Too often I see websites created just because. Just because everyone else has one. Just because someone said it's good for marketing. Just because. Those websites generally fail to generate traffic or conversions. This is because their existence doesn't give anything to the people using the web. There's no reason to visit and revisit the site, nor to click on any of the links within it.
Here's the question to ask:
Why would anyone use this site?
We all have different reasons for visiting and using websites. The practical reasons, such as need for finding certain information, are most promoted and easiest to explain. But in reality, practical reasons don't explain the popularity of many websites and services. There are other, much less reasonable reasons to visit and use websites.
People are extremely involved in boosting their own status. You want to belong to a certain group, to show that you are with the cool guys, or to promote your own superiority. This shows in the commenting and follows, as people are more prone to follow celebrities and other popular people, and to comment blogs and updates by them. You want to share the content created by those you consider influential, rather than those who are in the shadows. You are trying to steal some of the spotlight.
If a website offers you a way to connect with someone you admire or to show your own superiority, you are more likely to visit, revisit and use that site.
Entertainment and getting to peep into how other people live their lives gives you a rush that can be compared to eating trash food. Thus you are often online seeking for entertainment, rather than information. The exposing content satisfies your curiosity, and need to understand yourself as well as other people. The entertaining content gives you laughs and a good feeling.
If a website offers you a way to get entertained and provides some sort of satisfaction, you are more likely to visit, revisit and use that site.
The first challenge is to get the people to visit the website in the first place. The old rule of business is, that it's easier to keep old customers than to try and convert new ones. This applies as well to any website. It's easier to get those who have visited before to revisit again than to try and get new folks in.
You probably already know, that visibility on web searches can be improved with search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid ads. Visibility on social media can be improved with hashtags, mentioning other people, impactful copy and images, and paid ads. But these are only technical, superficial methods. The real trick is to make people want to visit your site.
Why would anyone want to visit your website in the first place? What is the value they expect to get?
Due to the high amount of content online, using vaguely relevant and clearly provoking titles and other copy has became way too common. Click baiting doesn't only devalue the content it baits to, but also any other content online. These days people are afraid to click, and hyperlinks are losing their value. Everything is expected to be spam or scams. And falling into clicking something is embarrassing.
Thus the want has to weigh more than the fear. The want to belong. The want to connect. The want to boost your status. The want to steal the spotlight. The want to be entertained. The want to gain satisfaction.
When you manage to make that want stronger than the fear (of embarrassment or being scammed) that's when you get the people to visit your site. It must be made alluring. Like a shiny object that gleams in the sunshine, and draws you in.
The basic assumption is you don't just want people to visit your site once. You want them to convert into your customers or readers. You want them to revisit, get hooked. If your site doesn't give anything to the visitors when they first visit, they aren't very likely to visit again. Again, the something your website can be the feeling of belonging, the connection, the status boost, and the entertainment and satisfaction. Providing pure cold information doesn't keep the interest up for very long.
Why would I use your website? The short answer is, because I want to. The longer answer is that because it gives me something. Your site gives me a good feeling. It gives me power. It entertains, satisfies and boosts me.
When the website provides satisfaction, in a way or another, it will get people to come back. For another instant fix. As an addictive substance.
To make people to visit, revisit and use your website, it needs to allure and satisfy. It must be a shiny object, that draws people in through search engines and social media, and it must be addictive, to get them coming back.
How does your website allure and satisfy?