On an average day, you may spend time on Twitter, aggregated news sites, dedicated news sites (eg BBC, CNN, NHK), Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Digg, delicious etc.

What generally happens at the end of the day is you have anywhere up to 100 tabs open that you mean to come back to. But, tomorrow is another day. And the whole round starts again…..open a tab, read a little, click a link, watch a video, tweet, new tab, follow a link, new tab, download a white paper, new tab. ETC.

So, how do you stand out in this endless round of websites and social media impact?

Somewhere, in the recent 1,000 sites I have visited, (ie in the last 3-4 days) is a site that caught my eye. Sadly, because of the insufficiencies of the search engines to revisit the sites I have been to in the last day or two, I cannot lay my hands on it. But it stood out.

Which, you have to admit is rare for a website. Why did it stand out?

Because it behaved exactly the same as an app that I use on the phone – FourSquare. Little pop up saying I’d earned the New Visitor (or similar) badge as I entered and scrolled through the article I had found on one of the major news aggregation sites. It also linked me to others who had found that interesting. Some of whom I know and respect.

Enough to stay? Nope. But the article was good and had links to other related material. So, I clicked within the site links and started reading more. (Good sign – we like sticky sites that help you find other content of interest).

A couple of pages later, I got a new badge and was encouraged to register to the site to keep my badges. And return. By then, I was actually quite interested in the site and knew I would return. So, Sign up- easy, email plus first name.

I kept reading, bookmarked a few items as relevant for my research, and inevitably, eventually, moved on.

No-one from that website has been in touch. My life and requirements for writing have moved on so I haven’t searched for them. I can’t remember where that site is for the life of me. I could go through each day’s bookmarks but I simply don’t have time.

That website has a willing visitor, if I could only remember where it is. I don’t have time to look, but a single email reminder saying:

1 week ago, you looked at the following articles…….. Since then we have added all this related news….

and I’d be there in a flash.

If you create sticky content, add funky functionality, and set up CRM systems that allow you to keep in touch with those who fall over your website….please, please, please use them!!!

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology