Is Your Website Sticky?

Let’s assume you have a website or blog.  If you don’t already have one, you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to inform, influence and educate your market.  And, frankly, with the plethora of site building tools and companies you really have no excuse.  You’ve got to have a web presence in this digital marketplace.

End of rant.

What Do Visitors Think of Your Site?

The question on every site owners mind should be: what do visitors think of my site?   You want visitors to find your site irresistible, or sticky in web terms.  That means they visit often, read numerous pages and interact with you via comments or surveys before leaving.  The more they interact, the more traffic you can convert from merely visitors to potential clients and buyers of your information products.

How Do I Know What Visitors Think?

This simple question has a simple answer.  Ask them.  One way to do that indirectly is to set up and closely monitor your Google Analytics statistics.  Google, in its infinite web wisdom, offers this free tool that enables you to know some very cool stuff like:

  • how many people visit your site each day, week, month
  • how many of those visitors are new or returning (you definitely want returning)
  • their location in America or other countries
  • how long they stay on your site
  • the number of pages they read
  • the percentage of visitors who left immediately

This last statistic, called the bounce rate, is fairly important, and is a good stat to monitor over time. The bounce rate is an informal way to telling how well your content meets the visitor’s expectations.

For example, if you say your website is about family mediation and most of the content focuses on parent child mediation then someone who wanted divorce mediation may not initially find your site helpful and will click away, thus increasing your bounce rate.  There aren’t any magic numbers, but it’s good to have a rate around 50%, meaning that half the visitors have their expectations met.  You can influence, and hopefully, improve your bounce rate by adding more keywords, making your titles more precise if you write a blog and monitoring which pages/blog posts are most popular via Google analytics.

Figuring Out SEO and Google

SEO- search engine optimization- is like electricity to me.  I know really don’t know how it works, I only know that when I turn the right switch it does.  You need to know the basics of SEO and how to use Google analytics and not much more when you’re first starting out.  Here are the resources I recommend:

SEO Book by Aaron Wall, one the the most widely recognized experts on SEO.  The book has a lot of good content that can feel intimidating or overwhelming.  Go slow.  Implementing even the most basic changes like adding keywords to your meta description of your site will begin to make a difference in your stickiness.

Surprisingly, YouTube is a veritable feast of Google Analytic tutorials .  I went there to learn how to set up my GA and interpret the results.  It’s wonderful if you’re a visual learner like I am.  I tend to watch the ones with the highest ratings and views figuring- everybody can’t be wrong.

A More Direct Approach

There’s a more direct way to ask visitors about their impressions of using your site that I discovered recently.  It’s called www.userttesting.com Now, I’m not an affiliate of this site, but if they had a program I’d join immediately because it’s simply that powerful. (That’s a  hint guys)  It works like this.

You register for free then set a request for someone in their ‘reviewer pool’ to look at your site.  You can designate specific factors like age, gender, familiarity with the internet.  All good stuff.  I was doubtful that they’d have a mediator reviewer.

Wow, I was blown away by her insights.  Things I didn’t consider that important, like my bio, were critical to her.    Content, I thought was clear and understandable like the benefits of joining, needed more specifics from a buyers perspective.  Her insights were excellent and I’ve implemented every one, including making the font size larger.   I would’ve paid a lot more than the $19.95 I did to get this high level of market research data.  Run to this site today.

                        author

Dina Beach Lynch

Dina Beach Lynch is a Workplace Mediator and Conflict Coach who supports professional practice groups. MORE >

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