While the writing style, topics and the value of the content on one blog are the factors that will determine whether it will become successful or not, they are not the only thing a blog owner should pay attention to. The next important thing is blog design.
Blog design plays a vital role in forming the overall user experience. The more you think it through, the better it will resonate with your readership. Here are some tips to follow to ensure your blog design doesn’t get in the way of the actual content.
Design Based on Conversion Goals
Let’s start with the most important thing – conversion goals. Ask yourself this question: “What do I want my website visitors to click on?” Regardless of whether your answer is: “I want them to subscribe to my mailing list.” or “I want my visitors to click on my affiliate links.”, you will need to fine-tune your blog design.
What can you do? First of all, you have to establish a consistent visual hierarchy throughout your entire blog. Visual hierarchy is essential because it creates easy-to-follow patterns for visitors.
In this niche scenario, your visuals are cookie crumbs of information your visitors will follow and get incentivized along the way to click on your call to action. If you want to make money blogging, this is a must.
One example: an above-the-fold call to action promises great conversion rates but it is unusable on blog websites without cutting off the content from the top of the page. If you have something new you would like to show to your audience, it’s much better to use a pop-up. These subtle changes in blog design are not that hard to achieve. Besides, the best blogging platforms allow you to make these changes on the go.
Avoid Unnecessarily “Heavy” Elements
It is completely understandable that you want to have a flashy and great-looking blog. However, you can achieve this without using heavy elements that will affect your website loading speed. Why is this important?
From the technical point of view, website loading speed is an important search engine optimization (SEO) factor. Google has already admitted that their algorithm uses this metric to rank pages. Keeping your pages clean and fast will put you in a higher position in the SERPs.
From the user experience point of view, you want a fast loading website because modern consumers of online content want a fast loading website. In fact, according to Aberdeen Group research, a 1-second delay in page load time results in 11% fewer page views, 16% decrease in visitor satisfaction and 7% loss in conversion.
Not to mention the new Google’s Material Design 2 that’s coming out soon. The Material Design 2 promotes an abundance of white space and a clean and minimalist look.
Provide Multiple Social Shortcuts
Social media marketing is perhaps the most viable marketing method for fellow bloggers. Here are some stats to help you start getting the big picture. It is important to know that every social media platform works differently and that your readership is not uniform in terms of which social media platform they are using.
We are not saying that if you are a Twitter superstar you should switch your focus to another platform. Instead, we want to tell you how important it is to diversify sharing opportunities for your readership.
This is why you have to enable your readers to share the content they read on your website. To do this, you have to provide them with multiple social shortcuts.
But where should you place them? The best practices dictate the following: place multiple social shortcuts in a prominent position, somewhere near the top of the page, and make sure they don’t overlap with your website navigation.
A Card Layout Helps With Growing Content
The other aspect of blog design we have to address is the skimmability of the content – in other words, how you design helps your visitors quickly read and examine your articles and article lists.
Our perception of time is the most restricting factor when it comes to consuming online content. You have to do your best to present your blog posts effectively so that visitors can quickly understand what your blog and specific articles are about.
A card layout can help you out with this, especially when you start growing your content.
Working on Visuals
The awesomeness of your blog is determined by the value of your written content and the engaging capacity of visuals you are using in your posts. Many bloggers say that images are crucial to the success of the post, and the blog in general.
This is why you have to put in some time to find or create the best visuals to use in your blog posts. For instance, if you are creating a data-driven content it would be appropriate to incorporate data-driven visuals. If you consult the QuickSprout research for a second, you will see that data-driven visuals increase the odds of your post being shared.
The concept is really simple, all you have to do is find or create an image that resonates well with the content and the audience. The more time you put in it, the bigger the reward will be. Think about it, it is not by chance that infographics have become so popular.
Make Sure Authors Come to the Forefront
The ultimate goal of every blogger is to build a meaningful connection with their audience. To be able to do this, you have to provide the means for your audience to connect with you, or your blog contributors for that matter. In order to personalize your blog, you should definitely publish authors’ images and bios in the articles.
This will give your readership a chance to learn a thing or two about the writer – who they are, what niche they come from, whether they are experts, what their interests are, and so on. A great deal of the blogs with lots of traffic put their writers’ bios right below the headline. This is a great example of putting post authors to the forefront.
One of the modern trends is spotlighting your writers in order to drive more traffic to your blog – a great way to stand out from the crowd and add more of that much-appreciated authority element to your blog.
If you follow these steps, you will make it easier for your readers to find and read what they are looking for. All these tips will make your blog design work for you, instead of working against you and your visitors. Let us use this last opportunity to stress just how important it is to address all the things that we have mentioned in this article if you want to make it as a successful blogger today.
Author bio: Duke Vukadinovic works for FirstSiteGuide.com. He is passionate about the Internet world and can be of great to help web newbies build many successful blogs in various niches.