Since we live in the age of user experience, web design is one of the essential elements in the blog post success formula. Unfortunately, writing engaging, valuable and insightful posts is no longer enough. Today, bloggers have to follow the best web design practices in their niche to stay competitive and eventually be recognized and rewarded with a stable readership.
But, to just say that web design and blog post success go hand in hand is not enough. We have to support this bold claim with some facts. Facts will help you understand the full potential of fine-tuning your blog design. These are the web design elements that have a huge impact on blog post success.
For quite some time, we have all been riding the “mobile-first” buzz. Responsive design has become a popular topic on all mainstream blogs focused on web design. There is a good reason for that. Last year, mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic. The trend is continuing and, as of 2018, mobile traffic makes 52.2% of global traffic.
If we stick to the math, this means that your blog visitors will be arriving at your blog via smartphone or tablet. What happens when your website menu goes off the screen and the text in your blog post becomes an unreadable piece of text scrambled with other elements on your webpage? The bounce off rate starts to exponentially increase. In other words, your chances of succeeding are cut in half.
What does responsive design impact the most? Two things. Responsive design affects the aesthetics of your blog by making it more pleasing and more visually appealing overall. And the second thing it affects is the functionality of your website. With these two things out of the way, you will be able to focus on why you are in the blogging sphere. This is why it is important to make responsive design a priority when you start making your website in 2018.
Goal Driven Design Choices
What are goal driven design choices? Your website design should reflect your goals as a blogger. These goals may be any of the following:
- Increasing the engagement with your audience
- Building an emailing list by increasing the email opt-in rate by X%
- Driving more people to click on your affiliate links
- Increasing your blog traffic overall
- Feature social media or blog influencers on your blog
Now, while having goals as a blogger is very important, what’s even more important to know is that each of these goals will require of you to revisit your web design and change it so that it helps you achieve the goals you’ve set.
Web design plays a crucial role in reaching any of the aforementioned goals. For instance, if you want to increase engagement with your audience, you have to add social media buttons in a prominent position and add a comment section on your website, while increasing the email opt-in rate would require of you to readdress your popup email subscription elements and call to action strategy.
The goal-driven design is all about making visitors want to take the action you want them to take. This is why it is important not only to make adjustments to your content creation strategy but to distinguish essential from non-essential elements in your website design and use them accordingly.
Our next stop is contrast. Why? Because beside space, contrast is one of the key elements that affect your blog’s readability and a building block of your readers’ attention. The most important thing to understand here is how the background color works with the color of your website text. You can test this yourself. Visit your blog and check if the text is easy to read. You should strive towards achieving a subtle difference here, a difference that makes the text distinguishable.
There is one more important thing here. If you want to play with colors, you have to make sure they don’t break out of your overall website design. Fortunately, you can review dozens of popular color palettes used for web design, and pick the one that reflects your blog theme and design.
Contrasting colors come in really handy when you want to make certain website elements more prominent than the others. This means that colors can help you with your goal-driven design choices. And, as you will see in the last section, they can help you set the mood and draw a path for your website visitors to follow.
Black text on a pale background is still one of the most popular choices in the blogging world. This is a proven recipe for success and it really helps with readability, especially with huge blocks of text. If you want to color the text, reserve it for titles and calls to action. And make sure you stay within your current website’s color palette.
The Impact of Font Choice
It may hit you as a surprise, but there is a serious psychology behind these types of choices. Your font choice will in determine how your readership feels. This is why you should get familiar with the psychology of font choices. Just take a look at LinkedIn’s font choice for instance – Sans Serif. It is a clean font that talks business and gives authority to the entire platform.
When you are choosing the font for your blog, you have to have several things on your mind:
- What is your goal?
- Which emotion do you want to evoke in your audience?
- Which topics are you writing about on your blog?
Knowing these will help you to pick a font that reflects the nature of your blog, which will, with the combination of right colors, put a crown on your web design efforts. Let’s go over the typeface psychology as briefly as we can.
The Serif fonts are used to communicate tradition, respect, reliability, and comfort. It is the primary choice of none else but Google itself. We have already mentioned Sans Serif fonts in the LinkedIn reference. Besides being clean and business-like, Sans Serif fonts reflect stability, objectives. and they appear modern.
The script font family is known for elegance, affection, and creativity. You can quite often see them on photography and healthy food blogs. On the other hand, Display fonts are friendly, amusing and somewhat unique. They can be an awesome choice if you ever decide to get a logo for your website.
Playing with fonts is fun and it can produce amazing results in terms of increasing engagement and driving the visitor’s attention where you want it. Feel free to read more about well-executed font combinations on the web.
Respect Industry Standards
Before you revisit your blog website design, you should be aware of two things. First, when reading articles online, people skim through the content. This is why you should break your text in smaller chunks and add engaging images, data-driven graphs, and infographics to keep them engaged and occupied. You can easily test this by transforming an old, dry blog post into an infographic. To address this issue, you will have to revisit your website layout.
This is the only way to entice them to stay. Provide them with a layout that reflects logic and gives them condensed information in terms of what they should expect if they decide to stay.
And second, reading things on the screen, whether it is a desktop computer or mobile device, is hard. You have to make it as easy as possible for people to read your blog. This doesn’t only apply to your writing style and how long your articles are going to be, but to the fonts, colors, and contrast you use in your blog website design.
You don’t have to reinvent things that have already been established by experienced bloggers and web designers:
- Use whitespace to enable the readers to rest their eyes and make your blog posts less distracting. Whitespace doesn’t have to be necessarily white, as it gives off a harsh glare.
- The best option for the text color is dark. It goes well with light grey, pale yellow, and any pastel background.
- Don’t use italics as they are very challenging to read.
- Don’t break out of your page layout when formatting blog posts. Give your best to remain visually consistent on every page.
Color Sets the Mood
While you may not know about the psychology behind typefaces, we are sure that you are familiar with the one behind colors. Colors do not only affect our emotions, but they can also affect our attitude overall. A branch of science working to discover the nature of the human behavior-color bond is called color psychology.
So, what has this science unraveled so far? The colors you use in your website color scheme, backgrounds, popups, menus, headlines, graphics, buttons, etc. definitely set the mood for your readership. All you have to learn is how to use the right color the right way. It may sound hard, but it really isn’t.
For instance, if your audience consists of more women than men, you should use more blue, purple and green colors. If you want to set the mood for the men, you should stick to black, green, and blue ones.
Every element in your web design will have a unique impact on your blog post success. As you can see, there is a number of easy to do fine-tunes that you can pursue even today. Be advised though, that some of the things we have discussed here are not set in stone. This is why it is important to read authoritative blogs on this topic and check for updates regularly.