Okay, if you are reading this, you are probably a hard-charging, stay-up-til-all-hours-working-on-the site, make-another-pot-of-coffee webmaster looking for ideas on how to build return traffic.
Well, we've done very well with enticing visitors to come back, and our secret is very simple: Offer milk.
Still with us? Good.
Every local convenience store or bodega carries milk. They don't do it for profit either as milk has a very low markup. They do it because people need milk every week, sometimes twice a week.
Milk keeps customers coming back. Quite often, after customer picks up container of milk, they grab a few other things while in store. When this occurs, milk has served its purpose. (Stores also situate milk in section of store farthest from entrance, thus making customer have to walk by and look at all other products, but we'll save this for another article)
Hence question: Does your website offer milk?
Okay, enough with "milk" metaphor.
Does your website offer content that would give visitors desire to return? If not, you need to get to work.
There are many types of content that can achieve this purpose. Let's take a look at a few.
Message Boards This is probably most effective technique. Message boards are outstanding for drawing return traffic, especially when hot topics are going. There has been much written on how to promote and establish a successful message board. A rather nice side benefit of message board is fact that content is provided free of charge from forum members. If your forum threads get indexed by search engines, they will help draw new traffic as well.
Teasers on Upcoming Pieces When you begin working on a new piece or project, do you promote in on your site? How about announcing in a highly visible area, "Coming This Monday, How to Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days!" Give visitors something in which to look forward.
Website Polls Okay, polls won't draw that much traffic, but some visitors are very curious as to how poll numbers progress. Every little bit helps.
News Headlines Updated Daily This is just another excellent technique for bringing back traffic. If your site is about baseball, creating a News Headlines section of baseball headlines linking to actual articles is a very successful draw for return visitors. Yes, visitors are exiting site via headline link, but they came back today for headlines and will be back tomorrow. (Also, by designing link so it opens to a new page reduces amount of traffic that actually leaves) If your budget for outsourcing to a news headlines service is limited, you can use Google alerts, and headlines will be sent to you every day. You just paste them onto page. Not very hard at all.