One of the best ways to promote your website and increase conversions is to focus on creating a compelling blog packed with useful articles relevant to your area of business.
But how do you design an attractive, functional, user-friendly blog that stands a greater chance of converting sales? Well, there are several important features to keep in mind when approaching the topic of blogging, which we’ll dive into shortly below.
Note: We’re going to be primarily focusing on how to design a high-converting blog – not on how to produce engaging articles and media.
Blogs that Convert: Basic Design Elements
When it comes to designing a blog with the greatest potential for success, designers tend to place a heavy focus on the following critical stages:
- Designing attractive, inviting pages, including the front page, along with any other important pages/sections
- Designing a carefully thought-out informational architecture and structure for the blog
- Designing a clean, simple and frustration-free navigation for the blog
- Developing a mobile-optimized site view to gauge user experience and user interface performance on the blog
To stand the best chance of creating a truly optimized blog with the highest of conversion rates, you’ll have to run design variation comparisons in order to understand which page layouts/elements perform best. This may take some time – but it’s well worth it!
Remember, with blogs especially, it may be wise to not always measure conversion rates based on actual sales alone. For instance, a popular goal among bloggers today is to build up their mailing list/signups/registrations for newsletters/additional content, which can lead to increased brand awareness, loyalty, and repeat traffic.
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Blogs that Convert: Usability & Functionality
The most popular blogs on the internet aren’t just compelling to read and look at – they also make visitors feel comfortable and at ease, courtesy of excellent usability and functionality. In order to follow suit with your own blog, you’ll have to firstly consider your audience, and what they actually expect/want from your site’s content.
Never lose sight of the fact that, essentially, all your target audience really turns up for is information/entertainment. That’s about it. And so it’s your job to make the task of finding great articles and content as simple, convenient, and time-efficient as possible.
Don’t settle for run-of-the-mill blog conventions when it comes to creating an awesome user experience that’s also attractive and inviting. Instead, go all out, and really put in the time and effort to design a blog that’s capable of:
- Engaging your target audience and encouraging repeat traffic
- Boosting brand awareness and raising your profile
- Encouraging specified conversion tasks (such as mailing list signups, etc)
While we don’t want to delve into article creation too much, it should be said that, if you don’t currently possess the necessary time/skill set to work on usability and functionality, you should at least try to produce some stellar reading material for your audience. Well-written, relevant and engaging is what you should aim for – and don’t be afraid to experiment with media (images, videos, etc).
Blogs that Convert: Stages of Design
If you’re serious about creating a blog with high-conversion potential, there are several critical stages that you should try to implement throughout the design development process:
- Prototype Development: Decide the form and structure of your blog’s pages, draw semantic blocks, and place main elements in page grids.
- Branding Visuals Development: Decide your brand’s logo, colours, typography and imagery based on its identity (goals, values, etc).
- Blog Design Development: Decide on an effective colour palette for your blog and produce page layout drafts.
- Responsiveness Development: Create a design that will enable optimal usability and functionality across all devices, from desktop to mobile.
In order to better understand the blog design process, keep the following fundamental tasks in mind when it comes to creating graphical elements for each of your pages:
- Colour Palette: Create a clearly defined identity for your brand; an effective, carefully chosen palette will style your blog’s copy, imagery and background, with bold colours used for logos and call-to-action buttons, and lighter shades working to highlight these forms of vital information/messages.
- Font Type: Decide on the most suitable typography for your blog, not forgetting that each font type will communicate a unique sense of meaning – however subtle – for your content. Your selection should complement your blog’s design while being in keeping with your brand’s identity.
- Content Layout: Create page layouts for your content by choosing suitable – uncluttered, attractive and functional – block placements. Don’t be afraid to experiment with various block designs in order to reach a balance that is just right.
- Background Type: Decide on a single background colour or photo/graphic that will help to set the stage and complement your blog’s typography, colour palette, and other design elements. Keep in mind that lighter, contrasting shades are typically a safer bet for backgrounds as they likely won’t interfere with your more crucial, bold-coloured foreground content (logos, call-to-action buttons, copy, etc).
- Animation & Effects: Create animation and effects – if deemed necessary – in order to direct your audiences’ eyes to key sections, or perhaps, just for the purpose of theatrics (aim for elegant and measured). These design elements can encourage user interaction, and many different types can be created using photo editing software. If you lack the ability required, you may need to call upon the skill set of a web developer.
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