It only takes a few seconds for most people to decide whether they want to stay on a site or not. If you’re going to keep your blog visitors on the site for longer and have them read some of your content, you’ll need to make an excellent first impression.
Your site should be easy to navigate and elegant, and you should use it to present valuable and informative content. If you can focus on these three crucial things, your site will be that much more marketable to your audience.
An effective-enough user experience may even get your prospects to sign-up for your email newsletter or buy some of your products.
This post will outline some tips on improving the user experience on your blog to get more people to stay on it for longer, read, and perhaps even share some of your content. Let’s begin by discussing the two most important concepts when it comes to improving your blog’s user experience.
Make Things Easy on the Reader
The tips we’ll discuss below will focus on some specific strategies, but they’ll all revolve around two basic principles — reducing your visitor’s effort and improving site performance. We’ll start by explaining the first one in a bit more detail.
In the most basic terms, visitors should be able to browse your website without much effort. Your content should be organized intuitively and easy to navigate and consume.
To be able to achieve this, you need to anticipate your readers’ needs. They should never be expected to work hard to understand the way your website is structured, so you should make it as simple as possible for them.
Don’t Make the Visitor Wait
The second overarching principle has to do with improving the website’s performance as much as possible. The blog should load quickly, as your audience will not be prepared to wait for web pages to load forever, regardless of the quality of your content.
Keep these two basic concepts in mind as you try to improve the user experience of your website. To help you along the way, we’ve enlisted the help of our friends from an established New York web design company and created a list of four actionable blog design tips to get more readers. Check them out below!
Reduce Page Size
According to the HTTP Archive, the average webpage in May 2021 weighs around 2000 KB. Even though this is an upward trend, with sites getting larger every month, a heavy webpage can cause lots of problems for your blog’s user experience, hindering performance and increasing bandwidth costs.
Performance issues are particularly notable on mobile, as users with lower data bandwidth could have trouble loading a large website. Thankfully, your blog doesn’t have to suffer from this issue, as there are some simple things you can do to reduce your page bloat:
- Optimize your images — High-resolution images are great, but they may not be necessary on smaller screens. Tools like Adaptive Images can detect your visitor’s screen size and provide an appropriate version of each image on your website.
- Compress resources — Check your CSS and JS code to remove redundant lines. Also, check if you can remove certain elements that you may not need on every page of your blog.
- Remove unnecessary plugins — Reducing the number of plugins your website uses will reduce the amount of data each visitor must download to access the site. This can work wonders to improve their experience in navigating the site while cutting down on your bandwidth costs.
Make Navigation Intuitive
If your visitors wanted to see posts from a specific period or date, would they immediately know where to find them? What if they wanted to see all your posts tagged under a particular topic? Your blog’s navigation should be intuitive and straightforward, and any new visitor landing on any page should be able to find what they’re looking for.
All of this may sound overwhelming if you don’t have a lot of experience building websites, but it is not that difficult if you know where to start. At the very least, you should make sure that your blog has the following elements:
- Menu/Navigation bar
- Search bar
- Archive page
- About Us page
- Contact page
These components have become so ubiquitous in online presentations that people have learned what to expect from them. There are other things internet users consider second nature, such as clickable logos that lead back to the home page.
Most new visitors to a blog will land on a blog post rather than your home page. The clickable logo gives them a quick way to reach the home page and perhaps bookmark it for later.
The clickable logo is a thing almost every website should have, but there are more specific things you’ll need to implement based on your users’ needs. Think of useful ways you could organize your blog to suit your audience in particular.
Advertise Your Best Content
A few of your pages are bound to attract most of your traffic, and this is likely the content that most of your audience finds valuable. If this is the case, you should make it as easy as possible for your users to find that content, which means you need to show it off well.
Let’s say a new visitor has just landed on your website. They are much more likely to stay on if they see links to other posts that they find interesting. As your most popular pages are the ones most likely to attract their interest, you should find a way to promote them wherever possible.
One way to do this is to incorporate your most popular posts into the navigation bar itself, but this isn’t easy to pull off without ruining the overall balance of the navigation menu. Another approach is to advertise your best posts with banners at the bottom of each post or simply interlink them within the copy.
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Optimize Your Blog for Mobile
More and more people browse the internet on their mobile devices each day, and if you don’t want this vast audience pool to bypass your website, you’ll need to adapt it accordingly. People nowadays expect every website to be optimized for viewing on mobile, and if you don’t make it so, don’t expect them to stick around for long.
To be fair, websites that aren’t built with mobile friendliness in mind can be exceedingly difficult to navigate for mobile users. Nobody likes to pinch-zoom to see text and constantly scroll in every direction just to read a piece of text. This and other problems associated with unresponsive websites are pains in the neck not many people are willing to endure.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be familiar with web design or coding to make your site more mobile-friendly. Modern subscription-based website builders come with responsiveness built-in, but there are also many companies out there that can build a custom mobile-friendly website for you from scratch and for a reasonable price.
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Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. His work is focusing on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.
Digital Strategy One