Walk the Line: Building Stickiness Mixed with a Subtle Sales Pitch

Stickiness is anything about a web site that encourages a user to visit often and stay longer. Stickiness examples are:

  • Content that is updated frequently and provides ongoing assistance or relevancy to the user (e.g. tips, blog entries)
  • User ability to personalize the site to suite their needs (e.g. iGoogle, My Yahoo)
  • Online communities/forums
  • User feedback (e.g. product reviews, ratings, surveys)

The key to stickiness for online retailers is to not only provide a reason for users to come back, but also to have those users buy products, repeatedly. But it is a fine line, and the stickiness has to be compelling enough to encourage subsequent visits with the sales pitch a subtle part of it.

Here are some examples of stickiness mixed with a sales pitch:

  • Blog entry giving tips on how to use products you offer. Don’t forget, link the product pages from the blog so the user can click and order easily.
  • Include a link for customers to provide feedback on the products they purchased in order confirmation/thank you/shipping notification emails. The page to provide the feedback should include accessories or other products that would compliment their purchase.
  • Online community forum set up to talk about topics related to your web site and products. For example, a web site specializing in baby products could have an expectant mother community forum.

Stickiness and SEO

Two of the basic principles behind Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are to update your content regularly as well as have links to your web site from other web sites. Well, having a “sticky” web site can help achieve these two goals, and therefore help in your SEO efforts.

For example, if you take the above idea of writing blog entries for product tips, you are updating your blog weekly. But take it one step further and take some of the information in your blog and update the product page, the category page, the new products/features/best sellers page, as well. Depending on the product and where it is placed on your web site, you could update several pages with new content.

Now, those same blog entries will be of interest to people, and others with their own blogs may link to yours, or others with their own web site may link to the product page that shows their great review.

Of course the possibilities are endless, but online retailers have to keep the goal in mind: repeat sales. Try different tactics until you find the right mix of visitors and sales.

Need help? Contact Lever Interactive for web site optimization, social marketing and search engine optimization.

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