One of your Website Goals Should Be Increasing Repeat Visitor Numbers
Your website is often your first and sometimes your only point of interaction with customers. Securing regular interaction with satisfied customers is an excellent driver of repeat business and increases the likelihood of facilitating positive word of mouth amongst other web users and even offline customers.
To set realistic expectations around increasing repeat visitor numbers to your website, you need to understand the existing levels of traffic. This can be done through Google Analytics, which also provides a valuable insight into how website visitors behave.
Google Analytics provides an insight into what prompts visitors to come back
Google Analytics is a free resource which provides website owners with an insight into website traffic – where the website traffic came from; when that traffic visited; how long it stayed; how many pages it viewed and how much of the traffic was new as opposed to repeat visitors amongst other metrics. Getting into this data will provide you with a platform from where to build a more effective web presence.
Know your best traffic sources
What traffic is your best traffic for repeat visitors? If your best repeat traffic is coming directly to your website, it’s probably due to the fact that these customers know your brand. If the best traffic comes through referral sites it may be the case that the referral sources (such as blogs) are trusted by the clients, so maintaining these recommendations is a good approach to increasing repeat visits. For most sites, most traffic comes through search engines (either paid or organic) if the repeat rates are good here, it makes sense to increase your investment in SEO or Ad words or both.
Know your Competitive Advantage
If you are trying to secure repeat visitors to your website, it is presumed that you are aiming to secure repeat purchases. So what made the customer buy your product or service in the first place? Was it price? A promotion or special offer? Were you first to meet the customer’s needs? Knowing your competitive advantage is a crucial element of driving repeat traffic. Perhaps it was excellent customer service or a quality user-experience? Regardless of what it is, knowing what made the customer choose you is a crucial element of increasing repeat visitation to your website.
Reduce Site Abandonment
A quick way to improve repeat visits is by looking at your worst performing pages – where the bounce rate is high. Identifying these pages and making improvements to them will ensure that more visitors stick around to look at more of your website, which should eventually facilitate repeat visits if your offering is of a high enough standard. Reasons for abandonment include site security, on-site distractions such as links to other sites, a mismatch between the search and on-page content, cluttered or visually unpleasant content and slow page loading. If you can address all of these issues, visitor numbers will increase and therefore repeat visitations should also increase.
Keep things Simple
If you want customers to interact with you online on a regular basis keep things simple – don’t use 1000 words where 100 will do; use contact forms where necessary and match your web pages to the customer’s search (ie direct traffic to relevant internal pages and not just the homepage).
Improve the user experience for site visitors
Find out more about why visitors like your site and what they don’t like about it. Tailoring a better user experience, in facilitating a purchase or in supplying helpful information, increases the likelihood of them coming back.
Expand your online presence
Increasing your sites visibility will lead to more visits, so use actively engage in blogging and social media. Social media presents an excellent means of increasing site visibility and you are more likely to secure repeat business if your target markets social network are regularly endorsing your product or service on social media such as Facebook.
Google Places also provide a great opportunity to extend your reach online to ensure you also attract local business through your website.
If you make your site visible on other websites that web users visit regularly (such as Facebook), you keep your brand in their mind for future purchases.
Customers may repeat their visits or purchases offline
Remember too that if numbers of repeat visitors online are not satisfactory, it is possible that on online visit has lead to repeat offline visits. Sometimes web users just want your telephone number or address, then they store that information and contact you through offline means such as phone calls or repeat visits.
It’s important to take an integrated approach to online and offline marketing to get a true measure of how your website is performing. There isn’t necessarily a match between the amount of repeat visitors and the amount of repeat purchases, unless you compete solely online.