Websites that have a high visitor and customer return rate benefit from:
• greater profitability
• Greater trust with target audiences
• Higher search engine rankings
• Lower advertising costs to acquire new customers
Metrics that will help you determine how effective your website is at retaining visitors include bounce rates, New vs Returning visitors and you can get these from your Google Analytics reports.
There are steps to take to ensure that your visitors return – and that that they do so more often and these include:
1. Quality website content
There is no substitute for high quality website content that is targeted and relevant to your audiences. This is the number one reason people return to websites to read and interact with content. Content can be of any type and can include website text, blog posts, downloadable files, whitepapers, case studies, infographics etc and it all depends on your industry and sector and what your target market requires.
2. Ease of use
Your site should be responsive on Smartphone and tablet devices and the navigation should be easy to understand and use. It should have a consistent look across all pages to ensure that your visitors spend less time figuring out how to navigate the pages.
3. Quick to load
4. Frequently updated
Visitors will return to your website if you update it regularly with new content like blog posts. Blogging regularly is effective at achieving this and one post a week should be sufficient to keep your content fresh and up to date and to inspire confidence in your prospects to return. When people visit your site and find that your blog posts are months or even years old, they are unlikely to return to your blog.
5. Coupons and incentives
For online retailers, coupons, discounts, vouchers and other offers are powerful incentives to get people to return regularly to grab a bargain. In fact, it’s one way to increase customer loyalty that leads to a profitable relationship with customers for your business.
6. Favourite brands
Strong brands are the most profitable on the web and they have higher market share because they are effective at customer retention which is often difficult on the web. Customers will visit sites they are familiar with to find what they need so it’s important to create a brand that offers greater value than competitors and increases loyalty.
7. Cutting-edge technology
A segment of customers are interested in the latest technologies and these are innovators and early adopters that will return to brands that they can trust to feed them with the latest info about cutting-edge technology.
Games have a high retention rate and fans and gamers will return multiple times in a day to play their favourite games. It’s also possible to monetise this traffic and offer products and services that are targeted at these visitors – who will often be younger ‘millennial’ visitors that prize entertainment highly.
9. Purchasing capabilities
If your website offers many purchasing capabilities, you are likely to see more conversions and many returning customers looking to buy. Your site should be secure too and this should be highlighted for all payment types available
10. Customisable content
Online personalisation and customisation is big in online retail and it helps customers to find what they need and benefit from other offers that you provide. An example of customisation is displaying similar products to the one that your visitor is currently viewing or showing products that others have purchased in that category. This is known as cross-selling and leads to greater customer satisfaction and more return visits.