One of the biggest expenses for a company is getting in front of potential customers. It is the primary charge of marketing departments to figure out cost-effective ways to not only attract new people, but to educate potential customers on their brands. Doing so through website efforts is of course, a first choice; however those familiar with SEO and pay per clicks (PPC) realize that not all website visitors end up becoming faithful customers.
After spending resources bringing customers to your site, the worst thing a company can do is to stop there. Pursuing visitors to return to your website and become repeat customers requires less of your time and energy than you think. People who have previously visited your website are already interested in what you have to offer, and they’ve already been exposed to your brand.
So, how do you turn your first-time visitor into a repeat visitor who comes back again and again?
1. Provide Great UX
Having a well-designed website increases the usability and the likelihood that a viewer will be satisfied and ultimately return. One way to improve the user experience is by making sure your site will work on any device through a responsive Web design. Responsive design is when a website reconfigures itself to fit the screen size and resolution for the device you are using. Whether you are on a tablet, mobile or a desktop computer, the page will reconstruct itself based on the viewing window size.
With smartphone and tablet usage increasing, a static site design will hold your site back. eMarketer predicts that in 2013, 15 percent of online retail sales will take place via mobile devices, up from 11 percent in 2012. Within the next five years they foresee the percentage rising to 25 percent.
2. Create Enticing, Downloadable Content
Offer useful white papers, ebooks and other free materials that your viewers actually need and benefit from. This gives you the opportunity to capture their email addresses in exchange for the download, which you can then use to send them newsletters, product offers, etc.
The content that you're sharing needs to be engaging, valuable or educational, or it won’t be worthwhile to your visitors. Aim to establish yourself as a resource for knowledge, humor, news or whatever else you can capitalize on. You should be willing to educate your customers and readily give them the information they’re looking for. If you’re not doing it, then your users will find someone else who will.
3. Utilize Retargeting Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
Retargeting or remarketing campaigns are great as a constant reminder of your brand. A retargeting campaign with Google AdWords essentially follows a user around when they search the Web (using a cookie), so they are frequently reminded of your business. Plus, the cost per click on retargeting campaigns is much lower than for traditional pay-per-click campaigns, according to a study by Simpli.fi, a display advertising firm. Frost Prioleau, the CEO of Simpli.fi supports retargeting, saying, “We find the cost per conversion for search retargeting typically among the lowest, not including site retargeting."
4. Aim for Social Engagement
Prompt website visitors to like you on social platforms so you can maintain contact. Include prominent social media buttons in a highly visible area on your main page and use social share buttons throughout content-rich pages and in blog postings. Use calls to action such as “Like us on Facebook to stay tuned into the conversation,” or ask for feedback through social channels: “Let us know what you think of our new (product/service/etc.)” works.
Keep in mind users are less likely to follow you if you're a characterless corporation. Using social media is an opportunity to give your brand a personality and demonstrate transparency and humanization. You can’t just send out hype about your company all day if you want to keep a large social base.
Have fun with it while you're at it; this is a place to establish your brand or business as real and authentic. Push your valuable insights, educational materials, or even silly yet entertaining anecdotes through social outlets. I can’t stress enough that you need to stay active to continually engage your audience, or your followers won’t follow you for long.
5. Keep an Active Blog
If you want to create a following, you’ll need to have something for fans to follow. Keeping a blog updated with great content will give them something to come back for.
Having trouble coming up with blog content ideas? Host periodic brainstorming sessions with your team to think of topic ideas or, better yet, ask your followers what they’d like you to write about. Make sure your content is easy to digest by breaking it up with headers, bolding important statements and by incorporating multimedia. Before you hit publish, ask yourself if your blog post would satisfy someone who searched for that content. Assuming your answer is yes, you’re on your way to creating the type of content that will grow your online following.
Lastly, you’ll also want to make sure it’s easy for someone to subscribe to blog updates. Do this by including an RSS button, links to your social media profiles or by allowing users to subscribe via email.
Most people arrive at your website because they searched for your industry, theme or niche. Don't lose these valuable leads—convert them. First-time visitors can easily be converted into long-term followers by capturing their attention with engaging content and increasing opportunities to stay connected.
Phil Laboon has consulted for everything from startups to Fortune 500’s, developing clients’ online presences and online credibility. Eyeflow Internet Marketing specializes in providing organic SEO, online marketing solutions, social media and PPC by utilizing strategic, ethical and natural techniques. Each campaign is customized based on customers’ unique industries and goals.
Phil is also a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
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