How sticky is your website?


Have you ever thought about how well your website is performing? I'm not really talking about driving traffic to your site but rather, whether your website has the ability to retain the interest of your visitors once they're actually on your site.

Of course, SEO does have an affect on whether or not your visitors are interested in what you have to offer. If your strategy isn't targeting the right audience, those that find themselves on your domain are likely to leave shortly after arriving - thus increasing your website 'bounce rate' and lowering the average time spent onsite (both of which are statistics all good analytics software should supply you with). With this said, it's clearly important to make sure that any campaign you've employed, is geared towards driving the right traffic.

The techniques used onsite are equally important to a website's success however. It is essential for those who have their own sites (i.e., businesses, web-masters etc) to realise that getting the right people to your site is only 'half the battle'. Retaining their interest is challenging and getting them to enquire or participate in some sort of activity, is even more difficult.

So what can be done?

There are a number of things you can do to increase your website's 'stickiness'. Techniques range from the subject matter of each page (and how engaging the copy is to your visitors), to the calls to action used, and also, the positions of each feature on the page.

A page which has little more than text on it, is substantially less engaging and less interesting than a page which has text, a poll, an enquiry form and a 'recent posts' feed (which links directly to the site's blog) for example. When designing your page layout, you really need to think about what it is you want your visitors to do once they've read the main body of the page. If there's nothing left for them to do, don't be surprised if they leave.

When linking to other sites from your website, why not make use of the target="_blank" tag? Should a visitor click on a link with this attribute, the external site will open in a new window - meaning they won't be directed away from your site immediately, and they'll have the option to comeback to it later.

Whatever you decide to do to improve your website and it's stickiness, it's probably well worth having someone else look at it so that you open yourself up to some constructive criticism. Not everyone will see your site in the same light as you, so it's generally a good idea to get a different perspective! Of course, if you've got the budget, and are looking for a more professional job, give us a call!

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