Blog Website Layout: Tips For First Impressions

I have spent a lot of time over the year auditing blog website layout for my clients and in different marketing groups.

First impressions can make or break you. You don’t want people to just visit your site and leave. You want them to look around, opt in for your email and know what you are about.

During blog audits, I offer quick suggestions on making the best impression to enhance user experience when someone gets to your site. I have come up with some tips to optimize the traffic coming to your site.

These blog website layout suggestions are going to maximize your efforts in finding your ideal client, building your email list and creating a great first impression.

Above The Fold

A note about this term:

“Above The Fold” is an old term that originated with newspapers.

But the idea here refers to what a site visitor can view before having to scroll.

How are you going to grab their attention? You want them to know who you are and what you are about with as little information as possible. Above the fold is one of the most critical areas that you want to optimize to make quick, lasting first impressions.

Be concise, clear and specific.

First Impression

Logo

Your logo should be pleasant and designed well, but also easy to read. The title of what you do is probably revealing, so you want it to be legible and not too stylized.

Tagline

Your tagline is really important on your blog website layout.

It needs to tell someone clearly what you do using as few words as possible.

It can’t be too niche or using “insider” language, because then regular traffic won’t know who you are and what you do.

The longer it is, the less likely is it that someone is going to read it. Don’t be vague. Get right to the heart of what you do. Know your niche. If your services are too broad, it might be time to do some avatar work and niche down more.

Opt Ins

Pop Up Delay vs. Regular Email Form

I have a client who has a regular email form and a pop up, and since launching her blog…

100% of her opt ins have been from the pop up.

You want a regular email form available in other places on your site to give everyone the opportunity to opt in, even if they close out the pop up.

I recommend a delay on the pop up. It seems less spammy in my opinion. Give people a chance to get a first impression before asking them for their email address. I love a 6 second delay, just enough time for them to take a glance but not so long that they might leave before they have an opportunity to opt in.

Value Based Opt Ins

Your opt in should be value based. People don’t want to give up their email for free. The trick to to figure out what your niche wants that you can offer for free. For more tips on uncovering your niche and figuring out what they really want and need, Check This Out!

And then make sure that the pop up is clear about what they are getting in exchange for giving up their email address

Be Specific

Most people are not going to give you their email address to subscribe to a newsletter. This is just not specific enough. They need to know exactly what value they are getting.

User Experience

Attractiveness

You want your site to be visually pleasing. You might consider testing brand colors to see what people respond to best. Get feedback from your peers or friends.

You might consider getting some help in designing your layout. I love using templates.

Styling and Branding

This is something you have probably already considered, and something that might change over time. What are you drawn to, and what colors and fonts appeal to your ideal client?

I have found Pinterest to be a great quick test to see what colors people tend to click on and what they might ignore more often. Pinterest is a very visual platform and it gets fast responses.

Easy To Follow Menu

Your blog website layout should have an easy to follow menu.

I personally prefer limited options with logical drop down menus. It’s also important for them to see that you have things for sale if you have products available, so have a page for your products and free offers.

Blog

Opt In Forms

In addition to your initial pop up, make the opt in form available in other places. If you are trying to book calls with clients, add a scheduling link into some of your relevant blog posts.

Skimmable Content

The truth is that most people don’t read much anymore. They skim.

This is why it is so critical to break up your content and make it easily skimmable.

Make sections short with frequent headlines and page breaks so that someone could scroll through the page and get a quick idea of what is included in your article and what bullets you’ll be hitting.

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