How to Get Repeat Visitors for Your Website

repeat visitorsOne important question to ask yourself when developing any new business idea or website is this: What’s going to make my visitors come back for more? Finding the answer to this question is essential for success on every level.

A long term profit strategy requires a solid understanding what drives your visitors to return to your website repeatedly. And what makes them want to recommend your website to others.

Think of it like a restaurant. Imagine visiting it for the first time. It’s quite easy to pinpoint what makes you want to return to it. Some of these factors include the taste of the food, the prices, quality of service, ambiance and the type of people who frequent the place as well. If it is crowded and exciting or quiet and dull.

When combined together, these elements make you decide whether or not to return for another visit. If you experienced bad food, horrible service and a high priced menu, you would probably not visit the restaurant again or recommend it to others.

If you had great food but bad service and reasonable prices, you might still return to the restaurant one or two more times, to satiate your culinary desires.

The Difficulty in Satisfying All Your Visitors or Customers

While you can clearly identify the factors which provoke you to accept or reject a restaurant, it is considerably more difficult to second guess the intentions of visitors who arrive in hordes daily to your website or online storefront.

How do they prioritize the factors which encourage a repeat visit? What makes them linger? What makes them click away? It’s essentially impossible to understand how every visitor thinks or feels about your site.

There will be some who find your website amazingly useful and others who will find incredibly dull and redundant. Everyone has different levels of knowledge and its difficult to consistently write for some and still please everyone else.

So what do you do? If it was up to me, I would cater to the masses by producing products or content which receive the most attention. String them along and build your audience size. Gradually introduce content that builds on what they already know or are familiar with.

The means producing layers of information: primers for newbies, budget design services, popular souvenir products. Move up the scale and you’ll have handbooks for advanced users, design consultations and vintage collectors items.

Eventually the critical mass you’ve developed will allow you to split into smaller, specialized niches or fulfill the needs of specific customers through a specific section of your site. It’s easy to put up another sub-domain or directory to re-capture focus.

Developing an Idea into a Profitable Business Model

I recently spent some time developing some new websites (some of which you may come to know soon) and never really did feel at ease with several ideas I had in mind, even though they were unique and fulfilled a current market need.

A great concept is only truly profitable when you have a game plan for getting return traffic, return customers and long term supporters. You can put out an idea and make a splashy launch to bait attention. But if that is all you have, you’re not going to make it lucrative in the long run.

In many cases, I have dropped ideas that seemed great on paper because I couldn’t answer the question of how I would be able to innovate and make visitors return consistently to my website, especially when it exists in a crowded niche.

Your competitor has survived for a reason. Find out why people repeatedly return to their website. Why they trust their brand. Everything your competitor has marks the bare minimum that you must achieve. But you must go further and top your competitor in order to stand out and turn a greater profit.

Ways to Get People To Revisit Your Website: A Checklist

This is a simple checklist because as I’ve mentioned earlier, no method is bullet proof and defensible enough against hundreds of new and shifting visitor perceptions.

User perspectives are constantly shifting as they absorb more information from your competitors or elsewhere in their personal lives.

  1. Are your product or service prices competitive?

  2. Is your site populated enough to encourage participation?

  3. How does your site feel to 10 random people who have never visited it?

  4. Have you made usability and customer value a main focus for your site?

  5. What is the perceived quality of your product/content? Examine the feedback.

  6. Are you providing information that is coherent with your search keywords?

  7. Do you celebrate, flatter or please your customers through your site?

  8. Are you providing open channels for complaints and feedback?

  9. Are users encouraged to interact with one another through your site features?

  10. Do you offer an online service or tool that cannot be replicated elsewhere?

  11. Is information continuously updated to fulfill visitor desires and needs?

  12. Does your website project a unique, familiar and identifiable voice?

  13. Does your business fulfill its mission statement or promise to the public?

Successfully answering these questions would then provide you with a higher potential for attracting repeat traffic, attention and sales from visitors to your site.

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42 Comments - Share Your Thoughts
  • that is a great list of 13 tips you gave.thanks!

  • It’s all about interaction design and giving your customers more control over your product.

    Look at the success of Amazon. Amazon is one of the best online stores because it lets its customers leave feedback, rate products, build recommended product list, and interact with each other via online forums.

    As for usability, simplicity, and producing the products that people love, we should learn this art from Google. I think they own the simplest and least bloated yet the most trusted and used products/services on the net.

    At the end of the day, it’s customers/end users that create a hit or a flop product. And if a company fails to recognize the needs of its customers, it’s doomed.

  • Those questions to ask yourself is important but if you are a blogger, then you just need to worry about your content first, and then theme.

  • The 13 points are great. It would have complemented if some of them (whereever applicable) had an example attached.
    thanks

  • Great list! I’d also like to add a point I personally feel is important; find a way to get the site visitor to opt-in their first time to the site, so that even if they are disappointed, you have a means of communicating with them going forward, and of changing their perception of the value of the site.

