How to structure your blog design to get the best reader engagement

Posted by Marc Fabregas-Perez on 27 Sep 2016 reading time

  • Most marketers (or at least the successful ones) are aware that they key to a successful blogging strategy is made up of engagement and consistency.

    Writing blogs is something like playing a sport in the sense that the more you practice, the better you get. Even so, the thing that makes the difference in terms of engagement can be down to how your blog posts are structured.

    You may have already seen our earlier post on how to wrap it up with visual and imagery which takes a look at the importance of images in design, but let’s focus on functional components you can include to improve your reader’s experience when visiting your blog.

  • Include an author bio
    Include an author bio

    Including a bio is something that not only creates a positive impact, but helps to establish trust and authority.

    Some components of a good bio might include:

    • An image or avatar.
    • Be short and concise. Let’s say around 30 words.
    • Include awards and experience if relevant and appropriate.
    • Be personable. Talk about your interests outside of the professional environment too!

    There are quite a few places to create your profile image, but because of its ease of implementation with WordPress sites, we suggest you use Gravatar.

  • Add reading times
    Add reading times

    In a hectic digital world where attention is difficult to grab, providing reading times for posts can be a blessing.

    By including reading time, you will connect better with your visitors and offer a layer of authenticity as to expectations on their time. You’ll be able to use the reading time data to get an idea if longer or shorter posts are getting the highest levels of engagement too.

    As important, if you find that longer posts are suffering from drop-offs in interaction, it’ll be a clear justification to split some of your articles into multi-part posts.

  • Engage with CTAs
    Engage with CTAs

    Did you know that 90% of visitors who read your headline also read your CTA?

    CTAs (calls to action) are a great way to boost conversions, but they will be useless if you are not using them accordingly. Here are a few tips that will help you get people’s interest:

    • Think about your CTA location. Is better to load in a sidebar, in between content or in the corner of a page?
    • Think about your CTA context. Ask yourself, is the action a logical and relevant progression from the content I’m reading? Am I suggesting an action that is further down the inbound process than the article would suggest?
    • Think about your CTA content. The words you use can be the difference between a click and not getting one. Make sure your CTA headline, text and button all sing from the same hymn sheet!
    • Think about your CTA design. Does it have precedence alongside the rest of my blog content? Is it in-line with my branding? Does it wow readers into action?

    Recently, we’ve seen CTAs that load as a full page before an article, some that load as pop-ups and others that only show when a user reaches a certain waypoint on the page.

    What is right for your audience may differ, so don’t be afraid to test which CTA formats are driving the highest conversions for you!

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  • Showcase related content
    Showcase related content

    Once your site visitor finishes reading an article, they are primed to share other relevant content. Nurturing and education (in the marketing sense) may take multiple touch points and people will be often interested in reading related content that helps to solve their problem.

    When done right, related content helps to increase the length of time people spend on your site, and as result the likelihood of conversions taking place.

    Notice we used the word ‘content’ (not post). Remember that your entire site’s content should be a tool to attract and engage the right type of visitor. This means linking from a blog post to a case study, service or even a resource should all be part of the natural journey progression.

     

  • Add links within your content
    Add links within your content

    Linking within your content serves a number of useful purposes for both humans and machines.

    For readers, having options to expand on your content ideas (whether by internal or external link) is essential. Those who want to dive beyond the surface can do so with ease, and your authority as a true thought leader is further established.

    For search engines, having internally linked pages helps ensure your own content is indexed appropriately and within a timely fashion.

    With this in mind, why not take a look at the most recent Google algorithm changes that may have an impact on your content approach?

  • We hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and find some proactive ways to apply the tips mentioned to your own blog setup.

    Not sure these tips make sense for you, or even have some other suggestion that you think we should include? Why not reach out in the comments section below?

    For more input on your design + dev questions, including those related to your blog, why not reach out on Tuesdays @11am. Our team run a weekly design + development workshop, where design advice like the points above are shared!

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Posted by Marc Fabregas-Perez

Marc is our digital marketing manager here at Debunc. With a wealth of experience working on social campaigns, SEO + PPC, he is an expert at boosting brand awareness. In his downtime, you might catch Marc on the ski slopes or playing tennis.