What Makes Visitors Come Back To Your Site?

By Paul Santiago

There can be zillions of reasons why your visitors return to your website. One might be very interested in seeing your animated photo on your main page, but kidding aside I’ve gathered 12 elements that invite your visitors to repeat their visits.

1. High-Quality Content

We have all read that “Content Is The Thing” according to Michael Dean of Kittyfeet.com. We have not set-up our website to just fill it with endless links of your favorites but we’re there to discuss what can we contribute to the web. Fill it with regularly-updated quality content and they’ll return asking for more.

2. Ease Of Use

We have all heard of “user-friendly” computers and software. Why not do the same to our website. Provide a navigation bar that’s easy (and fun) to use forgetting the fancy stuff.

3. Quick To Download

Assume your website is going to be viewed by the oldest browser, slowest modem, and a limited number of palettes.

4. Updated Frequently

You have prepared high-quality content but the problem is you only update it once a year. Set a realistic goal first that at the least you’ll bring new content to it once a month and then increase the frequency.

5. Rewards, Contest, and Incentives

Make sure your visitors enjoy a very “rewarding” visit to your site and expect him to return or just remind him to get his prize, reward, or a mention of his name in your monthly newsletter. He’ll surely return. A contest is one great idea. Email me on this one and I’ll give you the free code.

6. Favorite Brands

We all know zdnet.com is the site for free downloads, cnn.com for up-to-the-minute customizable news. Why not link to them? Do you know that zdnet.com offers a link partnership? (I don’t get money from this one, folks :-)) I know a site that just updates their visitors on what’s happening to over 200 branded ezines and you know what visitors like it and return.

7. Cutting-edge Technology

We can’t all compete with this category but I’m sure there are lots of software out there to simplify the task. So grab one!

8. Games

Online game sites are becoming famous nowadays. Visitors too need some time to play online. Give them what they need and they’ll ask you for more.

9. Purchasing Capabilities

Web surfers also shop around and they’re looking for convenience on how to do it. Be the first one to do it for them. Add a shopping cart of some sort to your website and it would be better if you can accept credit cards online.

10. Customizable Content

Try to create a simple database (Excel or MS Access would do) and connect it to your website. Every visitor will have their own content and experience. An example of this is planetit.com (tell them I referred you, just enough to receive thank you from them, yes, no money involved here either.)

11. Chat and BBS

Message Board or interactive forums replaces BBS (bulletin board system) nowadays. Even I have one on my website (just to make sure) and I’m amazed at the number of visitors from around the globe who post on it. Just make sure you get their email address so you can reply.

12. Freebies, Jokes, and Quotes

I don’t know about this but I’ve received return visits on this one. I even got a search engine for jokes on my site and people return just to read jokes. These same people who spent a considerable amount of money reading jokes and quotes will soon ask for a price quote.

You know studies have shown that it takes 4 to 5 visits for a person before he sets his eyes on what you can offer. A simple element (but it’s not included on the 12 elements I’ve mentioned) is just to place a text on your website (bold letters, not caps) saying “Please bookmark this site” can go a long, long way.

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