By Jill McCubbin

punchjudy.gifA meaningful visit to a Web or blog site is not measured solely by number of pages viewed. The length of time a prospect spends at your site is of equal or more value. Just as an in-person salesperson has a better chance of making a sale the longer she has you engaged in the showroom, your Web site has a better chance of “selling” to a visitor who spends “quality time” at your site. There are many ways to increase “Web site stickiness” – eBay is introducing online communities as its strategy. Others, like, use a combo of graphic and community building elements to create sites that encourage longer visits – in other words “sticky” Web sites.

In every case, eye-catching, attention-grabbing presentation is crucial. To this end, the Web Marketing Association’s annual award to the Best Technology Site is judged on a variety of criteria – including design, content and innovation. 2007’s best technology Web site winner was Wired Digital. Wired Digital is a highly pictorial, well-designed, colorful and graphic-heavy Web site. Technorati ranks Wired’s Threat Level blog 68th worldwide – so design and visuals do benefit business.

Read/WriteWEb blogger, Richard MacManus, while blogging about Nielsen’s evolving Web site ranking system, suggests online video technologies are making number of page views meaningless – especially in relation to blogs. Online video is one way among many to increase length of visit.

Over a year ago, market2world sponsored a “puppetcast” series posted to YouTube that featured a variety of tech-associated businesses in Almonte, Ontario. Almonte is the home of award-winning puppeteer, Noreen Young, and an annual International Puppet Festival. This unusual mini-series of three original puppetcasts – each about three minutes in length -  had nearly 3,000 views. The videos resulted in six follow-on articles in mainstream media, including the Ottawa Citizen, and CTV - CJOH’s Tech Now. Tech Now’s feature broadcast on viral video was directly inspired by the market2world puppetcast video successes.

According to the New York Times, the Internet has even turned radio into a visual medium, as radio stations embrace video in order to stay relevant in the digital age. Take a look at the images and videos at the Canadian Broadcast Corporation’s Radio site, if you’re not convinced.

(Jill McCubbin is a Communications Architect with market2world communications inc., Canada's tech PR and product launch agency.)