Who Visits My Comic And What Can I Do About It?
It’s all very mysterious, isn’t it? It’s like Smurfs or gremlins help people find your comic, wisk them away after a few seconds and you’re not sure they will ever return. To understand this, some would recommend analyzing your server logs and focusing on using keywords to discover trends. That never seems to tell me anything useful either so I poked around online and found some other angles to approach it with.
The first thing we probably need to know is what brings visitors to our sites. Among others, I found articles at Think Metrics and Rocket Bomber which gave some thoughts about useful visitor categories.
For my purposes, there are accidental visitors, readers looking for something specific and those looking for more. The first two categories are hit and miss and include readers who just want to get the latest comic – they’ll be completely satisfied with sites like this. The good news is if our sites have clear navigation and decent visual appeal then we already are meeting the needs of the first two visitor categories. Readers looking for more need to be provided for differently.
There are couple of useful more-seekers that we find in this E-article and this What I Think About article. Some are just here to check our online presence out because they’ve heard favorably about us or our comic. Some are looking for a reading experience that only we can provide.
No matter which kind of visitor has happened upon our sites, what response will they have? Lateral Action let us get a nice breakdown of the decision process a reader goes through. First, is this spam? Is it worth scan reading and then is it really interesting? Is it worth bookmarking? Finally, should I share this with someone else?
An advantage most comics have compared to other online content is that they are instantly scannable, so assuming we make it through the spam question we immediately get a free pass to the question of is it interesting? Most of the time, new readers will check out a number of other comics if they find the first interesting and we can basically get them straight to the decision to bookmark. If they bookmark it, they probably have a couple of friends they would suggest it to. So here’s the killer question: what can we do to get them to bookmark our comic?
What I’m looking for here is a response from you sharing what you’ve learned. What was your most effective tactic in getting readers to return?