Let’s face it, we are all extremely busy. That’s why if we aren’t already obsessed with a site, it isn’t exactly our number one priority to browse through it. In fact, the last thing we need is to waste more time on the internet. For this reason, in order to grab our attention, it’s critical for most users to know the sites they visit will display content that is specifically geared to them. This way, users enter with an actual purpose from the very beginning.

Hence the beauty of notifications. Notifications reel users into a site based on pertinent content. Whether it’s a picture, status, story, or mention–notifications target individuals based on something that can be attributed to them. This gets the individual’s attention, and encourages them to come visit the site.

The Case for Notifications


Though we don’t always consider the power of notifications, I personally experienced something that made the value of notifications painstakingly obvious. Just the other day, I was minding my own business, deeply concentrated in work. I have my Facebook open in another tab of course, but I am so diligent in this moment that I almost forget of the site’s existence.

All of a sudden, I see from the corner of my eye a (1) written in the top left corner of my Facebook tab. Unable to resist the temptation, I click on it to see what Facebook has in store. To my surprise, it’s a picture from five years ago, which I happened to have commented on at the time which it was posted. The picture resurfaced as a notification due to the fact that others began commenting on it as well.

What’s so special about this scenario? Facebook, with its notification system brought me into its site to revisit a memory. The post was something I had been active on once upon a time and was now regaining traction. Whether or not I care to take part in the conversation this time around is irrelevant. The fact is, updating me about the current conversation taking place has the possibility of reconnecting me with old friends or at the very least, reliving a nostalgic moment, thus creating an emotional connection to the site.

By bringing people in to satisfy specific needs, whether they be emotional, informative or otherwise–notifications become a reliable source of information. They show users bits of news specific for them, giving the site instant credibility and strengthening emotional ties.

How Notifications Increase Page Views


It goes without saying that if people come into your site for the right reason (pertinent content), they are more likely to stay on your site for longer in order to explore other pages. After all, if you find one great piece, it’s probable that the same site will produce another. That’s one of many reasons alerting your audience of content through notifications can boost your page views tremendously.

People love reading about facts, stories, news, and more that tie into their personal lives and resonate with their everyday needs. Therefore, notifying people about this opportunity keeps them happy and excited to take part in all your site has to offer.

Practical Application


Though we think of notifications as something exclusively for social networking, more and more, online publications are seeing the benefits of employing social features onto their own sites. Brands are embedding newsfeeds, online chats, and notifications onto their sites in order to give it a more social vibe. This way, they create their own online social community.

Paving the way in this movement, publishers such as EW have had tremendous success in building such communities. Through their notification system, users become aware of online conversations they should be apart of as well as stories they would be interested in reading and discussing. By giving users the opportunity to become more actively involved in content, EW has seen their retention, page views, and engagement soar.

Notifications are a small detail with enormous impact. By learning how to use them properly, your site is sure to benefit, not only from increased page views and retention, but a flourishing online community.