How to Improve Website Stickiness: 5 Essential Copywriting Tips

Main image: how to improve website stickiness: Tips for Copywriters (computer with post-it notes on the screen
Keep your visitors! Learn how to improve website stickiness

Don’t lose website visitors!

Learn how to improve website stickiness.

SEO is all about getting people to your site. But once you get a visitor, how do you get them to stay there? Do they interact with the site, or do they vanish into thin air (and go to your competitor’s site)? There are many things a copywriter can do to improve website stickiness and lower the bounce rate. Follow the advice in the article, and you can improve search engine results, traffic, visitor engagement, and lead generation.

First, some definitions about website stickiness and bounce rates:

What is website stickiness?

Stickiness is a term for keeping people on a website longer, which generally means they look at more pages within the site and interact with content. Search engines prefer sites that are sticky and track how long users stay on a site as a result of an organic search.

What is bounce rate?

This is a calculation that represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave, rather than continuing to onto other pages of the website. Exact definitions can vary from just looking at one page or leaving after just a few seconds. You want your bounce rate to be low, indicating that they find your site to be valuable. Or, as Avinash Kaushik, a well-known business analyst,  put it, “I came, I saw Yuk, I am out of here.”

A high bounce rate indicates a low level of user interaction with your website.

What is a typical bounce rate?

The short answer is that there is no typical bounce rate. For that reason, it’s also difficult to define “good” and “bad” bounce rates. The figures below bear this out:  

  • A B2B website has an average bounce rate of 25-55%
  • According to ConversionXL, landing pages have an average bounce rate of 60%-90%. However, another source that notes that, for landing pages, the main traffic sources are PPC and social media ads—and the ideal percentage is up to 40%.
  • For homepages and service pages, organic search is the most important traffic source. The importance of bounces is medium. The ideal percentage is less than 60%.
  • Blogs have an average bounce rate of 65-95%

It’s difficult to know how to improve website stickiness,. Remember that you can expect bounce rates to vary based on industry and niche, where the traffic comes from (Google calls this the channel), type of website, and type of web page.

Here are some examples illustrating how bounce rate averages differ according to website type and industry:

Website stickiness vary by website type.; ecommerce and retail 20-45%; b2b websites 24-55%; lead generation websites 30-55%. non-ecommerce content websites 35-60%; landing pages 60-90%; dictionaries, blogs, portals 65-90%
Website stickiness varies by website type. (Source CXL)
Bounce rate varies by industry (source: Kissmetrics)

What is the right bounce rate for your website?

A good piece of advice to help learn how to improve website stickiness for your site is to set a benchmark and goals for your own website, analyze bounce rates over time, see what works for your specific company, and adjust website content accordingly.

Now that we’ve covered the basics about stickiness and bounce rate, we can get down to how to improve stickiness if you are a copywriter.

Read here to find out about setting goals using the SMART framework.

Website stickiness Tip #1:
Ensure quality and readability.

Quality and readability go hand-in-hand when it comes to improving website stickiness. (Man reading a book)
Quality and readability go hand-in-hand when it comes to improving website stickiness.

If you read my blog articles regularly, you hear a lot about publishing only high-quality copy. It’s my #1 tip for almost any aspect of copywriting, including how to increase website stickiness.

Google designs its search algorithm based on your audience’s behavior, so in the end, it always comes down to whether your audience likes your content and comes back for more. When in doubt about content, be audience-centric and not self-serving. There are many aspects of what makes content high quality.

Read how to avoid content mistakes that can damage website stickiness.

Read these additional tips on improving content readability.

First is to write for a specific audience or audience persona. This will help you determine a relevant topic and what type of information to include. When thinking about how to increase website stickiness, pay special attention to readability and how easy it is for the reader to find what they are looking for.

Learn how to create your audience persona with this template.

Website stickiness Tip #2:
Leverage page titles and subheads

Again, we’ll start with some definitions about page titles (the H1 tag) and subheads (H2, H3, H4 tags–and down the line):

What is the H1 Tag?

Also know as the post title, the H1 Tag is the title that shows up on the webpage itself. It’s the first thing the user sees when they land on the page, so it must capture their attention. Note: Don’t confuse it with the HTML “page title” (also know as the meta tag, HTML title tag, or SEO title), which shows in the browser window and as the title in the search engine results page snippet.

What is the H2 Tag?

The web page should be set up with a hierarchy of heading tags. First is H1, as defined above. Logical subheads would be set up hierarchically with H2, H3, and H4 tags (and down to line).

Here’s how copywriters can optimize H1 and subheading tags as a way to improve website stickiness:

How to Optimize Your H1 Tag:

Your H1 page title is the first place where the copywriter can affect stickiness. If it doesn’t immediately capture the audience, they may leave very quickly. Most important, it should clearly and correctly indicate what the article is about. Again, if you mislead the user they will likely move away from the page and your website. Make it useful—not self-serving or overly hyped.

