How Sticky is Your Business Web Site? — PART 1

Posted by John Park on Apr 1st, 2009
2009
Apr 1

Sticky Web Site Content

 
First my apologies for not posting in a while.  There are hundreds of you now generating over a thousand page views a day.  I am also happy to report that my little blog has also been picked up for syndication on a few notable web sites around the Internet.  I am hoping this means you are finding my posts to be informative and helpful.
 
Like you, I also head a business and things got a little crazy in March.  The good news is that the economy seems to be thawing a bit.  It’s not necessarily getting better but maybe consumers and businesses are slowly realizing that business and life needs to go on.
 
Today, I want to discuss with you the idea of making your business web site “STICKY.”  Yes, I know.  The Internet generates a lot of funny marketing phrases.  In this case the word sticky is very appropriate.  If how much business you generate from a web site is important to you, this is a post you must read.
 
Many of you are probably reviewing your web site traffic statistics on a fairly regular basis—I hope.  Reviewing how many people visited your web site is not enough and just willfully accepting a low web site visitor to lead/sale conversion at any poor ratio should be unacceptable.  As an example, if it takes 100 visitors to your web site to get one solid lead, you should be always asking the following.  “How can I get more leads and sales for the same amount of traffic?”
 
Unfortunately, this is not the question often asked by business owners.  The question often becomes “How can I get more traffic to my web site?”  More traffic is important as well but it’s the visitor to lead/sale ratio that is more important.  A sound way to better your current ratio is to make your web site more sticky.
 
Sticky is basically the web site marketing tactic of turning an anonymous web site visitor into an identified web site visitor.  Instead of having hundreds or thousands of people come and go without making any contact with you, sticky is a way to turn some of those “ghosts” in to real prospects and sales.
 
 
( Making a Web Site Sticky – The Basics )
 
1.  PROFESSIONAL WEB SITE:  Your web site has to look professional at first glance.  The days of do-it-yourself web sites are gone.  Do you make your own furniture for your lobby area?  Do you make your own copier?  You get what I mean.  On the WWW, perception is reality.  Whether we like it or not, we all size up a business by the look and professionalism of their web site.  A poorly designed web site is one of the fastest ways to get someone to click away from your web site.
 
2.  CLARITY OF CONTENT:  Don’t you hate it when you land on a web site and you have no idea what they do or offer?  Your web site content should clearly communicate the services and products you offer.  Your navigation must be simple and direct so that your visitors find it easy and intuitive to navigate your web site.  If it requires more than 2 clicks to get to the information they need, this situation will start them down the path of frustration and thus a departure from your web site.
 
3)  FLASH ANIMATION INTRODUCTIONS:  Get rid of it.  No one wants to view it a second time.  Deep down inside, you know they always click the skip introduction.  In fact, you probably do this on your own web site if you have a flash introduction.  Name for me one Fortune 1000 company that uses a flash introduction in lieu of an actual homepage.
 
 
( Making a Web Site Sticky – Intermediate )
 
1.  RESOURCES IN EXCHANGE FOR INFO:  Allow visitors to download or takeaway resources from your web site in exchange for some basic contact information.  For example, an online Halloween costume store might offer a free Trick or Treating Safety Check List for download from their web site.  The user just needs to input 2 or 3 bits of information in order to download the document.  The document or whatever they download should also be branded with your company information.  The difficult part is to make sure that whatever you are offering is truly useful for your web site visitors.  For example, you should not do this with your company brochure.  It has to be truly useful from the visitor’s perspective.
 
2.  SUBSCRIPTIONS:  Allow your visitors to subscribe to an email newsletter, your blog or other forms of on-going communication like RSS feeds.  Again, it’s important to clearly communicate a value proposition.  I often come across web sites that ask me to sign-up for their email newsletters without letting me know why I should.  If I sign-up, what can I expect?  For example, an insurance company that deals with workers compensation issues might offer the incentive of keeping all of their subscribers updated on the latest workers compensation regulations.  There is always something your prospects are interested in having or knowing.  Many of you are reading this post because you have signed up for my RSS feeds or posts via email.  As result, you are sticking with my web site.
 
3.  MEMBERS AREA:  This is one of those tactics which require a serious commitment.  If you’re up to it, you can include a members area on your web site.  Access will only be given to registered members. I say this takes commitment because you have to update your members area with new and fresh content on a fairly regular basis.  Otherwise, you will just lose all your members over time.  Typically, you can collect more information when you are requiring registrations for a members area.  The most effective approach I’ve seen to date is when a web site offers something of value in a members area for free.
 
4.  INTERACTIVE TOOLS:  Work with your web developer or license interactive tools for your web site.  For a little bit of information, you can give your web site visitors full access to these online tools.  An example might be a Financial Planning Service offering a series of financial planning calculators on their web site.  Have you ever filled out one of those “how much money do I need to retire” calculators online?  These interactive tools are also a great reason for visitors to return and for other web sites to link to your web site.
 
5.  SOCIAL MEDIA:  With the prevalence of free social media platforms, you can also utilize these membership driven tools to make your web site more sticky.  Including a blog to give your visitors a reason to return or subscribe, adding a Face Book, My Space, or Linkin so that you can connect with your prospects in a more informal setting, developing a YouTube channel for your business and developing a complete social network platform utilizing Ning are just a few tools available to you.  I know… I will post separately in the near future about utilizing social media to market your business.
 
 
If you are a regular reader of my posts, you know that my goal is not to overwhelm you with more items to add on your “To Do List.”  Utilizing and implementing any of the above specific marketing tactics will make your web site more sticky.  The goal, at the end of the day, is to make your web site more sticky in order to garner more leads and sales without always focusing on more traffic.  In Part 2, I will focus on taking “STICKY” to the next level—a bit of Marketing Crazy Glue.
 
Until Next Time…
 
 
 

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