A lot of successful websites depend on returning visitors to account for a major part of their traffic. Returning visitors are easier to convert into paying customers because the more often they return to a site, the more trust they have in that site. The credibility issue just melts away. Hence, keep your visitors coming back to your site with the following methods:
1) Start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox
When you start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox, you are providing your visitors a place to voice their opinions and interact with their peers — all of them are visitors of your site. As conversations build up, a sense of community will also follow and your visitors will come back to your site almost religiously every day.
2) Start a web log (blog)
Keep an online journal, or more commonly known as a blog, on your site and keep it updated with latest news about yourself. Human beings are curious creatures and they will keep their eyes glued to the monitor if you post fresh news frequently. You will also build up your credibility as you are proving to them that there is also a real life person behind the website.
3) Carry out polls or surveys
Polls and surveys are other forms of interaction that you should definitely consider adding to your site. They provide a quick way for visitors to voice their opinions and to get involved in your website. Be sure to publish polls or surveys that are strongly relevant to the target market of your website to keep them interested to find out about the results.
4) Hold puzzles, quizzes and games
Just imagine how many office workers procrastinate at work every day, and you will be able to gauge how many people will keep visiting your site if you provide a very interesting or addicting way of entertainment. You can also hold competitions to award the high score winner to keep people trying continuously to earn the prize.
5) Update frequently with fresh content
Update your site frequently with fresh content so that every time your visitors come back, they will have something to read on your site. This is the most widely known and most effective method of attracting returning visitors, but this is also the least carried out one because of the laziness of webmasters. No one will want to browse a site that looks the same over ten years, so keep your site updated with fresh bites!
HOT TO GET YOUR FIRST GOOGLE WEBSITE OPTIMIZER TEST RUNNING IN 10 MINUTES
You signed up for Google’s free multivariate or A/B testing platform, and I’d like to welcome you to the world of conversion rate optimization on steroids. For the longest time a quality testing platform was too expensive for many, but now it is available to all of us. Getting started is really easy. If you are willing to invest 10 minutes, I’ll walk you through the process of setting up and performing your first test.
The Non-Technical Technical Overview
Even if you are uncomfortable with technical stuff, you should understand setting up. That way, if you have to talk to someone technical, you will be able to communicate effectively. The process is really simple.
We’ll need a name for this experiment; we’ll call it “First Test”.
1. The first thing you must do is identify which page you want to test (Test Page). For the sake of getting your first test started, let’s say you are going to test your homepage.
2. Identify the page your visitor must reach to qualify as a successful conversion (Conversion Page). Is it your order thank you page, your registration success page, your contact us confirmation page, or a begin download page? In other words, the Conversion Page is the page your visitor gets to once they’ve taken the action you want them to take on your Test Page.
For this example we’ll use our Contact Us Thank You page.
3. The Google Website Optimizer will generate little bits of code, called “tags,” for the Test Page and the Conversion Page. All you or your technical person needs to do is a little copying and pasting. Google will even check (validate) that you’ve placed the tags correctly before you can begin. On the Test Page, put the “Control Script” code at the top part of the page (called the “head”) and the “Tracker Script” at the bottom of the page (before the </body> tag). You only need to tag the Conversion Page at the bottom with the “Tracker Script.”
Please note the tracking script specifies in its code which is the test page and which is the goal page.
Test Page: “Control Script” at top + “Tracker Script” at bottom
Conversion Page: “Tracker Script” at bottom
4. Now, look at the Test Page and decide what pieces or elements (Sections) of the page you want to test. You can test up to 8 sections on any one page.
For now, we’ll set up test of only one section. This is commonly referred to as an A/B test. Let’s choose a section we know has a high impact on any site.
a. On your Test Page there is one section almost every visitor sees: the first headline. Headlines are the easiest section to test, because you don’t need anyone else to come up with any copy or images – all you need to change is a few words (remember it is only a test). Your headline should start with an <h1> (could be h2, h3, etc.) html tag.
b. Once you have identified the section you are testing – in this case the first headline – you need to place a “section script” (a tiny piece of code) right before and after the html that renders your headline.
