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There is no definite way to tell; but according to Netcraft in 2012 there are nearly six hundred and forty-four million active websites on the internet. With this in mind; knowing there are so many sites out there, programmers have to be more cunning by the year to keep the eyes of the average web user plastered to their virtual page. How do they do this? Here are eight ways that websites keep you hooked successfully; tips any web designer can use to pull in (and keep) virtual traffic.
Lists, Lists, Lists
Instead of titling your article ‘Ways to impress your boss at the office’, title it ‘Ten Top Tips to impress your boss at the office’. This way you are detailing exactly what is in your article to the number, which leads to a straightforward, easily digestible article structure. The list is appealing for this reason; it saves the time and energy of wading through a dense article by packaging it in a simple format.
Program a recommendation box to pop up when someone scrolls to the bottom of your page on finishing an article. Internet users can somewhat be lazy, so when they are directed to something else that is relevant on finishing an article – it works a treat. It also keeps people on your site, looking at different (yet related) content.
Your Friends Read…
Online web recommendations from friends can be one of the strongest forms of gaining traffic. By using Facebook apps, you will be able to let your users know which of their friends has read a certain page or article – which in turn will hopefully lead them to read it. People want to be on top of what their friends know, so there is a strong desire to follow through on these recommendations.
People like to interact with an article or web page. Providing them with a comment box so they are able to state their true thoughts (bad or good) is essential. Interacting with writers and users alike allows a web user to engage truly with a website on a different level.
If your website is an online shop, a good way to keep web users engaged is to provide them with a ‘people who bought this item also bought…’. This is an easy and great way to recommend other products to your users, if they are in the mood to buy more or are not happy with the current product they have selected. This keeps their attention hooked on your website rather than drifting off to competitor sites.
Everyone likes a bit of exclusivity. By offering users to become a member by simply entering their email addresses may seem like a simple idea, but it is truly an effective one. Here you can let users know updates, news and other important relevant information efficiently; bringing them back to the site for more.
The Endless Scroll
The ability to infinitely scroll (as seen on Facebook’s news feed, for example) is a great way to keep novelty seeking users hooked to your site. Rather than being able to read to the end and then stop, they are presented with an endless supply of content, never having to reload a page or navigate to another page.
Points and Leaderboards
A clever idea borrowed from games is to award points to users for interaction with your site, and then display leaderboards of those who have gained the most points. This gives users a real sense of achievement if they interact a lot, and gives those who haven’t interacted much an incentive to interact more.
In conclusion, there are numerous different ways to keep your audience hooked on your webpage. By utilizing all of these top tricks and techniques (and a few more) you’ll be well on your way to keeping those web-traffic numbers staying positive.
Author: Alfie Davenport works in the technology department at Ladbrokes Games, and has years of experience building websites.