When you’ve spent the last several years working hard on your website, producing great content, and getting a lot of traffic, the last thing you want is for those hard-earned viewers to forget about you.
Creating a successful and profitable website isn’t easy, but increasing your return visitor rate (and therefore increasing your website revenue) is far easier than most content creators realize. In this article, you’re going to learn how to increase your return visitor rate and make your site one of your audiences’ favorite places to go for their needs.
If You Want Return Visitors, Give Them “Exactly” What They Want
I keep seeing the same billboard slogan plastered everywhere around town, and I have to admit, it’s a great slogan: “100% of boring ads don’t matter.”
The same is true for your content, website, and brand — if it’s boring or bland, your audience won’t want to return. There are simply too many competitors and niches that cater to specific groups, giving them precisely what they’re looking for in faster, more entertaining, or more unique ways. If you want to thrive as a publisher, you have to stand out and give a specific group of people the exact answers they want.
One of the biggest mistakes many beginner (and plenty of veteran) content creators make is they try to please everyone, expanding their message and efforts to reach as many people as possible. Unfortunately, this is the exact reason why they don’t get traffic. As the old saying goes, “If you try and please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.”
Instead of trying to cater to as many people as possible, identify exactly what your specific audience wants, and give them just that. Multi-million dollar marketer and ClickFunnels founder Russell Brunson recommends identifying a niche at least three levels deep into your topics, ensuring you don’t risk producing generic, vague content that will drive visitors away.
You can make a significant amount of money in almost any niche — growing an audience, consistently producing quality content, and successfully monetizing your website all rely on the same basic fundamentals. When it comes to information-based marketing, most businesses fall into one of these three categories:
Source: DotCom Secrets by ClickFunnels
Health could include submarkets like weight loss to mental health, addiction recovery to increased productivity at work. Wealth submarkets could include cryptocurrency to retirement planning, startup funding to digital marketing. There’s a massive range of submarkets and niches.
But the real magic of your content will happen after you go another level deeper: going from health > addiction recovery > alcohol abuse among corporate millennials, for instance. Here’s another one: wealth > startup funds > securing investor funding for middle aged mothers. See how specific that is? How many websites specifically cater to that exact audience? Probably not many. If you can give your niche audience the exact content that fits their needs, you’re far more likely to see an increase in return visitor rate.
Source: DotCom Secrets by ClickFunnels
If you want return visitors, give them exactly what they want. Dan Henry, multi-million dollar coach and founder of Digital Millionaire Coaching, once said that you want to be exclusive. You want to exclude anyone who doesn’t fall into your exact niche. That way, the people that do engage with your content will fall in love with you and your work, always coming back to the person who serves their extremely niche needs.
Prioritize Building an Email List
One of the most difficult obstacles content creators face is trying to get first-time visitors to come back to their content. If you work hard, your content might finally reach page one of Google search rankings, or you might write an article that goes viral on social media. These events usually lead to a sudden spike of site visitors…until that peak traffic dies down and you’re left with your usual traffic flow. If you don’t prioritize building an email list, all those views might mean nothing in the long run.
I saw a similar spike myself a while back for my blog. One of my articles happened to be retweeted by a popular influencer, and I went from my usual 5,000 average daily views to a few days of 30,000 to 50,000 views! But then, the traffic died down and went back to its usual rate:
But since I had made a simple call to action at the bottom of the article, I was able to convert those viewers into email subscribers. I got thousands of signups in just 48 hours, and now I can send them new content whenever it comes out, increasing my visitor return rate and ensuring my subscribers have every chance to see my work.
Remember, you don’t own your Facebook followers — Facebook does. You don’t own your Google traffic — Google does. See where I’m going with this? If you don’t own your traffic, you won’t be able to stay connected with them in the long-term, and you have to rely on external factors to increase your return visitor rate. Your audience might just find another content creator who makes it on the first page of Google next week, or writes a viral social media post after yours, and they’re gone.
You can avoid all this if you prioritize building an email list.
Email is one of the most intimate, personal forms of communication a person can have. It supersedes search engines, social media algorithms, and advertisements — you can send a message to your followers whenever you want, and they’ll probably see it come in.
There are countless studies analyzing mobile phone users and email notifications, and according to a 2020 survey, users increased their email notification open rates steadily each quarter. According to Fluent’s 2018 study, about 3 in 5 consumers check their email on the go (mobile) and 75% of users said they use their smartphones most often to check email. In short – there’s a massive opportunity to build return visitors through email.
One easy way to start building an email list is to start putting a simple call to action at the end of your posts, directing traffic to a landing page that typically offers a free bonus (an eBook, a PDF, a checklist, a discount, etc.) in exchange for an email.
As a content creator myself, I learned early on the importance of having a strong email list. As one of the top writers on Medium.com, I was getting hundreds of thousands of views a month. But I didn’t own the traffic — Medium did. So I started putting a simple call to action at the end of all my articles, offering a free PDF on my most popular topics in exchange for an email.
I was able to build a massive email list, very quickly. I gained about 16,000+ email subscribers in about five months, and over the next couple years I gained over 100,000+ more. I had a friend who had his blog shut down by Medium, and he lost his 200,000 followers overnight with no way to get them back. If the same thing ever happened to me, no problem — I have my email list.
This is also one of the strongest strategies to get return visitors to your site — you can send out daily, weekly, or monthly emails to your subscribers about new content you’ve posted, new projects you’re working on, or anything else you want to tell them. It’s a simple way to get more clicks on your website, which helps you earn more revenue through ads/products/services while also boosting your site’s SEO rankings. Why? Because your email subscribers are likely to spend more time on your site, signaling to search engines that you have good content worth checking out.
If you always want to have a consistent audience and increase your visitor return rate, focus on building an email list. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to get return traffic and boost your SEO rankings.