Thursday, December 11, 2008

How Sticky is Your Website?

by Laura McNeil

The stickiness of your website is determined by how often visitors come to your site and how long they stay.

If the majority of your visitors are coming once and leaving in 30 seconds or less, your website is not very sticky. But more importantly you are not building a relationship with your visitors.

Here are some ways you can make your website stickier with content and build a relationship with your visitor.

Update Your Content Frequently

Provide good, fresh content. Content really is king and will keep your visitors on your site longer and keep them coming back again and again.

Update your content on key pages. Most of all make it useful and free.

Blogs

Update your blog frequently-daily is preferable-and give your visitors lots of original, useful content in your blog. Your blog is an outstanding way to drive repeat visits to your site.

If what you write is interesting your visitors will keep coming back to see what you are going to write about next.

Also, allow your visitors to leave comments on your blog. Visitors like being able to interact with you this way. They will start asking you questions as well as making comment.

You will be perceived as someone they can trust, who gives them useful answers. They start to feel they have a relationship with you.

Newsletters

Provide visitors with useful content in your newsletter.

Give them helpful advice, links to other sites they would find helpful, make sure the information is new, not the same old thing they have already read in a dozen other newsletters.

Make it easy for your visitors to sign up for your newsletter by requiring minimal information-just their name and email address.

Put the sign up for your newsletter on every page of your website, not just your homepage. Encourage them to tell their friends about the newsletter.

Determine how often you will send the newsletter and let them know that when they are signing up.

For instance, my newsletter sign up box says it is a bi-weekly Marketing Tips newsletter. So my visitors know how often they are getting it and what it is about before they sign up for it.

Respond to Inquiries Promptly

If you were asking someone a question, what time frame would you expect an answer in?

I expect one in 24 hours and that is what I tell my visitors they can expect from me.

I want them to know they are important to me and I value their time so I am not going to make them wait a week to hear from me. Chances are if I do, I will never hear from them again.

Responding quickly shows your visitors you care about their problems and want to help them.

Design a Visitor Friendly Website

Make finding what they want easy for your visitors. Do not make them click multiple times to find what they are searching for. Visitors come back to easy to navigate web sites.

Have a friend test your website. You may find it easy to navigate because chances are you put it together in what was a logical sequence for you.

That may not even be close to how your visitor thinks it should work. Be open to suggestions for changing it and making it more user friendly.

Implementing just a few of these suggestions will help increase the stickiness of your web site and start you on your way to building long lasting relationships with your visitors.

About the Author

Laura McNeil (laura@mcneilcopywriting.com) is a B-to-B copywriter specializing in direct mail and online marketing for Software, Consulting and Technical companies. Find out more at www.mcneilcopywriting.com