When we talk about making your website sticky, we’re referring to enticing your website visitors to hang around your site for longer and also hopefully return in the future. The longer a visitor stays on your site, the more chance you have to engage them and hopefully convert them to a sale.
General best practice for all websites
There are standard expectations for a professional website including:
- Responsive design (to cater for all devices)
- Quick loading
- Ease of navigation
- Clean ‘professional’ design
- Search box – for ease of finding content
- Useful links at the footer
- Clear focused homepage – not too many messages
- Easy to find ‘calls to action’ (email, phone, enquiry forms, news sign up)
- Links to social networks
- Ensure that the website is maintained and regularly updated
You only have seconds to make a positive impression with your website and snap judgements will be made based on how aesthetically pleasing the site is and how easy it is to navigate.
The golden rule is to always design your site for your target audience (not just on your personal preferences) – focus on solving their problems and answering their questions – What do they need? What do they want to know? How can your website make it easier for them?
The bonus of designing and maintaining a website that is genuinely useful and engaging for your patients is that Google will also be impressed. Google aims to provide the most relevant search results when people look for services on the web and ensuring you tick all the boxes outlined above in this article will give your website the best initial chance of ranking highly and getting more traffic (and thus more calls and enquiries) than your competitors.
As well as looking professional you need to build trust with your audience. You may have heard of the term ‘social proof’ – think testimonials, ratings and reviews – let your existing customers do your marketing for you – this all helps new prospects feel that your business is trustworthy and credible and helps with their decision making.
Don’t shy away from showing your face – people feel reassured by seeing who they are dealing with and it helps establish trust.
Add interactive elements
In order to help visitors to your site ‘stick’, consider adding elements to the site which will help them engage with you – for instance, Live Chat, which is particularly important for Shopify ecommerce websites. If relevant, consider offering trials or samples.
Content on your website needs to be of value to your target audience, think blogs, papers, video demonstrations, case studies, comparison tables, check lists, interactive content such as calculators or tools.
If you have visitors with distinctly different needs, lay out your content accordingly.
Think of your website as living and breathing and not a static entity. Don’t be afraid to trial new things, monitor and measure the impact of any changes that you make to ensure that you are making decisions based on fact rather than speculation.