Believe it or not, blogging is more than just creating content, engaging with readers, and curating a few social media accounts.
Your blog is more than just the words, images, and videos you share with the world. Your words need a proper home, so to speak.
The visual layout of your blog is one of the main factors that determine whether the folks who stumble upon your blog subscribe or not.
In other words, yeah, everyone judges a book by its cover these days…
1. Take care of your sidebar
You know the cliche with the closet you’re afraid to open because all the stuff shoved inside might come tumbling out and hit you on your head?
That’s what a lot of WordPress sidebars look like.
Lots of ads, social media icons and/or feeds, links to your most recent tweets, photos of your Facebook fans, and on and on. Somewhere among all that information might be a link you’d really like your site visitor to click on, but if they can’t find it, you might as well not have it there.
Go into Appearance – Widgets and remove everything except the widgets that actually do something for your business or your cause.
If a widget doesn’t add people to your list, put money in your pocket, or get someone to take an action you’d like them to take, remove it.
2. Take advantage of titles and descriptions
When you share your posts and pages on Facebook, Twitter, etc., these services pick up a page title and description to go with the link you share.
And when your page turns up as a result in a search engine, the title and description are what people use to decide whether or not to click on your link. Page titles are also an important element for search engines.
That makes the title and description some of the most important text on your page!
Remember, descriptions are mainly for readers. Don’t try to cater to Google robots with these — instead, make them enticing, elaborate on the promise made in your headline, and use a strong call to action to encourage clicks.
3. Put your images to work for you
Images add beauty and interest to your pages. They can have a search engine optimization job to do, too.
Every time you upload an image to your website, you have the opportunity to add a keyword in your image title and alternate text fields.
What are those, you ask?
The title tag for your image generates the helpful little text that appears when someone hovers over that image.
And if for some reason the image is unavailable — or your reader is using an assistive device to view your web page — the alternate text tag is the text they’ll see in place of your image.
Again — they need to make sense. And make sure the alternate tag accurately describes the image you’re showing. This isn’t a place to stuff random keywords, it’s just another way to make it crystal clear what your site is about.
7. Don’t forget about the footer
Down at the bottom of your WordPress site is the sometimes-forgotten footer area.
It’s where you can include a copyright message, a link to an important page, or information about who owns your website.
Remember, people scroll down to the footer to see who’s behind a site, so give them what they’re looking for and continue to engage them in this important space.
Start off on the right foot
Relationships work best if they get off to a good beginning. That goes for your relationship with your blog or website, too.
Have a burning question? Don’t be shy.