How Sticky Is Your Website?

August 17, 2011 · 8 comments

by kayross


You probably think your company, your product or service and your website are as fascinating to everyone else as they are to you.

I’m sorry to disillusion you, but the vast majority of your current and prospective website visitors out there don’t care about you and your website; they’re only interested in themselves (and the people, organisations and causes closest to them).

So this article is about how to make your website more “sticky” so that you grab your visitors’ attention, they spend more time on your site, they click on links and they buy your products or services.



The “What’s in it for me?” question

We all go through the day bombarded by input in the form of marketing messages, pressures, opinions, distractions, temptations…


So to make sense of the world and avoid being overwhelmed, we need a filter. That filter is the WIIFM (“What’s in it for me?”) question.

Every input is assessed in terms of whether or not it will help us (and the people we care about) get more of what we want in life (health, wealth, wisdom, happiness, sex, power, status…), or, at the very least, avoid what we don’t want in life (fear, risk, poverty, pain, loss, sickness, loneliness, rejection, loss of face…). That assessment happens in a split second in the emotional part of our brain – logic only kicks in later when we have to justify our decisions.

So on your website, please DON’T:

  • tell your visitors about how wonderful your product or service is
  • drown them in technical jargon and specifications
  • boast about your ISO9000 certification and your years of experience
  • rave about your commitment to customer service

You have to grab and hold onto your visitors’ attention. How? Answer their WIIFM question, show them how you’ll help them solve the problems they face, and tap into their emotions. Because your website visitors don’t HAVE to buy from you, and it only takes a moment for them to decide to leave.

Polish up your website


Let me give you an example. I came across the website of a company that sells car polish. The very first paragraph on the homepage looked something like this (to protect the innocent, I’ve changed some of the details): “XYZ Ltd. was established in 1990, and the management personnel of the company have been in the chemical industry for many years. The major business activities of XYZ Ltd. are in Japan. The business philosophy of all of XYZ Ltd.’s managers is to give our customers personal and special attention.”

Does that compel you to pull out your credit card and order some car polish today? I didn’t think so. If I were selling car polish, I’d want to find out what my clients and prospective clients FEEL about their cars. Why do they buy car polish? What are they afraid might happen if they DON’T polish their cars? When, where, how and how often do they polish their cars? How does my polish help them to maintain or even improve the value of their cars? And how much are they willing to spend on taking care of their cars?

Then I’d re-write that first paragraph of that homepage so it looked more like this: “You love your car. The rich aroma of the leather interior. The powerful thrust of the engine as it shifts through the gears. The immaculate gleam of the freshly polished paintwork. The admiring glances of other drivers. Keep it that way – order XYZ Car Polish today.”

Did you notice that the only mention of the company there is the link at the end? There’s not a word about the company’s history, the experienced managers or their business philosophy. It’s all about the client. And it gives the reader a reason to read more. Guess what – using a WordPress portfolio theme may help you improve the site look and feel.

Turbocharge your website results today

Take a look at the very first paragraph of your website’s homepage. Is it about you, or is it about your client and his/her wants and needs? Does it appeal to the emotions and the senses? Does it make the reader want to stick around and read more?

If not, change it! After all, you’ve invested a lot of time and money in building your website, getting it hosted, maintaining it and marketing it, so you want a return on that investment, don’t you?


Author : Kay Ross

Kay Ross is a Hong Kong-based Australian marketing consultant, copywriter and editor who helps her clients craft compelling marketing messages that attract more of the right kind of clients. She’s also a stand-up comedian and comedy improvisation performer, and she’s passionate about personal and spiritual development. Visit her website at, check out her blog (“Spotlight on Marketing”) at and tweet her nicely at


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kay Ross August 6, 2011 at 6:30 am

Thanks Paul! I love your idea about the UBP.


Paul Blake McGouran August 5, 2011 at 10:04 am

Kay – you’re bang on the money. When I do my sales training, I tell my classes to think about the clients UBP – unique buying point – and not their own USP – unique selling point.
The old adage is so true – no one wants a Quarter inch drill – only a quarter inch hole.


Kay Ross March 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Wow, thanks folks for your positive comments! Much appreciated. Kay


Hudey March 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Kay, this is the best article I’ve read on Tripwire yet. Thank you for taking such a simple concept that should be common sense and making me realize that it needs to be ingrained in my psyche!


Dave Grimes II March 23, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Absolutely, the most important and powerful way to make your site “sticky” is to teach in your posts. If it’s something people will return to as a reference, it is sticky. Think about it… when you’ve read books, which ones did you return to the most frequently? It’s always reference books or books that teach. Mystery books, and other general works of fiction are excellent, but something you can learn from… that’s useful.


Hudey March 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I agree. And I think this whole blog post is going to be very sticky!


Lars March 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Thanks for sharing your insight on this Dave. I completely agree with you that teaching or providing a solution to problem or need to a great way to make a site sticky.


Web Design Nottingham March 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Useful stuff guys! Keep it up


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