I just love sticky websites, don’t you?
Sticky content refers to content published on a website, which has the purpose of getting a user to return to that particular website or hold their attention and get them to spend longer periods of time at that site. Webmasters use this method to build up a community of returning visitors to a website. –Wikipedia
Sticky websites make you want to keep going back again and again. The content holds your attention, so you’re less likely to bounce off the page seconds after arriving there.
For me, websites that save me time are sticky. When I visit a site that’s added thoughtful features to make my browsing more efficient, it makes me feel like the site owners considered me, and are truly interested in caring for me while I’m there.
This may sound a little counter-intuitive, but the more time a website saves me, the longer I tend to stay on the website.
My church definitely wants our website visitors to stick around. We want them to feel cared from the moment they arrive, and throughout their visit. And, we want them to come back often.
Creating sticky visits
I’m always on the lookout for tools or creative methods to help me add thoughtful little features to my church’s website. We especially want those new to our church to stick around, and enjoy a productive visit.
One way we accomplish that is by providing features that help visitors get the information they’re after, without them having to take extra steps to get it.
For example, take a look at our Core Values page. Notice how all of the Scripture references appear as “tooltips” when you hover your cursor over them?
Pretty neat, huh?
The little things make a BIG difference
It’s such a small detail. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to overlook.
But, think about your own browsing experience on another church’s website. (Can’t ask you about your own website, because you may be a little biased.) 🙂
Did you check out their “About Us” section? I’ll bet it’s likely you’d need to have taken a Bible in hand to read a page or two in that section.
Did you? If you didn’t, why not?
Didn’t have a Bible nearby? Did you get discouraged because it looked so time-consuming, and you didn’t have the time?
Maybe you just plain didn’t feel like making the effort?
Do you think that church published that page because they wanted you to ignore it and bounce off the page?
Of course not!
We want people to stick around and consume the content on our web pages, don’t we?
So, make it easy for them to do what you want them to do.
Here’s how to use tooltips to make that happen.
How to use tooltips to captivate your visitors
There are lots of tooltip makers out there.
But, we use the Reftagger WordPress plugin from FaithLife (Logos Bible software) to add interactivity to Bible references throughout our website.
(I also use it here, on Church Website Ideas . . . check it out: John 3:16)
As you can see, Reftagger automatically tags the reference and instantly shows your readers the Bible verses when they hover over a Scripture reference.
A tooltip displays the verse’s text, so your readers can stick around. They won’t have to leave your site to look up the references (they won’t need their Bible to read your About Us page anymore!).
They’ll even be able to view the entire passage by clicking through the tooltip to an online Bible reader.
Using Reftagger’s online tools, you can customize the look and feel of the tooltips so that they match your website’s styles. You can choose a default Bible translation and online Bible reader.
And, talk about a sticky feature: if your visitors use Logos Bible Software, you can include a link that will allow them to open the Scripture passage directly in Logos (VERY cool if you want to, say, create interactive Bible studies on your church blog).
What a great way to encourage longer visits on your website: help your readers dig deeper into Scripture, find answers, and connect with the Word.
Don’t have WordPress? No problem. FaithLife also offer tutorials for installing Reftagger in Blogger, Drupal, and Joomla.
And, adding Reftagger to any website is as simple as adding a few lines of code to the footer of your template pages.
It’s your turn to tell us how to use tooltips
How can you use tooltips to make your church website content sticky, and easier to consume?
Share your ideas! Leave a comment below.