You just ask the owner of a successful website and he is likely to tell you that a major chunk of his bottom-line depends on returning visitors. However, getting returning visitors is easier said than done. Most of the website owners often try to go innovative with the layout of the website to attract new visitors instead of trying to supplement existing design with features that help make the website more attractive to old visitors.
Here are a few tips that can get lots of returning visitors to your website.
Get a Forum Started
Forums are great at allowing visitors of a website to get together, converse with experts writing for the site, get questions answered, post their own problems and share the information and opinions of their own. Attaching a forum to your website, can thus be a stroke of genius and get you plenty of return visitors too.
Do Periodic Surveys
People love giving their opinions and this works wonderfully for websites. As long as you aren’t asking people to post their sensitive information on your site, doing periodic surveys could be a marvelous way to ensure more retuning visitors to your site.
Brain Ticklers are Addictive
While content developers are still stuck in the print media mindset of seeing a website visitor as a consumer of information, the fact remains that people are more likely to return to sites that provide user engagement. Whether it is in the form of daily puzzle, a fact of the day, this day in (niche) history box or even a post with a basic compilation of facts done a week, it is likely to make the reader feel engaged in the content.
Post Fresh Content Regularly
Visitors that return to a site are not lazy web surfers. They are creatures of habit that have a website bookmarked and look forward to seeing their new posts appear in social media news feeds. This is precisely the demographic that you need to target. By presenting fresh content to them on a regular basis, you ensure that over time, they become loyal to your brand. Even if they don’t share or comment on your posts, these returning visitors are likely to stay with your blog for years.
A very good example of a website retaining visitors would be Cracked.com’s photoplasty contest feature. Being a humor site, the contest basically asks readers to log into the site with an account and create a Photoshop image according to a particular theme like “if video game characters were truthful” or “if the Internet disappeared tomorrow”.
The contest is held on a forum accessible within the main site itself and this openness motivates new readers to contribute their own entries to the contest. In the end, the results of the contest are posted to the site as a top-10, top-20 or top-30 feature. Each contributor is credited with his or her entry. This boosts visitor engagement on so many levels and the site is able to get completely fresh and original crowd-sourced content free!
Please feel free to share your opinions.