Once people get to your website, how do you make them stick around?
People tend to buzz off pretty quickly if they don’t like what they see – So what can you do to sweeten the deal?
Build your site to be fast and good-looking
Your site design should look professional. That doesn’t mean you have to have graphics of smiling business people and ‘reflected graphics’ plastered everywhere. It means it should look ordered and seamless, with modern aesthetic design.
Your site should load in fast. Web users are used to clicking in and out of sites across the net. The majority won’t wait for your 263 graphics to load in, no matter how beautiful. And those on slow connections possibly won’t even have the choice of waiting – your site might hang their machine altogether.
Deliver like your local pizzeria
Your local (non-chain-store) pizza parlor probably knows how you like your pizza. Lots of garlic, hold the onion…
And it gives you what you want. Once your website has built up a following, you can fine-tune to better suit the needs of your users.
But what if your website is new?
Start checking your site statistics to see how users arrived at your site (either with Google Analytics, your sites own control panel statistics, or another good site statistic program.) Research your product or service. Work out who your target groups are – then try to meet the needs and expectations of those groups.
Offer something tasty
Competitions, free downloads, free e-books and interaction with other users are all tasty things you can serve up.
Say it like you mean it
Have opinions. Speak them. Often.
This strategy suits a certain type of blog. If you know your subject down to the ground and have a personality that comes across on ‘paper’ you might have a shoe-in. Shoemoney (Jeremy Schoemaker of shoemoney.com) has this nailed. When he talks about how he made money on the internet, people listen – because he knows his stuff.
Don’t add water
Watering down your efforts by having more projects going than you can cope with is dumb. Your websites will suffer.
Build something useful, and of lasting value. Once that one thing is working well, then it’s time to expand, diversify – or time to go off and learn what you need to learn in order to take the next step.
Having many sites, or an unwieldy business idea, is going to quickly drown you. Go hard, but go strong.
Make your content compelling
Content is everything your visitors can see on your pages – written content, videos, graphics, photos, shopping items, written content and everything else. Whatever your content is – ask yourself what a user subconsciously asks themselves when they enter your site.
Why should I buy your products? Why should I engage your services? Why should I read your articles?
It’s your job to make your products must-see and must-buy, to make your services must-use, to make your written content must-read.
Don’t forget your success stories and testimonials
People love to know what others thought of a product or service.
Imagine your business is roof restorations – If you can show a before-and-after shot of a restored roof, with a happy customer smiling in the foreground – that’s a pretty strong testimonial. You have a visual representation of what you can achieve, plus a real-life customer telling others they think you did a wonderful job.
For a discussion forum, lots of active members tells visitors they might find value here. Similarly, a blog with a few thousand subscribers tells visitors that this is a popular blog.
Well, kindness is sweet, so it must therefore be sticky…
Give freely, share the love, help others in their internet endeavours whenever you can