I’m in the business of helping companies get more traffic to their sites. The big question is: once you get visitors to your site, how are you going to make them come back for more? This is something. It is an important question to consider, as a young startup or a veteran website. And from my experience working with many clients over the years, a question that doesn’t get enough consideration, especially from young companies. There’s surprisingly one thing the slot machine design teaches us very well – that in order to have a viable business you need to form a habit with your users.
Meaning, visiting your website or using your product / service must become a habit for your users. If it doesn’t, you’re going to hit a brick wall down the road.
LEARN SEO FROM SLOT MACHINE DESIGN
IT’S MORE THAN JUST SEO & WEB MARKETING
Slot machines are so much more than flashy lights, incredible graphics, and coins cha-ching-ing into ones’ lap. There is a reason players keep on coming back to gaming websites such as primeslots.com – a popular slot casino site. These sites demonstrate perfectly just how a slot machine design mastered the art of attention retention. Users keep on coming back for more and more.
SEO, or web marketing, doesn’t take you there. it will help you get noticed, it will direct traffic to your website, whether organically or with a little cash assistance, but it’s a one-time deal. Once the user is in your site it is up to you to make him stay, and come back for more.
No SEO wizardry can help you, as we’ve learned this through all our experience in B2C and B2B SEO at eTraffic.co.
IT IS ALL ABOUT THE HABIT
So how do you create a habit? How do you make them come back for more? Lucky for us, great minds have pondered this question repeatedly and came up with truly convincing methods. Through slot machine design one can know user’s the habits.
My favorite one is that of Nir Eyal, a tech entrepreneur who wrote a book called Hooked. That’s right, how to hook your users.
Eyal talks about four stages that need to be implemented in your product / service in order to form the habit of use.
First you need a trigger, something that will cause the user to take action. A CTA button is the most common example of a trigger.
The next step obviously is the action itself. It can be anything from uploading a photo or video, inputting text, commenting on something, participating in a vote – basically any web-action that comes to mind.
The most important aspect of the action isn’t the action itself, but rather the anticipation it creates in the user for a reward. We are all five-year-olds in essence – we do stuff because we want a reward and the anticipation for the reward is more powerful and consequential than the reward itself.
And that leads us to the next stage, which is, you guessed it, the reward. Our reward in the digital age is acknowledgement. That’s all we are after during the hours and hours we spend online. We want others to appreciate us – our reward is a reaction from other users, or from the product itself.
If you think about it for a second, you’ll realize that all the apps and websites you use on a regular basis work more or less (and my bet is more) according to the flow that is described above. Except Maps.
REPITION CREATES VALUE
The last brick in the Hooked wall is the value of repeated use. It is a really important and clever insight. You should design your product in way that the more a user uses it, the more time the user invests in it, the more valuable it becomes. Not valuable in a monetary sense, but rather in a personal or work-related sense.
This concept truly describes a slot player. They may not be winning every time they play popular online video games like Starburst, Twin spin, Dracula, or Fruity Friends slot but there is something that keeps them wanting more and more.
Let’s look at couple of examples to illustrate this point since it is the heart of this matter. When you opened your Facebook page, or your Instagram account, they had no special value for you. They were just empty pages on a social network.
Then you got tons of triggers from Facebook and did a ton of actions and now your Facebook page is this incredible commune-journal / diary / photo album of you and everyone you know. Now go ahead, delete your Facebook page. No way you can do that because you invested so much into it. Your repeated use of Facebook has created a tremendous value. You are hooked.
DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE SLOT MACHINE BASKET
Now that you are aware of the four stages of habitual behavior, you’ll start to notice them and realize that they are all around you. It is always good to keep your radar beeping, because you can learn valuable lessons from unexpected sources.
The is why slot machine design is the most unexpected example I can think of as product designers can learn a lot from the unique design. As demonstrated very convincingly in this SlotSpinners article, slot machines are one of the most successful product ever created that prevailed for more than 100 years as the undisputed kings of the casino. From such a successful product, there must be valuable lessons to be learned. After you’ll read the article, you’ll realize there are.
It is OK to rely on SEO to get people’s attention, but once you got it, no trick or treat will make them stick around if you don’t have anything valuable to share.