Getting people to visit your website is one challenge, but getting them to stay is a completely different challenge.

Making people stay on your website once they are there is so important. Think of it like a high street store. Getting people through the door isn’t enough. You’ve got to get them to stay in your store, look around and hopefully buy something. Keeping their interest in your website is just as important.

The longer a visitor stays on your website, the better your chance of turning them into customers.

Here are a few ways to help increase your site’s “stickiness”.

Faster is Better

Most visitors won’t look at every item on your 97 page website especially if each page takes an eternity to download.

Good website design is a very important component of your site’s credibility. Whilst a site needs to look good, compromises need to be made in balancing the looks with download speed. If you weigh down your main pages with overweight multimedia and image files you’ll increase your page download times and turn away visitors by the bucket load.

Here are a few ways to decrease your page load time:

  • Optimize all image files to balance image quality with download size
  • If you must show large images, consider using thumbnails that link to a larger image when clicked
  • Use Cascading Style Sheets to build the style of your website – it’s much more efficient

Content is King

If you have a website for your fishing business, you mostly want people to be buying your fishing equipment and associated accessories. You also have some good excuses to write a lot of other information about your business.

  • Articles about types of fishing, where to fish, stories of the ‘one that got away’.
  • Updates on the legal status of fishing. E.g. fishing licence laws and permits.
  • Links to other organisations, blogs, associations, local groups.

This type of content brings people to your website. They may not be looking to specifically buy any of your products, however in reading their way around your site your products are bound to be of interest.

By talking about the subject of your website, you are showing yourself as an authority, a knowledgebase and building confidence with your audience. If a visitor believes that you know what you’re talking about, they might just return to your store and buy something.

Blogging Creates a Community

People with interests like to belong to a place where other people share the same interests. Building an online community helps people to belong. Writing articles and creating a community helps people keep interested in your site.

  • Set up a message board to let visitors interact with each other and you.
  • Encourage visitors to write for you, share their opinions, advice and build the content of your site for you.
  • Use polls and surveys to collect information. People like to see how their opinions compare to everyone else’s.

All of this will help to make your visitors feel at home and involved in your website. Making them come back often to your site is the whole point and will more and more content, they’ll be back often.

Keep it Simple

Simple is always better. Having too many complicated tricks on your website will just confuse your visitors. Never assume that your visitors know as much about your website as you do. Treat your visitors with respect. Invite them into your website, encourage them to stay and review your content.

Don’t use backhanded techniques to trap your visitors; it will make most of them never visit your site again. Using techniques that annoy or anger your visitors will guarantee that they turn and run from your site.

Treat your visitors with respect and they’ll return and might even bring a friend.