Improving Return Visits: Here’s How To Bring Users Back To Your Site

Getting a user to your site for the first time is no small accomplishment. It means that your marketing efforts have succeeded in driving user awareness of your brand and that your messaging is enticing enough to pique user interest in your services or products. But the journey from that first website visit to becoming a bona fide customer is usually a long one, and the unfortunate truth is that very few users will convert on the first visit. It’s common for users to spend hours over the course of days or weeks researching their purchases. The larger the purchase, the more time spent researching.

So the goal for businesses is to push users in the initial stages of research further along the path to purchase. Once a user leaves your site, you need to continue engaging with them throughout the process to conversion by remaining top of mind and finding ways to get them to explore your website content in more depth. It comes down to investing in digital marketing tactics that will put your brand back at top of their minds.

1 - Run retargeting campaigns

Retargeting is the process of showing ads to users who have visited your website and left without taking a desired action, such as completing a purchase. Once the user leaves your site, they are shown ads for your business when they visit other sites on the web. Retargeting ads put your brand and products back out in front of users and encourage them to return to your website.

If you’ve never run a retargeting campaign before, here are a few things to consider as you get started:

- Like all display ads, retargeting ads should include a clear value proposition. Give the user a powerful and compelling reason to return to your site.

- Ads must have a strong visual component. For retailers, the visual element is most often an image of the product or products the user was looking at before they left your site. In the example below, our agency users real imagery of websites that our team has created.

- Branding elements should be clear, but not overly intrusive. You want users to be able to glance at the ad and immediately associate it with your brand.

- If you’re able to, consider including an offer in your ad. The offer could be anything from a discount, a gift with purchase, or a free download of a white paper. If you’re a retailer consider this: the number one reason users give for abandoning shopping carts is the cost of shipping. If you normally charge for shipping, consider running retargeting ads with free shipping offers in order to get first-time customers back to complete the sale.

- Set limits on how many times your ads will be shown to users before they expire. Retargeting is an effective way to get customers back, but the last thing you want is to irritate users by showing them the same ad for weeks on end.

2 - Target cart abandoners

Most users who come to your website will never convert to customers. A lot of them will never even put a product in their shopping cart. Of those users who do go so far as to place an item in their cart, a huge proportion will never complete the purchase -- a habit called cart abandonment.

There are many reasons users abandon their shopping carts. Some, like shipping costs and a high overall order cost, are pricing concerns. But users will also abandon because they become distracted, don’t have enough time to complete the order at that moment, or simply aren’t entirely convinced that they really want the product. Though these users have abandoned, they are not necessarily lost forever.

A series of strategic cart abandonment emails and display ads can help convince a user who has reservations to come back to your site for a second look. Nordstrom emails potential customers when they’ve left an item in their bag---a subtle, yet effective, reminder.

According to eMarketer, cart abandonment emails have significantly higher open rates than other emails from retailers and, on average, click-to-open rates are around 30%. Users might abandon their carts because they don’t think they want to complete the purchase, but a strong cart abandonment email can help push them towards a sale. Speaking to key user concerns (return policy and product guarantees, for example) in the emails you send can go a long way to removing lingering barriers to purchase.

3 - Focus on email marketing

Email remarketing is a great way to retrieve cart abandoners, but email marketing in the general sense is also a powerful tool. It might not be the most exciting or innovative marketing tactic, but it remains an effective one, especially when it comes to bringing users back to your website. Marketers continue to cite email marketing as one of their most effective channels -- reporting a median ROI of 122%, according to a survey from eMarketer.

The ways in which email marketing can be deployed to engage ecommerce customers are fairly obvious. As mentioned above, cart abandonment emails can be used to keep specific products top of mind for users, encouraging them to come back to complete the sale. Email can also be deployed to cross-sell customers on products they are likely to be interested in based on past purchases and to keep them informed of new product launches.

But even if your business is not an ecommerce one, email marketing can still be used to inspire users to return to your site and get to know your business further. Using email marketing as a means of promoting thought leadership and company resources is a smart way to keep users coming back to your site.

4 - Publish great content

At its core, the answer to the question of how to get users to come back to your website revolves around what value you’re providing to those users. If your website design doesn’t allow for fresh content, or your marketing materials are not providing some kind of value to users, whether it’s solving a problem they have or keeping them entertained, it’s unlikely they’ll see a reason to come back.

Providing value, as it turns out, is also the key to effective content marketing. If you want users to continue engaging with your website on an ongoing basis, you need to make it a destination for them. Doing that entails creating and publishing innovative content. Creating innovative content means looking for ways to create content around topics and ideas no one else is talking about. The internet is crowded with brand content and users are adept at tuning out the noise this content creates. If you want to stand out, and get users coming to your site regularly, you need to create content that’s original and has a unique perspective.

Being innovative with format also doesn’t hurt. Corporate blogs are a dime a dozen and posting a blog post once a month is not going to be enough to attract a real audience. Can you create a podcast instead? What about a set of how-to videos? A webinar series? A repository of presentations?

5 - Maintain an active social presence

While publishing great content and growing a dedicated audience for that content is a good first step toward generating return traffic, it isn’t the whole picture. In order for content to be successful it needs to be shared as widely as possible, and social media is the natural place for that sharing to occur. When users see that you’re sharing content that’s of interest to them, they’re more likely to become part of your dedicated audience.

Not only that, but engaging regularly with followers and members of your community will remind users of what your brand stands for, what your aesthetic is, and where your expertise lies. This type of engagement helps keep your brand top of mind.

Re-Engagement In The Digital Space

Getting a user to come to your site for the first time is an important step on the customer journey, but it’s only the beginning. In order to be successful in converting users to first-time buyers, and first-time buyers to loyal customers, you need to continue bringing them back to your content time and again. Fortunately, there are digital marketing tactics at your disposal that can put your brand back at the front of users’ minds. Retargeting display, cart abandonment programs, email marketing, and content creation and promotion are all tactics that have the ability to attract users back to your website. When implemented together, they are a powerful means of generating that repeat traffic you’re looking for.

To learn more about digital advertising and how to increase return visits to your site, visit Blue Fountain Media online.

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