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Posts Tagged ‘stickiness’

OK, so someone did a search on Google, and they’ve landed on your web site. Now what? Will they read what they’ve found, click to another page of your site, or simply hit the back button on their browser and say bye-bye?

Regardless of how fantastic your site is, you will always have a percentage of folks that leave immediately. There are numerous reasons for this exit rate, and you can’t resolve them all. However, there are proven steps you can take to improve the overall stickiness of your site.

Tip #1: Reduce Clutter
You may really like all of that stuff you’ve put on your web site, but too much stuff will do more to distract and confuse your visitors than to help them. Bells and whistles are great on a train, but not on your web site.

Tip #2: Make Your Navigation Intuitive
A lot of designers like coming up with creative site navigation structures. It’s tempting to offer a cute flash navigation, with dancing arrows or Christmas tree ornaments. Don’t.
As creative as you are, no one wants to spend time figuring out how to navigate your web site. As a rule, the more you make them think about navigation, the quicker they’ll navigate to someone else’s site.

Tip #3: Make Sure Your Site Content is Relevant
If you sell leather sofas, make sure your content is strictly related to “leather sofas”. A visitor who comes to your site and finds pages upon pages of pictures of your dog will think your dog is adorable, but they probably won’t buy a leather sofa from you. Therefore, don’t distract your visitors with content that isn’t directly related to what they’re looking for.

Tip #4: Make Sure Your Content is Up-to-Date
Content that isn’t up-to-date is a serious waste of your visitor’s time and your selling opportunities. Therefore, if product information or store hours change, make sure you update them immediately. No one likes outdated or incorrect information.

Tip #5: Make the First Move
Every time someone visits your web site, you have a chance to interact with them. Don’t waste this opportunity. If they’re not ready to buy, make sure you’re offering value such as a free trial, product samples or something they can download such as a white paper. As a rule, the more they interact with you, the more likely they will buy from you.

Tip #6: Be Supportive
Don’t be shy. Make sure you’re there for support when your visitors want help. Always have your toll free number prominently displayed on every page of your site, and an easy contact link for your email address, physical address, etc. It’s a fact that clearly displayed and readily available contact information builds trust among potential customers.

Tip #7: Make it Easy to Share
Make sure you’re actively taking advantage of social marketing opportunities wherever possible. Add Web 2.0 widgets or links to your web site that encourage visitors to share your content with others via social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Reddit and Stumble Upon. People are more likely to visit a web site based upon a suggestion from another reader than from a paid ad.

Your web site will only be as effective as you make it. Therefore, you must work at making positive improvements all the time. Otherwise your site will never reach its full potential.

So fire up the printer and place this post front and center on your desk (or make it your start page) so you can start putting these sticky site tips into action. Once you’ve gone through and applied these tips to every page of your site, you’ll find that your site will perform better, enjoy increased conversions, and attract more word of mouth (or word of web) business.

 

(And hey, while you’re at it, add the Ecommerce Solutions Blog to your social bookmarking page)

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