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Encouraging Repeat Visitors

29th September 2011
So, you spent a fortune working with the graphic designer to get the posters spot on. You spent hours putting them up all over town. You were on call 24/7 to the PR company doing the press releases, but it was all worth it, because the launch of your new store was a great success, with the place packed out and some decent trade.

But nobody came back, because once they'd bought the miracle 'one use only' cure for baldness you were pushing in store, everyone was delighted with the results and never needed to buy another bottle ever again.

This is a hypothetical example of a shop that doesn't exist (but a similar example probably exists somewhere in your town). It is, however, not too dissimilar to the scenario you could be facing if you spend time, money and passion on crafting a beautiful website but then never do anything with it to encourage first time users to come back for a second look.

It is understandable that if your product range or concept doesn't change often, you won't be looking to make regular wholesale change to the look or content of the site. But what about the would-be customers that you're looking to attract that may just keep looking at your site regularly enough before committing to buy if there's something just that little hit different to read each time they have a browse amongst their favourites or search history?

A number of Devto sites have been designed to incorporate features to ensure that there will always be something new for you to read each time you return, even if the webmaster isn't doing a great deal of work off his own back.

Citing this very site as an example, we have a steady flow of news and features of this nature to make sure that occasional visitors always have something new to look at when they come back, and make sure that those who already have an interest in our services are given a nudge to keep taking a look by issuing them with an email newsletter at the end of every month.

Articles of this very type are useful because they act as a resource over and above what the company is trying to promote, so not only are we looking to sell our services, we're also looking to offer a service by sharing a little bit of our knowledge. If you know a little bit about your industry, why not tell a few others all about it and create something of a niche for your site?

They're the bits that take a but of time and effort albeit not too much if you're comfortable with a few hundred words here and there. Now for those that you don't need to do too much about...

RSS feeds are always a good way to keep a site fresh, provided they have a relevance to the message the rest of your site is portraying. Provided via a whole host of different sources, RSS feeds are a source of news headlines that can be incorporated into whatever space you happen to have available within your site for variable content. Usually, RSS feeds are tailored by their providers to ensure they are reeling off news topics within a particular genre, e.g. fashion, sports or general headline news feeds. Having, for example, an RSS feed on cultural news headlines could be a good fit for your art gallery's website, or you may fancy a stream of tennis headlines if you're a small village tennis club hoping to put together a small and functional site to alert potential players to the existence of your facility.

You can also encourage your visitors to interact with your site, engrossing visitors in your site using some of the tricks that make social networking sites so popular.

A site that has been a successful part of our stable for several years is Sugden Barbell. Originally a resource for the powerlifters and strongmen of a gym in Manchester, the inclusion of a discussion forum quickly gave the site interactivity and interest on a level that couldn't possibly have been foreseen, quickly establishing the site's status as a leading resource for anyone interested in this particular discipline. The chance to read something new potentially in response to one of your own posts each time you visit, keeps visitors coming back, as over 100,000 posts or threads, an average site visit time of 12 minutes and over one million page impressions per month will testify.

These sort of figures also appeal greatly to advertisers, and the site is now successfully maintained with the help of a number of notable sponsors who want to associate themselves with one of the web's leading resources on this topic, which has attracted a loyal following of repeat visitors.

Harbour Guides are another of our clients that has enjoyed success thanks to increasing the interactivity of the site. In recent months, we have instigated a comments system on news stories, allowing visitors to share their thoughts or pose questions based on particular developments. One article, for example, highlighted a relevant trade show that was about to take place. A client queried whether the site hosts would be present, and if so, whether he could buy them a beer. With offers like that, it gives the webmaster every reason to want to keep coming back to their site and updating it too!

Talk to us today to talk about the various steps you can take to make your site more interactive and therefore more attractive to people who will potentially return to your site. Call us on 0845 680 9794 or why not use our enquiry form? A nice interactive feature if ever there was one!

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