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If you are a new blogger, this might be a new question you have; why is user experience important for your blog? …
And the answer is very simple; the User Experience of a Website is the new KING online!
I’m sure you have heard the quote; “Content is King Online” – and that is partially true. But, what statistics and consistent testing have been showing over the last few years is telling us there is a new king in town.
Your content might be the greatest around, but if the user experience of your blog site sucks, high quality content alone will not be enough to make your visitors stick around and perhaps bookmark your blog.
The truth is the success of your blog site will depend a lot on the user experience!
And as technology is evolving fast, user experience is growing along with it. User experience is becoming a big component in the success of a business.
This is because it is in human nature to go with what is more comfortable and easy to use than otherwise.
Now, do not get me wrong here, publishing high quality content is still a very important key for the success of a blog site / website online – but the user experience is just as (in some cases more) important!
Just think about it, if a blog site you visit is too cluttered, it has too many items in the menus, too many banners, the colors hurt your eyes, and links and things are just all over the place, etc. – would you really stick around and honestly say that you “like” that blog site (regardless of the content it provides)?
Now, you might say “Yeah, I think I would” …. but the numbers never lie baby!!
Even though, some people might say that what really matters is the content of the blog and not really the design and user experience, when you do a complete test (with visitors, search engine rankings, etc.), the real truth is revealed.
And that truth is the fact that the User Experience of a site has a HUGE impact in the Search Engine Rankings, Conversion Numbers, Bounce Rate, etc.
Here are two eye opening statistics from 2015:
- 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
94% of a user’s first impressions are design-related.
The user experience is very important for any type of website online. And in this case I’m talking about a blog site.
This is something I have learned more about over the years of building blogs and blogging.
Once I’ve ealized how important the user experience is, I started to play with my blog’s design and layout. If you have been following IM-Blog101 for a while, you can see how different it looks now. ;)
I have changed the position of widgets, banners, menu items, colors, logos, font size, font style, etc. – Anything I could change on my blog, you name it, I would change it around and test different things.
And let me tell you that I have seen the improvements in the numbers (bounce rate, conversions, rankings, etc) by testing and learning from the results.
Here is another smart thing that I would do …..
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I would also pay very close attention to popular blog’s designs – to see what is really working for them. Because, chances are that a popular blog online knows about the user experience and how important it is – so, they would also spend time and money testing what works best.
One great tip, and rule of thumb, when it comes to working on the user experience of your blog online – is to keep things simple!
People do not like too many options!
That is the truth. And this is a proven fact – that has been tested on people.
Let me share one interesting study with you.
The Jam Study
In 1995, Sheena Iyengar, the author of “The Art of Choosing” and a professor of business at Columbia University – conducted what she called “The Jam Study”.
Professor Iyengar and her assistants set up a booth of samples of Wilkin & Sons jams at a California Gourmet Market.
Every few hours, they would switch from offering a selection of 24 jams to a group of 6 jams. On average, the customers tasted two jams, regardless of the size of the assortment, and each customer received a coupon good for $1 off one Wilkin & Sons jam.
The Interesting Part
60% of customers were drawn to the large assortment, while only 40% stopped by the small one. BUT, 30% of the people who had sampled from the small assortment decided to buy jam, while only 3% of those confronted with the two dozen jams made a purchase.
This is a very interesting finding. And it shows how people can get overwhelmed with too many choices and end up not making any choice or making the wrong one.
Now, there has been some debate on what this study has revealed on human behavior, and the conclusion is that “too many choices” is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make a difference that in large numbers can make or break a business.
I wanted to share this interesting study with you, so you can see where I’m going here with the user experience for your blog site. It is very important that you make it a big priority!
Simplicity goes a long way!
Just take a look at the simplicity of the Menu section on these popular blog sites in the internet marketing niche:
These are some of the top bloggers in this industry, and they do know their stuff when it comes to blogging and a blog’s design. There are reasons why they keep their Menu Items to a minimum.
I wanted to point the Menu Section out because I have seen many new blogs cluttered with menu items.
Keeping the Menu as simple as possible is very important!
It keeps the visitor focused on what they really came to your blog to do, to read your blog post!
I highly recommend you to go to each one of the blogs mentioned above, and take a look around at their design and layout. Pay close attention and come up with your own creative ideas for your blog.
