Challenges in Attracting and Retaining Website Visitors
How many years has your website been online? Two years, maybe three;
Maybe your website has been up and running for a decade now;
Perhaps it’s your personal blog page where you post your portfolio in the hopes of being recognized by big organizations;
Or maybe you’re a business owner and you know the benefits of having online presence for the enterprise that you own.
Whatever your motivation may be, you have one definite reason for creating a website: to attract visitors to your page and get positive results.
Taking that into account, isn’t it frustrating to see your page views fluctuate or outright dwindle from time to time even if you invest a lot of effort to keep it up to date?
Site visits are the lifeblood that keeps a website going. There is no point in learning even the most basic web master tools and skills if you can’t have users browsing through your site. And it’s not just about one-time visitors, either; a site is truly successful only when it can retain a good number of regular visitors.
High bounce rates and limited page views are particularly worrying, especially for business owners who provide a lot of products and services through their online portal. Taking all these into account, just what do you have to do to increase the number of page views and regular visitors to your site?
Don’t Panic and Investigate
Here’s the current situation: you found out that your page has high bounce rates. Only a few people re-visits your site and most of them don’t even bother to see more than two or three of your subpages before they decide to close the tab.
Most uninformed website owners would take this as a sign to go into panic mode. They would rush to plug holes that they believe to be causing problems for their site. Predictably, this does not help much. If the site owner continues to make rash changes and modifications to the site, it will eventually backfire which might force them to shut the website down.
Many websites have failed in the past because their owners let the panic set in before any viable solution can be provided.
If you are confronted with these kinds of problems for your page, remember to always keep calm. Look around your website and do some basic investigation. There are plenty of clues that provide a good idea of why people are turning away from your site at a high rate; these clues are usually easy to find.
Does your website take a while to load?
Remember that most people expect your pages to load within two seconds after they click your links. Anything longer can be a cause for them to leave. You can try checking the page load speed yourself, or you can rely on online page speed analyzer tools to get a breakdown of what needs fixing with your page.
What can you offer to your potential visitors?
People visit a page because they believe that it holds something that is relevant to them or something that they can use in the future. They will move on elsewhere if your page does not provide what they are looking for, or if they believe that they can find better information elsewhere. If you think this is causing problems for you, you might want to check your content and see if it needs some pruning and re-doing.
Are your pages provided with relevant links?
A key part of on-page material is linking; this provides your on-page content to have additional resources to support them, either from elsewhere in your site (which would help increase visitor staying time) or from a trusted external source (to provide your content with something authoritative to back it up). It can be a cause for a quick bounce out if people can’t find additional information on any of your pages, so taking note of related links for a page’s content can help increase a visitor’s time on your site.
Taking the time to snoop around your page’s front- and back-ends can wield a treasure trove of information to help you determine what’s causing your site to lose visitors, but the task doesn’t end there.
From the User’s Point of View
Now that you’ve done a thorough investigation of your website and noted some ‘points of interest’ from your lackluster pages, you are ready to implement whatever needs to be done to get your website back in shape.
That means you can go fancy with your page buttons, layouts, and content, right?
Well… not exactly.
Before you go on a damage control spree ask yourself first:
“Will the changes I implement benefit my clients/users/current and future page visitors in the end?”
This is a valid point you have to consider if you want to increase your site views and visits.
When your site provides excellent user experience even for the most basic of features, you can expect people to come back to your page. And eventually, new visitors will pop in to have a look as well.
Typical fixes for this aspect includes the following:
- Increase optimization for all the items in your portal – helps in reducing page speeds
- Improve page layout, buttons and links – puts focus on the most relevant links
- Provide relevant content right from the get-go
- Reduce or eliminate features that may not be welcome to certain users – pop-ups usually come to mind in this regard.
Credibility and Authority
As noted earlier, one reason people visit a site is to look for relevant information. If the link they click on doesn’t have what they need, they will move on without a second thought.
There’s a bigger chance for return visits if the page has relevant content and is written in an authoritative standpoint,
What makes a website credible and authoritative? – A page is both credible and authoritative if its content is presented in a professional and consistent manner. For example, the content is backed-up with relevant sources and additional materials that support the content’s agenda; or the page has been recognized by other trusted brands in the same industry.
Building a positive online reputation allows you to gain a better foothold in your chosen field. It also gives off a better impression to other users. The better service you provide, the higher credibility you get for your online presence.
On paper, achieving a higher level of authority all comes down to retaining positive feedback from repeat visitors and patrons. In actuality, you have to put in some effort to gain credibility with people in your field.
If you want to be recognized as an expert, you have to walk your talk; that is, you have to know what you’re trying to tell other people. Practice what you preach. Try to provide concise but detailed information about what you’re working on. And if you can, stock up on your knowledge with the latest developments in your field.
However, try not to go overboard. Don’t be that self-proclaimed expert who rambles on without meaning. Instead, be the less chatty individual who actually provides information when people need it.
Increasing your overall page views may seem like a colossal undertaking. However, with the right tools and the proper knowledge, you can gain more site visitors. And if you properly execute the strategy discussed above, it’ll be easier to retain existing visitors on your website.