From multinational corporations in New York skyscrapers to private individuals operating out of their bedrooms, it seems like everyone has a blog these days. The blog started as a simple way for individuals to get their voice heard, and was initially seen as little more than a public diary. It was a place to share your world view and discuss the topics that matter to you, from the latest edition of the Simpsons to a business related topic such as – well, such as the benefits of blogging.
The benefit of the blog
As time passed by and the Internet became our default source of all knowledge on every subject, blogs became more important to businesses as well as individuals. It quickly became apparent that having an interesting blog with regular articles that have something relevant to say is good for business.
It drives additional traffic to your website, generates a loyal following of repeat visitors and contributes to your reputation as an authority in your field. These factors, in turn, lead to better conversion rates, improved SEO and a virtuous circle of more traffic.
There is an old saying that goes: “If it were that easy, we’d all be doing it.” The short answer to this is that it is, and we are. Look on any website these days, and nine times out of ten you will see that it has a blog section where it shares wisdom and knowledge. Like so many nuances of digital marketing, your blog will be in danger of being swamped by the competition in a crowded and noisy online marketplace. That is one of the reasons the visual appeal is so important.
Let’s face it; web surfers are fickle people. They will pull up a site, and if it fails to capture their imagination within two seconds, they will click the back button and look at another. If you think that sounds like an exaggeration, take a quick look at Google Analytics to see your bounce rates, and you will probably be horrified at just how many people almost disappear before they even arrive.
An attractive homepage
As the hook that invites visitors in, your homepage has to look perfect. After all, for a new visitor, it is the first impression that they will have of you and your site. And we have learned by now that we need to get off on the right foot, or there is no hope.
A picture paints a thousand words and will catch the eye and the imagination quicker than a paragraph of text can hope to do, so think carefully about how you can use visuals to draw your visitor in. If you have a logo, make sure it is prominent, and look at the wide range of public domain images you can insert to convey your message in a way that will make visitors take notice.
If they like what they see, they will stay longer and take more of a look around your website. And this is when a fantastic UX, great content and informative blogs will seal the deal, and have them coming back regularly for more.
Congratulations, your stunning visuals have got visitors through the door. You are past the first hurdle, but you have not won them over yet. User experience (UX) is all about how easy and pleasurable it is to be on your site. Compare it with a physical shop – if your great window display tempts people in, they will not stay for long if they come inside to find items piled up everywhere in a mess and a rude sales assistant.
A great UX means a site that works seamlessly across all platforms, loads quickly and is laid out in a simple, uncluttered way, with intuitive calls to action.
The right content
The shop window looks great, the staff members are well trained, and the shelves are organized. So finally but importantly, make sure you have the right produce in stock! Too many people blog for themselves – that is fine for the Simpsons fan, but if you run a business blog, you need to focus on what people want to hear about, not what you want to talk about.
Think about the queries they are likely to type into search engines to draw them to your site and make sure your content answers those questions better than anyone else’s.
A successful blog means a successful website
Remember the three golden rules: great visuals, great UX, and great content. With these in place, you cannot help but achieve more visitors, better conversion rates, and improved SEO. Good luck!