If you are not distinct from the crowd (and what a huge crowd it is!) how are people going to remember you and your brand? Why should anyone care about you? If you’re just like all the others, you offer them nothing unique, no advantage, and no reason to do business with you!
If your mission statement stands out, if your capabilities rise far above the mean, if you can provide value to your visitors, that is when they are going to sign up to your mailing list, subscribe to your newsletter and read your blog. Eventually they are going to purchase from you, support your charity work, or propagate your wisdom. All this preparatory work is essential when you are starting out because not only will it get your visitors to stay, it will get them to share your site with others.
Like Sisyphus of Greek mythology you have to first roll that boulder up the immense hill, but when it gets to the top, it rolls down, gathering speed all the way. Now it is your customers making that rock move and you can enjoy the benefits of a steady stream of clients that they bring to you by recommending you to their friends and business associates.
It can be a time-consuming chore to keep your blog updated, your articles full of useful tips and plenty of relevant information available. Finding or creating content that people will value is essential and you can’t stop. Once you have the flow going, once you’ve developed that initial web-traffic, the most common error is to assume visitors won’t stop coming. But they will disappear as soon as you don’t offer them a reason to stay.
So what can you do to keep your customers?
1. Your site must be visually attractive and stimulating
a. No tiny text; it causes Eye strain and customers leave
b. Appropriate artwork (items your sell, travel destinations you promote)
2. Be unique
a. Don’t tell people how similar you are; they have reasonable expectations
b. tell they why you’re different and how you can enhance their experience
3. Remind your visitors that they can print content. They may browse your store or list of services while they’re waiting – it’s a chance for additional exposure and possibly sales!
4. Structure suitability
a. Headlines – Let them know where the important areas are
b. Subtitles – Show them important sub-areas specific to their interest
c. Directory – You need one on every page, traditionally on the left side; don’t make them search for it. Put it where it is expected to be!
5. Accessibility – Don’t make it difficult to find things. Ease is vital or they’ll leave!
6. Maintain a HUGE Directory of services your customers need, if possible. They’ll come to your site frequently and may use YOUR services while they’re there.
7. Pop-ups annoy – they drive users away! Particularly if you attempt to force registration before they can view content! Big blank pages demanding registration really, truly annoy people. Don’t EVER do it.
8. Have a FAQ – No site is complete without one of these. No matter how simple. Make one.
So that’s the secret to success. Keep your site visually appealing with appropriate images, useful information, and makes sure it is simple to navigate. First meet your customers’ expectations for your type of site; then exceed their expectations with above average content.
Now you’re competing!