Everyone knows this: the longer your visitors stay on your web site, the more likely they are to buy something. The longer they stay, the more trust they develop in your business, the more comfortable they will become ordering from you.
So, how can you keep them on your site longer? Well, there are the wicked ways (opening the pop-up windows every 5 seconds or posting a dirty picture, which might keep the visitors longer but not very likely will make them trust you). And there are the nice and smart ways to achieve the longer-staying visitors.
People LOVE getting free stuff. Free articles are even better, because they are helpful and tell more about the person who wrote them. Every article brings your visitors closer to you personally, while providing them with helpful information. When using other people’s articles, always write a brief forward or your opinion about the topic – this will ensure that you agree with the author and are endorsing this article.
Stories can be funny, sad, philosophical, or simply about how you got started in your business. They will not only keep your visitors longer, but will bring more people by a word-of-mouth method. When I came across http://www.timroot.com, I couldn’t help but telling everyone I know about how funny his site is! If you are up for a good laugh, visit Tim and click on “About Tim” link.
A message board filled with interesting and informative posts is a terrific magnet for your visitors! Sometimes I might spend a whole hour on an online forum, if the messages are of interest to me. A good and busy forum will also create a strong sense of community on your web site and will generate a lot of repeat visitors. Adding a forum is as simple as signing up with http://www.Network54.com and inserting a few lines of code into your web page.
5) Poll or Survey
My husband is not exactly savvy on the Internet. He only reads the news and sometimes does the research for his college papers. But every time there is a poll on a site, he will post his opinion and read what others are saying about the topic. People always want to know what others think about a subject that interests them. Come up with a few interesting polls and add a new one to your web site every week. Use the free service from http://www.Bravenet.com or http://www.Pollit.com
If it’s appropriate for your web site, allow your visitors to submit their web sites to your directory. It will not only keep your visitors longer, but will make them come back to check out theirs and their competitors listings. Make sure that the sites submitted are relevant to the overall theme of your web site, so not to make it’s not just another “dump” of links.
7) Audio Greeting
A great way to entertain your visitors is an audio greeting. It can be a welcome message, or a site tour. Simply download the free Real Producer from http://www.realnetworks.com and record your voice. Remind your visitors that they have to have the Real Player (http://www.real.com) to listen to your audio message.
8) Flash Movie
Animated movies are a terrific way of pulling your visitors into your web site. And now with CoffeeCup’s Firestarter, you can make your own Flash animation in minutes! Just go to http://www.coffeecup.com and download their free version. Open the program, enter some text, add a few animation effects and create a web page – all won’t take you more than 20 minutes.
9) Take a quiz
A quiz is a fun and informative way of keeping your visitors on your site. Creating a quiz is easy – just come up with 10-20 questions related to the theme of your web site. Then go to the free web tools such as http://www.alxnet.com/services/quiz and sign up for their quiz services. When they give you the HTML code, insert it into your web page. That’s it! You can find more web sites that offer free quiz tool by searching Google.com for “quiz for a web site”.
10) Staff Introduction
I always like reading about people behind a web site. Some stories are so funny and ridiculous, that it’s impossible to stop reading. Have a photograph and a fun story about everyone who is a part of your web business. And if you are a one-person business, tell a funny and creative story about yourself. Pretend you are on a stage and every sentence you say has to make your audience laugh. Well, at least that always works for me 🙂
Milana Nastetskaya is a full time web developer and the author of the “65 Instant Web Design Answers”. http://www.instantwebanswers.com