5 Strategies to Ensure Repeat Visitors

by James Martell on July 13, 2011 · 33 comments






5 Strategies to Ensure Repeat Visitors

Having been closely involved in Internet marketing for more than a decade, I’ve seen a lot of changes. One of the major ones has to do with what was the former focus, which was on driving a lot of traffic to your site every day. This is still important, but what has become essential is ensuring that those initial visitors return. That’s where your real income is vested and the secret to increased web traffic.

The fact is you can blow your competitors out of the water if you develop a following that is focused on your product and comes back to your site regularly. Consider the popularity of daily deal sites such as TeeFury, Groupon and others.

Why Focus on Returning Visitors?

A while back for my Coffee Talk podcast, I interviewed the CEO of iContact.com, Ryan Allis. iContact.com is an email list management service. During the interview he revealed an important stat. He noted that 70% of visitors to your website will simply never come back unless you manage to get them on your member’s list. That means you can drive a lot of initial traffic to your site only to lose it forever. That’s a waste of your resources and time.

Just driving traffic means little. Why? It’s connected to that basic sales belief that the more complex and expensive your service or merchandise, the more time a person needs to become familiar with it. You are not going to convert much traffic if they visit your site just once.

Then there are the search engines, such as Google. These engines watch who visits your site, how long they are there and how they found you. If you’re looking to rank higher in a search engine (including Google) for any type of area, from Cuisinart toasters, to sofa beds, canoes, bar stools, doll houses, even MIG welders, you must make sure people stay on your site and that you’re able to entice them back again and again.

Below you’ll discover five key strategies that will keep people coming back to your site and keep them connected to your product or service.

1) RSS to Email Saves Time

There is some easy-to-use software for email automation that you can use to make sure your list members know about any new information that appears on your website.

Each of us has the best intentions when it comes to creating email autoresponders, newsletters and connecting with those on our list. But the truth is it is hard to find the time to do everything we need and want to do.

There is good news in the form of the automated service RSS to Email. You can use this service to let people know about any new content on your website. When visitors find out there’s something new online, they’ll go check it out, spend more time at your site and get to know your product a bit better.

With RSS to Email, you can utilize their scheduling tool, which will easily allow you to send out a weekly newsletter. Simply set it to run and crawl your sites for new content, which it will then put together in a newsletter. Before hitting the send button, I always proof read the document to make sure the content is correct. It can be set to do this weekly, thus enabling you to get a newsletter out to your members in a timely fashion.

2) Podcasting Defines You

Podcasting is a powerful tool that is underused. Podcasts can define you to your visitors and they are a fine way to keep people connected to your site and product.

I use two different podcasts, the first and longest running podcast focusing on affiliate marketing (the “Affiliate Buzz”) and my informative Internet marketing series (“Coffee Talk with James Martell”) to generate interest and repeat visits by people who come to my sites.

Podcast publishing, which can be automated, is effective in making sure those on your list stay current on happenings at your site. And it does not take a lot of time. In less than one-hour and using new technology that gives you professional-grade audio, you can create a weekly 30-minute podcast.

3) Take Time for Blog Commenting

One way to get visitors to return to your site is by getting and keeping people involved. That means you need to stay connected to your site. A great way to do this that is simple is by responding to visitor comments.

When you consider that thousands of people may read one of your posts and never post a comment, when someone does that’s an important event. That post is special because someone took the time to write it, and that means you should respond in a thoughtful manner.

I use a great, simple-to-use free WordPress plug-in that’s called “Subscribe To Comments” that emails a notice to commenters when anybody, including me, has replied to that comment. This plug-in is extremely useful in building a feeling of community or creating investment in those who visit your site.

4) Chat Forums Work Wonders

There was a time when chat forums were known as Bulletin Boards. That was back in the 1990s when these tools were a massive influence. Over the years, some Internet marketers have allowed this amazing tool to fall into disuse. However, chat forums can do a lot for your site, including creating a communicative link between you and your visitors. Plus, those on your site can interact with one another.

