Businesses want potential customers to stay on their websites like flies on flypaper. Like bees on honey. Like gum on the bottom of your shoe. Well, maybe not like that, but you get the idea. What, exactly makes a website sticky? Read this post to find out some key strategies.
The average time on site for a given webpages is only about 12 seconds, according to emarketingvideo.com. 12 seconds is certainly not enough time for a visitor to learn about a company and become interested in its’ products or services. For this interest to develop, there needs to be something on the site worth staying for. The average bounce rate of a given website, as of 2012, is 40.5%, according to Kissmetrics. Since bounce rate is inversely related to average time on site, the lower the bounce rate, the better for your business. What keeps a visitors’ interest is determined by a website’s "stickiness".
The stickiness of your webpage depends on many different factors, but there are some basic ways to engage visitors.
1. Speed: Something many website owners overlook is speed. You have to check your website every once in a while, entering and navigating as a viewer or a consumer. Do you have to wait more than a few seconds for the pages to load? According to Jennifer Kyrnin of About.com, "if a page doesn’t load within 7 to 10 seconds, most customers will have hit stop and gone to another page."
To improve the speed of your site, first make sure that your coding is polished, and then optimize any media you may have on your page. As you will see below, images and video are key factors to a sticky website, but these items must be optimized for speed.
2. A Clear Message: Do I know what you are offering right off the bat when I go to your website? If you are not selling anything, do I know exactly why I should continue to navigate your site? This information should be clear, and above the fold. Don’t be cryptic – get to the point.
And don’t distract your viewer. Below is an example of a website that not only does not tell the viewer what the website is all about, but it also is confusing and distracting. Take a look.
While the above example is a terrible execution of website content, it IS necessary that you have relevant images and videos on your site.
3. Engaging Content: Is your website content engaging? To engage is, "to attract and hold fast" (dictionary.com). Elements that help visitor engagement are things like great photos, graphics, and videos. As Snapapp puts it, "Websites that combine text with images and videos increase the time viewers spend with them. Videos accompanied by engaging content are more likely to be viewed and spark the interest of viewers to continue learning more."
Not to say that a video alone will help engage your viewers; as we mentioned in previous articles, your videos themselves must be informative and enticing.
We always like to reinforce the simple fact that people prefer to watch video over reading paragraphs of information. Thirty seconds of video goes fast (if it is engaging video), but thirty seconds of reading text goes extremely slowly. We’re getting bored just thinking of it! If the average visitor only spends 12 seconds on a page, and you have a 30 second video that they watch, you just doubled – almost tripled – the time they spend on your site" If you have a a 2 minute video and they watch all of it – you just increased your website’s stickiness by 10x the average. Engaging video is a very powerful tool for keeping people on your site.
And video is ADDICTING – if your video is good (informative and exciting), people will want to see more.
If you had 12 seconds to get a viewer "stuck" to your website, how would you spend them?