In this article, we’re going to take a look at your blog through the eyes of a first-time reader.
Because you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Check Your Blog Through The Eyes Of A First Time Visitor
You built your blog from the ground up and you know it like the back of your hand. You know where everything is in your archive and you know where your About and Contact pages are. You even know exactly which post your newsletter opt-in form is buried in. The link’s right there. See?
You may know your way around your blog with your eyes closed, but what about your first-time readers? Can they find everything they’re looking for? More important, are they seeing everything you want them to see?
Maybe it’s time for an audit…
Get together with a friend or relative and watch while they surf your blog. Don’t say anything to lead them around and don’t answer their questions. Just watch.
- How are they navigating?
- Where are they clicking?
- What are they reading?
- What did they skip over or miss?
- Where are they pausing?
Once they’ve spent some time surfing your blog, ask them some questions.
- What was their first impression?
- How did your blog make them feel?
- When they first landed on your blog, what did they think it was about?
- What do they think it’s about now that they’ve spent some time on your blog?
- What do they think of your theme?
- What do they think of your sidebars?
- Where they able to find answers to their questions?
- Do they have questions now?
- Was it easy to read?
- Did they understand what they were reading?
- What do they think you’re trying to achieve with your blog?
You may come up with dozens of other questions, too, but the important thing is to compare your friends answers to your own objectives. For example, if you want your blog to have a “dark” feeling because you’re blogging about vampires and your friend says he felt like he was visiting Disneyland, then you know you need to make some changes.
Improving that first-impression for first-time readers is important if you want to improve your blog’s stickiness. Many readers are still not familiar with blogs and the way the posts roll into the archives. If they can’t find the information they’re looking for they’re not going to come back. And if they do come back, but for the wrong reasons, then you need to know that, too, so you can make adjustments to your marketing plan.
So, check your blog through the eyes of a first time visitor today and come back here to tell us about your results in the comments.