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Keeping Your Visitors Engaged

Today more than ever, consumers are overwhelmed with a dizzying array of choices online. While strategies like SEO, PPC, and banner ads work to attract Web users to a particular site for an initial visit, it takes a positive experience to convince them to return, again and again.

The old business adage is true, repeat business is always the best low-lying fruit. It can take far less money and fewer resources to sell to current customers than it can take to try to generate new business with new customers. Keeping your visitors engaged with your site keeps them loyal to your brand - and far more likely to become a long-term customer.

Website "stickiness" is a buzz word for an age-old concept - engagement. The more a Web user participates with or interacts with your site, the more they are engaged with your business and more likely to return. This means keeping them on the site for as long as possible, as well as convincing them to visit again.

How can you make sure that your site is "sticky" and engaging? The simple answer is to make sure your visitor has the most positive experience with your site as possible. To do this, the site must be intuitive, interactive, personalized, fresh, and relevant.

One of the most important - and most often overlooked - characteristics of sticky sites is that they are well-organized with intuitive navigation that allows for easy movement between pages. User-friendly site architecture is critical for ensuring that visitors have a positive experience.

Interactivity is another important component of sticky sites. Interactive features such as games, email signups, discussion groups, and customization tools allow visitors to interact with the site, forging a relationship with your company and more loyalty to your brand.

Fresh, updated content is a vital part of a positive site experience. Visitors are far more likely to return to your site when they know that it is frequently updated with current information that they can use. Fresh content shows that you are committed and connected to your site and to your users.

Personalization, relevancy, value, and the easy sharing of content are other components that lead to site stickiness. The more that a site is tailored to the individual visitor, offers value, and facilitates the easy sharing of content with friends and associates, the more likely that visitor is to feel connected and return.