Return Visitors Are The Ultimate Metric For Website Success

Return Visitors Are The Ultimate Metric For Website Success

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If your website is not compelling enough to draw people to return to it again and again your website is simply not good enough. Think about it, what websites do you go to regularly everyday? Why? Are those websites you visit popular with people?
The most popular websites in the world, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, all do an excellent job of causing return visitors. So how does one go about creating a website that becomes a favorite destination for online travelers? Content is king as they say and your website must be full of interesting, compelling, must read content that appeals to a specific problem or want of your prospective visitor. If you only update once a month, meaning you publish content once a month (not just changing the layout or colors of your website) it will not attract return visitors as your website barley has a pulse. If however you update AT LEAST once a week it will flourish (if your content is good enough and your link building strategy is smart enough).
It's a common misconception that in order to grow your audience you need to publish a flood of content... you don't. You just need to publish the best content, on a regular basis. Keep this up for months as it takes weeks and months to turn random visitors into return visitors. Be careful though, one prolonged dry spell can wipe away all your previous efforts of attention building. People know when a website has gone stale. When they sense the party is over, they will move on.
The next step towards attracting return visitors it to have a design and content that is not dated. Dated content is stuff that refers to things that have already come to past. So if your website has content about MySpace, the next N*Sync concert, or why time-shares are rock solid investment opportunity, it's going to turn people off because your website is irrelevant. In truth however, any website that would reference these things is a website that has been abandoned.
Favicons are another secret weapon in building return visitors. A favicon is that little image in your web browsers tab for the current website you're on. The favicon not only comes up in the web browser, it also appears when someone bookmarks your website. Only about 5% of internet users return to website they have bookmarked so it's no guarantee that if someone bookmarks your website they will return to it. But having a well designed favicon helps you stand out from the crowd of other bookmarks. Giving you an edge you need. Don't underestimate the power of bookmarks. Book marks are a common way many internet users still navigate to their favorite websites.
How exactly do you create a favicon image for your website? It's super easy. Just use your favorite search engine and search for "favicon image generator". There are many free tools and websites online that allow you to upload an image of your choosing which will then convert that image into a format for you to use on your website.
What you need to do next
I want you to check your websites analytics and see what percentage of your traffic is return visitors. If you website is brand new then no worries, you should not have any substantial return traffic as it takes multiple encounters with your online work to convert a random visitor into a regular reader. If your website is over 3 months old, how are things going? Are you on your way to building an audience or are you still struggling? Implement some of the ideas mentioned like publishing more frequently and focusing on differentiation through content and design. Thanks for reading!
David is the founder of Website Buddha, an online business that helps smart people build beautiful websites. If you want to go deeper into learning how how to create a website, checkout our tutorial on HTML, CSS, and website planning.

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