Is your website sticky?

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“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a basic life lesson that parents teach their children. However, this lesson doesn’t seem to transition to judging websites, since approximately 75 percent of users make credibility judgements based on website design, according to Stanford and Kinesis, and these “first impressions are 94 percent design related.”

While some websites clearly have a terrible design – like the website for formal gown retailer Yvette’s – other website problems are not as clear. Making a website that not only attracts new viewers but also keeps previous viewers coming back is vital to growing your business.

So how do you make your website stickier than glue? Let’s take a look at a few things you can do:

Take a second look at the overall layout and usability of your website as a first step. There are several things that you should pay attention to:

1.All links should open in the same tab. Viewers should be able to hit the back button to return to the previous page.

2.Clicking your logo or the header at the top of all pages should take the viewer back to the homepage.

3.Test the usability of your site using a test group. Don’t have one of the designers test the website; find a group of individuals outside the organization to test the website so you can determine effectiveness and usability with “ordinary people.”

4.Pages should load quickly. According to Adobe, if a website takes too long to load, 39 percent will stop engaging.

5.Make your page responsive. With 60 percent of internet access being from mobile devices, according to Bop Design, a website that is not responsive could significantly reduce the effectiveness of your website.

6.Make it colorful. “Psychologists have revealed that people are susceptible on a subconscious level to color impressions and that over 60 percent of acceptance or rejection of a website is tied to this very fact,” according to TechWyse.

Content and advertising are the meat of your website, so you need to ensure that it is relevant to your reader and isn’t something they can find on 50 other websites.

1.Advertisements should be geared towards the viewer. Targeted campaigns are a great way to personalize advertisements. If targeted campaigns are not a part of your budget, at least verify that any and all ads are relevant to your viewers.

2.Keep it organized and manageable. You don’t want so much information on one page that it’s hard to sort through. Make sure content, advertisements and images/videos are all in balance. Is should be visually appealing in addition to being relevant.

3.Update content regularly. If a viewer returns to your site only to find the exact same information as three weeks ago, they are unlikely to ever return again. Keep your website up to date and full of the newest information.

4.Create your own content. Creating your own content will provide your viewers with something they haven’t yet seen – and this exclusiveness will make them come back for more.

5.Include in-depth contact information. “When asked to rate website elements that annoy them, more than half (54 percent) of respondents indicated that the lack of thorough contact information reduced a vendor’s credibility and thus would cause them to leave a website,” according to KoMarketing. Don’t let viewers slip away just because you forgot to put contact information. The more you include, the more credibility the viewer will give you.

Finally, do everything you can to increase viewer interaction.

1.Create comment sections and community discussion boards.

2.Social media should be a major part of your online presence. Links to your social media pages should be on all pages of the website, and viewers should also have the ability to share information on their personal social media accounts.

3.Follow through with interaction – respond to viewers. If you offer interaction to your viewers and do not interact back with them, you will lose your credibility with those viewers.

Having a sticky website will bring increased success and recognition. If you are concerned that your site needs some additional “stickiness,” revisit your website and determine which areas are slacking.

Do you need an improved website design? Do you need to find better content? Do you need to create interactive elements? Even if you have limited resources, start with one element of your website that needs improvement. As more resources become available, move on to the next element. Before you know it, your viewers will be stuck on you.

MultiView Team Expert Danielle Manley

Danielle Manley

Assistant Executive Editor

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