- 1 The visitor and a sticky website
- 2 The value of a sticky website and the visitor
- 3 The visitor and sticky website – Create a bookmark-worthy RSS feed
- 4 Choose your feeds carefully
- 5 Blog your little heart out to build a sticky website
- 6 Some on-site blog tips:
- 7 Some off-site blog tips:
- 8 Need more information on the latest in hearing loss solutions?
- 9 This is critical so let’s put it in bold type: blog posts should be informational
- 10 Create an Article Library for the Visitor
- 11 Create a Drip Series of Informational Content for the Visitor
- 12 Add Syndicated Content for the Visitor
- 13 Goodies for the Visitor
- 14 Why Create a Sticky Website for the Visitor?
The visitor and a sticky website
Achieving web success is an on-going process. It’s not something you do once and you’re finished. Why would the visitor to your website become sticky? Why would a site visitor come back to visit your website a second time?
As a web business owner, you’re constantly tweaking, refining your keyword selection and creating site stickiness – reasons for visitors to come back to your site a second, third and even fourth time. And if you do it right, you may even get some visitors to bookmark your site and stop by regularly to see what’s new.
The value of a sticky website and the visitor
You have an objective for your web site. It might be to sell products or to push services. It might be to create click-through income, affiliate income or to raise money for you NFP. There are lots of different site objectives but one thing is certain: the more times a visitor stops by your digital real estate, the more likely you are to convert that visitor to a buyer.
That’s a good thing.
Oh, he may not buy on the first go-‘round, or the second. But each time that visitor stops by, you increase the chances of converting visitor to buyer, donor, caller, customer or client. But here’s the thing…
…if that same visitor keeps coming over but only sees the same old same old, ummm, they’ll stop wasting their time and you just lost a convert. Too bad, too. If only you’d given that visitor a reason to come back again. And again. And one more time.
So, how to keep ‘em coming back? You have to keep your site content fresh and green. New information, new news, new tips and suggestions, special sales for sign ups and on and on and on. There are lots of strategies for creating site stickiness. Let’s look at the simplest ones to boost your return rate and your page views per visitor rate – two key site metrics that tell you that you’re doing something right.
The visitor and sticky website – Create a bookmark-worthy RSS feed
Information velocity is a critical aspect of the success of many web sites that rely on information and use it as bait to create repeat visits. So, where do you get the latest news of interest to your particular site visitors?
Well, the easiest way to deliver current news is through the use of an RSS feed. RSS stands for remote site syndication (or really simple syndication depending on which web guru you listen to), but regardless of what it stands for, RSS delivers.
It delivers the latest news associated with the topicality of your web site. If you sell racing bikes on line, an RSS feed that delivers the upcoming Tour de France schedule will keep potential buyers coming back for that day’s racing schedule.
Creating an RSS feed is really simple. First, you need an RSS aggregator. (They’re free.) This is a simple piece of software that you use to collect the feeds you want to display on your web site. Google offers a free RSS aggregator, but so do like a million other sites so look around for something simple and intuitive.
Once you’ve downloaded the RSS aggregator, visit sites related to the topicality of your site (racing bicycles and gear). When you find a site you like, look for the RSS feed link and click on it. That’s it. From now on, that web site will send relevant, current information directly to your web site.
Choose your feeds carefully
They should all be related to site topicality. More importantly, they should all provide information of interest to site visitors. That’s how you keep them coming back.
Place your RSS feed broadcast module right on the home page. The module will display various topics from different sites you’ve selected to deliver the latest news – fast! Visitors simply click on a topic as it scrolls by your RSS module to get the most up-to-date, relevant news available – right there on your home page. Don’t bury your RSS mod on an interior landing page, and definitely don’t make visitors search for it. Make it easy to get the news of interest to prospects and watch those prospects become part of your customer base.
RSS feeds are easy to use (anyone can do it), they create good will among visitors because you’re providing a time-saving service and, most importantly, they create site stickiness – a reason to bookmark your URL and come back and come back often. Think about what the visitor actually wants ?
Blog your little heart out to build a sticky website
There are two kinds of blogs: on-site and off-site blogs and both are useful in creating web site glue.
An on-site blog is actually a part of your web site. It’s accessed via a link, usually found on the navigation bar or column. An on-site blog employs a blog module that attaches to your site’s structure. An example of a blog module is phpBlog, open source software (OSS) meaning it’s FREE. Yeah!
A blog is simply a template that enables you to post information quickly and easily so you can report on the latest news within your industry or sphere of commerce. On-site blogs provide search engine bot food. Search engine bots look for fresh content. When a bot spiders your site, it compares what it finds to the cached view of your site – the snapshot the bot took the last time it stopped by.
The bot compares your current site to the cached view to find changes in content and when it finds two, three or 10 new, informational articles, it smiles on your web site and you move up in page rank (PR), which means you show up higher in Google’s search engine results pages, also called SERPs.
Using an on-site blog, you can provide up-to-date information with a few clicks.
Some on-site blog tips:
- Create your post in your system’s word processing software so you can format, spell check and do all of the other things that need doing. Place strong keywords in blog post titles, sub-heads and other strong text so bots know what the blog post is about.
- Once you’ve optimized the post, cut and paste the piece to your on-site blog and score points with bots and visitors. The reason to create the post in your wp software is because blog editors aren’t as robust and they don’t offer the features a word processor offers, e.g. the ability to add pictures, graphs, charts and other images fast.
- Keep your on-site blog up to date, adding new posts two to three times weekly. A blog post should be somewhere between 500 and 1,200 words long and rich in keywords.
