How to improve your visitor return rate

By Gareth
18th March 2013 at 19:58

You may have an excellent website that focuses on your main market. Whether you make revenue from advertising, sales or other mediums, the most important aspect you need to concern yourself with is the need to bring visitors back to your site.

Your main focus point obviously needs to be first class and meet the expectations of the visitor. If you are writing articles, make sure they are well written, easily read and get across the point. Look at features such as reader comments that will keep people coming back to check the latest comments or see responses to their own.

It all depends on your statistics, but take a look at your Google Analytics and evaluate where you are generating your traffic and the routes they are taking through the site. Google Analytics offers some outstanding tools and flow charts that make it really easy to see view information.

Once you've done this, think about other things that can make your site a fun place to interact. Think about reviews, previews and news feeds. You could even encourage people to sign up to the community and gain benefits from there.

The biggest return visitor feature has to be discussion forums. Sometimes they can be difficult to get off the ground. However, if you have a good traffic base already they can be quite easy to get the ball rolling. Forums do come with some major drawbacks though. The busier your forum gets the more you will need to moderate it. As we all know, heated debates can get out of hand and you need to be there to stop them. They can easily ruin a forum so having moderators is also important.

If you're going down the forum route, ensure you think hard about navigation and getting your main sites content within the forum itself. Otherwise you may find visitors straying away from your main site and into the forum. This can obviously be a huge negative, especially as you work so hard on content for your main site.

Social media has taken off massively in the last few years. While it should be a standard feature on any site, ensure those share links are visible. The more people share, the more your site will stay in their minds when using their social network. It’s all about awareness and visibility so encourage sharing wherever you can.

What about e-commerce?

Just because you’ve got an e-commerce site it doesn’t mean people can’t go to your site for other information. Some of the above will also be good for you, but make sure your product pages are engaging and informative. By becoming an authority site which has good product images, unique content and maybe even videos, it means that customers will come back not only to purchase but share your site for its information.

e-alerts

For some sites, it may be a good idea to have an email alert system that notifies a user of updates. Newsletters are also a great method to bring people back to the site offering incentives, news or just simple information.

So there you have it, just a few great ways to drive people back to your site. The bottom line is you need to keep on track with your web statistics to ensure that your methods are working. Then you can tweak your efforts and see the results further.

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