Imagine getting sick and walking into a doctor’s office seeking help, only to be met by a lobby littered with magazines, an oblivious receptionist chatting with her BFF on the phone, and chairs haphazardly strewn about the waiting area. Would this first impression make you want to stay and entrust your health to the physician behind the door? Or would you seek aid elsewhere? What if the doctor was, in fact, one of the best in the area? Would you stay to find out, or be too thrown by the appearance of the office and just leave? If it were me, I’d be out that door as fast as my feeble body could carry me.
The same goes for blogging. Even if your content is amazing, if your blog’s appearance is less than stellar, chances are your visitors aren’t going to stay long enough to read it—hurting your inbound marketing efforts.
Clients don’t want to deal with places that aren’t cared for, and you shouldn’t want to put your business name and logo on something that doesn’t reflect the quality of your brand.
How your blog looks determines if it receives clicks, and most importantly, if those clicks remain on your site long enough to read the content. Let’s improve the business your blog brings by taking a look at three things to avoid when establishing your blog:
Does your blog use too many colors? Are widgets flying around everywhere? Does a background image block off words, making it difficult for readers to browse the content? Is the font too small or hard to read?
When crafting your blog’s look, remember that simple is better. Avoid using more than two colors and stick to a font size that is easily read. Keep your header professional by using bold fonts and clean lines. If necessary, hire a graphic designer to help you create just the right look. If that’s not an option, consider purchasing a premium, customizable template, available on a variety of online blogging sites. And when using widgets, keep them in the sidebar and choose only those that offer value to the reader.
If your blog’s content is difficult to read, users will click out of the site before digging in. Format your text to be legible and pleasing in appearance. Use bullet points or numbered lists to keep the content easy to scan, and use images to enhance the content, not clog it up.
Keep your blog mobile-friendly. Double check to see what your blog looks like when searched via tablet or smartphone. Is the font size appropriate? What about the photos? Are the widgets showing up in the right places? Are share buttons clearly accessible? Always remember your mobile readers.
Create stimulating posts that talk about more than your products and services. Include blog posts about industry news and reviews, or highlight fun and interesting stories about your workplace. Whatever you write about, be passionate.
Most importantly, never write a blog for yourself. Instead, write for the reader. What would make someone want to click? Are there questions about your business, industry, or news that your target audience wants answered? Use your blog as a means to engage, build relationships, and bring value to current and potential customers.
Remember, your blog could be someone’s first impression of your company. Don’t underestimate the power of its appearance and what it says about your business.