This calculator is an example of good sticky content. Try it yourself!
What is Sticky Content?
Have you ever visited a web site to check out one little fact... only to realize that two hours have passed? Did you then hurriedly bookmark the site... so you could come back tomorrow?
You probably didn't mean to stay at that site for so long - didn't intend to kill half the afternoon reading news feeds and fun facts. You didn't plan to subscribe to another ezine, take a survey, and join the forum. But somehow, that cool site managed to suck you in.
If this has ever happened to you, you've fallen under the spell of an elusive - but highly desirable - effect of good site design. Webmasters call it "stickiness." A "sticky" web site is filled with an assortment of goodies designed to grab your attention, hold on to it, and make you want more, because it engages visitors on a more personal level than text alone.
Why should my website use sticky content?
Sticky sites and content get your visitors to return again and again by including interesting information, information that changes regularly, and tools that people can interact with. Sticky content may be offered as services, information, interactive tools, like online calculators and assessments, and games or other fun things to do. The best sticky tools will be of interest to the most people possible.
By making a site sticky, webmasters achieve two things. First, they get you to stay and explore everything in the site: read, interact, sign up, and give feedback. Second, and perhaps more importantly, they get you to bookmark the site, and transform you from a casual surfer into a repeat visitor. Having lots of "sticky" content will encourage users to surf around your site, bookmark it, or even ask their friends to visit.
When your site is "sticky" and visitors return, they become familiar with your site, kind of like your favorite grocery store or hardware store. The more you visit a site, the more comfortable you become with its layout, navigation, and features. That means you'll be more likely to buy a product or click on an advertiser. Do you do most of your shopping at the same stores? Why? Probably because you are familiar with where things are and you don't waste a lot of time looking for what you need. You walk in, get what you need, and get out quickly. How do you feel when that store changes its layout and moves everything around? It's usually frustrating for a while until you learn the new layout. It's the same with websites. Add new content, help people find it, but don't change the entire layout if you can help it. (More Sticky Tips)
High traffic sites, the ones that get 200,000 visitors a day, spend a fortune to keep their sites fresh and interactive. But even us amateur site builders on limited budgets can have fun with cool sticky features.
What you can do right now!
You can start your search for sticky content right now, by checking out some of the free and low-cost calculators and assessments available at www.WebCalcSolutions.com. (Hint: Every group has at least one free calculator or assessment that you can add to your site in minutes.)
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Updated 24 Sep 2007