Friday, 25 March 2011

7 Ways to Keep Customers Coming Back to Your Site

Don't Drive Away Customers: The Power of an Interactive Website

Most of your website visitors will not buy from you on their first visit. They probably are still researching for the best deal or maybe their needs are still not that urgent or they still don't trust your business due to lack of experience of your brand. Whatever the reason is, it requires frequent interaction before you can potentially turn a visitor into a paying customer.

Getting people to visit your website is challenging enough, convincing them to stay and to keep on coming back is even more challenging. So what can you do to get these savvy internet users interact with your website so you can have the opportunity to establish your brand? How can you make an impression so that when they are ready to purchase, you are at the top of their minds and the tip of their tongues? The key is to design an interactive website that captures and intrigues the interest of your prospective customers. Your website should offer a reason for visitors to stick around, experience your brand and keep on coming back.

Below are seven ways to achieve an interactive website that sticks in the mind.

1. Create a Blog
Fresh and updated information is an effective way to grab and hold attention. Keep your blog relevant and useful to your intended viewers. Study your online target market so you can be sure that you only write content that bring value to them. Position your business as an authority in your niche market to establish credibility by sharing your knowledge and expertise. Engage your readers by encouraging participation through feedback and comments. Build a community by giving readers an important role in shaping your blog content.

2. Hold contests, quizzes, polls and surveys 
Not only are these sources of entertainment to your intended audience, they also invite visitors to keep coming back on a regular basis to compete, answer more quizzes and see polls and surveys results. There is also a great opportunity to gain "spread of mouth" popularity when users recommend these features to their friends and acquaintances. Aside from the participation you get, you also gain insights and customer opinions on a range of subjects that can be useful in refining your business processes.

3. Start a Forum
One of the popular ways to make a website interactive, starting an effective forum can instantly build a community of users talking on their subject of interest. This method might be a little complicated to implement as you have to strike a balance between keeping the forum related to what you are offering and encouraging topics outside your industry to attract a wider reach and inject variation to conversations. As powerful as it can be in making users linger and go back , a forum requires time and effort to maintain so unless you have extra time and you are willing to, look for good and reliable moderators that can do maintenance for you.

4. Perform Interviews
Interviewing key people in your industry can give instant credibility to your site while interviewing everyday visitors and online customers can increase the level of participation and build lasting relationships. Interviews can also be a source of information and insights to both your business and your audience. Interviews can be produced in a variety of formats. It can be done via email or phone , podcasts or personal via recorded videos.

5. Give Freebies
Depending on the product or service you are selling , give  a trial or basic version of it to allow users experience  your offering. Ask for feedback, comments and suggestions. If it's not practical to send a sample of your product, give something related like a coupon, discount or free tips as an incentive for users to keep coming back.

6. Install Live Chat Feature
If visitors can ask questions and give feedback more personally and quickly than sending an email, there is a big potential of increasing interactivity. If you can address your customers' concerns immediately, chances are they will linger on your site. This can also give you the opportunity to create an impression of a good customer service and to market your products or services.

7. Provide Online Games
Games seem to appeal to people of varying age. You can develop a game specifically for your site. Incorporate your products or services or your marketing message within a game to create familiarity and at the same time keep users coming back to your site. Even more, offering a prize at the end of a game can increase interests and participation.

Internet users today are becoming more savvy and their attention span becoming more limited. Hundreds of possible rival websites are being developed regularly. It requires effort, time and money  to optimize your website and generate traffic from search engines. These are the main reasons why you should maximize your resources to make sure your visitors will have no reason to leave your site once found. Give them a reason, a good one, to keep coming back and keep your business at the top of their mind.
Which of these features do you think would most benefit your website?

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