couple of weeks. There is a general buzz around your site and people mention it on social networks and blogs. You check your page statistics and you like what you see.
But what happens then? What happens when the initial excitement and novelty of your site wears off, and traffic statistics begin to tumble? There comes a time in the lifespan of every website where you need to think seriously about retaining users who have visited your site.
Read on to find out the best five ways to keep the web traffic you worked so hard to generate.
1 – Introduce a forum or chat room to your site.
Web users love forums and chat rooms, so incorporate a basic one into your site. This can be done quickly and relatively cheaply by a developer, or there are plugins that can be installed on to your site that have the necessary code within them. People use the Internet to share their opinions and ideas about almost everything, so encourage visitors on your site to interact with each other and have discussions about relevant topics. You will need to make sure that the forum or chat room is monitored for spam comments, but overall this is a great way to keep people coming back again and again. Eventually a community will form on your site, and you will encounter people who return to the forum or chat room on an almost daily basis.
2 – Start your own blog.
A blog is like an online journal. It is a platform for you to let the world know more about yourself and your site. You can make diary-style entries as often as you like, and you can invite people to comment on your posts.
The excellent thing about a blog is that it offers web users a chance to get to know the real you. Blogs are often more informal and conversational in tone than the other pages of your website, so take the opportunity to write in a relaxed manner. Tell stories, share your outlook on life, and keep your visitors wanting more. If you can think of interesting things to say, on a variety of topics related to your site, go ahead and post them to your blog. It’s a fascinating fact that people love to read about other people’s lives, so give your visitors what they want. Your credibility is also increased as you let people into your world.
3 – Design a survey or poll for your site
Once again, web users love to be interactive and feel as though they are a dynamic member of your website’s community. A poll about a particularly important or even controversial topic related to your site can really boost visitor numbers. It doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming; a simple multiple-choice question is enough to get people talking.
If you want to engage your visitors yet further, why not design a full survey of ten questions? Ask a variety of longer and shorter questions, and make sure you leave space for users to leave their comments. Not only will this increase traffic to your site, but you will also get some useful, up-to-date feedback from your loyal audience. A survey takes longer to construct, but is a more rewarding exercise for you in the long run.
Ensure that you publish the results of your polls and surveys, as this makes people feel that it was worthwhile taking the time to participate. It also boosts users’ sense of importance on your site – they are making a difference and everyone can see it.
4 – Lighten the tone with a quiz or puzzle.
Online gaming is one of the biggest sectors on the web. People are crying out for games and quizzes – there is always a demand for something simple, fun, and new. Incorporating a quiz into your site doesn’t take long if you are in contact with a good developer. The cost is worth it if you come up with something fresh and original, and, more importantly, that encourages visitors to return again and again. Keep on top of “high score” statistics, and offer small prizes and incentives to players who top the tables. Don’t overcomplicate things and avoid anything too flashy. You are not trying to compete with the big-name games companies; you are simply adding another dimension to your site to bring in traffic.
5 – Update, update, update!
Fresh content on your site goes way beyond your blog. Every web page should be one hundred percent current and up-to-date. Continue to experiment with your layout and graphics until you are totally happy, and remove any material that is no longer relevant. Users appreciate a website that is full of new and lively text, images, and videos – all too often they visit sites that are ten years old and full of stale content. This is not to say that you should change you site just for the sake of it – keep your core message the same, and always refer back in your mind to the initial reasons behind developing the website.
Despite requiring some thought, if this point is carried out well your site will gain a reputation for excellence, and your traffic will explode. These are five of the most effective ways to retain your cherished web visitors. They all take some work, but further down the line the payoff can be impressive.
It is worth mentioning the following important point: if your site sells products or services, you are far more likely to make a sale from a repeat visitor. If somebody decides to come back to your website, it shows that they are building up trust in you and your brand. Once several visits have been made, the chances of a purchase are much higher.
Online success is just around the corner if you look after your website vigilantly from the start, and work on building a genuine community around it.