As I’ve learned from over 10 years of online marketing, the internet is a changing game. While bringing in new visitors every day through paid and natural traffic and social media are great strategies, one thing to keep in mind is that the best way to increase your website’s overall traffic and your revenue stream is to keep those visitors coming back.
Think about daily deal websites such as Groupon and Woot. These websites bring their visitors back every day, and as a result, they are among the most successful businesses online. If you can develop a devoted following, you’ll be in a good position to build a long term sustainable business.
Increasing your revenue with return traffic
In recent podcast I interviewed Ryan Allis, co-founder and CEO of iContact, a leading provider of email marketing software boasting more than 700,000 users. In the interview, he said something that put me back in my chair, which was, and I paraphrase that you will never see a whopping 70% of your traffic ever again if you don’t get them on your list. Unless you’re targeting return traffic, you may be wasting time and money on visitors who will never return to your website.
It is commonly said in the world of advertising that a person who is more exposed to a product or service is much more likely to purchase it. If you’re looking to get more conversions and increase your revenue stream, targeting visitors who come to your website and never return is not the best way.
Still, it’s important to consider the search engines, especially Google. They are continually analyzing the visitors to your website, including how they got there, the length of time for which they stayed, their demographic, the keyword phrases you were found for in their results and so much more. If Google is analyzing our visitors …so should we, and we should look at is how often our visitors are returning and the things we are doing to keep them coming back for more.
Here are 5 strategies I use to develop repeat traffic.
1) Utilize RSS to Email
RSS to email is by far one of the most useful tools for keeping visitors coming back. The service is available from most of the leading email service providers and it can be used to automatically update members on your list.
Let’s face it, we all want to stay in regular contact with our audience. One way to do so is through a weekly newsletter, but it takes a lot of time and energy to get the weekly publication out, especially if you are doing it manually.
Thankfully, the RSS to Email software makes it easy to do exactly that. Arguably the software’s best feature is the automated service, which packages up your sites’s blog posts sends into a beautiful newsletter and sends them to your list on a schedule set by you. I couldn’t live without it.
Podcasts today are not an especially popular method to get users to return to one’s website. However, they are easily one of the most powerful tools that you can use to get your visitors interested in your content and engaged in your products and services.
As the host of the “Affiliate Buzz”, the longest running podcast about affiliate marketing, I have seen firsthand how podcasts can be used to get users interested and turn visitors into devoted followers.
And with today’s inexpensive technology, it’s easy to produce professional sounding audio. If you’re using the RSS to email feature mentioned above, every time you add a new podcast your list will be automatically emailed with a link to show published on your site.
3) Comment on posts on your own website
If your users are actively involved in your website, they will almost certainly return in a regular basis. A great way to keep your visitors involved and coming back is to respond promptly to their comments.
If you are using WordPress you can install the free “Subscribe To Comments” plugin so they will be alerted by email when their comment is responded to — effectively bringing them back to the site yet again.
4) Use online message boards
If you were an internet user in the 1990s, you may remember chat forums. However, online message boards continue to thrive on the internet today, with many website owners choosing to have a chat forum on their own website. These can be an extremely effective tool for building a sense of community in your website. This is one of the best ways to get your users interested. They also give you a fantastic opportunity to communicate with your visitors and get your readers involved in your website.
With my wife Arlene, we have successfully implemented chat forums on a variety of websites, including EpilepsyMoms.com. The message board on this website has loyal members that regularly share unique stories and advice on parenting children with epilepsy. Chat forum users are among the most invested and devoted users you can get.
5) Provide helpful information
It sounds simple enough but being helpful is one of the best ways to get your users to return. If your readers are receiving regular, helpful content, they are much more likely to keep coming back.
Returning visitors – an investment in your future
It doesn’t really much matter what topics you’re covering on your website putting strategies in place to keep your visitors coming back is an investment in your future.
This is a guest post by James Martell. James is host of the “Affiliate Buzz” on WebmasterRadio.FM (a popular affiliate marketing podcast), and creator of the Affiliate Marketers SUPER BootCamp.