Is Your Website Deliciously Sticky?

What is the point of having a website?

It’s to let people know all about your business, your products, your services; it’s to give them the information they need to contact you; and it’s to give them the information they need to choose you over your competitors. It’s also supposed to convince people to browse your site and keep them coming back for more. Essentially, you want people to stick to you like glue and that is why you need a ‘sticky site’.

A sticky site is one that gives visitors want they want immediately and entices them to click internal links so that they can find out more. It also makes them want to share the stickiness with their friends, like delicious fudge.

What makes a site sticky?

There are two main factors that contribute to the stickiness of your site.

1)     Website design

2)     Content

Web design

A lot of businesses, especially small businesses, skimp on site design. One reason is that they think it’s too expensive. But the cost of losing customers through a slap-dash site far outweighs the cost of a decent looking website.

Some businesses mistake flashy for professional. They try to jam-pack their sites with too many features, to many colours and too much information from the get-go. One of the key factors of sticky site design is simplicity. Simple doesn’t have to be bland or stark; it can still be striking and bold.

In addition to being overwhelming, flashy sites can take a long time to load. Sites with a long loading time are likely to die far quicker death.

Think of your site as a map; it should direct people to where they want to go via the most direct route. In web jargon, you want a site that is intuitively navigable and usable.

Content

Content doesn’t consist only of words. Images, polls, competitions, videos – they’re all content. Search engines like words and well-tagged images and videos, so you need to choose your words (keywords) carefully. But searchers like to be engaged, which basically means that you still need to choose your words carefully.

Your content is what sets you apart from your competitors, it’s what attracts and keeps attention. It needs to be especially sticky. Once again, you don’t want to overwhelm your visitors with information. Once again you want to keep it simple. Bear in mind that you want to be clear and succinct and not curt and laconic.

Every page should have a goal and the content must support that goal. Steven Bradley says that you should follow the inverted pyramid style of writing. That’s all the most important information right at the top and the lesser details trailing down.

Search and social

Jordan Kasteler (Search Engine Land) says that you need to consider the different needs of search and social users.

Search users are likely to be looking for something specific – they want certain information and they want it now so they can convert. Social users are likely to be browsers – they’re curious; the kind of people who tell salespeople that they’re ‘just looking’ in a store.

Balancing these needs needn’t be too tricky because there is a fair bit of overlap. They both want information in as simple a format as possible, but search visitors are more likely to want your services/products and purchases pages, while social users are more likely to want your blog and about us pages – but they also want to see your services and products.

Basically, if your website and your content are designed with users in mind, you have a good chance of achieving stickiness.

Sources:

http://searchengineland.com/making-your-site-sticky-for-both-search-and-social-users-134233

http://www.vanseodesign.com/web-design/inverted-pyramid-design/

 

This guest post was written by Sandy Cosser on behalf of Elemental, a specialist web development company that balances your needs with those of your online visitors. Follow Sandy on twitter @SandyCosser

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

Comments

  1. Loved the headline! The fundamentals remain the same, and it is always good to get a reminder.

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