Research shows that many people love to use the web to communicate with other people around the world. Some people will use the web primarily to talk with family and friends, but most people enjoy talking to the complete strangers they meet via chat rooms or message forums. It was once unrealistic to think social bonds could be created this way, but today these communications are completely accepted. With more people using the web for this type of communication, website operators are beginning to utilize the “chat” trend.
The way website operators do this is by establishing their own online communities. They can do this in several ways. One way website operators can create online communities is by offering chat functions on their website. By creating chat rooms for visitors to utilize, website operators are subtly inviting visitors to return as frequently as they wish. Many visitors might come with the intention of making a short visit, but then may try the chat room out. If they enjoy their conversations with others there, it is likely they will return frequently to chat again. To make this work however, there will need to be someone in the room available to chat at most hours. You may have to assign people to take on this task at first, while the room’s participants grow. After the room takes off however, the members will likely maintain it themselves.
Another way to build an online community on your site is by creating message boards for visitors to post on. Message boards are another popular way to get visitors to become part of your website’s community. You can offer boards for general chat or for specific topics. You can incorporate your website’s subject into the message boards as well. For instance, if your site was mostly about computers, you could offer a message board where visitors could post questions and get answers from experts and other visitors as well. This is a great way to get people to keep coming back to your site. Not only will people who post begin to rely on your site for information but they will likely also develop “relationships” with other posters and use your board as a place to communicate with them.
When setting your online community up, think about exactly what you want to do. If you are relying on the community to bring most of your traffic, you probably want to make it easy to access from your homepage. You might make it the largest link or the top link on the page. Use different colors and fonts to get the attention of those who visit your site. Making your site easy to navigate is a great way to get people to participate. The goal is to get the attention of your visitors. If you are placing a lot of emphasis on the online community function on your website, then they will be more likely to use it.
You can always offer a small chat area right on your homepage. This can be a great idea for those website operators who want to place the largest emphasis as possible on their online community function. It can however distract viewers from seeing other areas of your website, so be careful when setting your homepage up in this manner. The best thing to do is to create an easy link right to the chat or message area from the top half of your homepage. This allows the user to get right to the intended area.
With thousands of online users spending large amounts of time participating in online communities like chat rooms and message boards, it is logical to believe these functions would help increase traffic on any website. This is an easy and inexpensive way to draw traffic to your site and can be a lot of fun for everyone involved. If you think this may work for you, simply sit down and decide which method to use. Then choose the best plan for adding the online community to your actual site, whether it is on the homepage or a secondary page. Once everything gets rolling, you will be shocked at how effective establishing an online community can be for increasing your website traffic.