The Value in a Fun Website
Why does your site have to be fun?
More fun = more interaction.
More interaction = more visitors stay longer on your website.
And the longer they stay on your site, the more your site rises to the top of Google rankings.
Bonus: The longer they stay, the more inclined visitors are to give you their business.
How Do We Know Fun Increases Website Traffic & Rankings?
Conveniently Volkswagen already did this study for us in the Fun Theory, highlighted by their Piano Staircase Initiative [YouTube]. The initiative in short: most folks take the escalator when exiting the subway to surface streets. It’s easier, right? But climbing the stairs is always an option.
Volkswagen wanted to find out if they could encourage folks to use the stairs. They replaced them with the notes on a piano. (Think Tom Hanks in “Big.”) Lo and behold, the use of the stairs increased 66% when folks learned they could “play” the stairs. Wow!
Thus, if you make the visit to your website a pleasant and fun experience, you are more likely to keep them there longer and attract more folks to visit.
Why Do Folks Visit
Websites to Begin With?
For the most part, they visit websites to find a solution to a problem. That doesn’t necessarily mean “fun” is on their minds. But a “fun” solution is one with less friction than a solution that is difficult to work through.
The solution they seek could be anything from making a purchase, to signing up for a program, to reading for enjoyment. The graphics and visuals provide an immediate sense of what to expect on a site:
- Does the site feel corporate-y (serious), or light and fun?
- Is is somewhat mysterious, using dark colors and deep shadows?
- Is it immediately inquisitive of you, the visitor, about your motives for visiting (up front/transparent)?
Each one of these features generates an emotional response. What if the emotional reaction is intimidation or confusion? Even worse, what if the reaction is frustration? Perhaps you can’t find what you’re looking for or the navigation is poor. These negatives all make the visitor less likely to continue on your site. And it’s definitely less fun now.