How to increase repeat traffic and keep visitors coming back again and again is a question being asked in lots of boardrooms throughout the world. If you have a website and you put time and resources towards attracting traffic, one of the key metrics you want to increase is people coming back. There are all kinds of tools to see how your site is doing for repeat traffic, some are paid while others like Google Analytics are free.
First, what is repeat traffic?
Just like the name suggests, repeat traffic is traffic, which comes back to your site again and again.
Why would someone come back again?
Think about it, think of the sites you frequently visit and ask yourself, why? These sites have figured out the mother of all reasons for repeat. Why should someone come to your site and why should they comeback?
Forget about what you learnt in the business school, the 4 p’s and a whole lot of other things. Focus on Why should someone use your produce and why would they comeback in the future.
To really answer this you have to look at what is behind “why”.
The biggest reason behind “why” is the benefit. Businesses, which figure out the core benefit for their users and then attract those who can take advantage of it are the ones which will dominate their industries.
Why should you go to Facebook?
To answer the Why question, Facebook kept adding features which provided benefits to people. One of the key difference between Facebook and My Space (social network giant at the time) was that Facebook made sure people used their real name to join.
One of the earliest thing that made them big was the status of the person, “are you single” or “in a relationship”. Facebook also figured out, if 5 people you know joined the network, you get hooked.
To keep people coming back, they launched the app platform, which was then followed by newsfeed. There are people who go to Facebook again and again, just to see what is going on with people they know and those they knew in the past. Even if they don’t participate, they still read what is going on with their network’s life. Do you think Facebook gets repeat traffic?
Figuring out the “Why” is the key to long-term growth
WhatsApp grew faster than Facebook, they too figure out why people should use them. Instantly connect with your loved ones through text messages, photos and videos for free even if you are on a dumb phone.
They were not the first, Blackberry had BB, which allowed people who owned Blackberry phones to text message each other without any cost.
Only reason blackberry was bought by some people was because of the BBM service. Had they opened up the service to any phone, WhatsApp’s future would have been different. They didn’t and WhatsApp finished them.
They have since made BBM available on Android and iOS but the average person goes back to WhatsApp a few times a day, everyday.
Figuring out why would someone use your product is more important than any other aspect of your business. It will give you the kind of repeat you can’t even imagine.
Rules are simple and basic, give your customers a reason to come back, make sure your product is easy to use and easy to spread. We all know Google won the battle of the search engines over Bing and Yahoo but the repeat traffic on all three would be very decent.
Initially Google offered a simple homepage, which provided one thing and that was a place to search. As they grew, they now offer almost the same services as yahoo and bing. Yahoo has Yahoo Mail, which keeps people coming back, Google has Gmail, while Microsoft has Outlook. The battle of supremacy will always be won by those who have increasing number of dedicated users who are loyal.
This fact remains the same, regardless of location or industry.
Some site owners are using the following methods to increase repeat traffic to their websites:
- Offer games with leader boards
- Weather information
- If the site’s target market is very narrow they offer relevant and updated industry related news and information
- Some sites allow people to sell their products and services (eBay, Amazon)
- Social networks such as Facebook bring repeat traffic by giving you information about what your friends are up to
- WhatsApp: By connecting you with your loved ones through text messages
- Twitter: Broadcast yourself
- Apple: Easy to use phone and Apple app store. They figured out “why” so good that people wait in line 24 hours before the product comes out
- Buzzfeed does it by producing engaging viral content, which gets people coming back
As you can see, to increase loyalty, figure out “why people should use your product” and go after a narrow market, which can benefit the most. Make sure the site is useful to your target market and they will reward you by coming back. Don’t say your target market is everyone and don’t try to offer too many things. When you figure out why, your target market rewards you with knowing your name over all others in the market.
Think about it, let’s do a quick exercise. I will say a word and you immediately think of the first site that comes to your mind. Chances are high, you put 10 people in a room and do this exercise, the name you will hear by most, will be the exact same name.
Here we go :
1. When someone says videos, What site did you think of?
2. What is the most used Search engine?
3. The largest social network?
4. Text messaging app?
Chances are high you mentioned
Focus is the key, especially early in the life of the venture. Look at Youtube; they are one of the most trafficked sites in the world but they only offer videos. They did not get into offering additional services like news, photos or emails, instead they focus all their efforts on making sure they keep improving their offering for online videos.
They have been leading the video wave for around a decade now. Just recently someone else came along and offered a small little change. This small little change, actually changes the dynamics of the video consumption market.
Can you think of the company that accomplished this? I’m sure once i mention it, you will agree but do you have any idea who it is?
Is it Google, Yahoo, Facebook or Microsoft?
If you guessed Facebook, you are absolutely right. Facebook launched Facebook videos a while back and because of the number of people who use Facebook, the video offering quickly became successful.
Then this year, they made a small, tiny little change and the video consumption went through the roof. As you scroll down on Facebook feed, the videos automatically start playing. Although the volume is automatically turned off, if a picture is worth a 1000 words, imagine what the video is worth.
As people scroll down, if the video is interesting, the viewer has no choice but to turn up the volume. If it was just a static picture with a play button, lots of users probably would not have played it but simply auto playing it, allowed the community consumption to grow like a weed. You will see this or similar features appearing on other video sites soon.
You too should take a stand and put out an outstanding solution that your target market will love you for and for sure they will come back to reward you.
Figure out the “why” and you get on the “Mind Shelf” as the stated above. When you think of search, what company jumps at you? When you think of videos which site do you think of right away? When it comes to social networks what site just flashes up without thinking? All of these companies have secured a Mind Shelf in peoples heads for a particular keyword, which is why they don’t advertise, they don’t do lots of marketing but yet their repeat traffic is always on the increase.
Repeat traffic goes on steroids when you are able to secure a keyword in peoples head and the tipping point has no choice but to tip.
Market as a whole is more efficient than our personal opinions
Market as a whole is more efficient than our internal opinions and is more truthful through their actions. If people are coming back to your site; you got a winner, if they are not, you got lots of work on your hands.
To get repeat traffic you must have a value benefit that forces the user to come back at will, for example I never had the need to go and look for a typing game but recently my three year old niece is getting into typing. I searched online and after going through few sites I found a site, book marked it and now we go back to it on daily basis. Now I don’t look for another typing site as the one I found is sufficient enough for her. This site gets my repeat visit and time spent on it is around 30 minutes per day.
Want to increase repeat traffic? Create something that will bring the user back again and again. Give them value and make sure it is very simply and easy to grasp. Have fun and remember hard work alone won’t get you far; you must work smart as well.
The key to working smart is to figuring out “Why” you are doing all this in the first place.
So to make it simple; think hard what is it that you offer, who you offer it to and are you doing it better than others in the market; and if answer to these questions is yes; you got yourself a winning formula.
If people are not coming back again and again your answers were not truthful; you don’t know what you are offering, you have no clue who you are offering it to and for sure your product is not up to par compared to others in the market.
We hope this post helped you understand the dynamics of repeat traffic and provided nuggets you can actually implement and test. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and let us know.