There are many ways to get people to come back to your site. Some people like to put up message boards, other include chat rooms, and still others put in newsfeeds or games and puzzles. Sometimes you will see sites with calendars, reminder services, bookmarks and dozens of other tools and features. Often these do-dahs have absolutely nothing to do with the theme of the website - they are just included in a desperate attempt to get people to come back.
The absolute best way to get people to return to your web site time and again is to include the best content possible, and to update that content often and regularly. There literally is no better lure than new articles, graphics, photos or downloads.
"Content is king". Any webmaster who knows what he is doing will be able to tell you this in one form or another. Everything else is fluff.
Why is this true? Think about it for a minute. Why are people on the internet? Generally it is to get information. People use the internet as a research tool, a library, a phone book, and any number of other similar things. They do other tasks also - creating web sites, downloading files and so forth, but the primary motivation is to get information.
In fact, people are starving for information. They want to know everything they can get their hands on. They want articles, stories, tips, techniques, opinions, editorials, graphics, photos, images, sounds, movies and other things of that nature. All of these things qualify as content. They are things that a person can read, look at, listen to or watch - they are not do-dads or sparkly pretty glitz.
It is not just important that you site have good content - it's critical to the survival and continued success of whatever goal you are trying to achieve. Fluff is good, but content beats fluff by a million times.
Look at why you surf the web. What are you looking for? Do you return to a site which gives you information which you need and want? Of course you do. Conversely, how often do you return to a site just because it has a message board, chat room or newsfeed? If you are anything like me, these things are nice, but they have nothing to do with the reasons why I return to a site.
Now, it is important not just to have good content, but to be constantly updating it as well. On our site (Internet Tips and Secrets) we add new content each and every day, and in fact we often add new articles several times in the same day. Why? Because this means visitors know for a fact and without any doubt that each and every time they visit there is a high likelihood of there being something new to look at.
In short, new and constantly changing content are what makes the web go round.
On our site, we go one step further to ensure our site is even more sticky. We not only add new content on at least a daily basis ... we add our own original content. Virtually every article that we have included on our site, with a few exceptions, was written originally for this site. This means that in order to view our content, people MUST either come to our site or find one of our articles that has been reprinted elsewhere.
You see, you can find a newsfeed anywhere. You can get a weather report from hundreds of sites. You can find dozens of sites which will offer calendars, reminder services and other things for you to use. But you can only find one site with a treasure trove of information written by us specially tailored for our audience.
That's what truly makes a site sticky. Constantly changing original
content. If you really want to get your visitors back, often and anxious to
find out what you've got to tell them, that's what you need to offer.