Attracting visitors to your website is only half the battle when running an online business. According to a report by the software development company Episerver, less than half of all new visitors to a website are looking to buy a product or service. Instead, most new visitors want to research products or services on the site. Even if a user doesn’t make a purchase when visiting your website for the first time, though, you may be able to convert him or her into a customer by bringing that user back to your website.
1) Break Up Content Into Multiple Parts
When creating long-form content, consider breaking it up into two or more parts. Rather than publishing a single 1,000-word article, for example, publish the first 500 words as part one, followed by the remaining 500 words as part two on a separate page. At the bottom of part one, you can tell visitors to return to your website for the second part. Not only does this bring visitors back to your website, it also fills your website with additional content-rich pages that search engines love to see. Another suggestion for long-form content would be to make sure you are narrowing your content structure. Keeping your content close to the center makes it easier for your visitors to continue scrolling down the page, and eventually lead to your call to action.
2) Allow Comments
Allowing visitors to comment on your website encourages them to return in the future so that they can read responses from other visitors. If your website runs WordPress, there are plugins like Subscribe to Comments Reloaded that will notify commenters via email when a new comment is added to the page on which they commented. After leaving a comment on a page and electing to receive email notifications, visitors will receive an email when another visitor adds a new comment to that page. Upon receiving this email notification, visitors may return to your website to read the new comment.
3) Ask Visitors to Subscribe to Your RSS Feed
If your website has a Rich Site Syndication (RSS) feed, ask visitors to subscribe to it so that they can receive updates when new content is published. All WordPress websites automatically create an RSS feed by default. Typically found at YourWebsite.com/Feed, it features an excerpt of your site’s latest posts and pages in a computer-readable XML format. Visitors can add the URL of your website’s RSS feed to an application called a “feed reader” that converts it into a human-readable format. By subscribing to your RSS feed, visitors will notice when you publish new content on your website, which may encourage them to return.
4) Create an Email Newsletter
You can also use an email newsletter to bring visitors back to your website. Once a visitor has subscribed to your newsletter, you can send him or her emails featuring a curated list of links to your site’s most popular or most recently published pages. Just remember to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act by including an unsubscribe link in your emails and honoring any unsubscribe requests.
5) Optimize for Lower PLT
Your website’s page load time (PLT) will affect its percentage of returning visitors. According to digital marketing expert Neil Patel, 40 percent of users will back out of a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. And it’s doubtful these users return unless the site’s PLT improves. To keep visitors coming back to your website, you should optimize it to achieve an average PLT of three seconds or less. Consider deploying your website on a content delivery network (CDN) to make it faster. Another way to improve your website’s PLT is to shrink images using an optimization tool like TinyPNG.
6) Target Past Visitors With Google and Facebook Ads
Google Ads and Facebook Ads offer a variety of targeting options, including the ability to target users who’ve visited your website. On Google Ads, this is done by adding the remarketing tag to your website. On Facebook Ads, it’s done by adding the Facebook pixel to your website. Both the remarketing tag and Facebook pixel will track your website’s visitors using cookies. You can then create paid advertising campaigns on the respective platforms to target past visitors with ads and bring them back to your website.
7) Ask Visitors to Follow Your Website’s Brand on Social Media
About 77 percent of U.S. adults have a social media profile, according to Statista. Therefore, your website’s visitors probably use Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. To capitalize on this trend, ask visitors to follow your website’s brand on social media. Including social media “follow” buttons on your website allows visitors to easily follow your brand without leaving your site. As you create and share content on your brand’s social media profiles, it will encourage these followers to revisit your website.
8) Launch a Loyalty Rewards Program
Many e-commerce stores and other online businesses use a loyalty rewards program to keep visitors coming back. A typical loyalty reward program rewards customers with points for purchases, which can be redeemed for free gifts or discounts on future purchases. This encourages visitors to continue purchasing from the same website so that they’ll accumulate more rewards points. Implementing a similar loyalty rewards program on your website will increase its percentage of returning visitors and lower its shopping cart abandonment rate.
9) Run a Contest or Giveaway
Running a contest or giveaway is a great way to keep visitors coming back to your website. Both of these promotional strategies for a fixed length of time, after which a winner is selected. You can run a photo contest on your website, for example, in which visitors submit a photo of themselves using your product for a chance to win a free gift, or you can run a giveaway in which visitors enter for a chance to win a free gift. Visitors who enter your contest or giveaway will likely return to your website periodically to see if a winner has been selected.
10) Publish New Content Weekly
You can’t expect visitors to return to your website unless you publish new content regularly. Without fresh content, there’s little or no incentive for visitors to return. To keep visitors coming back, publish at least one new content-rich page each week. Visitors may receive notifications about your newly published content on an RSS reader, email, social media or other channels. After discovering that you’ve published a new page, some visitors may return to your site to check it out.
Not everyone who visits your website will return. Some will leave, never to be seen or heard from again. You can increase your site’s percentage of returning visitors, however, using these 10 methods.