Turning Casual Viewers into Dedicated Readers
One of the most important parts of any blog, is turning casual viewers, into dedicated readers. The vast majority of visitors to your site, will not return. No matter how many visitors your site averages a day, the ratio of return visits, to new visits, is typically at least 5:1 and often much higher. If there was someway to get this 5:1 ratio lower, even to 4:1 or 3:1, the difference in traffic would be enormous!
Dedicated readers will return multiple times a week, often every day if you post that much. If you post frequently (3-5 times a week) then your traffic could easily triple! So the question is, how do you hook these new visitors so that they come back.
PEST: A Professional Easy Simple Template
“Pest” doesn’t really have anything to do with it, but it’s good marketing, because it will stick in your head! Your site must be professional looking. It has to look slick and clean. Colorful but not Flashy. Loaded but not Cluttered. It has to catch the eye, and leave you with a warm comfortable feeling, so that you can read the content without distractions. After reading the content, (assuming the reader liked it,) they will instinctively observe the other features of the site.
It must be easy to look at, easy to read, and easy to navigate. Visitors should be able to find everything easily, quickly, and without having to even think about it. Example: “Contact page, top left corner. Home Page, top left or center. Post archive, standing out on either sidebar.” The exact location can vary slightly, such as the sides of the page, but the navigation should be childishly simple. The result of this, is that the reader will be able to find what he is looking for, without trouble, and he will find your site enjoyable and friendly. Having complicated or flashy templates are hard on the eyes, and hard on the mind. Both of these will turn away readers.
You’ve heard the phrase, “Content is King.” Well content is much more than just king. Content is the supreme, ultimate, all-powerful dictator. With great content you can have a great site, even if everything else is messed up. The other pieces make the content more inviting, but the content is what sells the site. Original, creative, entertaining! smart, well-researched content, is the most important part of getting visitors to come back.
There are two types of free stuff, prizes, and services. You want to be offering both as much as you physically, and (monetarily) can. Prizes are great for contests, and the occasional flip nano, ipod, xbox 360 get everybody excited and eager to come back. But those contests only last so long. Once the “three week” contest is over, then many of the visitors will just leave again. That’s where services come in to play. Offering free advice, free reviews, and free small services such as creating avatars, are Great ways of getting new visitors, and getting them to stay. People will remember the guy who helped them out, and they will return the favor however they can. For most that’s just a new subscriber, active commenter, and devoted reader. But for many that can also mean back-links from their site. People love to talk about the ones who helped them. Take advice from the Big Leaguers, Pro Blogger and the like, they don’t disrespect to the newbie. They realize that everybody had to start at the bottom.
The best type of service I’ve found, is offering advice. People, especially newbies, want to know what the people who’ve been in the business for a while think of their work. So be friendly, be respectful, and help each other out. I set up my Ask Jonathan page for a reason, to be there for my readers. If you’ve got a question, hit me up! I’ve love to help you however I can. email@example.com
My final advice is this: find your audience and focus on them! That may sound like a stupid thing to say, because for many their audience is whoever they can get to their site. But your real Audience, needs to be the people that your site is made for. And if you say your site isn’t made for anybody specific, then sit down and think about who would most benefit from what your site offers, and design your site around them. New visitors will return if the site is relevant and useful to them. That’s why Targeted Traffic will help with getting returning visitors, because your site will be focused on a specific group. The specific group for How to Blog, is really any type of blogger, who is eager to expand the influence of their site. Mastersofseo focuses on how to get traffic, and how to grow your blog. That’s why I focus on those keywords in search engines, and that’s why I focus on getting bloggers who’re interested in growing their readership. What are you focusing on? What is your targeted group?
Ask yourself these questions, and use this post as a checklist, to grow the return visitors to your blog.
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