So now you’re getting visitors to your site, the next step is to keep them there and keep them coming back. While the first step was building relationships with people and other bloggers, this step is about what you can offer anyone who arrives at your site.
1. Quality design. Design isn’t just about how something looks, it’s also about how well it works. Make sure you have no errors on your site and that you don’t offer too much information in a small space.
2. Quality content. No matter what kind of site you have, you need quality content. Especially if you’re trying to earn money from your website, you want to give people a reason to come to your site and a reason to come back.
3. Offer something. You can keep visitors and even create links to your site by offering something people can take away with them. Whether it’s information, graphics, free samples, anything you can offer your visitors will show them you appreciate them.
4. Link quality sites. If you link to other quality sites that captivate and retain visitors, those links will also be added to the value of your own website.
5. Establish yourself as an expert. If your visitors feel that you’re the expert on a subject they will return to your website for answers when they have questions. They will bookmark your site. Most importantly, they will take your suggestions, which at times may make you money.
6. Visit your visitors. Especially if you have a blog, visiting those who comment on your site also shows you appreciate them and will bring them back to see what you’ve posted since their last visit.
7. Respond promptly. If you receive a Facebook message, email, tweet mention, comment, or guestbook post it is important to reply promptly. You don’t want your visitors to feel as though they or your website are not important to you. Also, you may not know just how powerful that person can be and what a review of your site on theirs could mean to you.
8. Be honest. Especially in business, honesty is important. And if something negative happens (if you make a client unhappy somehow), being honest and acknowledging your client (even publicly) will most likely clear up the situation and will show others observing that you are responsible and turns a negative to a positive.
9. Create and use a Newsletter. A newsletter allows you to email and invite people in to your site at will. You will want to be responsible with this and not email too much, and also make sure each email provides value.
10. Limit advertising. Advertising is okay, and may even be necessary. But don’t use so much advertising that your visitors can’t find your content. This will annoy your visitors and you’ll have more people moving on to the X.
11. Quality advertising is also important. If your website is about being a mom and you have ads about adult diapers, you’re not likely to make a whole lot on that, so there’s really no point to even having that ad there. Google’s Adsense is good for creating ads that relate to your content. However, you may not choose Adsense if you’re company that offers a service because you may find your competitor’s ads on your site.
12. Quality writing is extremely important. If you cannot spell or don’t know proper grammar (at least as much as your visitors), you could lose them. I’ve chosen to leave a site and buy from a competitor simply because no one thought to get a copy editor or even ask a friend to read over the content.
13. Be visual. When I arrive at a website with a minimalist design, I usually leave right away. I am a very visual person and if your design (or content, some use a minimalist design around their photos) is boring I won’t have any interest in finding out what your site is about. But don’t go so overboard with images that your visitors are overwhelmed and your content gets lost.