Returning Visitors – An Old Metric with New Meaning

Measuring trust

Measuring trust

Your company needs to build trust with your audience.   Trust takes time and it takes ongoing engagement.

In the past, the goal was to sustain engagement with your audience on each visit and to keep them clicking through your site.  But now, as we’ve discussed before, this measure of success is obsolete.

What analytics should I track?

Believe it or not, an old metric has found new life…Returning Visitors.  Returning visitors is simply the number of times someone has returned to your site on that device in the last 2 years.  

While the numbers you see aren’t perfect, you are able to track if your return visitor percentage is increasing over time.  Increasing this number over time tells you that you are creating fans of your content and eventually your service

Unless you are a news site or a community style site, you likely will have a much higher New User number.  This is okay. You want to focus on growing returning visitors and recapturing your audience.

Why does this measure matter?

Modern marketing is all about building allegiance and trust in a brand or product.  

Most businesses or organizations do not operate in the spontaneous purchase or donation space.  Instead, potential leads need to be created by cultivating trust. In fact, according to Salesforce, the leading sales management system, most sales or qualified leads take 6 to 8 touches.  That is just for a “qualified lead”.  That is just a high probability client or donor, not a sure bet.

Building allegiance and trust

If you can iterate your value and expertise over time you will build allegiance to your products and ideas.  This means people come to you as the “go-to” source of ideas on a subject. The concept is that if you are an expert source for ideas, you will eventually become an expert source for solutions.  

With the constant drone of marketing thrown at people, most people search online for a few trusted and reliable sources.  Become that trusted source to your target markets and you now have people likely to purchase or donate. Not only that, they can quickly become your biggest advocates to others in your target market.

In summary, measure & track allegiance

Returning visitors is just another tool for your analytics scorecard.

This is part of the reason we have started to create customized analytic scorecards for our clients.

For the clients we have rolled this feature out to, they receive a report with unique data based on their online objectives.


Be part of our custom analytics beta:

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