Top 5 Sticky Ideas for Your Website – Content that Drives Visitors

The term “sticky content” has become widely known. In short, it means that the content of your website will “stick” in the minds of your visitors, which translates into repeat visits. If you have access to server statistics on your website (programs like AWSTATS, for example), you can quickly determine how sticky your site is in two ways:

1. Look at the percentage of favorites. If 25% or more of your site visitors are adding your website to their browser “favorites”, you have some great content. Keep it up. Any less than that percentage should clue you into the need for more informative content and/or more regular updates. Any time that you can include a spot that shows when an article was added or when a page was last updated, use it. Visitors will see these as indicators that they can come back to your site and find something new on a regular basis.

2. Check out the number of hits versus unique visitors. If you are receiving a huge number of page views, way outnumbering the number of unique visitors, this is a good indication that some visitors are returning to your site to check out what new stuff you’ve done, or take advantage of their favorite features.

Sticky Content

Website content that makes your site “sticky” is informative, it involves your audience and turns them into participants. By making your visitors “part of” your website, they will talk about it to their friends and keep coming back for more.

So what is good “sticky content”? Here are the top 5 things you can add to your website to increase its value to your visitors:

1. Information – Including and even going above and beyond anything else in this list, you have to have information. In its purest form, the Internet is all about information that can be freely accessed and is relevant to your site’s topic. Visitors should be able to find the information that they’re looking for quickly and easily, and they should find it in abundance. If you make it clear that you add more – always useful – information regularly, your visitors will keep coming back to your website to read it. Tutorials are a great source of information, as are many of the contents following in this list. The key is to make it free, make it really useful, and find ways of tying the information in to your products and/or services without turning it into an infomercial.

2. News Articles – What’s happening in your company? People will become a fan of your website – and your business – much more quickly when they feel like they know you. Let your visitors know what is happening within your company, within your industry, and within the world your target audience lives in and they will come back to stay up to date. If you don’t have time or the skills to write your own news articles, try to get submissions from your visitors. You can also check out free reprint article directories; these websites, though often based on a monthly membership plan, offer up hundreds of constantly updated articles that authors are willing to let you reprint on your website for nothing more than the price of a byline and link back to their own site.

3. Publications – Take a look around at other websites that fall into the same niche that you do, and discover what types of publications they offer to their visitors. Things like e-zines, newsletters, booklets, and bulletins are all publications that offer targeted information. If you offer an e-zine, make sure that you let your visitors know that you will never use or sell their information (and actually don’t do it!), and offer an archive of past editions that show visitors what they’re subscribing for. Booklets and e-books are always in demand because they can be downloaded to your visitor’s computer and contain information that they can access at their ease. Publications like these should always contain a link back to your website, and be “branded” with your company’s colors and logo.

4. Excerpts – Do you sell books on your website? Many businesses today are taking advantage of Print On Demand (POD) Publishers. These publishers will let you publish your books, printing them only as they are ordered which lets you work without a huge overhead. Once you decide to sell books, in either printed or electronic format, you need to prepare some really great excerpts for your visitors to browse. Offer them a really good look at what you’re asking them to buy; a full chapter is a great selling tool. The idea is that if your visitor were in a book store, they would be able to thumb through the book and decide if it offered what they needed. Providing your visitors a good excerpt is the Internet equivalent of aisle-browsing.

5. Interviews – This kind of content can be both entertainment and marketing. Interview both clients and experts that fall into the niche that your products/services do, and target people who have used your business tools or can reliably pinpoint the ways in which tools like yours are so useful. Any time that a local paper writes about your business, you can contact them for permission and reproduce the article on your website – this type of article also gives your visitors an “inside peek” at the business they’re dealing with, and can make them feel that much more loyal to your business. You can also perform interviews yourself – try pinpointing a few experts or groups that you would love to have featured on your website, and prepare a list of about 10 questions that you would like them to answer. Send the list of questions via email, with a very brief and polite request for the interview to be returned by a specific date. Let the potential interviewee know exactly how you plan on using the information they submit, how to contact you with questions, and where they will be able to find the published interview.

Remember that there is an ever-expanding choice of technologies that you can prepare your informative content in. Try interspersing things like relevant audio clips, streaming video, mp3 files, or online presentations with your text-based information. The key to achieving “sticky” content is to pinpoint what your target audience likes, and giving it to them better than they could ask for.

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