How to Make Your Website Sticky

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By Vee Tardrew - December 31, 2013

Perhaps I should tackle this by clarifying what exactly I mean when I say a sticky website! A sticky website can be defined as a website that entices visitors to hang around longer than usual and generally return in the future. To achieve this a site needs to have certain qualities, which I will outline in a moment. 

Let me first explain why it is important to have a sticky website. The Internet is a vast space with hundreds of thousands of websites competing for attention. If you have a website that encourages users to stick around long enough to explore your various pages you have a longer time to impart your marketing messages to an engaged visitor. Sticky websites also generally encourage repeat visits which will allow you to deliver a richer, personalised experience for your audience. Sticky websites will, overall, have a higher conversion rate than those where there is little to hold interest long enough to make an impact. 

So how do we ensure our website is sticky? Let's review that now. 

The 3 C's of a Super Sticky Website 

Content 

A primary driver of a sticky website is that it contains a lot of diverse and engaging content. The key here is that the content needs to be informative and valuable to website visitors and encourage longer or more frequent views. Content generally comprises of several formats, depending on your specific business and audience requirements, but the most popular include: 

  • Blog
  • eBooks or White Papers
  • Videos
  • Interactive content, e.g. calculators or tools
  • Comparison tables   

Another important characteristic of the content on a sticky website is that it is accessible via streamlined and simple navigation. Pages are clear in their purpose or intent and are not cluttered with unnecessary distractions to avert visitor's attention. 

Customisation

Sticky websites provide very personal experiences for visitors. Marketers of sticky websites have an excellent grasp on their buyer personas and tailor content specifically to match that persona's needs and interests. Content is laid out in such a way that the visitor can quickly and easily determine which content is relevant to them. 

Once you have captured lead contact information and provided your marketing software is integrated with your CRM you will be able to deliver even more customised content to your prospects via IP recognition. This means that you could use what HubSpot calls Smart Content to present a different set of content to a visitor you already have a profile on than to an anonymous viewer. This is naturally extendable into your email marketing that helps to push previous visitors (who have converted as leads via some opt-in module) back to the website with new offers or content. 

Community  

The last C of our sticky website characteristics is community. A sticky website holds certain appeal as it presents itself either as connected to a community or provides a sense of community to its visitors. Social proof and sharing buttons are available prompting visitors to connect on social platforms and share content with their followers. 

Allowing comments on your blog can encourage a sense of community among readers as they consider each other's opinions (in relation to yours and their own). Other examples would be forums where visitors could ask and answer questions from other members. 

The ultimate objective of a website is to make it as engaging and interactive as possible to elicit action from your prospects. That kind of site is what keeps your visitors around for longer and calls them back for more time and time again!

How does your website measure up against the 3 C's of a super sticky website? Perhaps you've recently identified some areas that could do with more 'stickiness'? Share your experiences in the comments below. 

Check out Growth Driven Design, a method focussed on continual improvement of the tsickiness of your site. 

growth-driven design, your new approach to website redesign
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...my two cents worth

Teamwork.

It's a lot more rewarding when you work with like-minded individuals who keep you in-the-loop, are keen to share knowledge and who are passionate about turning-out a kick-ass product.

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