Clicky & Sticky: How to make your website worth checking out

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We’ve all heard that it’s a bad idea to judge a book by its cover, but with no fewer than a bazillion websites out there (give or take a few), sometimes the “cover” of a website is all you can go by! The average internet user reads only 20-28% of the text they see and spends roughly 7 seconds on a page before they click away to the next page or site.

Grabbing and keeping the attention of visitors to your site is something that requires a certain level of finesse, but with a few tweaks any site can be more clickable. Here are some rules of thumb for how to make your website worthy of clicks — one of the first and most important steps for attracting customers.


Compelling Headlines

The headline is your very first (and maybe only!) chance you have to impress your prospective customer. In very few words, you need to:
  • Tell your reader what to expect
  • Convince them they want more
  • Talk benefits, not features
  • Use your keywords
A play on words could seem clever, but might not get you the right kind of attention. Try to find a balance between sounding witty and being direct.
Headlines are one of the top things that Google looks at to determine what your site is talking about (which keywords it matches up for) and whether it’s worth reading (how it might rank against other sites with those same keywords), so your headlines can play a vital role in SEO.
Research your keywords and position your content and corresponding headlines around that. If you know what your audience came to your site looking for, it’s that much easier to deliver what they want.

Copywriting expert, Chris Garrett, has a great compilation of headline examples here that is worth checking out for inspiration and ideas. Think about the what websites you like to spend time on, and try to emulate what makes them so likable.

Relevant & Enticing Visuals

As a rule of thumb, you can think that Google likes text, and your customers will like visuals. In order to make everyone happy with your site, you need a quality balance of both. A great image is one that complements your brand and piques the viewer’s interest. If you haven’t got your own professional images, try buying stock photography instead. Read more about stock photography here.

We’ve all done it: You’re searching the web for an image, and you randomly turn up a picture that had nothing at all to do with what you were looking for, but you click on it anyway. Consider your colour schemes, size, and appropriateness.

Easy-to-Read Text

I might break a few hearts with this point, but I have a harsh truth to tell: No one is reading your content! The vast majority of visitors to your site will only be briefly skimming the text on each page, so keep it simple and keep it clean.

Some DOs and DONTs for easy reading on your site:
  • Do say what you mean to say in the fewest words possible. Don’t ramble on for endless paragraphs.
  • Do keep the content congruent with your headline, theme of the site, and if your headline says that you’ll be discussing polar bears, don’t take your readers on a ride through all the Arctic Circle to get to them!
  • Do be entertaining. A little humour goes a long way.
  • Do use headings and subheadings to break down long text areas into manageable sections. How you visually present the text on your website is every bit as important as your images.
  • Do use bold and underlining to highlight a few things that are important. Don’t write everything in uppercase letters — your readers will think you’re screaming at them.
  • Do use bullet points and lists to make streams of content easier to digest. Don’t overdo it though — a page of lists can be even harder to read than a paragraph. The point is to make sure your content can be skimmed through quickly and easily without losing the important stuff.
  • Do consider using columns. Separating text in the sidebar or another section of the page will keep the audience’s attention.

Tell us what you think makes a website clicky and sticky.
Leave us a comment below.

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