Yesterday I was having breakfast with a friend who has no interest in starting a blog and doesn’t know anything about blogging, online marketing, traffic, niche, etc. These are all foreign to her.
But when I was trying to explain what I do and what a theme was, I mentioned that it’s the look and the display of what you see on a website.
That she understood and we started talking about reasons why she and I would leave a site.
Here’s how you can keep your blog user-friendly based on a non-techie, non-blogger potential visitor’s feedback.
Restrict the ads & videos
I understand that making money with your blog is your goal, but if your visitor has to wait and wait while all these ads and videos are loading, he/she will not stick around, no matter how good your content is, and your goal of making money won’t be achieved.
You need the visitors to stay on your blog and then maybe they will click on these ads. If they leave, you don’t make money.
Take a look at this screenshot I took of this blog’s post I landed on. Seriously!!
It’s stupid to ask me to read the text which is surrounded by ads. There were 4 ads and one popup showing on this above-the-fold space, you think I’m going to stay here and scroll down, which will take forever, to try to read the rest of the post? No way….
Rethink your fonts
Small font for your text is not user-friendly. It should be an easy-to-read font like Open Sans or Poppins or similar, and should be set at 16 or 18 px.
Pick a black or dark gray color for your content on a white background.
Do not use a cursive font for the text. You can however use one for your headlines, as long as they are easy to read.
Highlight your links
Links in your top menu or your sidebar can be the same color as your content text, like black or charcoal grey, because they are on their own and not within text.
The links in your content however have to be a different color and one that is very visible. The visitor has to see right away that it is a link. When you decided on your color scheme , make sure you have one color that will stand out and that you can use for the links.
If your home page is full of ads, images, text, and not enough white space, and you don’t tell the visitor what you’re about or where to go next, he/she won’t take the time to find their way.
There are so many other blogs around that nobody will waste their precious time trying to figure it out.
Make sure it you have a home page that clearly shows what you want your visitor to do once he/she gets there.
If you are offering services, have a section for each one with either a brief description under an icon or image with a link to a full page where you talk about that service.
If you are not offering services and your site is a blog, on the home page, keep the number of posts showing to maximum 5 and use excerpts for those with a small thumbnail. Nobody wants to keep scrolling to read the next post.
Your top main menu should be clean and not crowded.
Limit your categories
Categories are meant to organize your content and make it easy for the visitors to find what they are looking for or explore some more.
Instead of a long list of categories, stick to about 5 and then use sub-categories or tags.
So let’s take a recipe site for example. You could have as categories: Appetizers – Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner – Desserts and assign one of those to the recipe. You could use a sub-category (as a dropdown item) to narrow it down. A recipe for a chocolate chip cookie would go in the desserts category with a sub-category of ‘cookies’ and a tag of “chocolate”.
Revisit your popups
I don’t mind popups if they don’t show up until at least I had time to read the post and see if I do want to subscribe!
But when I get to a blog and right away it’s asking me to sign up, I leave. Why should I sign up if I don’t even know if I like you and what you write about?
At least give me a chance to read it, explore more posts and then ask me again. I like the ones that show up when a visitor goes to close the tab.
About recipe sites
My friend didn’t like the fact that most have a long text before you get to the recipe. I do agree, I’m on that page to get/print that recipe and fix dinner, not read 3/4 of text.
I found that recipe sites are the worst when it comes to ads on each page. The visitor has to wait for them all to load and trying to scroll down can be Oh! so frustrating because it stops loading, then it loads, then stops again and then starts again….who has time for this?? I have unsubscribed from a few recipe blogs exactly for that reason, it was driving me nuts.
What do you think?
There you have it, in my opinion and my non-blogger friend, these are the reasons why we stay or leave your site and it’s all about being user-friendly.
Do you agree or do you have more reasons I didn’t write about?