If you think the company blog is dead, think again.
Half of website users still say company blogs are useful, according to a recent website features survey by Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews firm in Washington, D.C.
Blogs establish brand authority and voice by covering topics that are relevant to their target customers.
They can also help your company’s search engine optimization (SEO) by capturing key terms to rank in Google search results pages.
Company blogging is a crowded field, however. Blog syndication platforms like Medium make it harder for your blog to get noticed.
Rejuvenate Your Business Blog with These 3 UX Design Tips
If you want to revive or strengthen your company’s blog in 2019, use these 3 user-experience (UX) tips to get your content noticed:
1. Design Cleverly
2. Create Inventive Content
3. Strategize with Navigation
1. Design Your Blog Cleverly
Make reading your blog a mentally and visually stimulating experience. People appreciate attractive web design, and 83% find it useful when they browse a website. A beautifully designed blog keeps people reading.
Web design helps make long-form content appealing to readers. Designers use white space, or the negative space between image or text elements on a page, to provide contrast between colorful images or large blocks of text.
Breaking up long-form content with white space makes it easier for readers to scan.
Blogs also benefit from good use of the page’s visual hierarchy, the arrangement of visual elements that determines how people see and absorb your content.
Visual hierarchy prioritizes content by placing it at the top of the page and using items with high visual prominence such as images, videos, or other elements with color and contrast. Text and smaller, less colorful images move to the bottom of the page.
Use visual hierarchy to make your blog content scannable. According to Clutch, less than 10% of people go online to read an article thoroughly. Making blog content scannable can keep that small number of people reading.
There are several popular scanning patterns, but eye-tracking research from the Nielsen Norman Group shows that the “F” shaped scanning pattern works best for long-form content such as company blogs.
The heatmap above shows how people scan pages with long form content. The red represents areas where people looked the most.
By using design to your advantage, you make your company blog more visually interesting and enjoyable for readers.
2. Create Inventive Blog Content
Keep people engaged on your blog by incorporating useful images, graphics, videos, or other visual content.
Consider adding video or audio elements to supplement your blog content.
Brian Lacey, CEO of Mobomo, a top web design firm in northern Virginia, thinks video will be the next big UX trend in 2019.
“Video is kind of king,” Lacey said. “More and more of our customers are asking for voice related elements. Podcasts and video are what they want on their site – less reading and more hearing and watching.”
Despite the growing popularity of video and podcast content, your company can still earn SEO benefits by combining long-form written content and videos or podcasts.
For example, SEO firm MOZ releases “Whiteboard Friday” blog content weekly. Whiteboard Fridays combine a short educational video with a text transcription that includes screen shots of the video’s main points.
Combining types of content gives readers options for how to consume it. People value descriptions and visualizations equally when browsing a website, so more options will improve the experience and expand your content’s reach.
3. Strategize with Navigation
Easy navigation matters to people browsing websites. Clutch’s data shows that over 90% believe easy and intuitive navigation is useful when browsing a website.
Make sure your company blog has a clearly structured layout allowing people to sort through topics and navigate to what they want easily.
Start by structuring the main page of your blog: Use featured images and typography to attract people to different articles and visual hierarchy to draw their eyes to titles and calls-to-action (CTAs). These signals tell people where they should navigate.
If your blog covers a range of business topics, use keyword tags to help your readers search for topics. Include a search function on your blog page as well so people can easily find the blog topics they want.
Finally, make it simple for people to get back to the home page and main blog page while they browse. Confusing websites frustrate users, and frustrated users are more likely to leave your website for good.
A Well-Designed Blog with Useful Content Is Valuable
Blogs are an opportunity for your business to provide relevant, useful information to readers and potential customers.
To make your company blog stand out, work with a top web design firm to make your blog visually engaging and scannable, using white space and visual hierarchy to draw the readers’ eyes.
Focus on content in mind when designing your site and experiment with video and audio content to supplement your company blog and reach a wider audience.
Finally, make sure your blog’s navigation is seamless and intuitive for your readers, so they can get to what they want quickly. Following these 3 tips will make your company blog stand out in 2019.
Our guest author, Kelsey McKeon, is a content writer and marketer at Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews firm in Washington, D.C.
She covers web design and UX research topics.