Google recommends excluding as much HTML as possible when defining sections. In this section script, you to change the name of the section in the code so you can identify it. For example:
Your Current headline
Change the “Description” to “Headline Test”.
For the purpose of this run-through, we didn’t spend time crafting a knock-out
headline. But you will definitely want to do this. Learning to create good headlines takes skill and practice. As you come to learn what works best for your audience, your ability to create truly persuasive headlines will improve. Here are some ideas for testing your headlines:
Test fractions (3/4) or percentages (75%) to prove your claim.
Test using numbers in your headlines.
Test asking questions in the headline (make sure you directly answer the
question after the headline).
Test using news in headlines to appeal to visitors.
Test using emotional-laden words.
Test different types of bolding, fonts, colors, capitalizations, sizes, and formatting.
Test background colors for headlines.
Test the number of words used in the headline.
Test using exclamation points.
Test using text to convey the benefits versus the features of your products or services.
Test self-focused text (we/I) in the headline.
Test customer-focused text (you) in the headline.
Test using quotations in the headline (consider the length of the headline).
Test the reading level of the headline.
Your Current headline
Make sure the </noscript> tag follows your original content in a section.
c. Try to come up with 2 different variations of your headline other than the one you currently have (you’ll have a total of three headlines).
Once you tag your pages (see Step 3), you’ll be able to add these variations into Google’s Website Optimizer yourself and get your experiment running.
Hopefully you were able to tag these pages yourself or had someone else do it for you by now. When the Optimizer has validated these, you can begin to enter your section variations.
You’re ready to begin your first experiment!
Create and Enter Variations
Google’s Website Optimizer interface will show you a box (Variation Entry Form) labeled “Headline Test”, and it will show the html code you put the section script around (<h1>Your Current headline</h1>) grayed out.
1. On the left you will see a hyperlink that says “+ Add another variation”. Click that.
2. A small box will appear in front of the Variation Entry Form that asks you to create a new variation. You just need to supply a short, descriptive name.
3. It will then show you the code to edit in the Variation Entry Form with the new variation name you just came up with. All you need to do is this: between the <h1> and the </h1>, where “Your Current Headline” is, type one of the 2 variations you came up with over the words ‘Your Current Headline”.
4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 to add your second variation.
5. When you are done adding variations click on “Save and continue.”
Review Test Setting and Launch
The Google Website Optimizer presents a summary identifying the Test Page address, the Conversion Page address, the name and number of variations you created and the total number of combinations you are testing. It also allows you to decide what percent of your total traffic should be exposed to the test. In our example, we’ll leave it at 100%.
Click the “Launch Now” button. The fun of testing now begins! Next step, wait for the results. You have successfully launched your first test.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
How can you tell if your results are valid? Certainly it’s important to be aware of “freshness” factors that can influence your conversion rates, things such as seasonality or even time of day. It’s important to run your tests concurrently, ideally for a couple of weeks, making certain your sample size is adequate and the results between tests are statistically meaningful.
Remember, you do not want to marginally beat out what you have; you are looking for significant increases. Make sure you define what will constitute success when you start testing. You can base your criteria for success based on a certain number of conversions or sales, or you can measure results over course of time.
To be sure your test is showing a statistically meaningful impact on the variables, you have to know if you’ve demonstrated enough of a difference between the tests to declare a clear winner. As a rule of thumb, you should have at least a three times larger result (e.g., if A is 5, B should be 15).
The beauty of Google’s Website Optimizer is that it takes care of all the math and shows you which elements or combinations of elements will work best for you.
When you are ready to take the next step to multivariate testing (as in our earlier example), just add an additional section script before your element and go through the same process of creating and entering variations.
It’s that easy!
If you need assistance with your SEO or need setting up the Google Website Optimizer, why not give us a buzz on email?
You’ve got your site uploaded and finally working – now you want to “force” Google Spiders and potential customers to come to you. “Gimme Traffic, and lots of it!!”
