With web sites being more common than ever, people are turning to the web to find products and services where they may have used other mediums previously.
In such a cluttered on-line world (and getting busier every day), you need to have something on your site that grabs peoples attention and more importantly keeps them coming back again and again.
The first thing that you need to make sure is that the content you have is current and if possible updated regularly (regularly may mean different things to different businesses, from daily to monthly). This may mean text, pictures or even a seasonal redesign or makeover. Google do this well by simply changing the graphic of their logo to represent different events.
Once content is being refreshed, it gives your customers a reason to come back. For many the products or services we sell are not commodity items and so return business is less certain due to the infrequency of the purchase.
If your content is changing (and obviously worth reading) then your customers are going to return to keep up to date with the developments.
To increase your stickiness, you are going to need something extra, something that can entice the visitors to your website to return, something SuperSticky!
This elusive element of your website will be different depending on your business and the target audience.
Some possible options are:
Â· Discussion Forums
Â· Auctions / Classifieds
Â· Picture Galleries
Â· User/Customer Reviews
Letâ€™s discuss each in turn.
Discussion Forums, depending on your business and audience, are one of the best ways to keep your customers coming back for more. The key here is that your customers are generating your sticky content for you. Just thinkâ€¦every time one of your visitors to your website posts a comment in the forum, they are pretty certain to be back to check on the responses to it.
You can develop this format into questions and answers. You the expert can answer the questions of the visitors and hopefully your answer to peopleâ€™s problems generates more and more traffic to your site, as you become known as a place to come for advice.
Auctions and classifieds are another way to get people to return to your site. With the success of Trademe in the New Zealand Internet space, online auctions have become well known. Offering your own niche auction site could also benefit from this surge of interest.
If auctions are not your thing, then classifieds can be something that you can employ to offer visitors and customers a place to trade good and services. Again your visitors are generating your content and locking themselves in by using the service. A word of adviceâ€¦do not attempt to dabble in any money matters relating to these services. You are there to bring people together; it makes it much simpler and less fraught with peril.
You will find picture galleries on many websites, you may even have one on a site that you have now. Having one is SemiSticky, but having one that people can submit their own photos is Sticky! , And having one that people can rate and comment on is SuperSticky!
You may not want people to comment on pictures in your gallery, but again it comes down to the fact that if you can get your visitors involved in generating the sites content, the more likely they are to come back.
Similar to the galleries are reviews on products and services.
You sell the product and have compelling sales copy to say it is great, but nothing says it better than endorsements by fellow customers. A testimonial on your site is good, but having them in such a publicly accessible place as a review section can give them even more authenticity.
However you may not want your customers to review your products, they may say something bad about themâ€¦. But hey, isnâ€™t that a great way to improve your product or service?
In summary, great websites are not usually the prettiest looking (although it helps); they are the ones with information that keeps the visitors coming back.
You may not have the time to update your site everyday, but by implementing some of these options, you may get your customers updating your site for you.
You will need to think about your audience and determine whether these ideas promote your site in the right way. Also talk to your web designer about how they can be implemented. There will be a cost, but you may find the return visitors make it worthwhile.
So the answer is simpleâ€¦Make it SuperSticky and make them want to come back.