By Lauren Clarke, GM, Syncrony
There are websites and there are websites… everyone knows that a web presence is non-negotiable in today’s market. But what separates sites? What are the differences between those that simply exist and those that attract and retain traffic? Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help construct a site that will always be remembered.
The expression ‘sticky site’ might sound strange, but it is one of the hallmark features of a strong website – one that grabs the viewer’s attention and keeps it! That ‘stickiness’ factor is something that all website developers / owners / managers seek, but very few find.
Stickiness is an umbrella term for a range of elements which make a successful site, everything from updated and interesting information right through to user experience and design.
‘Content is king’ might be a bit of a cliché, but in terms of the sticky factor, it is 100% true. It should be obvious – at first glance – that the site content is updated frequently with current, appropriate content with a good mix that will appeal to your target market. There is nothing more off-putting in the world of online information than a site that is stale, bland, never changing, and offering everything except what it has promised. In fact there is probably only one way of losing potential business faster: don’t have an online presence, when your competitors do!
Design or look & feel
Design obviously ties into stickiness, but warrants some serious attention all of its own. Your site should always look good, with a clean, crisp and inviting design which draws the viewers in and makes them want to read more. First-time designers and developers tend to suffer from the ‘more is more’ disease and lose the power that a simple design can have on ensuring that your viewers will want to keep coming back. Good resolution images, readable copy and animation in small doses will all put your site on the right track.
Websites for Business
When someone lands on your site it will usually give them the first impression of your business, and as with any meeting, you want that impression to be a good and lasting one. Bad images, poorly written content and spelling mistakes can be as disastrous as arriving at a job interview with grubby shoes, un-brushed hair and teeth, and last weeks’ dinner stains all down your shirt – not a pretty picture. Take the proactive approach to your online presence and make it an active business tool. One can never assume that the status quo is good enough, the environment is simple too competitive for that!
Design should never supersede practical considerations. Its job is to make your site look good, and to help orientate the user and make their experience an easy, if not enjoyable one. Navigation and site structure should be laid out before hand and not shuffled around as an afterthought. Any downloads should be structured to keep download times to a minimum, links should always work and information should be quickly and easily accessible.
At the end of the day, in order to stand out on the internet, one has to be really powerful in all the right ways. This might sound like an impossible task, but with a little guidance your website might just get sticky!