Everybody wants high amounts of traffic to their website, although it takes more effort to continue capturing new traffic than it does to convert new visitors into returning visitors.
While most of the magic of conversion happens through drip-fed newsletter communications, it is possible to generate returning visitors through your content and design. However, it’s not just about aesthetics. Although creating a visually appealing website plays a part in retaining your visitors, there’s more.
First, you need memorable content
Creating quality content isn’t enough to generate repeat visitors to your website. Most quality content has already been published by other websites in various forms. If what you publish is great, but everyone else is great too, there’s no incentive for visitors to return to your site over others.
To get visitors to choose your site over the others, your content needs to be memorable. To make your site memorable, you’ve got to give visitors something they can’t get anywhere else; something they really want to consume on a regular basis.
Websites that publish how-to articles have an advantage in this area over other blogs. By their very nature, how-to websites compel a visitor to return when they want to learn something new.
For example, a person’s first visit to Instructables.com to learn how to make rubber origami cranes will inevitably lead them back to the website when they want to be creative again. Even though they only read one article, the website’s design makes it clear that a large number of tutorials are available.
You don’t need to be a how-to website to get visitors to return. You can also publish information designed to help people solve a problem, rather than just providing encyclopedia-style narratives. Although most website owners write content that solves problems, you’ll have the advantage if you back up your claims with data, studies, or expert opinions.
Back up your claims with facts before providing solutions
People will love your solutions even more when your information is backed by research and facts. For instance, like many property-related businesses, Kefauver Lumber publishes articles designed to help people maintain the value of their homes. In particular, one article discusses six different ways to prepare a home for winter, including important safety information about heat tape that some people may not think about. Their content is backed by statistics, assuring visitors they know what they’re talking about.
For example, they state that 65% of most energy bills is generated by heating and cooling the home, and using heat tape can reduce that bill by up to 40% in the winter. They discuss the savings from the Energy Star program, as well as the amount of water being wasted each year while watering lawns.
This approach helps to establish their blog as an authority resource and will encourage visitors to come back when they’re looking for further sound advice.
Be generous and link to other people’s content
When you share someone else’s content, visitors will notice. They may not have a conscious reaction, but they will subconsciously know that you’re someone who thinks of other people. This will boost their perception of you. It will also increase their satisfaction, because who doesn’t want to know about other cool websites and businesses?
It’s important to get your message across, but it’s equally important to acknowledge other people in the world.
Don’t do it for money, for a link exchange, or to get more “link juice” and boost your SEO ranking. That might happen, but being generous is about authentically sharing what someone else is up to. Do it to create conversations that develop deep, meaningful relationships with others.
Being generous and sharing other people’s content can be as simple as writing a feature blog on someone admirable in your industry, or simply linking to wonderful content when you find it.
We live in a world where most blogs are self-contained, and unless you’re Seth Godin, you probably aren’t well known enough to make your blog completely about you.