Building a website is pretty simple, and really just comes down to a simple three step process of picking a domain, setting up your hosting, and going like with a fresh install of WordPress. If you aren’t familair with how this process works, you can learn more here.
Out of the box, WordPress is great… but if you were to leave it in this state, you would just be like millions of other boring sites online. If you really want to make a different and have a legitimate site, you need a custom design and also to have some important pages and features on your site.
So how can you leverage your website to increase customer traffic and encourage return visits? We asked the members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following:
What is a particularly important element for businesses to incorporate into their website in order to increase customer traffic and stickiness? Why does this element help so much?
Here’s what they recommend and why.
17 Elements To Increase Customer Traffic And Stickiness
1. A Lead Magnet
Offer a free incentive that gives them value. Give them something for free in return for their contact information. This way, they now have a resource or a promotion that can be used in the future and they will begin to receive any notifications from you moving forward. Make sure the lead magnet is something that resonates with them and position you as an authority on the specific topic.
2. An Immediate Call To Action
The point of a website is to inform clients of your services and convert potential customers into buyers. Having a clear, concise call to action on every page is important. If your customer can’t find what it is, what it costs and immediate next steps, you may lose them.
With so much nonsense on the internet, showcasing your credibility with relevant media appearances and trade association logos is even more important than ever. This will help a website’s bounce rate and increase page views because people need external validation that the site they’ve landed on is legitimate. Turning web traffic into customers is difficult, but earning trust is the first step.
4. Social Retargeting
Social retargeting helps businesses to re-engage people who have visited their site in the past. Modern retargeting allows businesses to send messages tailored to individuals and groups of visitors via social media and other channels. It’s a powerful marketing tool for getting a business’s message in front of a potential customer who has already displayed an interest in their products.
5. Local Marketing
Your best business partners may be the ones in your neighborhood, especially in e-commerce. A local Chamber of Commerce can give you a list of contacts and the resources to make your website sticky. Work with relevant businesses to create affiliate links, scout for nearby clients, and forge local partnerships. Customers want convenience, and you can deliver on that. Show that you are available.
6. A Great Domain Name
Every company or brand in the world has a unique name that is often associated to their business and what they have to offer. However, on the internet, there is only one domain name available. After it’s taken, it’s gone for good. This means you are going to need to come up with a unique and attractive domain name for your site if it’s not available. Stay away from numbers and dashes, while also staying away from anything that isn’t a .com, .net or .org. Lastly, if you haven’t registered your personal name as a domain yet, you will also want to secure that as fast as possible.
7. A Clear, Concise Message
Rather than focusing on a theme that wows and visuals that look great but take time to load, it’s important to state your message immediately. Tell visitors what you’re about and whether they will benefit from staying on your site. People get frustrated when they can’t understand what a website is about. Get to the point about what you do and you’ll have visitors that stay longer and more traffic.
8. On-Page SEO
Organic traffic from search engines is one of the best assets a business can have. It’s highly targeted, free traffic that compounds over time. Investing a little bit of time understanding the fundamentals of search engine optimization will go a long way for the growth of your business. In essence, it’s making sure that Google understands your business and the relevant phrases on your website.
9. A Good User Interface
Make sure that your UI is easy to use and bug-free. I’ve left numerous sites because their search function is horrible or their filtering items process has to reset every time you add something. Little user-experience problems like that can just cause frustration to the point that someone would rather shop somewhere else. Make everything easy and straightforward to use.
10. Customer Resources
We encourage our customers to go to our website to answer any FAQs, read the user manual, etc. This not only helps boost our SEO, but it keeps the customer engaged with us digitally. While on the website they might even find other products they want to buy. This also cuts down on waste from having to print so many full user manuals that get shipped with the products.
11. Educational Content
Educational content provides value to readers and makes them want to stay on your site. Most see this as an opportunity to start and be consistent with a blog. While that is good for educating prospects and improving SEO, education content can come in the form of videos, infographics, podcasts, whitepapers and e-books. The bottom line is, content is king when it comes to traffic and stickiness.
Just to give you an idea of how popular it is, surveys say that over 60% of last year’s web traffic was video. YouTube is the second most visited site in the world after Google. It’s because the users enjoy watching videos, especially if they answer their questions or solve problems. Try incorporating videos into your website. It will boost your SEO and engage the audience with your brand.
13. Live Support
As demands rise for online consumers, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to keep up and provide where expected. Live support enhances the customer experience by providing instant assistance to website visitors. As a result, they’re led to further content and get familiar with your brand, which pushes them through the sales funnel and closer to purchasing.
14. Interactive Elements
One of the most effective ways to increase customer traffic and stickiness is by making your site interactive. For example, you can allow users to comment on your blog posts, add social sharing buttons, and add polls or surveys. These interactive features will give your website visitors something to do on your site instead of only passively skimming through your content.
15. Links to Related Content
It’s not always possible to write a piece of content that has all the information necessary in one post. Adding links within the content that leads to other relevant posts serves two purposes. One, it increases the time spent on a site. And two, it lets you elaborate on a concept in greater depth in another post. You’re directing readers to learn more and will keep them engaged.
16. Value to the User
Don’t think of your site as a product of service showcase, but a resource. Do everything within your power and budget to provide as much information and expertise for free via your site. The goal is to be seen as a genuine expert resource. This is the type of positioning that makes you memorable, trusted and always in consideration. Provide value!
– Scott Levy, Fuel Online
Endorsements on the front page from verified sources are the most important element for stickiness. Endorsements create trust in your site and product. Visitors can visit hundreds of sites with similar content; the endorsements offer a reason why you have the best product or service they can trust. They find your site through your site rank, but they stay because of your endorsements.
Your Website or Blog is What You Make Out Of It
As mentioned earlier, if you are using WordPress to power your site, your options are pretty much limitless for what you can do with your site… all without needing to hire a custom designer or programmer.
Take a moment to look at your site and then run through the list of expert elements and page features we’ve listed above. As you go through each of them, see if adding them in your site would make sense.
These are just general suggestions, but you would be surprised with how many sites and brands forget to add important pages to their site like the About, Contact and Disclaimer pages.
At the same time, don’t overclutter the site and always focus your efforts on providing a better user experience.