How to Optimize Your H2 Tags:

If the reader decides to read the content on the page, you’ve won your first stickiness battle. The next step is to engage your audience and help them move smoothly through the content. One way to do this is making it easy for them to scan the article to tell them what to expect and determine if the content is relevant. This is where your H2 and H3 subheads can help you boost website stickiness.

In addition to helping your reader scan, subheads help them find the information they are specifically interested in. Equally important, the content should closely reflect the subhead it falls under, or both the reader and Google will become confused. An adjunct of this is to have each subsection focus on a discrete idea. Be sure to include your keywords (or synonyms), but don’t overdo it or inappropriately force it, or Google and your readers will be turned off and your bounce rate will jump.

Website Stickiness Tip #2:
Improve website stickiness through ease and emphasis.

Empahsis helps readers pick out important details. Image shows examples of underline, color, italics, bold, bulleted list, call-out.
Emphasis signals helps readers pick out important details.

I don’t want to say that your readers are lazy, but they are busy and easily distracted. Make it easy for them to digest content by making sentences short, easy to understand, and varying in length. Likewise, short aid comprehension, to break up the copy, and add some eye-calming white space. As for specific words, avoid hype, jargon, or complicated words when an easy one will do.

Website Stickiness Tip #3:
Use formatting wisely.

Another way to make reading easier is with the smart use of formatting. Numbered lists, bullet points, and call-outs lists draw attention to interesting details, break up the page, and keep the reader interested. Other ways to help the reader call attention to important details include care use of boldface, italics, underlining, and colors.

Website Stickiness Tip #4:
Know how much information.

Provide the right amount of information to decrease bounce rate: Shows 2 side-by-side images. (1) road signs pointing in 7 directions, (2) blank road sign
Know how much information is right for your audience.

Determining how much information to provide on each page is tricky. Again, there’s no single answer. For SEO, Google likes to see at least 300 words per page. But again, you need to judge page length based on what is useful for your readers.

Too little and your readers might be frustrated by not having enough decision-making information. Too much information and your risk overwhelming them. Some of this comes down to what your audience likes and the type of page (blog article, product page, contact us page). Each type of page has opportunities to make it appealing, readable, and optimized to decrease bounce rates and increase conversion.

Website Stickiness Tip #5:
Learn how to boost stickiness through internal links.

Image representing internal links
Add internal links while creating a page or at a later time. as part of keeping your site updated.

Internal links are helpful for several reasons. They help SEO, but they also help readers. Logical internal links help your audience find related information if they want to know more about the topic. Up to several internal links on a page can lead visitors to helpful, relevant resources. Some people recommend many more, up to a dozen or more, but I find too many links within paragraphs confusing and difficult to read.

I’m going to repeat the previous paragraph in 2 different wasy so you an see what I mean (Note that the links in the paragraph are fake!):

Example 1 – Too Many Links:

Internal links are helpful for several reasons. They help SEO, but they also help readers. Logical internal links help your audience find related information if they want to know more about the topic. Up to several internal links on a page can lead visitors to helpful, relevant resources. Some people recommend many more, up to a dozen or more, but I find too many links within paragraphs confusing and difficult to read.

Messy, right? Instead, cut down the number of link or find alternate ways to display them. Here’s the same paragraph—you still have internal links, but it’s easier for the reader to make sense of and to find the extra resources they may want.

Again, the sample paragraph below includes fake links.

Example 2 – fewer, but more useful, links:

Internal links are helpful for several reasons. They help SEO, but they also help readers. Logical internal links help your audience find related information if they want to know more about the topic. Up to several internal links on a page can lead visitors to helpful, relevant resources. Some people recommend many more, up to a dozen or more (source), but I find too many links within paragraphs difficult to read.

Read more about internal links here.
Here are more resources about SEO.

Much better! The paragraph above shows that you can have several links even in a short paragraph without overwhelming the reader. Instead, you made it easier for your website visitor to access related pages and direct them to other valuable content—increasing stickiness.

Successful copywriters focus on how to increase stickiness.

A copywriter’s first duty is to the reader. However, it would be silly to suggest that the modern copywriter doesn’t have to be mindful of website performance. It just takes a little more knowledge and practice. If you use external creative resources, look for a freelance copywriter who creates SEO-friendly content that engages your audience and keeps them on your website.

If you need copy that enhances stickiness, contact Westebbe Marketing, (617) 699-4462.

#SEOcopywriting #WebsiteStickiness #MarketingCopywriter

Checklist: 38 Best Website Copy Practices for 2021

Checklist of the Best Copywriting Practices for 2021.

Web copy practices have changed over time based on design trends, audience preferences, and Google’s latest algorithm. But what are today’s best website copy practices? But there are some website copywriting practices that never go out of style, be it 2021, 2031, or later. Regardless of current styles, the best, most engaging website copy is always high quality and puts the audience first.

Continue reading “Checklist: 38 Best Website Copy Practices for 2021”