Community Building 101: Keeping People on your Website
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The focus of this mini-series is all about building, retaining, and gaining traction in your niche & industry through a community. We have already covered the basics of finding your first readers (the easy par) and now we’ll move on to the next leg of the journey: keeping them on your website.
People come and go for many different reasons:
- They don’t like the look and feel of your website
- They really love the videos you produce
- They’re turned off by too many advertisements
- They’re part of something bigger … a community
You can guarantee people will stick around forever because everyone moves on but we’re going to make the most of the time these people do spend with you and your site.
The following is a quick rundown of the major factors that come into play when retaining people on your site:
- Great design – The site should be aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and easy to use. Choose a theme that compliments your focus, and work diligently on choosing the right graphics and a proper navigational structure. You want people to land on the site and immediately feel welcome, and then guide them forward with logical progression through the navigation, interlinks, and offers.
- Superb content – You can’t always win whenever you produce content but you can sure as hell create something that’s wildly engaging to your audience. The content is, perhaps, 50% of the reason why people will stick around your site (besides the personal connection) which is why you should go the extra mile to create content that caters to the demands of your audience. Use your analytics and research to write great articles that answer questions held by your community; deliver exceptional value and they’ll have no reason not to come back for more.
- Make it social - Integrate multiple layers of social media so visitors have an option to follow you on multiple platforms (of their choice). Use each of these networks as an extension of your website where you share new and exciting information, updates, contests, and more. Place your social media links right toward the top of your sidebar so there’s no confusion on how to begin following your brand and become part of the community.
- Create and test those offers & call-to-actions – If you’re trying to sell a product, service, or an offer than you should find ways to double its value, increase its reception, and boost its conversion. Pair the right offers with your website based on the products & services you’ve personally tested so you’ll have no trouble recommending them to the community. Likewise, offer advice and expertise for each of these products/services so readers feel comfortable exploring the options. Finally, test and improve on your call-to-actions to boost your conversion rate and profits.
- Be part of the community – Don’t sit behind the computer and go on your merry way the moment you hit publish on your post – come back to respond to comments, seek out feedback from your community members, and expand on the ideas through your external platforms. Keep the discussions going as long as you can to cover all the angles – doing this will spark the imagination and interaction within your community which will keep them on the site longer and coming back time and time again.
The end result of all this: people wills stay longer on your site, they’ll have a greater incentive to share your content, you’ll build a stronger community, and you’ll increase your chances of converting on your offers and advertising. Keep them talkin’ and you’ll do great.