How many times have you found yourself looking at your website statistics and noticed that 90% + of your visitors were brand new? You may have looked at that statistic and found yourself getting excited that so many new people were finding you each month.

Well I am not trying to make you feel bad but….

That’s not a good thing. What it should be telling you is that visitors are arriving to your site, possibly clicking into it a bit, and not finding anything memorable enough to make them want to return. Hang on a second … I am not slamming your current site or trying to make you feel as if your company is the only company in this position. It’s actually quite normal. It doesn’t have to be though.

Think about the sites you frequent the most. Heck, let’s look beyond you and take a look at the top ten websites on a global level and see what all these sites have in common. The following is a list of the top ten global websites based on the amount of traffic they receive. I am proud to report that there is not one single porn site on this list. Looks like the Internet is beginning to mature. 🙂

  1. Google
  2. Yahoo
  3. You Tube
  4. Live
  5. FaceBook
  6. MSN
  7. Wikipedia
  8. Blogger
  9. MySpace
  10. (Yahoo Japan)

Alright, now that you know what the top ten sites are, what do they all have in common? Well I am sure you can see each of these sites ENGAGE their visitors. Whether they provide the ability for the visitors to search for an answer to that elusive question they’ve been seeking the answer to, or whether they provide the ability for them to socialize with people they graduated with over 20 years ago and have completely lost touch, or giving them the ability to learn how to tie a tie on a video that someone from half way around the globe posted to You Tube.

You may be saying, “Well that’s great for those websites since their entire purpose of their existence is to provide these options to their visitors. That simply wouldn’t work for my site.” Well, I am here to tell you that is NOT correct. The people who are visiting your site are doing so because they have an interest in the products, services, or the cause you are promoting online. With web 2.0 you are provided several options to easily create pieces of functionality that will allow you to make a connection with your visitors and provide them with the ability to tell you what is important to them.

You could add a blog to your site to keep your visitors up to date on new developments within your industry or examples of how your product was used in unique ways to help another company experience significant growth. You could add a discussion forum so your visitors could get their questions answered or review the answer to a question that was asked by someone else. You could have “how to” videos on your website that help your visitor figure out how to accomplish that task that’s been driving them crazy for the last month.

The bottom line is if you put yourself in the shoes of your potential visitor, and create mechanisms on your site that engage your visitors once they arrive, you will give them a reason to return to your site time and time again. If you take the time to do this you’ll see that “new visitor” percentage drop, and your actual visitor number will begin to rise because you’ll be adding return clients every single month. I promise you if you add these mechanisms and focus on providing compelling information for your visitors you can double your traffic in no time.

I’d love to hear any stories of how you added this type of functionality to your site and what the results were. Leave a comment. If you are having a difficult time figuring out how you can engage your visitors, leave a comment as well or visit our Ask the Web Marketing Expert page and post your question. We’ll answer it as quickly as we can. Every day you are not taking action, you are losing potential return visitors and not maximizing your online revenue potential. DO SOMETHING NOW!