You will probably have heard of the common term Indexing. It’s really just a method to get Backlinks. Just remember that Backlinks are kings of cool in terms of indexing and traffic.
Backlinks are links from other pages/sites to your page/site and they are sometimes referred to as Inbound or Incoming links.
This is akin to a popularity contest, the more links going to your site the better. Google and the other search engines think all these people like the site because they are linking to it, so they are forced to agree they like it too, and index it – whoopee – more traffic, more eyeballs on site!!
However, remember that Backlinks are only useful if the site linking to you is already indexed itself! So, by leading the bots that regularly visit these already indexed sites straight to your site you’re speeding up your own site’s indexing process.
Before I show you a method of getting Backlinks while you watch it happen – here are a few working ideas which you can use as routines to build Backlinks regularly yourself, which will in turn get your page indexed, in most cases at a pretty rapid pace. If you’re already indexed this can continue to improve your position in the search engines or cause the search engines to crawl more of your pages and get more of your site indexed.
Blogging – Jackpot! This is another great way to get Backlinks. When you write a blog, Google knows about it practically before you’re done writing it.
Google and other search engines visit Blog sites too many times in a day to count. You can use Blogger.com free of charge, or safeguard your investment by setting up a WordPress Blog on your own domain / Web Hosting.
When you make a blog posting and casually drop in your site with a link to it, you’ve actually created a Backlink. Any blog host that is of any worthiness is indexed in Google and the other Search Engines.
Almost all methods of getting Indexed quickly rely on Backlinks and getting them easily. Blogging is a great way, as is having your friends link to you if they already have indexed sites.
Below are some reputable Blog sites that could be of great use to you. Don’t put a blog on every single one of them, or at least don’t put a blog on every one as well as using the future methods I am going to talk about. It can do more harm than good if you overdo it and appear to Spam any of these sites.
For a similar reason I’m not including a clickable link below!
BUT – Six good sites to Blog to about your own Site are: – www.
There are many, many, many more Blogging sites. Some are for just general Blogs and others are for specific types of Blogs. Do some research and you’ll find a lot more with Google etc. Blogging, combined with Pinging, may be the most useful and successful way to get indexed.
It can all be free and really valuable when it comes to getting indexed, and getting indexed quickly. I won’t cover Pinging in this short introduction but I must touch on RSS. RSS – Really Simply Syndication: – It’s a way to let the search engines and blog hosts know when you update your page or blog on the spot. While RSS alone is useless, when you make use of it with your blog or page it’s just another tool in the arsenal of indexing that you can readily take advantage of.
This isn’t a fully comprehensive guide, it’s an introduction to some important principles and methods to get you geared up so you know what you’re doing and why! The one sure thing about RSS is that it really does work. Always try to include RSS feeds and go out of your way to ensure your methods make use of them.
See the site at www “dot” feedage.com for a really useful RSS Directory. Social Networking: – Bingo, another great source of valued links!
In addition to Blogs you should always include at least a small circle of linked Social Network Sites for your main Keyword Site(s). I’m not going to cover this in detail here, it’s a big topic. However, for your immediate guidance I strongly recommend you research using: – www.
Be sure to follow this up as the Social Sites are already well crawled and spidered by the search engines and carry high rankings. How does this help?
– eg if you set up a Squidoo Lens around just one keyword phrase for the site you link it to, and make it a valued Lens (see instructions in Squidoo.com on this), then it will be well ranked on Squidoo and will also be well placed for the search engines because of the ranking that Squidoo carries itself. This will get you indexed rapidly and prove a real traffic driver, a FREE TRAFFIC DRIVER. Duplicate this for 3 or 4 of your keywords on Squidoo,
repeat that for HubPages etc, etc……… and Bob’s your Uncle!!
Of course there are hundreds of sites besides Squidoo and HubPages so as these two become known and “busy” try some of the less well known sites (Google them yourself) and follow the age old principles:
1. Track your activity
2. Check what’s working, tweak what’s not
3. Select the best (this is the Rinse!)
4. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat