7 Ways to Improve The Stickiness Of Your WebsiteMichael Fleischner
December 3, 2008 — 1,389 views
Today more than ever, consumers are overwhelmed with choices, and distractions. The cost of attracting users to your website continues to increase and keeping them engaged is more important than ever. Engagement doesn't end with an individual browser reading content or clicking on an ad. Rather, engagement is an ongoing process that results in loyal customers who come back again and again, becoming more vested in your web site. How can you make sure you're engaging and keeping customers? In order to create a loyal following, there are some basic principles you need to consider. From first impressions to life-long membership, put yourself in the shoes of your browsers and make their experience a valuable one. Reduce Clutter. How many times have you visited a website only to be overwhelmed and confused? What is this site about you may have asked yourself. Or perhaps you found yourself asking, "Where is the information I'm looking for?" Don't ask your browsers or potential customers to figure this out. Make your site clutter free and create a visual priority that emphasizes the information, resources, or actions your browsers want. By reducing obstacles you build trust among new web site visitors and allow for simple decision making %u2013 which benefits everyone. Make Navigation Intuitive. There are many ways to navigate a web page but intuition rules the day. Don't try to get fancy with your navigation or overuse java script. Basic navigation that follows current convention is the best way to lead individuals through your web site to the information they're looking for. Make The Initial Site Interaction Relevant. When a browser reaches your web site, you have less than seven seconds to get them engaged. Making your initial site interaction relevant to what individuals are looking for is essential for keeping them interacting long term. If you are promoting your web site with Google Adwords, or any pay per click advertising for that matter, be sure to create customer landing pages that are truly relevant to the individual who clicks-through your ad. Once you've established relevancy, you can move them deeper into your content, tools, and resources. Ensure That Your Content Is Up-to-date. Web site content that isn't up to date does not serve your audience and browsers are likely to move on. One way to ensure that information is timely is by providing a feed of relevant news or information. If including static text on your web pages, try not to include specific dates. However, if you must publish dates, be sure to update this information on a regular basis. Start An Interaction With Your Users. Each time a browser views your web page, you have an opportunity to interact with them. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. One great way to interact is to offer something of value at no cost. This can be a white paper, access to an exclusive list, or simply a 30 day free trial. Be sure to capture an individual's valid email address and include them on your mailing list. An auto-responder is best if you wish to engage these individuals on an ongoing basis. Provide Plenty Of Support. Don't hesitate to offer support right from your home page. Prominently display your 800 number, support email address, and additional information for your prospects and customers such as mailing address. This information is viewed favorably by search engines and also creates a sense of legitimacy. Contact information builds trust among prospects and elicits interest in your company. Make Sharing Easy. Once you've made your web site easy to use, don't hesitate to offer browsers the ability to share your web site with others. This can be in the form of a simple widget that allows users to bookmark your page, subscribe to an Rss feed, or submit your content to popular news sites like Digg.com. Individuals are much more likely to visit a web site based on a friend's recommendation versus some other type of marketing initiative. Leverage the power of viral marketing with easy sharing tools. Your web site can be your greatest asset. Unfortunately, many marketers and website owners are so focused on increasing traffic that they lose site of the audience that's already visiting their web pages but are simply not converting. Don't make the same mistake. Improve the quality of you site through relevant content that is up-to-date and easy to find. Once you've engaged users, encourage them to share. Doing so will make your site perform better, increase conversions, and deliver value for all involved. Michael Fleischner is an Internet marketing expert and the President of MarketingScoop.com. He has more than 12 years of marketing experience and had appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. Visit MarketingScoop.com for further details and more marketing articles including tips on how to improve search engine rankings for your web site.