Some off-site blog tips:
An off-site blog, sometimes called a third-party blog, is a free-standing blog module that stands apart from your actual web site. Examples of off-site blog modules include Google’s Blogger, WordPress, Typepad and other templates that enable you to write it in your word processor, cut and paste to the off-site blog editor and upload.
The advantage to an off-site blog is obvious. The blog links to your web site. At the end of each post, you add a little link with a strong call to action to click that link and visit your site. The link is usually in blue text (that’s what we’ve come to expect in web design protocol) and connects back to your web site’s home page.
The obvious advantage to an off-site blog is that it creates another target for visitors to hit as they whiz from one site to the next blog to the next site and on and on. Let’s face it, web surfers aren’t very patient. So, your off-site blog contains useful information with a link back to your site. Surfers may not find your site but they may find your blog, click on the link back to your site and suddenly discover just what they’ve been looking for – you.
Here’s an example of a link that you’d place at the end of an informational blog post on hearing loss posted to an off-site blog (it’s an example so don’t bother clicking on it – it’s for illustration purposes, okay?)
Need more information on the latest in hearing loss solutions?
You’ll find just what you’re looking for at hearingaidsrus.com so stop on buy and hear the world again. Again, post to your off-site blog two to three times weekly to keep the news fresh and visitors coming back. No, they may not click the link back to your site the first time they visit your off-site blog but if they like what they see, they’ll bookmark your off-site blog and, at some point, make that all important click that takes them to the front door of your web site – your home page.
This is critical so let’s put it in bold type: blog posts should be informational
They should help the site visitor perform some action, either on line or in the 3-D world in which we really live. Skip the sales copy or, trust me, they won’t be back.
One tip to get yourself some blog fuel: submit your blog to technorati.com. This is a search engine dedicated to crawling blogs so, if you post good stuff, you’ll show up highly on technorati’s SERPs, driving more visitors to see what’s so great about your blog.
Create an Article Library for the Visitor
Another gold star from search engine bots is fresh content in an “articles” section. Create a link labeled “Articles” on your navigation bar and add fresh, informational articles to this section.
Also, collect these articles in an archive. A blog post or an article has search engine value for about 30 days – the default frequency for searching a site, though you or your programmer can encourage bots to stop by more frequently if you post new content weekly.
Once again, stale old content is yesterday’s news so add an article or two every week and set your search frequency to weekly. Bots will give you extra credit for that juicy, green, informational content. (BTW, if your juicy, green content is just a bunch of sales hype, you don’t get a gold star from Google, Inktomi, Yahoo or other search engines. The prime objective of any search engine is to deliver SERPs that are useful and of interest to SE users depending on the query terms they enter into the SE search box. Period.)
Create a Drip Series of Informational Content for the Visitor
If you’re an expert on the topicality of your web site (jeeze, you better be), you could write a book about anything from SIPs (structured insulated panels) to the Tour de France, right? You know a lot about the products or services you sell, or at least your should.
Create a drip series of articles: Part I, Part II and so on down the line, building on the information that came before. Each article adds to the knowledge of the visitor drip by drip. And because the information is spread out over days, weeks and even months, you’ll see an increase in both site traffic and conversion ratios because you’re providing constructive information a little at a time. (That’s good because article readers don’t want to dig in too deep, so delivering information drip by drip enables visitors to absorb your utile information in bite-sized bits and keeps ‘em coming back for more of the good stuff.)
Add Syndicated Content for the Visitor
There’s a ton of free content just waitin’ for the takin’ on sites like ezine, goarticles, helium and other content syndication sites. So, if writing isn’t part of your skill set, snag some free content from one of the popular content syndication sites.
As usual, there are pros and cons to everything you do on the web. This syndicated content can be downloaded free for use on your site and on every competitor site, as well. Search engine bots don’t give extra credit for what’s called duplicate content – content that appears on 180 other knitting sites (if you own a knitting site).
So, using this content won’t do anything to boost your PR and, in fact, if you use too many duplicate pieces, you may actually get slammed. Again, remember the prime objective of a search engine – fresh, relevant search results.
However, the chances that a visitor will see the same article on a competitor site is pretty remote, though it does happen. Most visitors will gobble up that new content on your site – it’s the first time they’ve seen it! So use syndication sparingly, on an as-needed basis, to avoid annoying search engine bots, but use it to keep site visitors coming back, aka, creating site stickiness.
Goodies for the Visitor
How about the day’s horoscope? Or the recipe du jour? Check out sites like www.freesticky.com for little magnets that keep visitors coming back. Now think, here.
If you’re a certified financial planner creating a professional, knowledgeable image using a web site, adding the daily horoscope won’t exactly build confidence in your financial services. What? You’re picking stocks based on the daily horoscope? Not a trust builder.
But, if you have a real estate site, add a mortgage calculator, a list of mortgage lenders with up-to-the-second, real time rates, or throw a spotlight on the property of the day.
Freesticky.com and similar sites offer little games, quotes of the day and other information that changes daily. It’s free (usually). Just make sure the sticky part sticks with your site’s objective. If you run a funeral home, the joke of the day is just plain inappropriate and in kinda bad taste, don’t you think?
Why Create a Sticky Website for the Visitor?
Because you provide reasons for site visitors to revisit your site – and maybe even award you with a bookmark, which should send shivers of delight down your spine. These are prospects who may not become buyers for weeks, months or years, but as long as they keep coming back…
…you increase the likelihood of converting a visitor to a buyer.
In closing, create some adhesive to keep visitors stuck on you. In time, these repeat visitors could help pay the rent.