Optimizing Your Blog’s Layout for Better Readability and Profits

by WorkFromHome on May 24, 2011

Your blog’s layout and design are extremely important for the performance of your blog. However, not everyone is a web design guru, and it’s silly to expect yourself to learn the intricacies of web design on an extremely high level while also focusing on staying up to date in your own industry. Thankfully, there are a few key things that you can quickly and easily optimize on your own without a lot of technical knowledge. Here we’re going to take a look at what these things are and how to maximize their effectiveness for improved readability and revenue generation.

The Basics of Ad Placement

Many studies in the past decade have shown that the first place a person’s eyes go to when they come to a new website is the top left corner. From there, the eyes tend to read across to the right, or scan down the left side of the page. These studies discovered the “golden triangle” for website design. This triangle starts in the top-left corner of the page, extends across to the top-right corner, and then cuts back to the bottom-left corner of the page.

All else being equal, you’re going to make more money from advertising the more your readers’ eyes focus on the ads. Logically, this means that placing your ads inside of the “golden triangle” will show better profits than placing the ads anywhere else on the page in the vast majority of cases. You can build on this effect by making sure your advertisement’s colours are easy to read, but jump out at the reader and are easy to notice.

Creating Intuitive and Effective Navigation Options

For someone reading your blog, very few things are going to be as annoying as not being able to find something on your blog. If it’s difficult to navigate around your blog, you will lose readers and lose money as a result. Most blogging platforms offer a handful of navigation options, but you can also create your own. The following is a step by step process you can follow to make sure your navigation options are sufficient.

First, you should always have some sort of archive by date, and usually this will be organized by month and year. Next, you should make sure that there is a search function for your blog, and that it’s easy to find a search bar from any page on your blog. If you have tagged your posts well and organized them into categories, which you should always do, then you can also set up navigation by post tags and post categories. Finally, have a page dedicated to your most popular posts as a sort of selective sitemap.

Optimizing Your Sidebar and Menus

Some people like blog layouts without a sidebar, and this can be fine if there is a menu at the top or bottom of the page. If you have a sidebar, you should keep it on the right-hand side of the page so that you can keep the left-hand side of the page available for advertisements. You don’t want your sidebar taking up precious space in the “golden triangle”.

The main purpose of your sidebar or menu is to provide site-wide access to a number of posts, pages or links to other websites. Having a search bar in your sidebar or menu is optional, but there are a few things that you should include that aren’t optional. First, you should have a list of your past five to ten most recent posts. You should also have a list of post categories and post tags for easy navigation. Including your archives in your sidebar is a good idea, but if you don’t have a sidebar, you should have a separate page for your archives since they can quickly clutter a menu that sits at the top or bottom of a page.

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