How to Improve Your Blog Reader’s Experience

user-experienceUser experience is an important part of running a successful blog. It can also be overwhelming, as so many different parts make up the whole.

From the content you present, to the design, to the speed of your loading, there is a ton to take into account.

These WordPress plugins may just help you out.

W3 Total Catch

W3 Total Catch

Living in a digital age, we are pretty impatient nowadays. So when a website won’t load quickly, or properly, we are prone to just forgetting about it and finding another one to replace it. You don’t want this to happen with your readers. So get this plugin, which optimizes performance and makes your site run smoothly. This is great for people who are hosting media that requires downloads, as well.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce

Planning on selling something? You wouldn’t be the first blogger to begin offering physical products, whether that is ebooks, mugs, or even related industry items. WooCommerce creates a simple shopping cart program that lets you create a store right in your WordPress blog. It comes with multiple themes, full support, various related plugins, and more. Major companies use WooCommerce, like FedEx, so it is a pretty big deal at this point.

Webinar Jam

Webinar Jam

Webinars are becoming the next big thing, especially in the marketing world. You can create your own and stream them to users using this helpful plugin created by Marketing Genesis. If you are planning on hitting a convention or conference this year, this is a must have for live-streaming event coverage, or just a way to hold interviews or other media shows that integrate seamlessly into your blog.

Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms

There are some brands lately that have been using in depth questionnaires as an alternative to payment for their premium services. Some blogs have been asking for surveys in order to get free copies of books, or special content for VIP readers only.

This is such a great tactic, as it provides a feeling of exclusivity, maintains a free business model, or provides marketing data that can be crucial for growth. Gravity Forms allows you to create corms of any kind, long or short, thorough or basic, for whatever reason you may have. That incluses multi-page layout forms, and a whole lot more.

Other Ways To Improve Their Time On Your Blog

You can do more than install plugins to improve user experience on your site.

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Good Content

Nothing quite beats the power of amazing content. It can inform, inspire, and draw in a lot of attention. It can boost your site through a single viral hit, or cause controversy that can be hard to recover from. Whatever the result, you should be focusing plenty of effort on making sure yours is the very best it can be. Failing that will quickly render the need for other tricks useless.

Stop Thinking Numbers, Start Thinking Value

“Each post has to be exactly 750 words, and  have a 3% keyword density based on these keywords that we found in this marketing study, and it has to be posted every week on Wednesday at precisely 7:32 AM EST, and have this many images featuring these elements, as found effective by this case study on the most heavily pinned blog posts on Pinterest in 2013!” Look, data is useful. But there is no perfect number combination that will ensure your website’s success.

Calm down, take a deep breath, and write naturally and enjoyable. Aim to offer something of value, not something that reaches a certain value. While a post of 350 words without any major keyword saturation might not have the SEO oomph of a 1,000 word article with a 5% keyword enrichment rate, it could be more useful and have a higher rate of sharing on social media, for example.

Get Rid Of The Clutter

One of the most annoying common sights on blogs these days is the sale popup. You are trying to read a post, and a box shows up over that post telling you about the latest ebook available for free, or seminar with spots left for eager learners. Meanwhile, that same information is right in the sidebar, where I can see it at my leisure.

These little extras clutter your layout, annoy users, and don’t offer much by way of conversion anymore. There is a reason that minimalism has remained the only consistent design and UI trend, every year. Your readers want simplicity, and don’t want to have to fight through popups and invasive ads to see what you have posted.

Formatting Is Everything

How is it possible that we have gotten this far into the blogging revolution, and yet are still seeing so many formatting mistakes? It boggles the mind, every time you witness a post that is an endless blog of text with minimal spacing. Do you see how this particular post is formatted? It is made to be easy to read on a screen, whether that is mobile or desktop. Never write a blog post in the way a book would be. You want plenty of headers, bulletpoints and numbers when necessary, a clear font, and anything needed to make viewing easier on the eyes.

Images Ain’t Just For The Header

If you have ever read Cracked, you will know a bit part of their gimmick is images through the text with witty captions. You don’t have to do the same (it very well may not fit your particular site), but you can spare a couple more visuals in your blog posts. It breaks up the text, adds context, and redraws the reader’s attention. It also stops skimmers long enough to focus on the next bit of text, so they don’t miss anything.

Have any tips or plugins for user experience on your blog? Let us know in the comments!

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