Want Conversions? Learn the 7 Most Effective Principles of Blog Design
There is a reason why most humans judge a book by their cover. According to research, most humans are hired wired to like things that are aesthetically pleasing. In short, we do give importance to how a person looks. How is this related to blogs?
In 2011, researchers at Melbourne University found that people tend to trust websites that have an appealing design and look good.
Also, here is an interesting finding by Dr Brent Coker, a researcher and author who has spent years studying marketing.
“As aesthetically oriented humans, we’re psychologically hardwired to trust beautiful people, and the same goes for websites. Our offline behaviour and inclinations translate to our online existence.”
To cut it short, people are attracted to clean, well-designed blogs. A well-designed blog can get you higher conversions. And by conversions I don’t just mean visitors turning to loyal customers, I also mean more email subscriptions, more shares, more comments. Those are all the things you want from your blog.
Changing our blog design and layout
Ever since we relaunched our website in 2019, our blog design has always bothered me. This was for two reasons. Even though we got a really neat-looking and cool website design, our blog, which was an important source of our inbound traffic (as it should be for anyone else), ended up getting a second-hand treatment. Let us just say, we did not work enough on the layout or the readability part (font and design wise) of the blog.
We can now admit that it was a grievous mistake. Design of the blog, especially its readability, is super important to make your readers stick around and read your content. Otherwise, all you will be left with is a high bounce rate.
Secondly, and more importantly, no matter how much you optimize your blog, if you cannot get your reader to read what you write, you will end up with a very low traffic-to-lead conversion. This simply means, you will not be getting conversions from your blog even though you might be getting traffic to it.
So, we got thinking – how do we improve our conversions so we can get more customers with the traffic we already have?
For starters, we started jotting down what we liked about some of the very popular blogs with high footfall. What could we learn from them?
So, for our own sake, we decided to look for inspiration in popular blogs like Mashable, Huffington Post and more.
Their clean layouts, good font size and style, attractive post headings, easy social share buttons and smart placement of CTAs (call to action) got us thinking. We knew that we had to tweak our blog as well to keep visitors hooked.
Plus, we came across some interesting statistics. Like, Neil Patel had been able to reduce his site’s bounce rate by 29% with a new layout, better font size, all-device compatibility and faster loading speed. When QuickSprout included scrolling social share buttons in its blog posts, it witnessed a 27% rise in social traffic.
So, we started to research the blogs of top content marketers, agencies, and brands, with our focus on these 3 areas:
- Layout and design (number of grids, use of pictures, banners, overall design)
- Readability (line height, font size, active white space)
- CTAs (types, techniques, placement)
And our research gave us some interesting insights for improving conversion from your blog traffic.
So, if you are looking at more shares of your blog, more people subscribing to your blog, more leads through your blog, and more comments on your blog, here are some the 7 most effective blog design strategies to achieve that.
7 Most-effective blog design principles to get more conversions
- Neat layout for your blog’s home page – An attractive color scheme, adequate white space and clean layout (especially grid formats) can motivate visitors to read more. Bold and clean post titles followed by a few lines of snippet can also tell the visitor what a blog post contains.
- Zero compromise on readability – Choosing the right font type (Arial, Georgia, Verdana, Serif, Sans Serif) and the right font size (11-point or above, but maximum 14) are necessary to make your blog easy to scan, readable and comprehensible. The right line height and length, color contrast, active white space and alignment are also important.
- Ace the internal page design – A good design will encourage readers to take action. This is why you need to use the sidebar efficiently, place CTAs correctly, and incorporate social share buttons for easy visibility.
- Always include good images – Since the human brain processes visuals faster than plain text, use crisp and vibrant photos or illustrations or graphics to capture the reader’s attention.
- Pay attention to the sidebar on the right – This sidebar can be cleverly used to feature your best-performing posts, or ask the reader to sign up for newsletters or register for a free training session. Basically, use the sidebar to nudge the reader to take an action that is aligned with your business goals.
- Strong and clear CTAs – Use powerful CTAs that tell the visitor exactly what to do and place it right, if you want more conversions. A bold-colored CTA that pops up at the top of a blog or one that is big and on the right sidebar, asking the reader to speak to a marketing expert will grab more attention than a simple call for email signup. You can also use CTAs that ask the reader to try a tool for free or download an e-book.
- Position the bio right – A short and crisp bio with your image will lend a personal touch to the blog. It will increase credibility and you can include a link for those who want to read more.
We have covered each one of these design principles elaborately in our ebook (download link below). Almost all of these design elements, if implemented correctly on your blog, will help you get more ROI from your blog – which basically means you will get more conversion from your traffic, more shares, more subscribers. Great right.
Want to know how to do all of that? Click here to download our in-depth e-book, complete with examples, statistics and secret tips.