Reader retention and engagement of your blog post depends on more than just the choice of topic and quality of writing. This is the issue that also depends on the layout, reader-friendliness of your post and many other visual factors that you can easily turn to your favor. Still, a good blog design, a visually pleasing one, while reward on its own, isn’t necessarily retention-oriented. In order to achieve this, here are eight factors you have to focus on and eight things your overall design needs to encompass.
Positive first impression
You can never get a second chance to make a good first impression. This is particularly true in the world of digital marketing, seeing as how an average visitor has shorter attention span than that of a goldfish. In other words, you have only several seconds to make your visitors stay and failure to do so will result in a massive bounce rate. A website that looks unprofessional, amateurish and has a low design quality might reduce your brand’s credibility in the digital environment. On the other hand, by investing in a quality design, you’re making an investment in a positive first impression.
Another thing that can reduce the retention of an average visitor is a long loading time. In fact, loading time determines your bottom line in more than several ways. Depending on the device your audience is accessing your website through, they will have certain loading time expectations and failing to deliver on this front might result in a massive disappointment. In the present day and age, only about 10 percent of people expect your site’s desktop version to load significantly faster. For all the rest, the question of the device in use is irrelevant when it comes to the loading speed.
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Reader retention mostly depends on the willingness of your audience to browse through your own domain and see what is it that you have to offer. First of all, if every single page takes forever to load, it might be quite hard to persuade people to waste that much time on your website. On the other hand, with a simple navigation, you can get your audience an option to effortlessly explore your domain. For this to work, you should try out the breadcrumb trail navigation, as well as ensure that they can return to the homepage, or at least category page, at any moment.
One other thing that an expertly-made web design does for you is make you look professional, as well. For this to work, you might want to employ services of a web design company, instead of trying to do this on your own. Sure, nowadays, there are apps that allow you to make a website with a drag and drop principle, without ever having to write a single line of code. Nevertheless, as an entrepreneur (and every blogger is one, at least to some degree), you need to know when it’s best to simply outsource. Some agencies dealing with website development in Sydney also focus on mobile websites and mobile app development, which is an issue we’ve already hinted at early on.
It’s also more or less proven that the conversation rate depends on the design of the page as much as it does on the appeal of the offer in question. For instance, using places of interest on the screen may be a smart way of attracting the full attention of your audience. With the use of contrast (bold vs neutral color or large vs tiny), you can assign priority to the elements of your website, thus, telling people what to focus on. The simplest way to achieve this is the renowned rule of thirds. Start by splitting your screen into 9 squares equal in size. Now, try to place all the most important elements (CTAs, the name of the company, special offer) on these imaginary lines.
The choice of color
Early on, we’ve mentioned that the choice of color may have a great impact on the overall impression that a website makes, however, this goes a lot deeper than you might have initially expected. First of all, keep in mind the niche-appropriate colors. For instance, color black indicates style and elegance, making it ideal for an article talking about luxurious jewelry brands. On the other hand, if the topic of the post is spring cleaning or summer decoration, you need to go with something a tad livelier and colorful. Similarly, different elements have different hue requirements, as well. While bold is great for a headline, you need something trust-inspiring for a CTA.
One more thing worth your attention is the issue of clarity. White empty space and grayish font may sound like a good idea on paper, but they’re more than capable of ruining the clarity of your blog post. Think about it, if a person has to highlight a section in order to be able to read it clearly, they aren’t likely to stick around. Therefore, an investment in clarity is an investment in the user experience (UX) and, therefore, an investment in reader retention, as well.
Proper structure boosts readability
Finally, you need to understand that if a person actually does encounter your blog, the chances that they’ll be lured in by visuals are equally as high as if they were to be lured in by the title. Therefore, you need to start by organizing adequate paragraphs and leaving enough whitespace between them. Next, you need to use headers (H1, H2, H3 and H4) in appropriate situations. Every now and then, when you deem that using an image is appropriate, you need to think about the way in which this is breaking up the text. A relevant image may contribute to the structure of the content, while a random one might completely derail it.
By using these eight principles to your advantage, you’ll not only structure your posts to be more efficient but also create a template that will make this routine more automated. Sure, being repetitive is bad when it comes to writing, but doing so with the design of the post gives people a sense of familiarity and only strengthens your brand’s image in the blogosphere. In other words, it gives it some character and increases its relatability.