It doesn’t matter how you got the traffic to your door, if you can’t figure out how to keep it returning. Return visitors are not only what makes a website come alive with comments and shares, but it also directly impacts your bottom line. If you can help your visitors create a habit to check your website regularly, you not only increase engagement, but it will also increase your conversion rate from repeat buyers. Understand the psychology of creating a habit with some “triggers” to keep them coming back again and again.
How to Make Your Website a Good Habit
Human beings easily fall into habit patterns, especially if they are receiving some payback from the habit. Your website should create a good habit by: 1) Making it easy for them, 2) Triggering responses, and 3) Reinforcing the value regularly. Don’t wait to start creating a habit. The first visit should show your visitors how easy you can make things for them by providing solutions and free offers that will entice them to at least provide their email so that you can market them further. However, even without an email, you can still use triggers on your site that help them to check back often and thus make them more likely to engage in habit-forming behaviors.
5 Habit-Forming Triggers That Will Ramp Up Return Visitors
Triggers are basically soft reminders to your readers that they are going to get value from you if they return over and over. On a website, a trigger is something that engages a specific behavior that pleases a visitor enough for them to return. Here are 5 triggers that can help you get your visitors to visit repeatedly:
- Create a Game – If you have a game people can play for points for prizes and the like, they might find it amusing enough to sign up and play. Inc.com recommends games as a smart way to generate returning visitors. Games also have the added advantage of being easily shared without a high-pressure sales pitch. However, you can include sales to gain points or added features in the game. Games, by nature, are habit-forming simply because they’re pleasant and competitive at the same time.
- Be Thankful – Your customers love to be appreciated, whether it is with a free offer or a simple “thank you” note. Loyalty clubs use this principle to keep their customers returning again and again. Coffee clubs offer a free coffee for every 10 cups and you can do something similar by offering specials as a way to thank those people who do return again and again. This is a way to reinforce the positivity or “rewards” system for their good behavior. However, even if someone hasn’t bought anything, you can still thank them for visiting your site and offer them a free info product that can also help them see the value in your offerings. If someone does make a purchase, offer them a discount for their next purchase to have them checking back sooner.
- Publish, Excellent, Engaging, Content – Like a favorite magazine or book, you want to develop a readership that finds value in your blog. Experts in business agree that excellent content is a magnet for readership. Blogs, with helpful, authoritative, content inspires confidence and trust in the readership. When they want more information on a subject likely to be addressed in your blog, they will remember to return there. Always reply to comments and try to engage your readers on a one-on-one and publish content on social media sites to distribute it more.
- Develop a Community of Like-Minded People – People like to join groups where others think like them and can help them make progress in their lives or share stories and socialize on specific topics of interest to them. You can do this on your own website by including a forum where people can sign up to talk in a community. This has two advantages. One, you will get them to come back because they want to talk to other people, not just you. Two, you will have an ideal “captive audience” that you can market via the group and use for marketing research too.
- Start a Contest – The idea is to get a large number of people excited about something that creates buzz online. A contest that closes on a specific date can increase excitement over time as the scoreboard shows who is ahead, making visitors return to check out who’s winning so far. Another way to do this without a scoreboard is to just have points added to a person’s score for completing daily actions.
Understand Your Visitors’ Needs
What is motivating them to visit in the first place? How can you issue simple call-to-actions that will give them positive feedback immediately and requires them to visit your site again to get even more benefit? When you have them returning multiple times, it helps them to remember your site’s URL and associates your business in their mind as a place to go to get answers, have fun, and always come away with some additional benefit. Try each of these five triggers to increase the counts of people returning to visit your site.
Play around with the timing for when to offer a trigger so that you know what works for your audience at what times. For instance, maybe thanking them immediately after a purchase with a discount is more effective than thanking them after reaching a certain level of sales or even before they’ve bought anything. Maybe a contest in the winter is more effective than a summer one because people are on vacation. By paying attention to what works, you can improve these triggers and add new ones to make sure you’re doing the best you can at giving people reasons to keep returning to your website on a daily basis, which can dramatically improve your sales conversions.