Sticky Content - Does Your Site Stick?


Sticky content is a term referring to content published and used to grab the attention of visitors for extended periods of time. Webmasters set out to achieve a sticky website with attractive content in order to build up a community of returning visitors.

Some personal favourites of mine

  • Lolcats, loldogs & fail blog - always great for a chuckle and an office favourite resource for comedic group emails

  • Whirlpool forums - fantastic resource to plow through and find answers to a lot of questions

  • Youtube - great as a learning and entertainment resource. User comments can also provide good information and points of views.

Some ways to add stick to your pages:

Good design
It’s hard to win people over with a plain page design and times new roman fonts, if navigation and site structure is also confusing then you can expect people to bounce straight off the site.

Throw in an embedded video
With youtube videos easily embeddable on you site it makes sense to put one up with your new blog post. Put up the video that gave you the idea to write the blog and it doubles as a great supporting source of information for your visitors. Example of this can be seen here with an article by PeterD

Throw in some pictures to illustrate the story
People tend to have limited time to read your articles, throwing in a diagram to simplify a few paragraphs of text will allow users more time to read the entire article.

How-to guides
Observing general patterns on the Wiliam blog, how-to guilds coupled with images and links to get free resources is a hit with visitors.

Comments & response area
User interaction provides the community feel so have an area on the page where visitors can comment and where you can respond.

If you write a great article make sure visitors that appreciate it can give you kudos for it, alternatively if readers have feedback or criticism you can also be made aware of it.

Add humour
Humour can be a great adhesive and best portrayed with supporting images and videos, it’s not a guarantee since it’s subjective but given the right tone is used in the article it can find an audience and spark a flurry of replies and @ comments to those replies.

Create a little controversy
Simply agreeing on things already known or rehashing someone else’s stuff is boring; provide an alternate perspective and challenge traditional thinking. Controversy will spark good and bad attention so you must be prepared to develop a good argument with some supporting facts.

Having sticky content will help towards search rankings as the more attention you page gets the number of people making referrals to the site also increase. Although in most cases the anchor text in those referral links is not optimal but nevertheless you gain external links to your page.

Note: anchor text is the text component that hyperlink is made on and plays a large part in search engines relating keywords to the landing page.

So the next time you write a blog or create a new content page on your site consider some of the options above even if just to keep visitors on that page for a few more seconds. You never know what one additional video or a well-backed supporting counter-argument will do to make an impression on others.