Sticky is a ‘highly technical’ term we like to use to describe a site that pulls you in, that immediately grabs your attention as soon as you arrive and compels you to spend more time on it then you had initially intended. For charities and non-profit this window of opportunity can be absolutely crucial in allowing you to deliver your key messages.
So what is the opposite of stickiness? well… bounciness! The bounce rate of a site relates to the percentage of visitors who reach your website and exit without visiting any other pages. It is used for analysing website traffic and helps identify how well your website can hold visitors attention.
One of our strong beliefs here at Pedalo is that a website is about much more than landing on a page and pointing your mouse at things, we believe that your audiences go through a journey which begins with the method by which they reach your site and ends with your/their desired outcome whether this is making a donation, signing up to a newsletter, joining a forum, signing a petition or any other digital objective.
So what can you do to ensure that your the journey to, though and from your site is as fluid as possible?
Here are 10 top tips to help keep raise your stickiness factor:
1. Clear navigational structure
Navigation is key to the success of a website. Your users need to be able to move around your website with speed and ease as their aim is to get to the information they need in minimal time. Large ‘donate now’ and ‘go straight to…’ call to action buttons help in cutting out time needed to explore menu’s and please focussed users.
2. High quality content
If the content on your website is not of high quality, users are bound to move on. They need to know they have come to the right place and you are able to match their expectations. These days large rich images and video content are the type of things that fire the imagination of your audience and keep people enthralled.
3. Good design and layout
The appearance of your design can affect the decision visitors make on whether or not to stay on your website. The layout is important and needs to be clear so users can understand what your website is offering and how to reach relevant information. Good user experience knowledge can help you identify what the key areas of the site are and what content needs to be where.
4. Loading speed
If your website takes a long time to load the user is bound to get frustrated and go elsewhere. Make sure the content on your website doesn’t take a long time to load which may mean making a cost/benefit comparison to identify whether certain items should be on your landing pages.
5. Make it easy to contact you
Some visitors may decide to contact you for more information straight away rather than reading through your website so make sure you phone number or email address is situated clearly on your website.
Also, if you have included a contact form try to make it as short and simple so users do not perceive it to be an arduous task to ask a simple question.
6. Accurate keywords
The keywords you use on your website help your site to be found through search engines by people who are looking for something in particular. Make sure you research your keywords properly to ensure that those who land on your website are relevant, you site content and organic search results will also go a long way to helping to guide your target audience to the site in the first instance.
7. Simplify the structure of your website
Sometimes less is more. Providing pages and pages of information can actually turn some people away as they don’t have the time to trawl through paragraphs of content to find what they are looking for. Your website usage statistics can help you to determine which of your pages are the most popular and frequently used which in turn should give you a better idea of how to structure the site.
Carry out adequate testing to make sure your website is compatible to different browsers and doesn’t alienate users. Nowadays it is even more important to ensure that your site is mobile/tablet friendly. Knowing your audiences will help you to determine the level of investment you need to make in this area but in the most basic sense your site should be easily viewed on a mobile and should have all links and navigational elements in working order.
9. Avoid distractions
It is a good idea to avoid pop-ups, audio, adverts etc when possible. The visitor doesn’t want to waste time trying to close useless applications and adverts that delay reaching the content they are looking for, usually the information in popups is never the purpose for going to the site!
10. Monitor your website statistics
Monitoring the traffic on your website through Google Analytics is a great way of evaluating your bounce rate and seeing what pages users are leaving on, what pages are most frequently visited, visit durations, what the most common search terms which lead to your site actually are and so much more. This information is very telling and can help you to make huge strides in improving all aspects of you web experience.
Web users’ attention spans are getting smaller and smaller and it is becoming increasingly more important to have a well rounded approach towards your audiences user journeys from start to finish. The tips above should hopefully give charities and non-profits a clear view on the aspects of their sites which they need to monitor and cater for to achieve their all important digital objectives.
Please forward on to nonprofit organisations who would find the information above useful and follow us on Twitter: @pedalowebdesign for lots more helpful links and articles. We’d love to hear any comments you might have or ideas for making online experiences more sticky.