What is stickiness?
Stickiness is a measure of a website's ability to retain visitors. A website that has a high retention rate can be described as sticky.
It's important to measure stickiness as part of a website's SEO and UX strategy to get some idea of how engaging users are finding your content. If visitors are more engaged with your website's content then search engines will be more likely to view your site in a favourable light and users will be more likeley to link to your content. There are a few key measure of stickiness that you should keep an eye on:
Keep an eye on any pages that have a high bounce rate and look to reduce this by providing links to related content on your site and encouraging users to click them.
For most websites it's important to encourage users to view as many pages as possible on their visit before leaving. It's like a theme park – if a user only engages with one attraction, perhaps they need to be encouraged to visit the other attractions on offer.
Thin content is less likely to develop a sticky website as the user will not feel reassured by it's authority and will not want to engage. Longform, quality, well researched content broken up by headings and lists encourage users to hang around.
Building a report looking at the three key measures of stickiness above and determining which content on your site encourages users to stay and which does not is the first step in determining how to improve stickiness.
Once you've identified the pages or content which does not perform well on one or more of the above metrics you should look to improve this. how you approach this depends on the page, for example, an informational page such as a guide might be too thin and contain too little content whereas for a homepage or feature overview page, too much written content can put users off.
Comments and discussion groups are a fantastic way to get users to interact with your content. Try employing a tool like Disqus after your blog posts and integrating a CTA such along the lines of "ask us anything" to encourage users to take part. Make sure your respond in a timely manner though! There's nothing worse than unanswered questions on a blog post. Once your site's built up a reputation for being a place people can discuss they might even start talking amongst themselves.
Comments are also a great way to get user generated content going on your site. Just watch out for spammers.
If you're unsure why a page is not as sticky as you think it should be you can always A/B test with a view to finding a better solution.