Over the years, my wife Arlene and I have utilized forums with success on various sites. Arlene’s website, EpilepsyMoms.com, sees thousands of members communicate with one another as they exchange information about raising children who have epilepsy. This is a bright, focused and reactive group who return to the site regularly. That type of traffic is priceless.

5) Can You Help Someone?

It is possible to allow automation to take over or to simply throw content onto your site to get something on there regularly. But don’t do these things. They will not serve you.

One of the things that I do is I always make sure that I am focused on and willing to help those who come to my website. Through articles, video and audio, I work at providing useful and informative content and directing people to answers to their questions. I offer advice specific to the person.

Invest in Your Own Investment

There is nothing more important than retaining visitors by making sure they come back to your site as often as possible. Increasing your traffic and search engine rankings for any and all subjects from phone cards, to tables saws, Cuisinart food processors, child car seats, doll houses, even dental services, does not mean that you should focus on simply driving traffic. Be sure to make time to cultivate your relationships with those who have shown an interest in your website.

Over to You!

Do you have a strategy to keep visitors returning to your site? Do use one of the 5 strategies above? I would love to hear about your experiences.



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{ 30 comments }

Online Marketing July 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Repeat visitors are the most loyal visitors and for that reason the most important ones. So it is more effective to use most of your time to ensure repeat visitors than looking for new ones!
Online Marketing´s last blog post ..How to Manage Your Reputation As a Freelancer

James Martell July 14, 2011 at 4:08 am

Yes agreed. It’s one thing getting them to the site for the first time. It’s a whole other thing to keep them coming back. As you say “repeat visitors are the most loyal visitors” and they can also be the most profitable ones as well if you can serve their needs.
James Martell @Internet Marketing Podcasts´s last blog post ..Coffee Talk Interview #67 – Revealed: Why California’s New Affiliate Nexus Tax Really Sucks

Shower Valves July 14, 2011 at 5:14 am

I am totally agree with all 5 strategies as I am not saying it merely but I am using it from last many months and have experience its power. It really works like MAGIC.

I personally believe in this and also prefer to do it on regular basis and also enjoy lot in doing this especially forum chating.

Thanks a lot for this. Have a wonderful day.

James Martell July 15, 2011 at 3:32 am

I am glad to hear of your successes. I am sure others who are considering tackling these types of methods will as well.
James Martell´s last blog post ..Google SEO Tip #140 – Does Google Support Cross-Domain Rel Canonical?

Sasha Gibbs July 14, 2011 at 5:26 am

One of the best way to get repeat visitors, is to start a conversation in the comments section. First ask a question in the last lines of your post to induce the reader to comment below it. Then reply that comments and try to ask another question there. This will possibly start a conversation here. And this thing push up the visitor to come back again to see how many agrees with him/her. This is also called Forum in a Blog. You should focus on the thing that ones a visitor is here then this should not be his/her last visit here. Manage to bring him/her back here again. And if the same visitor is back then this is your real success.

James Martell July 15, 2011 at 3:36 am

Hi Sasha, I so agree with asking a question at the end of the article. It does help to stimulate conversation. I do also notice that when I forget to add the question at the end — I receive a lot less comments. Of course there are other factors at play such as the topic of the article, but asking a question should be a part of every article. I am glad I asked a question at the end of the article above.
James Martell´s last blog post ..Google SEO Tip #140 – Does Google Support Cross-Domain Rel Canonical?

Justin July 14, 2011 at 7:13 am

Hey James,
You provided a lot of great strategies here. I have been listening to podcasts the last week from blogcast fm. This really helps me to get a better feel for what a blogger is really like.

