Get your web design clients to pay more by keeping their visitors coming back

If you want your clients to be happy, recommend you to others and come back to you for updates, future projects and repeat business then you will need to keep them happy. One way to do this is to be pro-active and suggest solutions that will work to their benefit. Generating traffic is one way, and its important, however as a web designer that will not fall within your primary skill-set.

There is something however that you can offer in relation to traffic as a web designer, that adds value for your client, and generates additional work for you in most cases, a win/win situation.

Explain to your clients that most successful websites depend on returning visitors, that these returning visitors account for a major percentage of their traffic. In fact most customers rarely buy on a first visit, I would say less than 1% of 1%, but that is a guesstimate and the figure is probably far far lower. The thing with returning visitors is, they are easier to convert into paying customers. One of the factors that you need to overcome on the internet is trust, when a site repeatedly comes back to your site it engenders trust, and this is good for business.

Therefore it would be a good idea, and make sound business sense for your clients to consider commissioning you to add one or more of the elements I am about to outline to their website. However do not simply present this as a list, consider each element and your clients site and audience and evaluate which would be appropriate and how they would be tailored to their requirements.

A forum or chatroom
When a site starts a forum or chatroom it is providing the visitors a place to voice their opinions and interact with their peers — all of them are visitors to your clients site. It will require some time to moderate, and nurture. However as conversations build up, a sense of community will also follow and some of the visitors on active forums will come back to the site almost daily.

Start a blog
Offer to install wordpress for your client as an addon to their site, with a complimentary theme to their site. This would be their companies online journal. They can easily keep it updated with latest company and industry related news, product launches, special offers and other things that will appeal to their customers. Human beings are naturally curious creatures and they will keep their eyes glued to the monitor if you post fresh news frequently. Your clients will also build up their online credibility as they generate more content and traffic.

Carry out polls or surveys
Polls and surveys are other forms of interaction that you should definitely consider adding to your clients site. Easy to implement they provide a quick way for visitors to voice their opinions and to get involved. Be sure to publish polls or surveys that are strongly relevant to the target market of the website to keep them interested, and be sure to publish the results in some format to keep visitors coming back.

An FAQ system
Offer to install an FAQ system for your clients that they can easily manage and update through a web interface. In my experience over 50% of visitors who move past a homepage will click on the FAQ if it is available. It is a powerful sales tool, and should be continually updated. AN interactive FAQ that allows customers to pose fresh questions is the perfect interactive element for keeping them coming back until they buy. It also helps with future sales as clients have many of their questions already answered as they have been posed previously.
This additional content is also great for search engine listings.

Hold puzzles, quizzes and games
Can you imagine how many millions of hours are wasted procrastinating on websites playing games, interacting with quizzes and other online entertainment such as rudimentary flash games? Keep visitors coming back by providing ways to idle away time whilst promoting your clients brand in a positive environment

BookMark Me Script
Offer to add scripting for ‘Book Mark or Add this site to your Favorites’. Also look at “twitter this” and “digg this” scripts.

RSS Aggregation
By using RSS Search scripts, you can create lists of Articles and brief descriptions, latest news and information for pretty much any industry or category. Installing these elements on a website means the site can constantly have fresh updates without and input on the part of the website owner.

Update frequently with fresh content
Finally do not forget to stress the importance to you clients of  frequent site updates. If there is nothing new for their visitors to read there is less reason to come back. This is the most widely known and most effective method of attracting returning visitors.

It does require effort to maintain and update a site and many owners have neither the time nor the inclination. So offer to help maintain your clients site for an ongoing management fee.

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