There’s no question content marketing has a big impact on your blog’s success, but its overall design can be just as important in retaining readers long-term.
In this particular case, your blog’s design refers to every single aspect of the user experience. This ranges from visual theme elements to content-centered customizations.
Simply put: It’s all about user interaction and friendliness.
Let’s look at some easy, yet powerful techniques to drastically improve your blog’s user experience, which leads to more prospects and satisfied leads over time.
Clean up Your Main Interface
Not every blog is destined to have a clean and minimalist interface, especially if it’s dedicated to the sale products and robust services.
That being said, it’s important to know the difference between essential features and having something merely because it looks “sleek or edgy.”
Include all standard elements people expect above the fold, including a basic search bar, social media icons, and perhaps a list of trending blog posts. Everything else, however, should probably sit at the footer or appear only within specific pages.
Pro tip: Before implementing any feature on the front-end, ask yourself, “Will this help me acquire additional traffic or improve my brand in any way?
Don’t Hide Essential Pages
I thoroughly enjoy connecting with fellow bloggers, which requires me to get acquainted with their blogs in the process. Sadly, I have come across a staggering amount of sites that lack something as basic as their contact information.
It’s perfectly okay if a blogger doesn’t wish to be contacted, but their published blog posts have simultaneously encouraged readers to do just that – thus making it a rather odd contradiction.
Ensure that every basic aspect is easy to spot and make good use of the space you have on your blog. This includes its main top menu, the sidebar, the footer area, and other ideal spots to place important resources.
Keep Everything Updated
Speaking of contradictions and inconsistencies, an established blog is more likely to mention certain information even though it’s no longer valid or available.
Let’s say that your blog’s “Resources” page once talked about a certain product or service. In order to further promote, said product, you casually mention it in one of your articles.
However, you then decide to remove the product from the Resources page. How likely are you to remember you had once talked about it in a blog post?
This will only lead to visitors reading about a non-existing item, which makes things especially bad if you had also linked to it (because now you have a broken link and a broken promise).
Perform a sitewide search any time you modify or remove anything from your blog, as you (or a guest blogger) may have once talked about it and linked to it. This allows you to correct the blog post accordingly and not upset future readers.
Make Your Links Stand Out
It’s fairly common for bloggers to link to related content so I won’t focus much on this today. However, I would like to focus on the way your links are shown.
You see, our eyes often treat links like advertisements; we are often blind to them as they don’t necessarily stand out, especially if they’re inserted inside a paragraph.
So instead of just linking to a related article the traditional way (as a contextual link), you could place the link like this instead:
Suggested Read: [Insert Post Title Here]
The above headline and link are sitting after the paragraph instead of merely appearing inside it, thus maximizing their overall importance.
Note: There is no right or wrong way to place related links, as this largely depends on the context and the topic at hand. Play around with this and measure your results!
Always Perform Basic Maintenance (Here’s Why)
My blog has gone through numerous changes over the years. I have also added a lot of features that require new plugins in order to display things properly.
While everything seemed okay at first glance, I gradually began to notice odd things the more I navigated through the site. For example, some menu items would look too small for no apparent reason, while other rarely-visited pages would be completely broken.
Always inspect everything about your blog, from the back-end to the front-end. Here are some common reasons to double-check everything:
- If you’re starting a blog for the very first time
- If you had recently installed or removed a plugin
- You had recently switched to a new theme
- You had modified an existing theme
- You performed advanced changes on the back-end
Things you can do to test and inspect your blog:
- Click various links and pages
- Log in and out of your own site; did anything break? Are you taken to the homepage?
- Log in to a contributor account (if you accept guest posts) to ensure they see everything properly on the backend.
- It took me a while to notice many inconsistencies, so don’t be surprised if they get past you at first glance as well.
I can only imagine the horror my visitors witnessed while I remained oblivious to these broken elements; don’t let your readers experience the same fate.
Ensure Your Content is Inviting
At the end of the day, your content plays a big part in a blog’s overall user experience. Whether you focus primarily on images, videos, or old-fashioned text, these need to be presented in a format that invites and entices visitors.
Here are some great things to consider:
Look into your blog’s font. Is it too small? If so, change it from the theme’s proprietary settings or install a font-based plugin like “Font” for WordPress.
Don’t create long paragraphs. Long blocks tend to overwhelm people, so keep your paragraphs relatively short (2-3 sentences each).
Break down your content. Don’t just type everything as a means of finishing your article quickly. Do you have various examples to list? Use numbers and bullets. This adds another layer of design that motivates people to stick around.
Add more varied content. Don’t just rely on text when there’s a vast sea of images and videos out there. Remember the power of embedding; it’s legal and completely free.
Be conversational. Don’t use too many big words and phrases, as readers are simply looking to understand a subject without feeling intimidated. This only causes them to leave your page and find the information elsewhere.
Be relatable. Can you relate to the very piece you’re writing? If so, make it loud and clear. Are you describing the top destinations in Europe? Briefly talk about your time there and explain your experiences.
Be more inviting. Most articles invite readers to leave a comment, but why not encourage them to connect with you on social media or send you an email? This is especially useful if you’re in the habit of selling products and services, as it helps you connect with prospects much easier.
Suggested Read: How to Write Perfect Blog Post
Now, Your Turn
These seemingly small changes, when combined, can have a serious impact in the way visitors react to your blog. Customers may be more interested in your offerings while traditional visitors may be happier to continue digesting your content.
Now I’d like to hear from you. Have you made any particular design choices that resulted in a more positive user experience? If so, please let me know, as one can never have enough of these tips.
Author: This article is written by Elvis Michael from bloggingpro. He is an avid blogger and entrepreneur, endlessly exploring new ideas and effective ways to inspire.