A website is a labor of love, isn’t it? You pour your heart and soul into everything you write, and you take your time to make sure the layout is just perfect. So it seems almost impossible to think that you can put all that hard work in, only to have your visitors forget about you minutes after they’ve left.
Unfortunately, that’s the truth. Think about your own experience when browsing the web. If I were to ask you now:
“Quickly, tell me about a really fantastic website you visited last week. What’s the URL?”
Would you remember? Probably not. So when people can’t recall your website, it isn’t because you haven’t spent enough time on it, or that its just not as good as you hoped. Its simply human nature. Many of us can only remember a handful of URLs for websites we frequent, and they are typically very large brands.
So what can you do to ensure your precious and valued visitors return to your website again and again? Well, there’s plenty of options and I’ve listed them below. I’ve also scored them, so you can see just how effective each of these strategies is.
- Advertising 1/5
The plus points of advertising is that it will increase brand awareness, and if you have a strong brand then people are more likely to remember it. The downside of this is that the big multi-billion dollar companies spend millions every year doing just that, and it can be very difficult for a startup to do the same. Think about the brands you are most familiar with on the internet. Are they strong, well-established brands? I bet they are. For me, that would be the BBC, Facebook, Google.
- Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram 2/5
If you consistently make use of social media, then you can use it as an opportunity to keep your website fresh in the minds of your visitors and entice them to keep coming back. The downside to social media is the amount of noise. Your visitors are probably following hundreds of people and brands, so getting your website seen in that sort of crowd can sometimes be a challenge.
- Facebook 3/5
Facebook tends to be the more successful way to promote your business on social media, and this is in part due to the fact that people just don’t follow as many brands on Facebook as they do on Twitter etc. When something appears in a visitor’s news feed they are much more likely to pay attention to it. However, Facebook continues to change the way this works (for example, at the moment it values engagement highly, so its only going to appear in your fans newsfeed if they are regularly interacting with your page – such as commenting and liking posts) so if you are using this you need to be constantly updating your strategy in line with Facebook.
- Email 4/5
Email is definitely the best option for getting visitors to return, and the downside to this is that only a small percentage of your site visitors will sign up for email. However, when you do have people signed up, it is far easier to keep in contact with them about things that will interest them enough to return to your website, such as special offers, new products and interesting stories. Email is a very private thing for people, so always make sure you are respectful of this and avoid emailing people too frequently (unless its a daily email that people are signing up for, like Groupon). I email my subscribers fortnightly because that’s how frequently I publish my website, and I like to think this keeps me in great contact with my beloved visitors without becoming an annoyance in their inbox.