You’ve got a website and you work hard to attract visitors to your site. You’ve focused on optimizing the site for search engines, building links from other websites and blogs, using social networks for promotion, and creating quality content for your site. You’re getting some visitors to the site, but it seems like once they leave your site the opportunity is over and you’ll have to work even more to get other new visitors. What’s the solution? One of the best ways to increase the effectiveness of a website or blog is to emphasize the importance of repeat visitors. If you can encourage a higher percentage of your first time visitors to come back, you’ll see your traffic numbers, engagement, and profitability rise. Repeat visitors are key to the success of any website. They are the ones that are most likely to:- interact by leaving a comment, share your content via social media, link back to you from their own website or blog, refer your site to a friend, buy one of your products, buy a product that you promote as an affiliate. Loyal, repeat visitors can be the difference between success and failure for a website. How do you go about getting more of your visitors to come back at some point in the future? Here is a look at 5 things you can do. #1. Make Your Email List a Priority An email list or a newsletter list can be an extremely effective way to develop strong loyalty and to encourage repeat visits. Through the emails that you send to your list you can link to your site, to new blog posts, to new product pages, or to whatever area of your site that needs more exposure. The people who receive and open your emails are likely to be your most loyal and passionate followers. One of the great things about an email list is that it can be useful in any industry and regardless of how your business or website makes money. Get visitors to opt in to your list Simply having an email list is not enough to maximize the amount of repeat visitors that you get through the list. You’ll want to make it one of your priorities to get visitors to opt in to your list. If you’re able to increase the conversion rate of optins your list will grow faster and you’ll be able to promote your site to more people on a recurring basis. There are a number of things you can do to emphasize the opt in forms on your site, and it starts with displaying your form in prominent locations where visitors will notice them. Some common locations include the top of a sidebar, directly below post content, on a homepage, or even within post or page content when appropriate. Use pop ups for opt in forms To take it a step further, one of the best ways to maximize the percentage of visitors that subscribe to your list is to use a popup. Yes, popups can be intrusive to some visitors, but they are capable of amazing results. WordPress users can display popups with the help of a number of different plugins like OptinMonster, Popup Domination, and Hybrid Connect. You’ll also want to give your visitors some incentive to sign up in order to increase your conversion rates. Offering some sort of free bonus or resource is the most common approach, because it works. You could offer a free report, e-book, video, interview, email series, or anything else that your target audience would value. #2. Establish Your Brand and Authority If you’re able to establish your website or blog as an authority in your industry, visitors will come directly to your site when they are looking for something specific rather than always turning to a Google search. Quality Blog content Establishing yourself as an authority takes time and effort, but the payoff is huge and it’s something that you can work towards.The obvious part of becoming an authority involves the content and information that you provide through your blog. We all know that you need quality content, but the branding of your site/business also plays a role here. Professional-looking logo Having a professional-looking logo can have a big impact on the branding of your site. The design and overall look of your site can also be a factor. If there is no money in the budget for these items at the start, it’s something that you’ll want to save for and invest in when you’re able. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You could use a service like 99designs for an affordable logo, or even purchase a logo template. Instead of hiring a designer for a custom design you could buy a template or theme, usually for less than $100, that will give a more professional look than you could get with a free template. ThemeForest is a great place to find templates for all kinds of sites and blogs. #3. Provide a Positive User Experience Visitors are much more likely to come back to your site if they have a good user experience on the first visit. There are a number of things you can do to provide visitors with a positive experience, including: Have a site that loads quickly. Make your content easy to read and scan. Don’t bombard visitors with too many ads. Make it easy to navigate your site. Offer a sitewide search to help visitors find the content that they want. Provide quality content that is helpful to visitors. Have a mobile-friendly website. When fist time visitors have a bad user experience they are unlikely to return to that site in the future. #4. Promote Your Social Profiles Social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest are great for promoting your content and attracting more visitors to your site. Most businesses have recognized the importance of social media and now at least have a presence on the major social networks. If your first-time visitors choose to follow you on a social network it increases the chances that they will return to your site at some point in the future because they will see any links and promotions that you post at that social network. Gain a Twitter follower today and that person may become a repeat visitor next week when you tweet a link to your latest blog post. Promote your social networking profiles in a prominent location where your visitors will easily notice. Sidebars are commonly used to display icons or widgets from social networks, so visitors will often look in your sidebar if they’re interested in following you. #5. Use Google Authorship Google Authorship allows you to have your photo displayed next to your pages/posts when they appear in the search engine results. It connects with your Google+ profile and uses the photo from that profile. Authorship is becoming increasingly important and just about everyone is touting it for SEO, but it can also have an impact for encouraging repeat visitors. Imagine that you do a Google search and on the first page of the search results you see the photo of someone that you recognize. You’re much more likely to click on that link than you would be to click on the average link in the search results. Your visitors may see your profile photo in the author bio on your blog posts or by visiting your profile at a social network. If they see your photo later in the search results they may remember you and click on your link as a result. What’s Your Experience? What have you found to be effective at encouraging repeat visitors to your site or blog? Please feel free to share in the comments. Images: ”Hand of Business Man write Brand Loyalty concept / Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator. Want to get your business featured on Tweak Your Biz? Check out #TYBspotlight.