“Sticky” is one of those marketing buzzword that’s been used to death. However, in a fiendishly competitive and increasingly expensive online business environment, never has it been more crucial to make your site sticky – so utterly attractive and bookmark-worthy that your site visitors will return, time and again.
How? Follow these easy to implement tips:
1. Killer Content
Blindingly obvious? Probably. However, a lot of sites simply don’t have enough good, unique content on their sites. There’s nothing quite like poor, bland material to have site visitors clicking away in disgust. Good content on the other hand will have your site visitors exploring what else you may have to offer. They’ll bookmark your site. They may even tell their mates about it. And, above all, they’re far more likely to convert into buying customers and keen newsletter subscribers.
2. Site Design & Use Of Appropriate Images
The use of quality stock images can really pep up a sites general appearance and make articles more palatable to tuck into. Nice images can also help your site to become more sticky – there’s an underlying SEO importance to this because Google looks at how long visitors spend on your sites when it comes to giving your site a ranking.
A neat page layout is also important – strive to make the text comfortable to look at. This should include simple features such as generous spacing and bite sized paragraphs with occasional use of bold, underline and italics.
3. Offer A Free Newsletter & A Free Ebook/Membership.
As a general rule of thumb, it takes about seven points of contact before the average site visitor will take you seriously. It’s basic psychology. When a site visitor first stumbles upon your site, they don’t know you from Adam. So, a well crafted and informative newsletter will help establish credibility and trust which are palpably important in building online followers who may eventually turn into customers.
Offering a free ebook or membership to a site visitor as they flirt around your site can certainly help improve conversions to your newsletter readership, and crucially, keep them coming back for more.
There’s an epic reason why converting as many visitors into opt in subscribers is key – the overwhelming odds are that when a site visitor clicks away from your website, they wont be back.
4. Device Compatibility
Of increasing importance is making your site is mobile compatible. A research report released by Ipsos in October 2011 revealed that 69% of US mobile phone users access the web via their phones every day. If you’re Japanese that number rises to an emphatic 88%.
If your site looks like a train wreck on your customers smart phone, they aren’t going to take you very seriously.
5. Make The Key Links Immediately Noticeable
Don’t make the site visitor have to hunt for key links. Your contact link and your checkout process should be available with one click ease from any point on the site. Normally, people’s eyes tend to fall on the top right hand side of a website page first – consequently, many design textbooks will tell you to reserve this space for your most eye catching banners or messages. If there’s one area where you want to plaster the USP of your site or product, this is it.
6. Site Search Function
The larger your site, the more relevant a search function becomes to help your visitors find what they need quickly. Clear, unambiguous linking is of course also important and falls under the wider banner of good navigation – but a search feature can be a nice touch on top.
7. Site Speed & Loading Times
Nothing will irritate your site visitors quite like having to wait around for a site to load. While broadband speeds continue to evolve to make this less of an issue, your site could face performance issues if you have too many scripts/plugins or if there’s simply too much media on any given page.
Committing to these somewhat obvious sticky-site strategies delivers many long term benefits. You’ll capture more loyal readers as the months and years pass. You may find that your conversion numbers are looking pretty neat when stacked up against the industry average. And, best of all, sooner or later the effects should trickle down all the way to your bottom line.