This is guest post by Stacey Cavanagh, who works in online marketing with Tecmark SEO Manchester. Want to write for us ?
There’s no shortage of material online with hints and tips for getting people to your website, either through SEO, online marketing or social media tactics. But once you have put all that effort into generating traffic to your site, how do you go about ensuring the traffic is going to come back? Here are a few hints!
There’s not anything necessarily wrong with talking about items that are in the news or on gossip sites. But don’t just reprint the article. For a start, duplicate content is a big SEO no-no. But secondly, why would someone return to your site to read the same material that is already freely available on a host of other sites? If you want to talk about big news, put your own spin on it. Have your own opinion. Also try to avoid articles available from “free-for-all” directories. You really want original and unique content for your site to encourage your readers to return.
On a blog, this is simple enough. But even if you have a non-blog website, it’s worth incorporating a feature that will allow people to leave comments and feedback on the material on your site. This makes your website a discussion platform, instead of just a lecture theatre. An open comment site is hugely interactive and this has a lot of appeal for readers who like to get involved. It also encourages the build up of a community around your site, which is absolutely invaluable.
Network with your readers
Go through comments that people have left, respond to them and, where applicable, visit their sites in return. In doing so, you create something of a network of bloggers and webmasters within the same niche, which in turn can create a group of loyal readers. Networking online in invaluable.
What is in it for your readers?
Who reads articles online because they are forced to? Not many people, I wouldn’t think. People tend to read online either for research or entertainment. Either way, as with anything voluntary, there must be something in it for your readers. Perhaps it’s a good old laugh, some entertainment, something emotionally stirring or just great, useful information. But your readers must get something from reading your articles in order to want to read more of them. Once you have completed a draft, read it and ask yourself what’s in it for them. If there’s nothing that springs to mind, you might want to think twice before posting.
Stay on topic
We all go off on a tangent from time to time. Perhaps you had a very bad day and want to make mention of it on your blog about golf. Do so! Make it an opening paragraph and then swiftly move on and tie your topic up with something on theme. But readers of a blog about cars are reading it because they’re interested in reading about cars. As tragic as it is, they don’t want to read about your dead goldfish three times a week or your new pencil case. So these might be extreme examples, but my point is that if you blog in a niche, wandering too far from your topic too frequently will alienate people who only ever read because they’re interested in your niche. If you have an audience, who are your audience because of the topic of your site, stick with it!
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive and everyone’s site caters to a different set of people. If all else fails and you’re not sure how to get people back on the site, ask them! Run a poll to find out what people want from your site and see whether it meets with what you want for the site as well.