Here are a few tips to help you with the user experience of your blog.
– The first tip, obviously, is to keep things very simple!
You do not want to overwhelm your visitors. What you actually want to do is get your visitors to really focus on what they came to your blog to do – and that is to read your blog post, fall in love with your content and blog and subscribe to your newsletter (email list)!
Do not take the concentration away from your reader by smothering him with too many affiliate links, too many banners, too many popups, and too many opt-in forms.
If you pay close attention to the most popular blogs online, they definitely keep things very simple and give their visitor only about two choices; focus on the blog post or/and subscribe to the newsletter. That’s it!
Of course, you can also have one or two banners lying around and maybe have some call-to-actions for your own products and services you want to offer – and that is fine.
Just make sure you do not overwhelm your visitors with too many options when they land on one of your pages. Understanding this simple concept, very well, can make a huge difference in the success of your blog.
A simple shift in your blog’s design and structure can make a big difference in a lot of things!
– People love speed!
Make sure your website loads very fast (in less than 3-4 seconds). You only have a few seconds before the visitor decides to leave and go look at another similar blog.
In today’s world, most things are now “On Demand” – and this is making people very impatient. If your blog site takes too long to load and navigate through, the visitor will leave and perhaps never even come back!
Do not make your blog site be known as a “slow-loading” website online. The speed of your blog is crucial, not only for the traffic flow but also for the search engine rankings.
– Know EXACTLY what your visitors want!
It is very important to keep your visitors focused on what they are looking for. This is why keeping things simple is crucial, so you don’t distract your visitor and they can focus on your blog post.
Just imagine, you took a long time to create a masterpiece for a blog post, it is an EPIC blog post and you really want people to read it all because you know they will love it – but if your blog page has too many distractions, how do you expect your visitor to really focus on your masterpiece?
You need to put yourself in the shoes of your visitor and give them the best content AND the best experience!
– Colors do matter!
Here is an interesting Infographic, on how Colors can also make a big difference in the numbers of a website.
++ Click Image to Enlarge ++
Source: How Colors Affect Conversions – Infographic
In conclusion, do your best to give your visitors the best user experience on your blog site, you will be very glad you did. If you really take great care of your visitor’s experience, they will love your blog and if you add high quality content to this equation, you will hit the blogging jackpot!
These are some of the most important tips on user experience I’m going to share with you today. I don’t want to make this a very long blog post – I just wanted to make you aware of the importance of the user experience of a blog online.
Here is the last thing I’m going to share with you …..
And I think this is a very important reason why you should really, REALLY, make the user experience for your blog a Top Priority;
Think about this for a minute ……
One of the best traffic sources for a blog online are the search engines – especially Google.
And the search engines are very smart. They do track as much as possible, to be able to deliver to their users the best experience ever.
Without the Internet Users, the search engines would be out of business. So, what would the search engine’s top priority be?
Taking good care of THEIR Users!
They want to deliver the Best and most Relevant Content to them AND also give them the best Online Experience.
Now, picture this scenario;
Someone goes to Google.com and searches for information they really need ……
….. your blog post happens to be ranking within the top 5 search results for a keyword they just typed in, so they click on your blog post – go to it – and then it takes like 6+ seconds to load ……
…. and not only that, your design and your blog’s structure is pretty crappy – you have like 20 links on your menu, like 10 banners, and you are showing like 15 social sharing buttons, etc. …..
Chances are that visitor is going to leave your blog post almost immediately!
AND, since the search engine is tracking everything, including the amount of time someone spends on your blog pages – when someone lands on one of your blog posts and leaves after 10-20 seconds, what do you think that data is telling the search engine about the content on your blog?
This will cause your bounce rate to go up and that will make your blog lose search engine rankings very fast!
Remember; if you please the search engine users, you will please the search engine, and in return they will rank you better and send you more targeted traffic!
You don’t even need many backlinks, in order to rank up and get a lot of organic traffic, if you just take great care of the user experience and also deliver the best high quality content to your visitors! :D
I don’t think most new bloggers online really realize the real importance of their blog’s user experience. And if they just tweaked a few things, their numbers will increase tremendously!
I hope you take this information very seriously and get to work!
Keep on blogging smart, and keep on building your online empire!
Thank you very much for passing by and reading this.
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Talk to you soon.