Although I’m not a web designer, over the years I have looked at thousands and thousands and thousands OF BLOGS.
I’ve added them up and I’ve come to the figure of 10,000. Yep, during my SEO & Content Marketing career so far I’ve looked at 10,000 blogs - or more.
In that time, I have come to notice a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t. Of course, to a certain extent, blog design is about personal taste. And, design trends change quickly.
That is why this post focuses on 3 really small changes which can have a big impact on your blog.
And by big I mean, they can literally transform & elevate the entire perception of your blog for your audience (especially point number one). Cool huh!
Let’s get started then.
Design Tweak 1: Make Sure You Have A Branded Favicon
Navigate to your site right now. Look in the top left-hand corner of your browser, if you have lots of tabs open it will be the top right. Do you see a symbol there? What is this symbol?
The favicon for Ginger Marketing is our logo. What is yours?
Adding a personal favicon makes a big difference to the perception of your blog.
If your favicon is a picture of an alligator, the blogger logo, the WordPress logo or any other generic logo - please, please, please spend 10 minutes & get this changed !! I cannot even begin to explain the difference it makes when navigating to a blog and seeing a branded vs a generic favicon.
As a Marketing Manager, my immediate thought is, this blogger doesn’t really have their brand together.
If they don’t have their brand together, then why would I place my client’s brand next to theirs.
I’m not saying that it’s a complete deal breaker. However, it is the first thing I notice when visiting a blog and gives me an immediate impression about how it is run.
Ana from Faded Spring does this really well. Her favicon is a tiny little pink sparrow which fits with the spring theme from her brand name.
Check yours now and ask this question.
What kind of impression would you like to give to prospective clients?
Design Tweak 2: Increase The White Space
The second thing I notice about your blog is how I feel navigating it. Does it make me want to stay and read your content, or am I feeling overwhelmed with too much going on?
The difference between feeling space, or feeling overwhelmed is in large part down to the amount of white space you have.
What is white space?
White space is intentionally blank areas on your blog with nothing going on.
Leonardo Di Vinci once said, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. Whether you believe this from a design principle or not, when it comes to your blog simplicity is important.
Increasing your white space forces you to make decisions about what is important for your audience.
Don’t make your audience decide.
You need to do that for them. It may seem counterintuitive, but readers just want to enjoy the experience & do a minimal amount of thinking & decision making - because that is what they have been doing all day.
Increasing white space is particularly relevant to blog posts. Gina Caro from Gypsy Soul does this really well. Check out my zero waste beauty routine & see what I mean.
Gina uses spacing on her blog posts really well. The posts are broken up with big, bold subtitles, large full-width images, and regular paragraph breaks.
If you look at the white space, it’s pretty consistent all the way down the post & in the sidebar.
This gives a fantastic feeling of space and encourages the reader to scroll and read all the way to the end of the post.
Design Tweak 3: Use The Credit Space Under Your Images
This is a tip I am super excited to share. Because it comes from one of the oldest and greatest copywriters of all time, David Ogilvy. It’s a very simple, piece of advice. But, when you really sit back & think about it, can literally transform your site (and if you play it well, your conversions)
I’ve started implementing this on our blog and will be rolling it out to our guest posting clients soon.
The space underneath your images is usually used for what? It’s probably
b) Credit for the image
c) Explaining the image
Did you know that this space is one of the most viewed areas of your entire blog post!
Naturally, your audiences eye is drawn to the images on your post and then to the space underneath it.
Why not use this space to get your point across?
We all know that readers like to skim read.
That is the reason we use subtitles and bullet points to break up the text. Use your images in the same way. Save the space underneath to get a point across which you want your reader to have a few split seconds to think about before they move on.
You might be thinking, but where does the image credit go? Well, why not credit on top of the image instead? Who said the credit needs to go underneath.
By placing a credit underneath your image, you are effectively giving another website free advertising and the most viewed space in your blog post.
So, there are my top 3 small design tweaks for a big impact.
If you have some further tips, or some comments on any of these please let us know about it in the comments below!
Written by Cheryl A Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Director Of Ginger Marketing (unless stated otherwise)