You are familiar with the “standard” website. It usually contains a home page, about us, services/products, a contact page and sometimes a blog as well…
A few years ago, this was enough to keep people’s attention. But fast forward to 2014 and you’ll see that this “standard” website format isn’t really enough to stand out in people’s minds anymore – and it’s certainly not enough to keep them coming back for more.
So, you have to find a way to offer your services/products while still being useful AND interesting enough to make people want to visit your website time and again.
Repeat visitors is what’s up. Trust me.
So, how do you do that? Here are a few ideas:
1. Develop a Useful Tool
You have to be somewhat careful with tools. So many websites have them that even they are losing their novelty to some degree. However, if you can come up with something your users actually need this is a great way to create repeat visitors.
If you decide to make a tool, make sure that at minimum it does something different enough from other tools in its niche that it stands out. And, if it’s possible, create an entirely unique tool no one else has…
For example, there are tons of mortgage calculators online, but the one at Bankrate is more comprehensive than others we looked at because it allows you to calculate how much faster you can pay off your mortgage by paying additional amounts each month. And, it also gives you a precise amortization table that shows how much in interest and principal you pay each month for the entire life of the mortgage.
2. Make Your Blog (More) Interesting
Think about the standard blog article – it goes 500 words, maybe less, and you might come away with a tip or idea…
However, if you really want to take your blog to the next level, considering diving deep into a client case study, giving a step by step tutorial on how to use one of your products, provide research, statistics and references.
Check out some of the KILLER blog posts on moz.com like:
HOLY CRAP! Now that is a blog post!
And who doesn’t love an awesome video blog, like the well know “White Board Fridays” hosted by Rand Fishkin of Moz every Friday:
Some people are intimated by reading (or writing) lengthy article like blog posts – but many bloggers are finding success with video blogs in place of the traditional articles. Your audience can really relate to you in a live video post and you don’t have to be a professional to make a video for your own blog. If you can operate a smartphone or a computer, you can make a video. Plus, it’s fun.
3. Gamify Your Site and Encourage Competition
Over 70% of the Forbes Global 2000 will use gamification sometime in 2014 to increase sales and increase customer retention. What’s interesting is that Gabe Zichermann, CEO of Gamification, said the reward most customers desire the most is simply status above their peers….
Hrm. That seems easy (cheap).
But how can you apply gamification to a fairly run-of-the-mill business website? Take a look at how florist Teleflora has gamified its entire online store. Customers earn points by reviewing products and answering questions in the Q&A section, among many other actions. As they do so, they get more impressive badges and are acknowledged publicly on a leaderboard:
LinkedIn also uses gamification, but in a more subtle way. It tells you your profile strength as you fill it out more. You get different ratings as you fill it out, ending up with an “All-Star” rating once it’s complete.
The fun functions of your website don’t have to make sales directly. By simply having them available you increase your niche authority, keep visitors coming back and Google, in turn, will reward you with better search rankings.
And isn’t that the point?