Are Return Visitors Good For Business?

Written On Day: 35

There are two types of visitors.  Those that love your site.  And those that have never heard of it.  The first type visit and visit again.  They read your content because they are entertained and inspired by it.  As soon as their RSS reader alerts them that there is new content, saliva begins to form on the lips.

Then there is the other type.  It is their first time on the site.  They are not sure what they are doing there..  They were looking for something and somehow ended up on your site.  Just browsing.  Ready to hit the back button on the slightest whim.

The Regulars

Almost unanimously it is agreed that the first type is better.  A loyal visitor.  That is why it is always suggested that you provide a RSS feed on your site.  Make it easy to subscribe.  A big RSS logo – on the top of the page.  For visitors that do not know what RSS is, have an email subscription option. 

Another popular suggestion is to have  a news letter subscription.  That way you can get their email address and constantly remind them to come visit your site.

This sounds like good advise.  The more times they visit the more visitors you have.  And it feels great to know that people are returning to your site to read what you have to write.  You are like the friendly bartender who has many loyal patrons that keep coming back because they enjoy your advise.

I agree.  Return visitors are good.  People like you, they like your writing. That feels good.  And you can rely on them to keep your visitors stats high.

The problem with return visitors is that they know your site.  They know what advertisements you have and where they are.  They have seen them before.  Maybe even clicked on one of them – a long, long time ago.  But they are not going to do that again.  They are on your website to read the content.

If your website’s revenue  is strictly through advertisements then return visitors provide little value.  They just read the content.  They do not make you money.  In fact, you can argue that they cost you money, since they take up bandwidth.

The One Time Drop In’s

For a website with advertisements the best visitor is the first time visitor.  She knows what she wants.  Something to do with –your niche here-.  She finds your site, stumbles around a bit.  And then suddenly, sees an ad describing exactly what she is looking for.  She clicks on it and is taken away.  She will probably never return – but her purpose has been served. 

For a website which revenue is derived from advertising – your focus should be more on attracting new visitors and less on returning visitors.  The bartender who focuses on getting more customers will be better off then the bartender who keeps chatting with the regulars.  An empty bar with three chatter bugs is not going to pay the bills.  You need new people coming in and drinking lots.

Regulars Are Great For Affiliate Sales

So why is there so much emphasis on getting visitors to return?  Because return visitors are good for websites that sell affiliate products.  If you are trying to sell a $100 product, a first time visitor is not likely to purchase it.  You need to build trust with the visitor.  They need to feel like you know what you are talking about.  To convince them of these things you need them to keep coming back.  To keep listening to you.  Then after the tenth visit you might convince them to buy the $100 floor mat.

Please Come Back

This website makes it revenue from advertisements.  Therefore first time visitors are preferred.  But since I am not sure where this website is heading, I better continue making these posts so that my visitors keep returning.

  1. February 6th, 2009 at 17:19 | #1

    Nice to know that you want me back! 🙂

  2. February 6th, 2009 at 17:50 | #2

    That’s interesting. I’ve never heard of anyone advocating visitors to visit once, and never come back, but you make a good point. Personally, when I decide to monetize my blog, I’ll be hoping for both types. 🙂

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