  • Maki, I think what you have here is really a checklist for how to succeed in an online business… period.

    Repeat traffic is simply a consequence of a deeper success.

  • @Michael

    The checklist would be much longer if it was about succeeding in online businesses. To me, repeat traffic is optimization of first impressions and the initiation and maintenance of a relationship between the visitor and the site in question.

    It’s less a consequence of overall success…although it is certainly logical and valid to think that it is.

    There’s quite a lot to do in this specific field alone. Split testing for landing pages, analysis of visitor pathways, visitor polls, usability tests, design optimization, competitor and statistical analysis, demographic profiling… :)

    @Jeff

    Opt-ing in via RSS feeds or newsletter subscriptions is always a good strategy. Cheers for bringing that up. ^_^

    @Mohsin

    Amazon is a good example of a site that generates a hefty amount of repeat traffic. I particularly fancy their public wishlist feature.. great way to make sure you fulfill your personal goals/desires through commercial transactions.

  • The checklist would be much longer if it was about succeeding in online businesses. To me, repeat traffic is optimization of first impressions and the initiation and maintenance of a relationship between the visitor and the site in question.

    Absolutely. What really struck me about your list was how vital your points are to overall success.

  • Creating a community will definetely make people come back to a website, this can be done by attaching a forum to your current website, people will come back to have their questions answered, and so on.

  • Thanks for posting this. I was thinking along your lines and it was good to see it in words. I do agree that conetent comes first then theme. I have been blogging for about a year now and now usability is become a bigger part of what I o. I think I need to create a start page for my blog that links to my best posts and warms up the visitor/ Look forward to more of your thought provocing posts.

  • Thanks for the list.

    I’ve been frustrated with my blog because I don’t know who to write for. I’m still in a huge learning process myself and I never know if I should just blog about what I’m learning…or what I already know.

    Thats been one huge thing for me. Which is why I don’t have too many pillar posts up.

    I’m gonna test out what you said. Maybe I’ll start writing a little bit of each to see what gets the most attention.

    Thanks again. =0)

    - Andrew

  • I visit a website for a PINT and some ‘S’. That is pleasure (P), information (I), networking (N), task (T) and shopping (S). A website that does not provide at least one of the these five items, I don’t visit that site again. I wrote a piece on this topic. You can Google “Give me a pint” and you will see my article

  • Great tips to follow. Will keep these in mind. Thanks a bunch !!!

  • Maki,
    I think you’re very accurate when you mention that having a plan before launching the site is a necessary step. A lot of people jump the gun and don’t properly plan, which hurts long-term success. Thanks for the article.

  • #’s 2,8,9, & 11 are probably the ones that we stress the most. Great list!

  • This was one of the better articles I’ve read here on DoshDosh.com. You pose some great questions webmasters need to ask themselves. Personally, I cater to the masses and hope for the best :)

  • Nice tips for free ;) … Am going to see if i can start implementing some of them.

    Thanks

  • Thanks a lot for these great tips. I will definetly use them with my current blogging tactics. Keep up the great work.

  • I knew some of these tips but all are great and can turn great turnovers in a while…

  • I’m a Norwegian and also a FaceBook user.
    I have seen a large growth of Facebook usage - and also a dramatic increase in Facebook Apps that is used with only one purpose - “link baiting”.

    I guess we’re going to see a further increase in the development of Facebook apps in the future.

    This is simply Viral Marketing on Steroids!
    Traffic reports to my website also indicates that the traffic growth does not fall back in time, but keeps increasing.

    I’ have posted a request for more CMS components supporting this unique possibility to drive extreme amount of traffic to my sites in Joomla.org (Official Joomla website) and I’m awaiting reply on this one.

    As a Internet Marketing company that is focusing on both, SEO, but also general “visibility” this is very interesting and I would love to read more about it!

  • If I was a bit unclear in my last posting - I was especially talking about external Quiz applications located on other websites with the ability to post score results on your facebook profiles.

    By doing this everyone on your friend list will se that you have been taking the quiz and will be able to take it to.

    People that is taking this quiz will be sent to your website and is able to take the quiz.

    When the quiz is ended they may as mentioned above be able to post it on their Facebook profile.

    For every friend that is taking this quiz they will automatically do this visible to ALL of their friends on their own profiles.

    Do you see the possibility for extreme mass distribution?

  • Quality article! Your comment about “primers for newbies” is very insightful. I love this site.

  • Thanks for the article. I especially like the 13 Q. check list ;)

  • I feel keywords density works very well in search engines and to get more traffic on website. You can see my site(www.agranews.com) to get idea , I always tried to balnce density of few important keywords from 2 to 4 percent.This work very well.
    I hope You can enjoy this idea.
    Rajeev

  • my blog is barely five weeks old and i hope these info here will help my blog grow… great post!

  • Thanks… Another useful indeem

  • Very interesting article as always.

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