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New Versus Returning Visitors Reflect Brand Strength

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New versus returning visitors

Website publishers who track new versus returning visitors will find ways to increase site audience and revenue.

Analytics software such as the dominant Google Analytics will track these two groups of visitors on a daily basis as well as any other time period. The most important time period is monthly for the sake of comparing a month with the previous month and the same month of the previous year.

What are new versus returning visitors in Google Analytics? In the Analytics account, click on Audience, Behavior and New vs Returning. Choose a time period such as the previous full month. Then chose the past seven days. The percentage of returning visitors is probably higher in the most recent seven days than the last full month.

Now go back to the last full month, click on the Compare To checkbox in the upper right corner, then on the dropdown and click on Previous Year and Apply.

A site that is doing a good job of impressing visitors and encouraging them to come back will see a higher percentage of return visitors than the previous year.

Why are Returning Visitors Important?

It is important to increase the number of returning visitors because they show an increase in brand loyalty. Loyal users of a site require fewer marketing resources such as external advertising to bring them back. Acquisition is expensive; retention is not.

In some cases, returning visitors will bookmark the site or remember the brand clearly enough to come back on their own without search engines. Online newspaper analytics show that they will use the brand name in search engines if they can’t remember the website address. As a result, return visitors have a higher return on investment.

They also are more likely to share a site with other people.

How to Increase Returning Visitors

Sites have varying levels of return visitors based on their content category and marketing tactics.

For example, a newspaper site will have a high percent of return visitors because it has frequent updates of new content as well as content that attracts strong interest among repeat visitors. It’s especially true for daily newspapers and less true for weeklies.

Travel sites will have a low return rate because people use them to plan a vacation. Once they have made their plan, and especially after they take the vacation, they have no reason to come back anytime soon.

Regardless of the type of content, several tactics help increase the number of return visitors. They include:

  • Frequent addition of new content
  • Continuous improvement in content quality
  • Continuous improvement in site speed
  • Email newsletters
  • Social media postings

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