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Definition

stickiness

Stickiness is anything about a Web site that encourages a visitor to stay longer. A Web site is sticky if a visitor tends to stay for a long time and to return.

The two most important measurements of what a Web site has to offer advertisers are ad views and the average time each visitor spends on the site. If you can make your visitor spend more time at your site, they will view more ads and they can be considered more loyal to the site and presumably somewhat more likely to click on the ads and patronize advertisers. Portal sites like Yahoo achieve stickiness by having a great deal of content, and also by finding ways to involve the user with the site.

The most common stickiness approaches are:

  • Providing content that the user really wants
  • Allowing the user to personalize the site (Yahoo, Excite, and MSN Network, for example)
  • Building online communities in which users post information or form discussion groups (Yahoo, Geocities)
  • Inviting user feedback in response to columnists (ZDNet)
  • Adding games to the site (Yahoo)
  • Using extensive hypertext cross-references to other parts of the site (whatis.com and many others)

Stickiness may also be said to apply to a set of related sites such as those of CNET and TechTarget.com, which have a common design and navigation interface and sell ads across the sites as well as on individual sites.

This was last updated in April 2005

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