Almost all blogs today heavily rely on content writing as a weapon to achieve their online marketing goals. But actually, great content isn’t the only factor that can drive traffic to a website and potentially boost sales.
With all the focus targeted at content marketing, web and graphic design usually end up taking the back seat.
5 Reasons Why Your Blog Layout Is Important
Having a good blog layout isn’t only for aesthetic purposes. In fact, it is oftentimes the make-or-break factor of a blog’s success. Here are the reasons why:
1. First Impressions Last
After all that hard work trying to get someone to visit your website, it would be a waste to have them click the exit button just because of the way your blog looks.
If on the first visit, your visitors see how cluttered your website is, they are less likely to visit again, much less spend some time browsing it. No matter how much content you’ve written, your visitors may not even read it at all simply because of the way your blog is styled.
However, this certainly does not mean that you need to go all out with your blog layout. A simple, clean design is enough to show visitors that you care about your website and that it contains information that deserves their attention.
2. You Want to Be Remembered
According to statistics, over 2 million blog posts are being published on the web every single day. That’s the amount of published content your blog competes with on a daily basis.
With all that information at everyone’s fingertips, how are you going to stand out?
The problem with text is that it’s difficult to remember where you’ve read it from. But if that piece of information were on an eye-catching infographic or even on a beautiful web page, it’s easier to recognize where it was from.
The same principle applies to your blog. Human beings are 90% visual learners. Package the content in an online space with a good layout, and your blog will definitely stand out from the rest.
3. It Improves Your Branding
Branding in the online world goes beyond your logo or your website’s color scheme. The layout can reveal just as much about your brand. For example, a layout that is clean and monochromatic would immediately communicate that a brand is all about minimalism.
Part of being remembered as a blogger is knowing how to brand efficiently. A blog layout is more than just a way to make your website look visually appealing—it is an opportunity for you to become unique and easily recognizable.
4. It Impacts Your Readers’ Experience
While there are some blogs that lack in design, there are others that take it too far. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your website to be more interactive. But above all, you have to think about how your visitors experience your blog.
Sure, it may seem impressive to have some special effects here and there. And there are tons of interesting graphics that may seem like a useful addition to your website. But unfortunately, too many of these will only negatively affect your readers’ experience.
Going overboard with your blog’s design can cause your website to load a lot more slowly. Most users also read on their mobile device, and research says that 57% of mobile visitors will leave your website if it doesn’t load in three seconds.
5. It Allows You to Connect with Your Readers
A good blog layout will accommodate all the right tools for your marketing efforts. And if you have a content marketing strategy already in place, it is very likely that you also have one for social media.
Gone are the days when social media buttons simply direct you to your account on a certain platform. Today, your readers can easily share your content on their own social media with just a click of a button. Make sure that your layout allows you this opportunity to engage with your audience.
Essential Elements of a Blog Layout
Now that you know how important a good layout can be for your blog’s success, the next step is to figure out which parts of your website are the most important. Here are some of them:
A header can be as simple as your blog’s title and subtitle, and maybe a logo can be thrown in there too. But if you really want to maximize its potential, you might want to create a design that features your product or includes links to your social media.
Your blog header is the first thing your visitors see. Aside from featuring the basics such as your blog title, include other things you want them to see first.
Your blog’s navigation bar should efficiently guide your visitors through your blog. Collate and categorize your content in a way that will make it easier for your readers to find the information they need.
At the same time, you might want to use this opportunity to influence the way your visitors move around your website. For example, you might add a “New Here” link on the navigation bar. This link is for first-time visitors to your website.
On the “New Here” page, you can also add a collection of your most popular blog posts or a list of entries they need to go through in order to catch up.
Your sidebar is like a place for your readers to take a break from reading long-form content. On the sidebar, you might want to add a short biography of yourself as well as links to other pages your readers would be interested in.
Experts recommend using a right sidebar as this is less intrusive to your visitors’ reading compared to a left sidebar.
Aside from a short bio on the sidebar, you might also want to create a separate page for your full biography. Use it as an opportunity to introduce yourself and build rapport. Include information that would establish your authority as a blogger and gain trust from readers.
No one wants to read a huge wall of text. Make your content easy to read by breaking it up into smaller chunks. Organize information by using headings and subheadings. Use fonts that are clear and colors that don’t strain the eyes.
Don’t forget to include an email opt-in somewhere within your blog layout. Almost any layout today has space for you to get your readers’ email addresses.
Whether it is through a pop-up or a simple form at the bottom of the page, it’s important to find a strategic place for this item and include it in the blog layout.
Social Media Sharing
As mentioned above, a good layout will allow you to easily connect with your readers. Don’t forget to include Share buttons for all your social media platforms. Make sure that these icons are easy to find so that readers can share your content on their own social media.
Blogging trends change all the time. Your current layout may already be outdated within a couple of months. But don’t get disheartened if keeping up proves to be too difficult.
The main point is to think outside the box and to look for opportunities to further improve your blog. A few years from now, perhaps the formula to blogging success will no longer be about content marketing or even design.
But if you keep in mind that a blog’s success isn’t focused on a single area but instead involves a multitude of many different factors, you will no doubt maintain a blog that is relevant, efficiently designed, and uniquely yours.