Recently, we talked about improving website usability by giving visitors what they want. Today, we’re going to take that one step further by discussing how to improve blog usability. Most bloggers don’t give usability a second thought. They crank out their posts and assume all is well with their blog.
The truth is a successful blog is much more than just great content. The best blogs deliver exactly what readers want and make it easy for them to find the information they need. Here are 5 simple tips for improving blog usability.
1. Add Related Posts Plugin—Ideally, you want readers to stay on your blog as long as possible. You want them to continue exploring your content so they become loyal readers. One way to do this is by using a related posts plugin. At the end of each post, this plugin will display a short list of other posts on your blog that cover related topics. It decides which posts are related based on the post titles, tags, categories, and other contextual clues.
2. Link Out to Other Useful Posts—Too many bloggers are afraid to link out to other blogs. They think they’ll either lose link juice or that there readers will never come back. I call BS on both claims. Linking out turns your blog into a resource. It shows readers that you give them access to all the information they need on a given subject.
3. Don’t Use Too Many Widgets—Widgets are designed to improve the usability of your blog, but when you have too many of them stuffed onto your blog, they become distracting and overwhelming. Take a step back and see if any of the widgets on your blog can be sacrificed.
4. Have Clear Headlines—Your readers are pressed for time. Before they’ll commit to reading a post, they want to know what it’s about. That’s where the headline comes in. The headline needs to be catchy enough to grab their attention but clear enough to let them easily understand what the post is about.
5. Use Good URL Structure—Rather than having a messy URL structure like this: www.yourblog.com/post-123?%$765!, you should use a clearer structure like this: www.yourblog.com/descriptive-post-title. Good URL structure is ideal for Search Engine Optimization(SEO) purposes, sharing, bookmarking, and overall blog usability.
What are some of your best tips for improving blog usability? Add your own by leaving a comment.