According to a Netcraft Web Server Survey completed in December 2010, 266,848,493 websites are currently online. This number represents an increase of 7 million hosted websites during the last few months of 2010. As these numbers clearly illustrate, there are a lot of websites today.
What do these numbers signify in relation to your web marketing efforts? Basically, it means online viewers have literally millions of websites to choose from. If and when your website doesn’t hold their interest they will probably leave your website, in search of finding something better.
With this challenge in mind, you need to do more than just attract visitors – you need to keep them interested and engaged. Here are FIVE no-nonsense ways to accomplish this goal:
- Create specific landing pages- Your homepage does not need to be the only entry point to your website, and I would argue it should not be your initial entry for a potential customer. Instead, think about creating specific landing pages and linking them to relevant ad campaigns or traffic sources. For example, if you’re a bicycle retailer, send keywords that relate to specific bike brands to the actual brand page, as opposed to the more general homepage. The increased relevancy boosts visitors’ chances of finding what they are interested in, staying on your site, and maybe even buying from you!
- Utilize multi-media- Forums, surveys and comment sections are great ways for you to change up the traditional website experience. Giving visitors a way to interact with your site, as opposed to simply reading words, is more interesting and engaging. By using different mediums to express your company’s message and value proposition, your visitors can educate themselves about your company in new and interactive ways.
- Develop buyer persona.- Make your web pages relatable by writing content that appeals to your most popular buying demographics. Rather than address visitors with a formal, monotonous tone (which feels impersonal and generic), think about the different types of buyers and shoppers who visit your site and/or storefront. With these personas in hand, write web content to appeal to their wants and needs. Once such content is in place, you can utilize the strategy outlined in the first point to send these personas to the most relevant pages.
- Interact socially- Social media is a great way for you to engage website visitors because you can let them choose their method and level of interaction. From subscribing to RSS blog feeds to Facebook and Twitter, give viewers several ways to express their level of interest. You are now building a following of people that have expressed interest, and you can continue to engage them with product updates, company news, trivia questions, surveys, giveaways, etc. As you develop your social media profiles, be sure to use the 70-30 rule, where at least 70% of your communications are educational and informative in nature, with only 30% being promotional.
- Explore digital characters- There are technology companies such as ours that create customized, interactive, digital characters (avatars). These characters come to life on your website, and they can substantially improve the visitor experience by responding to interactions, offering helpful tips or guiding the website browsing experience. This approach takes website visitor from a static experience to an emotionally engaging one that is enhanced by a digital character. In addition you can look at a lot more metrics and analytics to understand your visitors more.
By exploring any or all of these ideas, you can begin to move your website from simple brochureware to relevant content with interactive elements. This visitor interaction and interest will help your site retain more visitors, giving you time to showcase your products and services.