Are you in need of a new website design? If you are you might also be considering the design for a company blog. Many companies are incorporating blogging as part of their online strategy. A blog can improve the overall customer relationship and optimize your company’s customer value for the long-term with a blog. But making sure your blog is well designed for your customers is important. If you plan on having a company blog that will be seen as valuable by your customer there are a few things to remember when working with your designer.
Company Blog Design Tips
My experience with blogs is that less is more. It’s easy to incorporate too many items on any particular web page. I’ve seen pages that have too much going on. It’s distracting to the viewer and confusing. I feel the same is true for a company blog. It’s important to focus on what the site visitor is looking for. You want to make sure their experience is a positive one while always encouraging them to move through the sales funnel. A blog is likely one of the very first touch points in the buying process.
A customers may find your website via a search engine. A keyword search will bring them to one of your posts. This is the first introduction to your company. This person is new. You don’t want to overwhelm them with a bunch of information. This would scare anyone off. Your goal is to serve the needs of your customer from this early point of discovery all the way through to the purchase decision and beyond. A few tricks are useful for making sure your blog design is setup to provide the best customer experience possible.
Less Is More
It’s likely that most business sites won’t have a need for much advertisement. Your goal with a company blog is to promote awareness of your brand and create a relationship of trust with readers. The goal of these relationships with customers is to earn their trust to the point of the purchase of your products or services. The goal of this purchasing decision is a long-term, profitable relationship. For this reason, it’s probably not necessary to splash advertisements within your content, at the top of the blog or even in the sidebar.
Your brand logo at the top of the site is likely all you will need with perhaps another form of branding in the footer. This will give the reader enough engagement with your brand to remember you if they consider your company when making a purchasing decision. Another point to consider is that new visitors are coming to your blog are looking to gain knowledge. They are looking for content. That is the most important thing in the world to them at this point.
They either came across your blog article via a search engine or found a link through an email or social media channel. They want to read, view, and experience the content in the post. A sidebar is secondary. Make sure the title of the post is large enough to see. This way the visitor knows they landed on the right page. You don’t want people to bounce. Once you feel the visitor knows they are the right page, focus on the content in the post. Make sure the content is the most noticeable aspect of the page. Don’t overdo it with elements on the page. The content is number one.
Now, once a reader has digested your content you want to offer options with suggestions for further reading. You can offer your branding with a logo or even an advertisement to possible move them down the sales funnel to give you a call or email you for information. Don’t overdo it. Just tease them with more information on your blog and some branding.
I’ve seen some blogs out there that have awkward looking text. Stick to the basic fonts that make it easy to digest the copy on your blog. You want to use simple black text on white background. I’ve even heard that a dark grey on white background can be pleasant to the eye. You can use regular 13 pixel to 16 pixel font size. Many designers are increasing the font size to these more legible sizes from 11-12px. Consider the age of your target audience as well. It will make your blog more pleasurable to read. Another aspect of legible text is the width of the blog post column.
Think of traditional newspapers and even paperback books. The width of the text is usually no wider than 600 pixels. This is a comfortable width for reading. I’ve heard that it’s even a good width for folks that have the ability to speed read. Don’t make the width of your blog too large or too small. Focus on what it will take to make the text legible for readers. Remember, the most important thing is to make the reading experience enjoyable and valuable. It’s like the first impression with your potential customers. You want to represent your brand well.
Stunning Content and Images
A new trend in blogging and content publishing in general is large, stunning photography. People today have fast Internet connections and connection to the Web is becoming easier and faster each day. Images, graphics, and photography are great additions to any blog. When designing your company blog you want to consider how images will be used on the blogging home page and each individual post.
A good format for a blog home page is to offer one featured article with other secondary articles. It’s a strong proposition to use images to showcase these primary and secondary posts. Show the most important post on your blog home page (perhaps the most recent) with a larger image and excerpt. Then use smaller images to showcase secondary posts (older posts). Once a person clicks through to an individual post, whether from your blog home page or from an outside site, you want to have stunning images when possible. Images add depth to the experience for the reader. They add value.
Think about the experience of your target customer when designing your company blog. Focus on what their reason for visiting your blog post is and provide the best experience for that reason. In most cases, your visitor is looking for the information within your post text.
Give them content that is legible. Give them a stunning photograph or image to enhance the content they are reading. Make sure the text and the image are of proper size.
Think about how people will read the content and view the images. Make sure the width is comfortable to your own eye. The main idea is to keep things simple. You will find that it’s easy to add more elements to your blog and difficult to remove elements. Look at your blog home page and individual post designs and think about the most important item on each page. Make that the center focus and don’t let anything else on the page take away from that important element. Keep it simple. Keep it focused. And make sure your blog fosters long-term satisfaction with your target customer.