Do you want to give your blog visitors the best possible experience when they visit your blog, read your content, signup to your updates, or even buy your products or use your services? Well, in this post, you’ll discover 9 awesome ways to make your blog more user-friendly and make your content stand out.
Having great content is just one of the vital ingredients needed to help make your blog stand out and become successful, do you agree?
You might have 100, 200, 300 or maybe 1,000 pieces of high-quality content on your blog right now.
But let me ask you something. What good is having all of that awesome content, if it’s not easily accessible?
Now I know it’s not even remotely possible to have each and every piece of content on your blog visible from a single point of access.
However, there are plenty of things you can do to make your content – 1, easily accessible, and 2 – a pleasure to consume, simply by making your blog more user-friendly, and in this post, were going to look at every possible way to do just that.
Are you ready? Let’s get to it.
9 Ways to make your blog more user-friendly
1. Fix your blog design
Let’s briefly talk about design, and why having a clean, clutter-free blog design is critical and can help you make consistent progress with your blog.
In this post by Iron Paper, it quotes that almost 60% of consumers worldwide would rather engage and interact with content that’s been beautifully designed rather than just simply designed.
Let’s put this into perspective for your blog. It means that design is very important.
You spend an enormous amount of time producing great content so it would make perfect sense to not just slap it on a sloppy looking, poorly designed blog, right?
A great blog design will not only make your content stand out, but also make your content a pleasure to consume by your readers.
OK, so now let’s take a look at how you can prioritize user experience on your blog to make your content truly stand out.
2. Clean up your blog header & navigation links
The header and main navigation section of your blog should be top-priority because essentially this is the first thing that most of your visitors will see when they land on any page or post on your blog.
Keep your blog header and navigation clean and simple. Your logo and navigational links should be the only elements present in your blog’s header.
If your conversion goal is to get people to read your blog, make sure that a link to your blog page is clearly visible on the menu. In fact, make this the first item on your menu.
If you have a banner ad in your header area, consider removing it. If you have links to your social profiles in your header, consider moving these to the footer section or sidebar.
3. Optimize your homepage
You can either create a custom homepage for your blog or display a list of your latest posts.
I always recommend creating a custom static page for a blog, because it gives you more control over what content/posts to have displayed, as well as control over things like messaging and SEO.
CopyBlogger is a fine example of a blog that takes full advantage of using a custom static homepage.
Here are some things you can do to optimize your homepage –
- Create a custom static homepage.
- Add a powerful headline/message and a CTA button to your blog page.
- Showcase your best content on the homepage.
- Add social proof.
- Add email opt-in form.
Check out this video post I created showing you how to build a custom homepage for your blog.
Also check out this post on how to optimize your homepage for improved conversions.
4. Declutter or remove your blog’s sidebar completely
Let’s now talk about your blog’s sidebar and how this can be optimized for better user experience.
Some online brands claim that not using a sidebar on a blog can help improve conversions, by eliminating distractions.
I have experimented with both options for a good length of time for Magnet4Blogging, and so far I haven’t seen any significant variations in conversions.
According to this interesting case study on Video Fruit, for every 1k people who visit your website, potentially only 3 people will click on your sidebar!
If you decide not to use a sidebar and want to make your content the center of attention, then go for it by all means.
If you decide you want to keep your sidebar and want to make better use of it, I recommend placing only the essential elements in there, as too many items in the sidebar can be a HUGE distraction for your blog readers.
If you’re using a sidebar, you should have:
- 1 x email opt-in form with incentive.
- A small section about the author, YOU.
- A list of your latest or best blog posts (I recommend your best blog posts is placed here).
- One banner to your awesome product or service.
Anything else in your sidebar, in my opinion, is simply unnecessary noise.
5. Improve your content
Your amazing content is of course what makes your blog truly awesome.
To make it even more awesome, you should ensure that your content is consumable by a wide audience, in other words, easy to read and understand.
In addition, you should also ensure your content is well formatted and well organized.
Here’s a list of things you can do to make your content super user-friendly.
- Keep paragraphs short and sweet. Avoid huge blocks of texts.
- Break up text with relevant images, videos, screen captures, graphs and graphics.
- Make use of bullet points and quote boxes.
- Don’t use too many over-complicated words or phrases.
- Link to other relevant articles on your blog or to relevant external sources.
6. Make better use of the footer section
Next, we get to the footer section.
Now a lot of bloggers believe that the footer section of a blog is just a waste of space.
Nothing really needs to be placed in the footer apart from some mandatory links to privacy pages and what not.
Personally, I think the footer area is a great place to add a call-to-action, such as an email opt-in offer.
If someone has made it to the bottom of one of your blog posts, they’re pretty much down to the footer are too, so don’t waste the opportunity of being able to capture them as a potential subscriber.
You don’t need to have too much other clutter in the footer area, just something that might benefit your audience.
7. Improve the search feature
Every blog should have a search bar somewhere. Whether it is in the footer section, the header area or the sidebar.
To make the search feature even more effective on your blog, I recommend you install a plugin called Search Exclude. See image below.
This lightweight plugin is amazing. You can use it to exclude any post or page from your WordPress search results.
Why would you want to do this? you might ask.
To make sure only your very best content is shown in the search results when someone is searching for something specific on your blog.
8. Improve blog performance
Probably the best way to make your blog more user-friendly is by improving its performance on the web.
I’m talking about things like –
- Improving page load time.
- Improving functionality (Avoid using glitchy or badly coded themes or plugins)
- Security and accessibility.
9. Make sure your blog is mobile ready
If your blog is not mobile friendly then you are certainly still stuck in the dark ages.
Every single blog today is more or less optimized for viewing on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
So let’s quickly recap what we’ve covered in this post to help you make your blog more user-friendly.
- Fix your blog design.
- Clean up your header and navigational links.
- Optimize your homepage.
- Declutter or remove the sidebar completely.
- Improve your content.
- Make better use of the footer section.
- Improve your blog’s search feature.
- Improve your blog’s performance.
- Ensure your blog is mobile friendly.
So there you have it, 9 no-nonsense ways to make your blog super user-friendly, now go and make a start as soon as you can.
Psst! Need help with your blog design? Click this link to get started with me.