On October 24th, Google announced its latest algorithm update called BERT. According to the release, Google says that this will affect 10% of queries, which means this is one of the biggest Google updates of the last 5 years!

Instead of looking at the user’s search query on a word by word basis, BERT allows Google to interpret the entire phrase better to give the searcher more accurate results.

Slight modifications or even simple words in a search query can dramatically alter the search intent. With this new update, Google is getting better at interpreting what the users are truly looking for when they search.

What does this mean for you? Sites that have lots of good content in the form of well-written, long-form guides to be the winners of this update. Sites with lots of good content that is update regularly are are the ones that are most likely to get return visitors.

Most visitors (98%) to a website will leave without ever getting past the first page, never to return again. As a result, website owners are constantly looking for new ways to get repeat visitors and get them to engage with their site, staying on it longer and visiting multiple pages.

The Onion once mocked this behavior with an article titled, “New Facebook notifications alert users when they are not currently looking at Facebook.” As they put it:
“We hope these helpful new alerts will improve our users’ experience by prompting them to revisit the site in the event they momentarily turn their focus elsewhere.”

During the blind auditions, the Voice used a technique we see in various TV shows, including season finales, of  “To Be Continued…” You could do this too. In fact, you might notice that I try to do this with my newsletters, leaving readers hanging with where I put the “more” tag. For example, if you want to get more visitors to return to your site more often, the trick is to … “read more”…

Of course you can always use retargeting ads, the pesky little banner ads that follow you all over the internet once you have visited a site one time. Retargeting ads work because they draw your attention back to a site you previously visited. It is one of the services we offer at WebStores Ltd.

You could try a “Frequent Flyers” (frequent visitors) program using a tool like Gratisfaction and reward viewers for how often they return to your site. You could also make a game out of it, such as “Find the hidden turkey” somewhere on your site. Each day, you “move” the turkey to a different page, encouraging them to spend more time on the site trying to find the hidden picture – the reward of course is significant enough (like a $100 Visa Gift Card), that people will want to play your game. And it doesn’t have to be a turkey, it might be a hidden Santa, Valentine, Easter Bunny, flag or whatever.

The best ways to get people to come back to your website is to capture their email address, then send them links to your most recent post on a weekly basis. Click To Tweet

One of the best ways to get people to come back to your website is to capture their email address, then send them links to your most recent post on a weekly basis. In fact, you can get up to 70% of your visitors to return within a 60 day period if you send them an email. That is what this newsletter does.  If you are a regular reader you will be aware that each week you get a new article in your inbox, directing you to my site to finish reading the entire article. Regular, consistent content with new material delivered to your email subscribers every week (or more frequently if you are a news site or big enough, like Amazon to pull it off), is the key to getting people to return to your site over and over again.

Don’t think you have material to deliver content to your customers? Amazon of course has a huge number of products, and they can just send you product info. But think beyond just products or services, think about feelings and benefits. For example, you could write a series of articles on “the benefits of drinking tea everyday.” Or if you are a house cleaning company, you could write an article about “How to throw a great dinner party,” and of course one of the tips would be to hire a professional house cleaner before and after the party. You could write a story about an experience a customer has had while using your travel bags. The important thing is to deliver quality content on a consistent basis if you want someone to come back to your site more than once.

Once you get them on your site, it is your responsibility to not let them leave until they give you their email address. Click To Tweet

And once you get them on your site, remember that it is your responsibility to not let them leave until they give you their email address. Of course, if they are a repeat visitor and have gotten to know, like and trust you, then at some point, you want them to become a customer. And eventually a repeat customer. Or better yet, a regular and frequent customer who buys from you over and over again. That is whysubscription models are so popular with ecommerce. It is also why Amazon offers its Prime program with free shipping – they want you to not only come back to their site, but to buy something every time you visit. They don’t however expect that this is going to happen by itself. Instead they give you tons of information so you can make an informed buying decision. and then when you leave without making a purchase, they send you reminder emails like, “based on your past browsing history, we though you might like…” Yes, they keep track of what you look at and build up a customer profile so that they can offer customized recommendations to you via email.

Tony Robbins likes to say that “Success Leaves Clues.” In my book, “Amazon’s Dirty Little Secrets“, I recommend that you mimic the marketing methods used by Amazon to grow your own business. Imagine what it could do for your website traffic if you were to know your customers as well as Amazon knows theirs, and sent them product recommendations based on past purchases and browsing behavior.

When you know this information, you can personalize recommendations to them, perhaps using a tool like If>So.

Did you find this article useful or learn anything? If so, I’d love some feedback about what you thought.