Bring lost visitors back to your website

1. Look for traffic and bounce rate trends in your website analytics. In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition > All Traffic.

Google Analytics and Hotjar are popular analytics options. Look for dips or sudden drop-offs in traffic. Dips that only last a few days may be the result of a temporary site issue or a seasonal event and can be ignored. The more problematic trends tend to be when traffic fails to recover.

2. Prioritize a list of 10-15 web pages to optimize. Look for pages that receive higher than average visitor time on page and clicks compared to your other web pages.

Compare the performance of these pages to historical benchmarks to avoid flagging pages that naturally have a high lost visitor rate. For example, upper-funnel content typically has a higher bounce rate.

3. Update old pages with new content and information. Check that titles give visitors insight into the page's value.

Refreshed content gets ranked higher in search engines, thus increasing your odds of getting an old page back in front of lost visitors and re-engaging them in your content ecosystem. It can also be helpful to provide a more expert perspective on the page’s topic.

4. Look for pages with high bounce rates. Filter your analytics by traffic source and identify the top keywords and search phrases that led visitors to that page.

Focus the content on the page to better address those keywords, questions and scenarios. Not only will this get this page back in front of lost visitors who are likely still searching for this content, but it also helps reduce bounce rate and lost visitors in the future.

5. Update the visual design of your web pages. Make them more appealing and easier to skim.

Consider: Replacing stock photos with custom images or illustrations. Optimizing your design for mobile devices. Reducing the number of navigation options. Decreasing the vertical real estate of your website. Make content easy to read and scannable by: Using shorter paragraphs (3-4 short sentences).  Bolding and italicizing keywords and keyphrases for emphasis.  Adding H1, H2 and H3 headings to break up blocks of content.

6. Install an ad pixel from your ad platform of choice to track your visitors and optimize ad placement.

Placing a pixel on your site will allow you to run retargeting campaigns specifically aimed at more effectively bringing lost visitors back to your site. All major platforms, such as Facebook and Google, require you to copy pixel code specific to your ad platform and place it within your HTML header.

7. Launch a web retargeting ad campaign using your ad platform to keep your brand top of mind and gently nudge visitors to return.

To create a retargeting campaign: Identify the purpose of the page for which you’re trying to reach lost visitors. Create a simple ad highlighting the main offer of that specific page. Write a basic, compelling ad headline and ad body that reminds the user of what they’re missing if they don’t return. It may also be worthwhile to explore other targeting strategies through social media ad campaigns. For example, you could create a vegan recipe ad for people who visited vegan-oriented pages on your site.

8. Collect visitor contact information through email capture. A simple form inviting people to join your newsletter list works.

Email capture tools include:  OptinMonster  SumoMe Sleeknote  Bloom Gravity Forms. If you have the time and budget, consider: Creating an exclusive offer, such as a free PDF guide or a special discount to your store. Creating a basic web form with a CTA to your exclusive offer. Inviting people to join your email list to access the exclusive offer.

9. Send a monthly newsletter once you have obtained visitor contact information.

You might also consider a standalone email message that offers promo codes or exclusive content in exchange for a return visit. If you have obtained a phone number or device notification consent, the above email strategies can even be applied to text or push notifications.