How Curiosity Killed the Bounce and Why Your Website Needs a Free-Standing Broomstick

March 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Digital Marketing, Relevant Content, Social Media, Web Design | 1 Comment
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Have you seen the rash of photos, videos, and articles on the web lately featuring free-standing broomsticks? If you’re one of the unlucky few who missed the news about this curious phenomenon, here’s a little back story on the topic: apparently, broomsticks across the globe have been standing (but unfortunately not sweeping) all by themselves, sometimes even overnight. What pray tell is the explanation for such an oddity? Well, the jury is still out on that one—while some of the more superstitious among us believe it has something to with solar flares or the alignment of the planets, others attribute it to a mere buildup of static electricity.

Whatever the force is behind this yet-to-be-explained phenomenon—one thing is for sure—people find it fascinating. Don’t believe me? Just search “standing broomsticks.” If you’re using Google, you’ll get about 6,870,000 results. From a web marketing standpoint, that alone makes it interesting enough to want to probe a little deeper. So, just what is it about a simple broomstick (albeit a standing one) that propels people to admire, click, post, share, and chat on end? And here’s an even better question—how can you make the free-standing broomstick work for your site?

Just to clarify, I’m not suggesting online marketers everywhere race to the nearest cleaning supply and start posting pictures of it on their website. What you do need on your site though is something (or preferably many things) that just beg to be clicked, shared, and discussed. To that end, let’s take a moment to ponder the broomstick enigma and just exactly what makes it so compelling.


While some web marketing experts will preach that you should always give your audience exactly what they expect, minus the surprises, I would beg to differ. Most people like a little something unexpected to break up the monotony of their day. Of course, there are good surprises and bad surprises. No one wants to be shocked by an additional charge or inappropriate image, but a quirky video, funny photo, or interesting contest may just tickle your audience’s fancy and compel them to engage with your content and even share it with their friends rather than bouncing off of your page. No matter how serious your niche or professional your clientele, your audience is still human, and we humans like to let loose and have fun every now and then. Perhaps your company should too.


Evidently, there’s just something about a free-standing broomstick that people find super entertaining. Perhaps because it doesn’t jive with the laws of the universe, or maybe just because it’s an unusual sight, but for whatever reason, people feel compelled to stare in awe for hours on end and even take the time to research the topic and share their own theories online. If you want to get your audience talking about your brand, then try engaging them with something that has entertainment value. While there’s plenty of evidence that web users are looking for quality, informative, and useful content online these days, there’s no rule against luring them into this content with something of interest like a cartoon, video, or experiment.


While the shock and entertainment value of the broomstick phenomenon is indisputable, I would have to say that the number one thing that drew me in to the conversation (yes, I admit it) was that it was directly relevant to me. Why? Because, I like millions of people across the world, am the proud owner of a broomstick and it just happened to be nearby. Thus, the very first thing I did when I saw the photos of my friends’ broomsticks on Facebook was to try it myself. The takeaway—provide relevant content on your site that is applicable to your visitors’ lives (even in just some small way), and they’ll be much more likely to interact with your site. If you’re offering how-to-guides, tips, or strategies, make them practical enough that your reader can begin implementing them right away.

Relevance, of course, is what it’s all about. Shock value and entertainment can only go so far. If the sticky content you provide on your site isn’t relevant, then it’s not likely to resonate with your visitors. In fact, they’ll probably bounce off of your site and opt for an episode of Wipeout instead, so whatever you do– keep it relevant.

Does your site have a broomstick of sorts that compels your visitors to interact with you and your content? Describe it in the comment section below!

Efi Rodik
Co-Founder & CEO
Relevantor LLC

Ready to heighten your relevancy? Learn more about how a content optimization service can funnel your content to the right audience at the right time, or request a demo to see it in action.

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  1. […] spans, meaning you will have to present them with something engaging immediately, or they’ll bounce away from your site quicker than your kids’ rubber band […]

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