What does a website need? The simple answer is repeat visitors, this is what successful websites share in common, and this accounts for a major part of their traffic.
Why is this?
Well, experience shows that returning visitors are much easier to convert into paying customers because the more often they return to a site, the more trust they have in that site. The whole issue of credibility disappears.
So what do you need to do to keep your visitors coming back and visiting your website?
Here are five simple, cost-effective solutions :
1) You could consider starting a forum, chat room or shout box. (simply "Google" these terms to see what options are available eg. Bumpin)
Providing a forum, chat room or shout box, allows your visitors to have a voice where they can share their opinions and interact with others ... all of them visitors to your site.
Over time this develops into a sense of community and conversions will follow and your visitors will look forward to coming back to your site each and every day.
2) This probably goes without saying, but starting a blog can be a incredible source for both new and recurring traffic. (Start your blog and let us know the address and we can link it to your website - eg. Blogger)
Having your own blog is like keeping an online journal and human beings are curious and thirsty for information. You need to keep your blog frequently updated with your latest news, both business and personal.
You will find that over time more and more people will come back to read your posts and with it you will develop credibility as an authority figure in your niche.
3) How about carrying out polls or surveys?
You will note that so far all the suggestions made have had some form of visitor interaction and conducting polls and surveys is no different. This is one that you should definitely consider adding to your site (eg. Poll Code).
They are a quick way for visitors to voice their opinions and to get involved in your website. It is important that you publish the results of any polls or surveys so that you keep the interest of your visitors to come back and see the results.
4) This is a little bit more innovative, but have you considered the use of puzzles, games and quizzes?
This will provide a measure as to how many people are willing to return to your site if you are maintaining their interest through entertainment.
You can also hold competitions to award the high score winner to keep people trying continuously to earn the prize.
5) This may appear just plain common sense (and is the most important of all), but you need to update your site frequently with fresh content if you wish to attract multiple visits.
Although this may appear to be the most likely of strategies it is also the most overlooked with some sites seemingly looking the same for years.
If you want returning visitors to the same message over time that message needs a refresh, a different approach or angle!
Maintaining the same approach continually will have the effect of changing nothing, so don't be lazy and add new fresh information regularly to increase your visitor's interest.