There are millions of blogs scattered over the Internet and if you’ve done your research then you know how many you have to compete with. The one thing that most bloggers forget is this: Most of your readers are not bloggers, which means they don’t understand how they work. Set your blog apart from competitors by making sure you understand the four characteristics of a user-friendly blog or website.
Loading time: The average readers doesn’t have the patience to sit there and wait for your site to load. Some even think that if it doesn’t instantly appear there’s a problem. Whether they impatient or ill-informed doesn’t matter. If it takes too long for your blog to load they’re going to go somewhere else.
Easy to navigate: Most of your readers have no clue what an archives is or how to search it. They don’t know that blog content usually rolls to the bottom as new content is added. They don’t know that you have a contact page so they can send you an email. They don’t know the difference between blog post categories and pages.
Assume that every reader who visits your blog has never been on a blog before. Make sure all your navigation links are prominently displayed and working. Explain what they are and what they lead to. “Visit this page to read more about me.” “Subscribe by placing your email address in this form. Your privacy is guaranteed.” “Click on the Training Tips category to see all my recent blog posts about housebreaking your puppy.”
Easy navigation also means getting rid of all the clutter that’s preventing your readers from finding those important navigation links. If those ad banners aren’t generating any income, get rid of them so your readers can see more of your real content.
Your presentation counts: So many bloggers assume that their readers will understand industry jargon, or they already know the basic steps to do something and they’re here to learn the nuances.
Again, you have to blog with the assumption that everyone who visits your blog is a beginner. Don’t just toss those industry terms around, explain what they mean. Don’t start in the middle of a project, start at the very beginning for those readers who need all the information.
If you’re afraid your more advanced readers will get bored and leave, then break up your blog posts and link out to more detailed information for those readers who need it.
Search engine optimization: Writing for your readers is your first priority but you also need to focus on search engine optimization. Most of your readers are going to find your content via an organic search, either through their favorite search engine or by using the search box on your blog.
Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for by focusing on keywords and staying on-topic. Instead of focusing on several keywords and writing a post that rambles on and on, write several shorter posts and get to the point.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!