The blog’s design can impact how a visitor sees the business. While high traffic can be what every blog owner wants to achieve, user-experience should first be the priority.
UX, short for user-experience, is how a person feels when using or visiting your blog. To provide a great UX is to have a fast loading site, great design, and an opportunity for engagement. Also, users who find that a blog is giving them a great experience will return and maybe create a blog about it which will then increase your blog’s organic traffic.
While there’s a premium placed on your blog’s SEO performance, you shouldn’t rely solely on optimizing for search engines to get the most out of your blog. Even if you do drive lots of traffic to your blog thanks to your SEO efforts, you won’t be able to convert visitors into customers or subscribers if you don’t provide a seamless way to showcase your content to them.
“If there is no one interested in reading your content then you are not producing any thing but mere text,” according to Umair of Shout Me Loud. “You should be targeting converting those one time readers into regular readers.”
In fact, a small design tweak can make a world of difference between getting your visitors to stay in your blog, if not convert them into regular visitors!
These things stated should be part of the designing process and the final output of your blog’s design. With so many things you have to take into account, here are some design examples to give you more ideas:
1. Help Scout
With its stunning visuals that are unique and minimalistic, Help Scout’s blog design is an interesting concept of using great graphics while limiting the use of copies. Switching through different categories is also a breeze because of its fast-loading feature. There’s a small and subtle subscription popup on the lower-right side which will further increase their followers.
Mashable’s blog is professionally designed while still being user-friendly. It breaks its content into three sections; “What’s New” is displayed on the left side with small thumbnails, “What’s Rising” is in the middle with bigger thumbnails, and “What’s Hot” or the popular ones are on the right with huge thumbnails. This makes it easier for readers to choose a topic to read. Plus, they also display the number of shares of each article which is a great form of social proof.
3. Tesco Living
Tesco Living is a great example of being simple and bold at the same time. Even with its simple layout, the shades of the colors they used are all welcoming. They also added to each thumbnail and excerpt a call-to-action to share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. This is great to adapt to improve the organic traffic of your blog.
The thing about Brit+Co’s website is how it establishes that warm and fuzzy feeling the first time a reader visits. The color schemes are beautiful and well matched and the images used are easily relatable. Additionally, it’s using a masonry-based design which is a modern grid style that is also used by a famous site, Pinterest.
A website about dogs is like a cheat code to get better traffic. However, they still need to consider UX just as everyone else. When you visit BarkPost for the first time, notice how they first lead you to a subscription home page and tells you that you’ll be one of the first people to view their content once you subscribe. It’s also where they show their social media accounts where you can follow them easily. Their blog displays the trending topics while the categories for each thumbnail can easily be seen because of the use of customized colors.
An excellent design gives your website a distinct character and creates a positive impression to your readers. Given that your theme is well-structured, you’ll be able to improve readership on your blog.
“Readership is more important than SEO,” says digital marketing expert Jamie Fitzhenry at Grizzly SEO Bristol. “Once the search engine algorithms release an update and you are completely wiped out from the search engine index, your regular readers and subscribers are there to stay, and they are going to be very valuable to you.”
At the same time, in the process of building your blog readership, remember that you need to be consistent with your efforts and be patient with the results. You need to keep testing and measuring the results of your blog design to see which versions produce the best results. From there, you can tweak the design as you see fit to get the most out of your visitors.
Author: Christopher Jan Benitez
Content marketer during the day. Heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice (It’s still real to me, damnit!). Family man all the time.