There is much written on how to attract visitors to your WordPress website. SEO, high-quality content, social media promotion. But what about getting these visitors to regularly return?
For a website to be truly successful you need a constant stream of reliable visitors. But how do you go about ensuring that?
Well, luckily there are many ways to cultivate an audience of regular visitors for your WordPress website. The options you choose depend very much on the type of site you are running.
If you are creating a community, for people to come together and engage online, then you might want to choose the membership model or turn your site into more of a social network.
If you are selling products or information then you should consider running competitions, promotions or webinars to build up a loyal following. Furthermore, whatever type of site you have you should definitely think about harnessing the power of email.
In this article, we’ll be looking at how you can implement some of those strategies and tactics that will help you develop a loyal audience of repeat visitors
Membership sites work on the premise that you have to join to see the content. Membership can be free, but to encourage return visitors and to make your site profitable charging a fee is well worth considering. If customers have paid to join an elite club with exclusive content then they are going to make sure they return.
Restrict Content Pro is a premium WordPress plugin that gives you all the tools you need to build a membership site. This plugin allows you to charge people to view particular content and it offers a variety of options like multiple membership levels, so you can cater for the different needs of your audience.
By using Restrict Content Pro you can create a membership site that people pay to join, and thus will return to again and again, in order to get their money’s worth.
Get Social with BuddyPress
If you don’t want to create a full-blown premium membership site, but you would still to build a community of like-minded thinkers engaging on your site then you might want to opt for BuddyPress. A free WordPress plugin, BuddyPress helps you add many social networking features to your website.
By installing BuddyPress, members can create their own profiles and you can set up user groups, messaging, activity streams and a lot more. This encourages a community to emerge and become active on your site, enabling people to discuss and share thoughts and information on a particular topic or niche. Helping people make connections like this is key to creating a social site of regular visitors.
The Importance of a Mailing List
Mailing lists are essential for all websites wanting to build a following. Once you have someone’s email then you can keep in contact with them and begin to build a rapport.
By sending out emails, it reminds your visitors of your site and keeps them updated with any new and interesting content you have added, that otherwise they may not know about. It is important to bear in mind that if you want regular visitors then you need to be sending out regular emails.
MailChimp is a freemium email marketing tool that will collect, store mailing addresses and send out your emails automatically or whenever you have something to say. Sending emails through MailChimp is an easy way to encourage people to revisit your site.
Send out news about competitions, free eBooks, new products or exciting events that will make them load up your site’s URL. Make sure you always include a link to your site so people can visit it directly from the email. The easier it is to reach your site the more returning visitors you’ll receive.
Using Webinars to Remind Visitors to Return to Your Site
However, regular webinars are a clever way of retaining visitors. Often new visitors to a site won’t return, simply because they forget about the site or can’t find the time to do so. By scheduling webinars, people will have a fixed date to visit your site and a specific reason to do so.
WebinarsOnAir is a powerful option for hosting webinars. This solution offers automated webinars, options for paid webinars, live chats, and questions, as well as much more. This means you can focus on the quality of your webinar and not have to worry about the technical details.
BuddyPress works well with webinars, as visitors can then stay on your site, or return throughout the week, using the BuddyPress forums to discuss the topic of, or the questions in, your webinar. This encourages a strong active community and of course, the much coveted frequent visitor.
Want Regular Visitors? Run Regular Promotions
Promotions have been proven time and time again to be a very successful way to encourage visitors to your site. However, if you want to encourage your visitors to frequent your site more regularly, then a one-off promotion may not be the best way to go about it. By running regular promotions, you’ll have a better chance of getting your target audience to return multiple times. So, instead of running one big promotion, try smaller but more regular offers. For example ‘10% off selected products every Monday’.
WooCommerce Promotion Manager is a popular WordPress plugin that you can use to set up promotional campaigns. This plugin costs just $25 to install and saves you much time and effort. It allows you to select sale products, times, and dates of promotions and will display slideshow banners to advertise your promotions. Use MailChimp in conjunction with your promotions, reminding subscribers of your latest deals and encouraging them to revisit your site to check them out.
Although promotions are a great way of encouraging someone to visit your site, before you run them you should consider a few things. Number one, can you afford to run the promotion? Check your numbers, it is great to increase sales but only if you are making a profit.
Number Two, are you definitely gaining from them? Monitor your promotions carefully. Are people buying other full price products at the same time as the promotions? Are you capturing new visitor email addresses? And most importantly, are visitors consistently returning?
People Love Competitions
A competition, like a promotion, is another way that has been proven to drive more traffic to your site. A competition is interesting and fun for your audience and creates a good vibe. People love free stuff so creating a giveaway situation is a sure fire way to collect emails and add followers. But what about creating regular visitors?
Well, it very much depends on the type of competition you run. There are many good WordPress plugin options for you to choose from that will help you create and manage a variety of competitions.
What you want is one that will encourage interaction between your visitors and make them return to your site or social media pages to see what is being shared. The Photo Contest WordPress plugin is a good option, as it encourages people to share photographs.
Images are always going to interest people more than text, so if you can create a competition where people share exciting photos then this may well result in viewers returning frequently to see what has been added.
Whatever type you choose, think carefully about the competition and monitor it closely. You may have collected lots of email addresses but what else? Have these email addresses converted into regular traffic for your blog? Have you kept up a strong social presence after the competition ended, reminding people of your site?
If you chose a competition that encouraged comments and discussion has this improved engagement on your site? It may be that you need to run a series of competitions, so you aren’t just attracting new visitors with one competition, but encouraging returnees with further possibilities of winning something.
There are many ideas in this article to help increase the number of regular visitors you receive to your site. Define what type of site you have and think carefully about what options will best suit you.
Whatever you choose make sure you monitor it. Is it working? Are you getting your regular visitors? Can you afford to run it, financially and with your time? If one concept doesn’t improve returning visitor numbers try another. Creating a regular audience is a hard work and an ongoing job, but one that is definitely worth it.
How do you plan to cultivate an audience or repeat visitors for your website? What keeps you coming back to the websites you visit? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.