We all want to know how to build a better blog to maximize our efforts. Considering blog design tips is probably the best way to improve your blog. By now, most businesses have learned the importance of SEO to help their online presence. But most haven’t considered the importance of design.
With the prevalence of WordPress and so many great widgets and plugins, there is an abundance of things you can add to your blog these days. But just because you can do something, doesn’t always mean you should.
Here is a summary of the important features that I’ve come across that will show you how to build a better blog that provides easy sharing and encourages visitors to take a look around your site for more great information.
1. Threaded comments. If you’ve ever scrolled through the comment sections of various online articles (and I encourage you to do so—some of the best information is sometimes in those comments) that you’ve noticed that not all comments look the same. There are several different systems a website can choose to use to collect and display comments. For instance, sometimes you have to comment via your Facebook account, and your picture shows up. Sometimes you can create whatever name you want and there is no picture associated.
Well, not all comment systems are created equally. The best comment system is threaded comments. Research proves that this system spurs additional comments. And this is important because the more comments you receive on your posts, the more text you’ll have on each page. This will enable you to rank for more long tail keywords.
Facebook comments don’t help you to get any more search traffic because Facebook owns the content. So stick with threaded comments.
2. Snippets. If you are using WordPress to create your blog, it will give you an option to display just one post on your blog’s homepage, or to display snippets of a few posts. Always choose to display snippets, as it helps you in two major ways. The first is that when it comes to reading on the internet, people have really short attention spans – about 8 seconds. If you display snippets, you’ll give your reader more of a chance to find an article that interests them, and then they’ll read it. The second way that displaying snippets helps you is that it eliminates duplicate content. If you display a full blog post on your blog’s homepage, then that post will not only show up on the homepage, but on its individual post page as well. When you have duplicate content on your site, it hurts your search rankings.
3. At least 11-point font size (or bigger). Research shows that you need to use at least 11-point font size to increase readability on your site. If the text is smaller than that, readers will tend to leave the page. Remember also that the font type is equally important – if you’re using size 14-point font but also typing in webdings, readers will leave the site anyway. Always choose a font that is easy to read, like Arial or Times New Roman.
4. An option for email subscription. Building an email list is one of the most important things you can do to build your business. A great way to get readers to opt in to your email list is to offer them something, like maybe a free e-book, course, or webinar.
5. Yoast SEO Plugin. This is one of the best WordPress plugins available. And it’s free. The Yoast plugin cues you to enter information into several data fields that make it easier for Google and other search engines to index and crawl your site and the subsequent posts you publish. By following its cues, the Yoast SEO plugin will help you to ensure that your site is following basic SEO protocols.
6. Simple colors and design. Research proves that readers prefer black text on a white background, with plenty of empty white space on the page. You don’t need to come up with some unbelievably complex design, because your blog is about content. So make sure that whatever happens, your blog is readable. Choose colors that don’t clash with your content.
7. Always include images! Research shows that by placing an image at the beginning of a post, it increases the number of readers who click through and visit the actual post after seeing a snippet on the blog homepage. Images also help break up the text in longer posts, so always find some sort of image that will fit in to your post!
Readability and usability is critically important for increasing readership online. And because your blog is the area of your site that will get the most traffic, blog design is an important part of your business’s online presence. You can find more simple tips that address usability and SEO for your web site here.