The goal of any site – static, or blog is to get your visitors to return. Yesterday we explored a couple of reasons why you may want to get a site redesign – one obvious reason is that the design is old and you need to freshen it up so that visitors come back but at the same time we also noted that if things change too drastically you may instead loose dedicated visitors to your site.
So what else can you do to get visitors to come back to your site? The obvious one is to provide them with fresh, relavent, and useful content! Regardless of what anyone says CONTENT IS KING. If it wasn’t for the fact that this site provides good content we would not hit 12,000 visitors every month (sure, it’s not 12,000 per day – but that’s coming).
So what else can you do to increase the unique visitors to your site AND the return visits? Here are 10 good ideas… I know, we said 5 yesterday but felt especially generous today.
- Check your stats. Look at what pages are getting the most responses and write more posts along those lines. If your number one page on your site is 101 Ways To Monetize Your Site, or 100 Ways to Make $100 in 10 Days – you have obviously hit a gold mine. If you take an idea that I presented several weeks ago Finally A Guaranteed Endless Source Of Posts For Your Blog and take those lists that you’ve written and expand upon each item in the list you have a GOLDMINE. Think out of the box – you’re blogging to make money. You started your internet business to make money. I’m getting waaaay ahead of myself now and rather than spill the beans on how else you can monetize the idea presented here – I will save it for an upcoming post.
- Allow people to comment on posts & provide some incentive for them to comment. Why do you restrict visitors from posting? Afraid of spam? Come on – be a MAN (or WOMAN)! There are lots of ways to prevent comment spam. The second part of allowing visitors to comment, is by giving them some type of incentive. Some bloggers provide a weekly round-up from their top commenters, others have installed the Top Commenters widget, and others have installed Comment Luv widget. These will all drive visitors to your site, and allow them to interact with you.
- Do you run a static site or even a blog? Consider adding a related forum. Check out The University Kid and his great forum Blog Premiere. Need I say more? Hope not…
- Make it CLEAR what your site is about. Nothing worse than seeing advertisement for viagra or the latest sex toy but your site is all about making money online in your internet business. Make sure your advertising is relavent, and make it clear what your site is about.
- Provide relavent articles/links for each post/page. With WordPress, this is super duper easy. One simple plug-in allows you to present related posts. Not only do you provide a valuable service to your reader, but it allows the search engine to perform deeeeep searches of your site.
- Nice theme/layout. A nice theme or layout will bring visitors back. Make sure the site renders in all the major browses. Using a nice theme, with good color scheme is half the battle. Ensure it is intuitive, make it easy for your visitors to traverse the site. Don’t hide things from them. Do you offer RSS FEEDS? Keep them in plain sight! Busy webmasters/bloggers may not have the time to visit your site every day and instead may rely on the RSS feed to keep on top of what you’re up to.
- Set-up a blog alert system or provide a newsletter and encourage visitors to sign-up for them. OIBO gets a lot of return visitors from people that have signed up for the blog alerts. While our list is not in the thousands – it’s a healthy number of people that we are able to send out updates to everytime we post a new entry to the blog. Ideally you should give the visitor something in return for giving you their e-mail address, though it’s not required.
- Though we added this in with #6, provide your visitor with an RSS FEED for posts AND comments. As I said in #6 the more advanced visitor will be using their RSS FEED READER to read your posts, make it easy for them. I have over 40 blogs in my RSS READER, I can’t visit them everyday but I can check my reader daily.
- Provide a way for visitors to contact you. This is all about ensuring you have an ABOUT page. Nothing pisses me off more than bloggers or webmasters that do not provide an about page and some way of contacting them. I never return to a site where this basic information is not presented.
- Ummmm… this one is kinda obvious, but you need to have a site if you want people coming back? OK, ok… here is the real #10. CONTESTS! Everyone loves a good contest, especially when there are thousands of dollars in prizes up for grabs. Every blog on my RSS READER has run a contest at some point. Although I get a lot of visitors here, I’ve not had the energy to get a contest running. Robert has been bugging me about it, so I’m sure in due time we’ll also run a contest.
- Had to add this one. I already mentioned content, but also make sure you post regularly. We post 1-2 times per day, and I honestly feel that is one of the main reasons why we see upwards of 500 visitors per day and went from Page Rank 0 to 4 in 3 short months. Post too often and you could loose visitors. Don’t post often enough and you WILL loose visitors.
…so we started out with 5 yesterday. Then I thought of a few more today and finally had to add #11. If you have any bright ideas, why not contribute to the list by leaving a comment on this post?