Are your users sticking around? That’s how you know if you have a “sticky” website. It’s the opposite of a bounce (somebody who visits your site and leaves right away), typically measured as average time on site. When people don’t want to leave (and their average time on site increases), you know you’ve got a sticky site. If you can keep people around longer, they’ll be more likely to see your marketing messages, click through to different pages, and perhaps even purchase your product. If you’ve got PPC advertising running, they may be more likely to click. There are plenty of great reasons for building a stickier website, especially when you’re attempting to monetize your website. Here are 6 ways you can get started:
Obey the 5 second rule.
Your website only has a few seconds to make an impression on a user before they bounce. If you want to keep visitors around, make sure the quick snap impression they get is a good one. Professional website design, logical (and not obnoxious!) banner ad placement, and a great header can help people stay longer. If your design looks awful or outdated, people will assume that your site isn’t worth reading – and they’ll leave. Remember, users can be impatient and don’t want to spend tons of time looking for information. You need to ensure that your design is both functional and good-looking. Beautiful design that looks professional can keep people on your site and interested past that “first impression” stage.
Write “pillar articles”.
One great way to get people to stick around is to write reference content that will stay fresh for quite some time. For example, if you run an ecommerce site dedicated to camera straps, you might wish to write a reference page on “How to Choose a Camera Strap” or “Alternate Uses for Camera Straps” to keep people around. When they can get this kind of useful content, they’ll be likely to click through it – and may even visit your site again in the future to use it as a reference. Well-illustrated tutorials, infographics, or valuable reference content keeps people around and helps them come back later. Make sure you offer people a simple way to bookmark the page.
Create a “best of” page.
If you recognize that some of your articles or pages get lots of traffic, even after you’ve written them, consider putting them together on one page. You might even want to write a brief summary of each article. A “best of” page keeps people around, clicking through to other pages on your website. You could even use this type of page as a brief history lesson or branding effort. To do this, find links that are both your “best” content and also explain a bit about yourself or your company. For example, if your company currently sells a variety of gardening supplies, you might want to link them to the post where you announced a merger with a local greenhouse.
Curate your content.
The written word is a powerful tool, but images and videos can keep visitors around even longer. Great visuals, combined with sharp text, help users engage further with your site. If you choose to start creating videos, you could even pursue video banner ad placement or pre-roll ads. When you add in additional types of content, especially video or interactive elements, you can pique people’s interest and get them to stay around longer. After all, it might take 2 minutes to read an article, but if you’ve created a 5-minute video demonstrating the same topic, you’ve more than doubled time on site for visitors who click.
Show off your proof.
Wondering how you can show how many people love your site? It’s as simple as adding in social buttons that show how many followers, fans, or subscribers you have. Subscriber counts can be a powerful number for people – when they see that you have others who actively follow your page, they may be more likely to stay on your site to see why. They might even subscribe themselves. You could also include embedded tweets, testimonials, or customer photos – there are lots of different types of social proof you could put on your website.
Connect after the fact.
Don’t let your visitors disappear into the night, never to be seen again. Keep them coming back for more in the future by having prominent subscribe or social buttons on your site. When you give your newly-converted fans the chance to revisit your site or interact with you on social media, they’ll be more likely to remember you in the future. This is great when you’re trying to monetize your site, since it often takes several visits for users to make a purchasing decision (and extra visits can mean extra clicks if you’re running PPC ads). Plus, social buttons mean that people can share all that great content you’ve been writing without ever leaving your site!
While loyalty and stickiness are different ideas, they’re closely related. Building a sticky site that people don’t want to leave can help them become loyal visitors, and loyal visitors tend to stay around your site for longer. Help people stick around your site by giving them a reason to stay.