Can’t say enough about comments. The majority of my commenters are bloggers but I got two comments last week from regular readers.
Justin@Spiritual Development´s last blog post ..My Personal Development Journey

James Martell July 18, 2011 at 7:13 am

Hi Justin,
I am also an avid podcast listener. I listen to a number of shows at WebmasterRadio.FM and GeekCast.FM. I find them all for the most part very enlightening.
James
James Martell @Internet Marketing Podcasts´s last blog post ..Coffee Talk Interview #67 – Revealed: Why California’s New Affiliate Nexus Tax Really Sucks

Jane July 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Returning visitors are the ones that are truly interested in our work and they are the ones that trust us. We can expect them to support us anytime and we can be almost sure that 90% of our product sales will come from them because they trust us.

Just a right article about how to keep those golden nugget visitors. Thanks, Martell.
Jane@How to use Google+´s last blog post ..How To Be Less Annoying In Google+?

Murray July 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I’m really making a push to include forum marketing as one of my main tactics now. I’ve always loved forums and I realized that people that use forums are very passionate about the community. There are people that will be active on forums for nearly a decade; that’s dedication.

My plan is to connect with people the best that I can. Share great information. Start up excellent conversations and let that lead them to find out more about my business. Build the relationship on value exchange and part of that may result in a sale; if you can make that into a repeat visit that could be a repeat customer.

James Martell July 18, 2011 at 7:16 am

Hi Murray, that sounds like a great plan of attack. I host a chat forum for my online bootcamp. It has proven to be a great way to interact with students — many of which are now good friends. It’s a great to interact and to get to know each other.
James
James Martell @Internet Marketing Podcasts´s last blog post ..Coffee Talk Interview #67 – Revealed: Why California’s New Affiliate Nexus Tax Really Sucks

Pat Tate July 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Hi James;
As always you have extremely useful plans of attack. I struggle to find ways to attract and keep visitors to my sites . It seems to be a bit of a balancing act to know if one should spend the time getting Backlinks to the site or building a list.
Thanks for some more valuable information.
Pat Tate´s last blog post ..SEO for Senior Internet Marketers

Jasmine July 15, 2011 at 10:32 am

These are good strategies to ensure repeat visitors. I especially like the idea for blog commenting. I am sure by replying to comments, we will get more visitors to return!
Jasmine@Top Web Hosts´s last blog post ..Start Online Store with iPage’s Free e-commerce Tools

William Tha Great July 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm

James: This was a excellent article to read. It’s always best if we can keep the visitors that we do have coming back. I think that as bloggers there is a lot of automation thrown in our faces. I have been using more automation lately and it seems like the more you use the more of a negative effect it has on you. I thought scheduling everything would make things easier, but that’s not the way to go.

I’m trying to get back into my forum marketing. I used to spend a good amount of time in various forums and it was helping out wonderfully, but I have been slacking on some things lately. It’s the small things you do that help you keep those visitors coming back!

God bless,
William Veasley
William Tha Great´s last blog post ..Hey, I Found A Penny!

James Martell August 7, 2011 at 3:01 am

Hey William,

Thanks for your comments. It’s good to hear you’ll be getting back into forum marketing. I am glad to hear it is working for you.

James

Mary Lee February 27, 2012 at 7:40 am

Is forum marketing still effective up to now? I switch to Social Media because I have no luck in Forums

fazal mayar July 19, 2011 at 12:56 am

nice post, its all about having sticky visitors that will comeback over and over again to read what you have to write.

-fusion blogger
fazal mayar´s last blog post ..How To Increase Google Pagerank (PR)?

Tia July 19, 2011 at 4:56 am

Hi James! I’ve recently been thinking a lot about that, too. My readership has gone through a big transition where most of the visits are new – 90%. Which means there’s a lot of opportunity for new subscribes, but I need to work harder at getting them.

I like the RSS to Email idea and will have to check it out.
Tia´s last blog post ..Women, Value, and Getting Paid What You’re Worth

James Martell August 7, 2011 at 3:03 am

Hey Tia, it is a challenge to gain their confidence enough to join, but it is worth the efforts.

Kavya Hari July 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

Those 5 planning steps should be more helpful to me without any doubt. So, thanks a lot for sharing your post on here :)

Mukundan Srinivasan July 20, 2011 at 6:15 am

Building repeat visitors is a slow process but its essential for success in blogging. More than blog commenting forums work better for me. Also forums provides more informative points from peers.
Mukundan Srinivasan´s last blog post ..5 Tips on Choosing a Domain Name

Kavya Hari July 25, 2011 at 11:52 am

This is one of the most important task to ensure repeat readers to our blog. Thank you so much for given up here :)
Kavya Hari´s last blog post ..PayPal Hacked!

Nishadha August 1, 2011 at 7:04 am

I have implemented some of the ideas, but pod castings is something I have never tried. Some new thing to try out for sure :-)
Nishadha@Birthstone Jewelry´s last blog post ..Birthstone Bracelets for Women, Latest Designs and Models

James Martell August 7, 2011 at 3:06 am

Podcasting for me is by far the best way to keep visitor’s coming back week after week. I publish my podcast every Monday, send out the email announcement and wham, the site gets hit with a load of great traffic and people.

If you’d like you can check out my podcasts below:

Coffee Talk Interviews (Since 2007)
http://jamesmartell.com/category/coffee-talk/

Affiliate Buzz (Since 2003)
http://jamesmartell.com/category/affiliate-buzz/

Take care.

Bee Keeper Tim August 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm

James,

I enjoyed the article you posted. I’m guilty of focusing on new traffic and ignoring the traffic and users I’ve already received! Your point about responding to comments is well received on my end and I’m going to start practicing that one right away!

I’m also going to look more into podcasts both as a marketing tool for my blog and also as a resource for my education.

I was also impressed scrolling down through the comments to see you practice what you preach because I don’t believe there was a single comment that had not been followed up personally by you!

Great Blog!
Bee Keeper Tim @ buy honey´s last blog post ..Can Honey Treat Side Effects of Chemotherapy?

Maria Teresa August 10, 2011 at 3:20 am

I must say I didn’t think about podcasting as a powerful way to keep visitors and turn them into regular readers. Do you know of any good way to get started into that area? maybe a simple guide to get me started. I run a health and beauty blog (in Spanish of course), and I think some of my content could fit on the podcasting technique.

Also I’m glad that you make a point about helping people. As time has passed, content has become more and more important, not only for search engine ranking but also because the users are now far more interested in solving their problems or reading helpful information than just copy pasted wikipedia definitions.

Thanks for these points James I will keep them in mind.
Maria Teresa@delineado permanente´s last blog post ..Cuidados de la piel: Efectos del estrés

giantonis August 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

I notice that the old methods they used to attract have long since passed and instead have taken on new methods such as video or podcast. The issue is to be able to discover the quality of our visitors and how we can respond to solve their questions or desires. And that is the ultimate goal : help ourselves by helping others!

Mat August 18, 2011 at 4:48 am

I think for running our blog, we need regular visitors and new bloggars always face the problem of getting visitors including repeated visitors. This article is an excellent source of information for getting the repeated visitors.
Mat@Carports Kits´s last blog post ..Carolina Carports – An Affordable Solution for your Garage

Justin Robins August 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I agree that repeat visitors are everything and sometimes the toughest thing to accomplish. As far as blog commenting goes…the biggest problem I have found is that I actively engage in the blog and comment meaningful comments and/or questions, but it seems like everyone now days feel that people out to comment are just spamming the site. Any advise?

Craig November 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Hey James,

I’m also a Canadian affiliate marketer. I’m on the East coast though. Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I’m using a couple plugins you mentioned. Have you tried using Pop Up domination on your sites?

If so, what are your thoughts on Pop Ups?

I have used IContact in the past but I’m currently using Aweber. I’ve found that my list is more responsive outside of the Internet Marketing niche.

Much higher open rates.

I signed up to your list and I’m looking forward to hearing more from you.

Craig
Craig@ Best Video Editing Software´s last blog post ..Pro Tools 9 Upgrade Mac OSX Lion 10.7.2 Pro Tools 9 Review

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