Driving traffic to your website is one of the most important aspects of running an impactful and profitable website. But once you drive that traffic initially, how are you getting it to stay consistent? What are you doing to ensure that the people who felt compelled to visit your website in the first place are coming back? Here are five tactics to consider in order to increase website return visits and keep engagement up.
1. Maintain a frequently-updated website that always has interesting new content, imagery, and more to keep visitors engaged.
The term "cobweb page" was coined to mirror its real-life counterpart: those cobwebs that gather in rooms that are rarely ever visited. After all, why would people want to visit a website that is rarely ever updated when they have no other practical reason to visit?
Periodically changing your site imagery can help keep things interesting. You don't need to invest a vast amount of resources into a complete rebrand every time, but a little virtual feng shui can't hurt. Your homepage features should change so that people don't see the same things every time they come to visit. This could be a new section, blog post or featured content. Possibly even a promotion, or other timely and time-sensitive call to action.
Varying content is an excellent way to keep your site up to date and have visitors interested in visiting, engaging with, and sharing your webpage with their network. Refresh your content from time to time, and make sure that you are regularly adding something new, such as a weekly video or blog post. Make sure that content is providing value to your visitors by being helpful, timely, and interesting, or some combination of those.
2. Organize site content and optimize your user experience so that visitors can find what they're looking for easily.
Depending on how and why your visitors found your website, they will have different goals and intentions for browsing your website. With content being a major traffic generator that frequently causes people to share the webpage voluntarily, people come in at all points of the sales funnel these days. Does your content reflect those points?
For instance, you may need to segment content by the subject matter, or by which step of the purchasing process the visitor is at. It's crucial to address people in a way that complements their degree of engagement with your product. Grouping content can help visitors explore similar content to what they are currently viewing, which will also help maintain engagement on your site, and can help drive the purchasing process forward by sparking additional interest in further services.
Make sure there is a search button on your site that easily reflects your actual content and meta descriptions and delivers a smooth user experience with relevant search results.
3. Target the visitors who abandon shopping carts.
Realistically, many people will visit your site and wind up not buying anything, so simply getting more raw traffic may not necessarily be enough of a payoff. But someone who took the action of adding things to their online shopping cart and either changed their mind or ran into technical issues? They will be far more likely to come back and make a purchase... but it's on you to reel those visitors back in and engage them through completion of their order.
People abandon shopping carts online all the time because they got distracted, were too busy to complete the order at the time, or decided to think about whether or not they'd make the purchase. Others change their mind after shipping and sales tax cause the total purchase price to escalate.
No matter why the cart was abandoned, these visitors are more likely to convert to customers and need to be engaged with. Try things like sending cart abandonment emails if the visitor is on your email list, or strategically display ads that speak to potential concerns like guarantees, return policies, and so on to give the visitor a sense of security in completing the purchase.
4. Prioritize email marketing to bring existing users back onto your website.
We live in an incredibly noisy world. Online ads flash right by and social media posts can only hold someone's attention for so long before getting lost in the massive stratosphere that is social media. Email marketing is one of the most surefire ways that you can bring highly-engaged repeat visitors to a website, the chief reason being that someone who voluntarily gives you their email address is going to be far more likely to part with their money and be interested in what your brand has to say. This highly effective form of inbound marketing also has significantly lower costs than trying to drive 100% new traffic. Unlike social media and pay-per-click ads, email is a very individual experience that has far less noise that you don't need to raise your voice over.
Having compelling-looking personalized emails will go a long way towards trying to drive new traffic.
5. Evaluate how your site is doing with Google Analytics, Sumo Me, and other tools to find out exactly where you're lacking engagement.
Guesswork has long been a part of marketing, but far less so in the digital marketing age. Data science can simply tell you which of your webpages get the most and least traffic, clicks, conversions, and other signs of life. Google Analytics makes it very easy to determine which pages need improvement. What is your bounce rate like? How long is the average visit? Once you figure out what's wrong and are able to take appropriate steps to fix those issues, you will quickly see longer visits and increased engagement on your site.
Tools like Sumo Me can tell you at exactly what point visitors stop reading blog posts and other written content. Video analytics like Vidyard can give you an idea of whether or not people watch your video content all the way to the end. Every site's core group of return visitors will have different expectations and preferences, but data can show you where engagement is lacking and alternately, what is working well so you can do more of it.
Getting traffic to your site is only half the battle. Keeping visitors interested and engaged over the long-term is harder. Once you amp up your email marketing efforts, create good content that genuinely interests your following, and evaluate your strengths and shortfalls, it becomes much easier to increase website return visits over time.