sticky website

6 ways to make your website sticky – do it right now

It’s a known fact that you have very limited time to grab the attention of visitors to your website before they leave to look at the next listing in search results – a few seconds in fact! So how can you do that and ensure they don’t click off so soon? Here are 6 ways to make your website ‘sticky’ and they are all things you can do right now!

1. Reduce the load time

If I choose your site to click on from a list of search results, I want to immediately see what it is and if it’s relevant to me. I don’t have time to wait for it to load.

What you can do right now

Check out the speed of your homepage right now at http://www.webpagetest.org. If it’s over 10 seconds, it would be a good idea to optimise the images on it (the usual culprit). Check the file sizes of the images on all your pages. If you are not sure how to use image editing software to optimise them, use something like this free online image optimisation tool to do it. This lets you upload images, select the quality and change the dimensions, then download them. When you have done this, replace the images on your website with these lower file size ones that are in the dimensions you want to display them in – don’t upload them in their massive full size and leave the html to resize them or they’ll slow down the load times of your web pages!

2. Make content fast and easy to read

Think through what you want your web pages to immediately tell visitors, so they know what your site/business is about, whether it applies to them and if it has what they’re looking for.

What you can do right now

Look at and read through each page of your site while putting yourself in your visitors’ shoes – your target market I mean. Think about where your visitors might come from and what search terms they might have been using, then make a list of the main points that will grab them straight away – remember it’s not always your home page that they will land on first. Also break up content into paragraphs with headings, bullet points and numbered lists if possible. If a visitor sees a long essay to read though they won’t bother.

3. USPs

Your homepage (and other pages) MUST include your USPs – what makes you different and better from the rest. When I search for a particular product or service, something needs to grab my attention immediately to make you stand out and to stop me pressing the Back button and so I can look at other search results.

What you can do right now

As a business, if you don’t know what your USPs are yet, now is the time to immediately identify them! What are your unique selling points? Do you offer faster service than your competitors? Perhaps your products are better for a reason or you offer free delivery. Maybe you offer a guarantee that others don’t or you have a niche specialism that not many others can do. Our main USP is that we show our clients ways to do their own marketing, which saves them money, whereas many of our competitors want to do it all for them. Whatever is special about you, make sure your web pages tell visitors about it!

4. Use multimedia

Today’s online marketing is all about multimedia. Not just because you can use it to get your message across in a more interesting way, but because your visitors don’t have time to read through lots of textual info. A video or slideshow can be much more fun to view and it’s easier to see on mobile phones (stats show that mobile will overtake desktop web browsing in 2014 so it’s important to make sure your website is mobile friendly!).

What you can do right now

If you have any videos, audio recordings or slide show presentations, put them on your website! Got a PowerPoint presentation or a good video about your business? Put it on SlideShare or YouTube/Vimeo and embed it into your webpages.

5. Internal links

Make sure your pages have relevant links to other pages on your site, especially if you have a blog. This will give your visitors a reason to stay on your site if the links are to more information they might need.

What you can do right now

If you have a blog built in WordPress, install this great plugin called ‘Yet Another Related Posts Plugin‘ by Yarrp which is free and will automatically add ‘Related Posts’ links to the bottom of your blog articles, that are relevant and related to each post (see the bottom of this post for some related links that were generated by this plugin).

6. Calls to action

The main reason you need to keep visitors on your site is so that they take action, whether it is to contact you, fill in a form, join your mailing list, purchase something,  or something else. So make sure your website guides them to whatever goal (or goals) you want them to reach.

What you can do right now

Decide what you want visitors to do for each part of your website for example, if they enter the site via your blog, it would be common sense to have a call to action on there, asking them to sign up for your newsletter to receive useful articles. Then your newsletter can have extracts of blog posts you create and links to read the whole articles (as well as offers and more calls to action). If they enter via your homepage, the goal could be for them to purchase a product in which case the call to action could be an offer for them to take advantage of, which leads them to a promotional item in your store. So add forms, buttons, pop-overs and anything that will get a visitor to take the action you want, depending on where they might be coming from and what they might need.

So what ideas do you have to make your website sticky? Feel free to comment below!

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