Almost every blogger and site manager seeks to maximize the traffic that their page can bring in. They look to put out quality content, utilize SEO techniques, and consult a creative agency in order to build an appealing and visible site that will attract a large readership.
A major element of the traffic-driving process is a site’s ability to bring in first-time visitors. Whether they click on a link or see the blog towards the top of a Google search, the first-time visitor usually arrives at their destination without having planned their visit at all beforehand. A good deal of online marketing necessarily targets the fist-time viewer.
While many sites succeed in attracting new visitors, few take concerted steps to insure that these visitors return to the site and join the ranks of its loyal readership base.
Of course, this is a large part a factor of content; if a new reader doesn’t like the content he sees, no amount of marketing skills are capable or worthwhile of bringing him back.
But for the reader who finds the content interesting, it is in a site’s best interest to win him over as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
Here are 12 tips to attract first time visitors to your site:
Tip 1: Have a clean, crisp, and bold design at the top of your main page:
- While it is undoubtedly beneficial to have a depth of content on your site, it is also important that first-time visitors do not feel overwhelmed when they arrive.
It is also important that your site carries a top-of-the-page design that will sit in the visitor’s head even after he leaves the page and goes elsewhere on the internet. This insures a higher chance of a repeat visit.
Tip 2: Avoid placing ads and other clutter at the top of the main page:
- Whether consciously or unconsciously, a first-time visitor to a site will assess that site’s credibility upon arrival. Since you have not yet won their trust, a first-time viewer will more specifically look for signs that indicate that your site is reputable.
Advertisements are an expected and regular part of the internet these days. But a large number of ads or other clutter can certainly make a site seem less credible to the initial visitor.
Tip 3: Try to make headlines engaging and provocative:
- You can never agree that a visitor to your site will read or even skim any of its posts or articles. But it’s highly unlikely that they will leave without fully reading and considering the top headline, or at least the one that is most prominently displayed.
Along these lines, putting some extra effort into your headlines can translate into a greater number of repeat visitors.
Tip 4: Switch up text sizes and use sub-headings to further diversify the content levels:
- Getting a visitor to actually read your content is a great way to engage them and insure that they come back. When a first-time viewer clicks on an article, then, a diversity of font sizes, paragraph lengths, bolded and unbolded texts, and sub-headings can go a long way towards compelling him to notice a word or sentence, read the rest of that paragraph, and then proceed to take in the piece in full.
Tip 5: Attach a clear and relevant image to each piece of content:
-There’s a good deal of truth to the maxim that a picture is worth 1000 words. While your written content may ultimately be more interesting and provocative, there’s no better way to draw someone’s attention than by putting an image next to it. A picture can also help make a site seem more sophistocated to the first-time visitor.
Tip 6: Keep your most interesting posts and stories at the top of your main page:
- We can’t expect that first-time viewers will scroll through the front page and click around on a given site. Instead, they may merely arrive on the site and then leave, without ever even scrolling down.
For this reason, it is important that the most compelling aspects of your website are displayed or advertised at the top of the main page.
Tip 7: Use bolded words and short paragraphs to make your posts highly skim-able:
- Studies show that most internet readers tend to skim pieces of written content as opposed to reading them out in full. This trait is even more likely displayed by a first-time viewer.
Tip 8: Use AP writing style to insure that your key information sits at the top of any post:
- Just as we want to have our key website information displayed at the top of the main page, so too do we prefer that the most important pieces in a post fall in the first few sentences or the first couple paragraphs.
Adhering to an AP writing style can help insure that this advice is followed as a matter of habit.
Tip 9: Ensure that all opinion posts have a clearly stated thesis or argument:
- An opinion piece can be incredibly effective in drawing in a new reader and making them want to come back and read more. But a messily-construed opinion piece may have the adverse effect of muddling your content and driving a first-time visitor away. Being explicit in your arguments can go a long way towards avoiding that concern.
Tip 10: Incorporate video and other interactive media if appropriate:
- While video is not appropriate for every site, the research shows that people are more inclined to spend time watching a video than skimming a written post.
Since the longer a first-time visitor stays on a given site the higher his likelihood of returning, video can be an incredibly effective tool for lowering your bounce rates and boosting repeat viewers.
Tip 11: Use sidebars that highlight your most popular and most commented posts:
- It’s impossible to permanently leave your best posts or pieces of content at the top of your home page. Doing so, of course, would be a disserve and a turn-off for your loyal visitors.
But you can still emphasize your best content — and, in turn, draw first-time viewers to it — by creating a dedicated sidebar that compiles some of your most popular features.
Tip 12: Insure that even first-time visitors can easily post comments and send messages:
- Many sites want visitors to register and provide an email before they are allowed to interact and post comments on the site. This approach can cause a site to lose those people who would quickly become engaged — and quickly turn into repeat visitors — so long as they are offered the ability to easily comment and post.
Turning first-time visitors into loyal readers can be especially beneficial for a site’s traffic, visibility, page rank, and advertising revenue.
Hopefully these tips will help you grow your conversion rate and realize the subsequent benefits that can result.
Image Credit: Godvertise