Having a hard time keeping a customer engaged in your website? Here are some general tips for user-friendliness, content, and programs to capture your target audience and encourage customers to return to your website.
You’ve taken the first step into modernizing your business by having a website. Congratulations and welcome to the 21st century! Now that you have this uber-essential marketing collateral, it’s time to optimize it to maximize customer experience in such a way that they’ll be coming back regularly.
And the good news is: it doesn’t actually cost that much, nor does it require days or weeks of research and development. Sure, you will obviously get what you pay for, but in the long run, a great website’s return on investment (ROI) is pretty fast.
How to persuade your customers to come back to your website
Here are 13 ways to get customers to come back to your website time after time:
1. Improve your relevance
Relevance is one of the most important content marketing factors that govern websites, mostly because users don’t want to spend time out of their day sifting through irrelevant website pages just to get to what they want.
2. Customize your landing pages
The landing page refers to the first page of your website that users encounter when they click on your link. Designing your pages to be easy to use is the first step, but customizing your landing pages to make engagement easier is another step you should be taking.
Customizing your landing page to cater to your users’ immediate needs makes it relevant and places it higher on Google’s search results page. Customizing your landing pages to your users’ needs can be as easy as placing call-to-action buttons to make it easier for them to shop, or providing concise information about your services. It’s that simple, but of course, you can make it as complex and as engaging as possible (just try not to go overboard).
3. Showcase your products
Show off the best of the best of your products and services by curating a special section for them. This can take on the form of a large banner that scrolls, or even a completely separate page.
Creating a “best of” section for your products and services allows you to market them for seasonal events and promotions, items that need more visibility, or products you feel will benefit a specific user based on their previous shopping experience.
4. Use different types of content
Keeping your website visitors interested is essential to keeping them on your website. Remember, the longer they stay on your website (also known as dwell time), the better your website looks for search engines. Keep the information on your website pages concise, straight-to-the-point, and relevant for that specific page’s purpose and goals.
If you’re setting up a blog, make sure your blogs posts are highly informative and relevant to your business and your customer’s needs (based on their previous interactions with your website).
5. Improve your user interface (UI) and user experience (UX)
UI and UX are two important design factors that impact how a visitor interacts with your website, and whether that interaction is positive or negative. Unique and highly personalized websites are obviously better, but it important to ensure your UI and UX are great.
6. Keep your website design clean, simple, and efficient
In the 21st century, minimalism is the style trend that permeates everything from homes, architecture, clothing, and yes, even websites. Today’s internet users want clean website designs with simple features. Focus on utilizing proper website design to highlight your products and services.
Define which products and services you want to feature and create a list that assigns these products and services from needs the most attention to needs the least attention. In this way, you can build your website buttons, features, and page map around this list so you don’t have to rely on blinking banner ads from the 1990s.
7. Make your website responsive
Over 4.5 million people access the internet via a smartphone, so make sure your website has a mobile version or that your website is responsive so that is easy to navigate on a smartphone. Apply intuitive menus, concise call to actions, and simple, but thorough, search functionality. This should be simple enough to do if your website is already streamlined to be clean and simple, so translating that from desktop to mobile should be an easy process.
8. Engage using email marketing
Email marketing is still one of the best tools brands have to help them engage with their customers at a more personal level. In fact, studies show that email marketing is actually 40 times more effective at creating new customers than Facebook or Twitter. This is a powerful statement to make in the age of social media. Email marketing is a great way to maintain a user’s interest in your website, and can also be used to entice a user to return if you notice they haven’t been back in a while.
9. Ask for their email address
One of the best ways to collect users emails is to ask for it. Yes, those “subscribe now” buttons you see on other websites actually do work. You could also try to collect these emails by requiring new users to set up an account before they purchase, but provide incentives for their efforts by providing promotions and special offers.
10. Create email newsletters to keep them up to date
Email newsletters are a great way to inform regular website visitors of special promotions, seasonal events, or new content. Try to send them a newsletter on a consistent schedule so subscribers know when they’ll receive it. Space out your email newsletters, though; you don’t want to send them too much information.
Another great thing about email newsletters is that it makes your regular customers feel special and in the know, especially if they’ll be the first to hear about your brand’s new offers. This effectively makes your email newsletter a sort of reward for subscribing and new users, making them more likely to become brand advocates.
10. Reward your advocates
Over time and as your brand’s popularity spreads, you can start cultivating brand advocates. Your company can start investing in highlighting certain members of your community to showcase your appreciation for them and, of course, to spread even more awareness, but on a human level.
11. Acknowledge your visitors personally
People love nothing more than being made to feel special, and one of the best ways to do this is to acknowledge particularly loyal customers with personal acknowledgements, whether it’s on your website, in an email newsletter, or as part of your social media campaign.
Certain brands actually include their acknowledgement of loyal customers on their products. Some brands will include the names of particular brand advocates in their next line of products, some will include a personalized thank you card with purchases, and some companies will even have loyalty programs that allow them to become independent brand ambassadors.
12. Thank people on social media
Use social media to thank people directly by posting their content on your brand’s social media page. Feature testimonials in Instagram posts and Twitter shoutouts whenever possible, so you can show that you are grateful for their continued support. Remember, other customers are checking out your social media page, and if they see how well you treat your customers, it can be enough of an incentive for them to patronize your brand as well.
13. Start a loyalty program
Reserved for the most loyal of customers, a loyalty program will ensure your customers will have goals to reach if they want to be part of this elite group of people. But loyalty should be rewarded accordingly: make your loyalty program’s incentives as special as possible. Sure, huge discounts are always appreciated, but get creative. Offer early access to products. Remember: the more personalized, the better.
How do you get your customers to return to your website?
What tips would you add to get customers back to your website? How do you entire your customers to come back to your website?
This guest blog was written by Lila Shearsmith is the head of business development at Axadra. She has been in the business processing outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing industry for almost 20 years and has been an advocate of inbound marketing.