Design Importance: Does Your Blog Design Really Matters?
Does the design of your blog really matter?
Some say yes, and some say no.
Naturally, I have my own opinion which I’ll be happy to share with you, but first – let me ask you one question.
How will you ever know your blog design works if you’ve never changed it?
Maybe it only appears to work.
Maybe it could work better.
Seriously, if you have nothing to compare it to then you can’t honestly say the design you’re using now is the best design for your blog.
But should you just tear it down and start all over again?
1. Ask Your Readers
Your readers are a good place to start.
Write a blog post asking your readers what they like and dislike about your blog.
You might be surprised.
I recently ran a review contest here at Dukeo and found out that one of my readers’ biggest complaint was that my blog lacked a “search this site” button.
If you have a responsive list, send them a poll.
Offer them a free download for a quick, honest response.
2. Analyze Your Stats
Your bounce rate alone can provide some insights.
If people are landing on your blog, especially your homepage, and immediately clicking away, then chances are there’s something about your design that’s turning them off.
3. Visit Your Competitors
Take a look around to see what your competitor’s sites look like.
Pay particular attention to those who outrank you.
Search their content to see if they’ve recently put through a design change and see why they did it and what they changed.
Most bloggers don’t just surprise their visitors and completely change their layout over night.
They’ll post about it and ask for opinions, first.
4. Do Some Research
You’ll find plenty of experts online talking about the psychological effects of different colors and color combinations.
You’ll also find experts with up-to-date advice about blog design and layouts and how they’re adapted for different audiences.
Do some research yourself before you start making changes.
Just because the majority of your readers like pink fluffy bunnies doesn’t mean that’s the best choice for your new blog background.
In my most humble personal opinion I believe your blog design should be one of your highest priorities.
So much of your success depends on that first impression.
I also believe your design should be constantly evolving.
For example, a year ago none of my readers even mentioned that search feature and now it’s the one feature they want most.
Changing your design doesn’t mean you have to tear it down to the foundation and completely rebuild.
Work on one element at a time and use reader opinion and split testing to find the best solution.
But never assume your blog design doesn’t matter because it’s the first thing your visitors notice and you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
If first-time visitors don’t like your design they’re not going to stop and tell you why – they’re just going to leave.
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