I probably should have blogged this a long time ago, but I didn't. Frequently, I receive calls and e-mails from various individuals or organizations wondering why their site is is not successful. It boils down to a few things:
- Keep it current. If you don't update it on a regular basis, it's not a living, breathing thing. People are not interested in returning to a site that looks the same every time they have gone there.
- Give something back. People want something for their time - the time they spend at your site. If it's simply current information, then you have it licked with #1 above. If your site is not a blog site, or an informational site, then you'll have to GIVE some information that makes it worth their time for visiting.
- Pay attention. Make sure you have an e-mail address, a feedback form, and a phone number listed on your site, and then, MOST importantly, listen to what people are telling you. Pay attention. If one person takes the time to tell you something, probably 100 more people thought the same thing and just didn't take the time.
It all boils down to a service. Web sites ARE a service. They are a living, breathing thing you offer to others for a specific purpose. People visit them to validate and verify your existence, *especially* if the people visiting are local to your area.
Even if your website is a store, the rules of web sites being services apply. But, unlike a storefront in the real world, where the customer is ONLY there to purchase (we know when we walk into a store they are not going to give something away), the internet storefront goes one step further - the way to get people to return is to make it worth their while.
Take a look at your own site. If it were not your site, would YOU come back? Would you stay once you got there?
That's food for thought...