If you want your visitors to come back again and again, you've got to get them to add your website to their favorites (also known as bookmarks in some browsers). That's the menu where they can save websites that they want to use again, clicking them easily to get to them. Being added to a user's favorites is like getting an ad for your website right there in their browser's menu, for nothing. But how can you do it?

Make it Easy.

The option to add a website to the favorites menu is quite hidden, and people don't often think about it. You'll get far more people adding you to their favorites if you offer them a quick and easy ‘Add this Site to my Favorites' link somewhere towards the top of the page. Even if they don't actually use the link, it still draws attention to the browser's favorites function and makes the user think about it, increasing the likelihood of them adding the site to their favorites sooner or later.

Pay Attention to the Title.

Once your site is in people's favorites, of course, it's not going to do you much good if they can't find it again later. You need to make sure that the name and purpose of your site is clearly stated in its title, as that's all they'll have to go on when they're looking through their favorites. Make it long enough to be specific, but not so long that it looks self-important or information gets lost off the end.

Tracking Who's Done It.

It can be difficult to know who's coming in to your site using a favorite they saved. Usually, you would look at the referrer to see where they came from but if they type the web address or use a favorite the referrer will be blank. There's no way of telling which of those two things they did unless you send people who use your bookmark link to a special address for example www.example.com/bookmark. However, this method is not foolproof because not everyone who adds your site to their favorites will use your link to do it.

Promise Updates.

If you want people to add your site to their favorites then you need to give them a reason to come back. The best way to do this is to make it clear exactly how often your website is updated. You might write at the top of your website ‘updated weekly' or you might simply write the date when you last updated the website. The second way only works if you update your website often.

Could You Be Their Homepage?

Of course, if you want to go even further than just getting people to add your website to their favorites then you should consider trying to get people to make your website their homepage. That is, the website that loads automatically when they first open their web browser and that they get back to when they click on their home button. If you can get your website as someone's homepage even for a relatively short length of time then they are likely to see your website dozens of times in a day.

So how can you get people to set your website as their homepage? It's a little more difficult than just getting them to add your site to their favorites as it works differently in different web browsers. In Internet Explorer you can give people a link that makes your website their homepage automatically. For other web browsers, however, you will need to give the visitor a set of instructions. This will require some research on your part but will generally be instructions on how to open the web browsers options or preferences menu and use the section that allows the homepage to be set manually.

Before people will make you their homepage, though, you need to offer them the kinds of things that they might want on a homepage. You can't just expect your own content to be enough, you need to give them other things too, such as local weather or a box that they can type searches into to search the whole web using a popular search engine.

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