(adj.) When used in terms of a Web site, sticky refers to a site’s ability to keep visitors on the site once they have navigated there or encourage the visitor to return frequently (i.e., the visitors “stick” to the site).
A site’s stickiness depends on the content of the site that encourages the visitors to remain there but is not necessarily what the visitors went to the site looking for. For example, in addition to original content that may be the main reason for visits, a site may add a glossary, stock quotes, games, community forums, news feeds, social media links and/or live chat to make the site more appealing to visitors.
Also, sites can add special features to set themselves apart from competitors, such as the ability to communicate with the authors, the ability to personalize the site, contests, and numerous hyperlinks to other pages of the site — all elements that entice a visitor not just to stay on the site but to return frequently.
A website’s stickiness is important to online advertisers because the longer visitors stay on the site the more exposure those visitors have to potential advertising.