Blog design plays a major role especially if you are considering your blog as an online business. What does a visitor feel about your blog on the first look? How can easily a visitor navigate around your blog? You put a lot of hard work in producing content for your blog. However, if your visitor could not find all those content, there is no use of producing it.
A professionally designed blog will have everything considered and hence one of the major reason I always suggest you to go for a premium WordPress theme. You can find premium themes from Elegant Theme or Themeforest. I had personally used both of them and satisfied with their themes, support.
How does blog navigation design affects your growth?
If you are looking to improve your blog navigation design then it’s good at least you had realized it now. Have an easy to navigate and more important, the hot stuff in your blog should be reachable to your visitors.
Generally, visitors are information seekers and they navigate from page-to-page faster. Ultimately, when a visitor lands in your blog, you have to take them through a channel towards your goal.
For example, if you are selling a product then you should make sure that you are showing the product to the visitor at least. Similarly, if you want to make your visitor click on an advertisement then you have to place the Ads at the most appropriate place which can generate a lot of visibility to it.
I mean, you have to understand the purpose of your blog and what action you want the visitor to take once they landed in your blog.
Keep the ultimate goal of the blog in mind, you can easily customize the design or navigation in your blog towards reaching it.
In this article, I will take you through few of the best free WordPress plugins which can help you to improve your blog’s navigation structure. That means you are going to make your blog more user-friendly than before.
1 – Blog Menu with Icons to Attract Visitors Attention.
The top menu is a basic navigation panel in your blog. You can collate all the important pages of a blog in the menu. Generally, a blog menu may contain links to category pages. This sounds good for a news based blog where as if you are into an evergreen topic like me then don’t list categories on the menu. Instead, collate all the important or key pages of your blog and link to it.
Further, you can use a plugin like Menu Icons to show icons to each menu item and this readily helps to attract the visitors attention.
2 – Infinite Blog Post Scrolling to Make Visitors Stay Long.
If you want to reduce bounce rate and make your visitors stay longer duration then use infinite scroll.
The idea is when the visitor reaches the end of a page, it automatically fetches the next page and shows it. Hence, the visitor will be kept on seeing content till he/she scrolls the page.
This makes them read more content and stays in your blog for a longer duration.
3 – Show the Scroll-to-Top floating button and Avoid Visitors Closing the Page.
This is a very simple feature that helps your visitors to easily move to the top of your blog. Basically, when visitors reach the end of a page they may close it or go for opening a new web page or tab in their browser. This is the natural behaviour, however, when you show a scroll-to-top button they may click on it and reaches the top of your blog again.
My Avada theme has this feature built-in and hence I don’t use this plugin.
4 – Use Sticky Sidebar and Showcase Important Pages of Your Blog.
Sidebars play a major role in blog navigation. Most of the blog, links to recent posts, popular posts, recent comments etc. Even you may be showing an Ad on the sidebar. They are all the regular stuff and hence your visitor may not find it attractive.
Similarly, you can enable sticky sidebar and show the important stuff to visitors. Hence, this improves the chances of visitors seeing those important pages in your blog and yes, you are taking the visitors towards your goal.
5 – Smart Bar’s to Easily Trigger User Action.
The ultimate aim of better navigation in your blog is to achieve your goals. Most of the time, your goal will be triggering a user action.
For example, you may want to capture the email id of your visitors or you may want visitors to see an offer in your blog.
In such cases, you can use SumoMe smart bar which floats either on the top or bottom of your blog. It’s responsively designed and hence perfectly fits on a desktop, smartphone screens as well as Tablet screens.
With SumoMe, you can easily customize the look and feel of the smart bar and also, track the performance using charts, data collected by it.
What are the best practices in improving blog’s navigation?
- First, you must be clear with your blogging goals. You should understand, why do you have a blog? and what do you want to achieve from your blog?
- With goals in mind, identify those key pages in your blog and make sure they are easily reachable.
- Interlink those key pages or posts from the top navigation menu, sidebars and also, from inside the content.
- Make sure, your visitors are staying longer duration in your blog. The more link to other pages you add, they will stay more time in your blog.
- Improve the loading speed of your blog, this directly affects the user navigation. A fast loading page makes the visitor navigate a lot and they love it.
- Have a clean and professional design for your blog, no other choice.
Building a successful blog depends on numerous factors like content, traffic, conversion etc. Blog navigation is the basic element you have to consider and it directly affects all these 3 factors.
Better navigation helps to showcase the right content, search engines love to crawl your blog which leads to get more traffic and obviously, conversion improves or you can take the blog visitors towards your goal.