When you consider the sheer vastness of the hundreds of millions of websites that make up the internet today, it’s amazing to think that for most of us our average browsing is often limited to only a handful of bookmarked websites or E Commerce stores that we regularly visit.
When your website is your businesses storefront, return customers can be vital for generating income, especially when your competitors are only a click away. Similar to sticking with an author you like reading or watching a films by a particular director whose work you love, website visitors tend to also be loyal to the websites that effectively engage them and appeal to their personal preferences.
The websites that are effective and keep customers coming back are those that serve their primary purpose well: to attract visitors, convert leads, and engage customers with relevant and valuable content.
So how can you boost visitor loyalty for your website?
Stop talking about you. Start talking to your customers.
More often than not, businesses building their websites are guilty of doing so with a ‘set and forget’ mentality, focusing on being a digital brochure about the company itself rather than offering content of any real substance.
With today’s instant gratification culture, your customers demand relevant information that is customized to suit their specific pain points. They won’t be returning to your site to read generic corporate waffle, they will return because you quickly gave them what they wanted and their experience on your website was a positive one.
To see a tailored user experience at its best, you don’t need to go much further than the likes of Amazon or Ebay. These sites are of course extreme and very expensive examples, but they set the benchmark in terms of treating visitors like individuals, not just one of the crowd. They welcome you by name, remember your preferences and make recommendations based on your searching. Not all sites need to be this advanced, but a little personalization goes a long way to show customer you understand their wants and needs.
Know where and how your customers use your website.
Recent research by Google has shown that mobile devices are now overtaking desktops when it comes to researching online. Customers can be looking for you at any time of day from just about anywhere, be it browsing online shops for that special gift while sitting on the couch at night or researching a tradesmen while on the bus on the way to work. If you are not converting them while they are actively researching and looking for your goods and services, you should at least be showing them what they need to make that decision. That way they will return to your website at a later date on a desktop and convert.
When we started our business back in 2009, one of the main points of conversation with most customers was justifying why, as business owners, they needed a website. Today the conversation has evolved. Businesses now understand that websites are vital part of marketing and generating leads, but the conversation has shifted towards the necessity for a responsive mobile friendly web design.
If your website can’t be used on a mobile device you are quite simply missing out on customers, but equally importantly you are missing the repeat business from those researching on the run and then going to their desktops to complete transaction later.
From a marketing perspective, the cost of generating a new lead for your business is significantly higher than retaining and reinvigorating return customers. So if you want your website to be one of those bookmarked few being used regularly by your customers, then you need to start thinking about how they use and consume information on your site. If you want your customers to stay loyal to you, then given them a reason to do so, and they will continue to reward you with repeat business for many years to come.