This guest post is by Gab Goldenberg, author of The Advanced SEO Book.
If you choose to redesign your whole blog in one go instead of adopting little improvements on a regular basis, the odds are that your redesign will be a brutal chore.
Instead, I’d like to encourage you to review the posts in this series on Blog Design for ROI and pick one area in which you’d like to improve. We’ve covered literally every area of the blog, from your homepage to category pages to posts, to individual elements like sidebars and social aspects like your community, so there’s bound to be something to appeal to you:
- Rule 1: Prioritize The Opt-In Form
- Rule 2: Highlight Your Key Content
- Rule 3: Shower Love On Your Community
- Rule 4: Make Posts Easy To Read
- Rule 5: Engage Readers On Archive Pages Fast
- Rule 6: KISS Headers, Navigation & Sidebars
- Rule 7: Advertorialize Your Self-Promotion and Encourage Comments
Once you’ve chosen where you’d like to improve, do the following.
- Measure where you stand currently. For example:
- Use usability testing with three friends to see if they can find your email subscription, and get their feedback on how appealing it is to sign up to your newsletter.
- To simplify your sidebar, header or navigation use Feng-GUI to get an idea how visually loud they are.
- Try a tool like CrazyEgg to measure how much and where people are clicking your archive pages, as well as how far they’re scrolling.
- Write down your theory of why your performance is at its current level.
- Brainstorm different ways to improve and write all the ideas down (don’t reject ideas at this point, as that will discourage creativity). See which of the tactics in the above articles you can apply, and how.
- Choose one option to improve and test it out.
- Measure results and repeat the above.
From my own experience, I can tell you that testing numerous small things and making incremental progress is a much easier—and more effective way—of improving your blog’s design, in comparison to the traditional ‘grand redesign’ method. Similarly, the crowd at Wider Funnel make a good case for the “Evolutionary Site Redesign” process instead of the “Revolutionary Site Redesign” process.
Now it’s your turn: in the comments, tell us which area of your blog’s design are you going to focus on improving? Why did you pick that? And what changes are you thinking of making? Share your goals with us in the comments.
Gab Goldenberg and Internet Marketing Ninjas are developing a book based on this series – get your free copy at http://seoroi.com/blog-design-