Maintaining a blog as part of your business's online presence can have a significant effect on both inbound traffic and leads.
Compared to companies that don't maintain a blog at all, companies who post 15 or more articles per month generate five times more traffic. (Tweet this stat!) Furthermore, companies who have published more than 200 blog posts in total generate 5 times more than company blogs with less than 10 posts. (Hubspot).
As with all of your online marketing efforts, turning traffic into qualified leads should be the main focus of your blog.
If it's poorly designed, difficult to navigate, or takes forever to load, it becomes a millstone around your neck rather than a source of new leads. So, is your blog design turning customers away?
Unattractive Color & Layout
According to Hubspot, "90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text." When your blog is poorly designed, visitors react to the visual before they process the words in front of them. It doesn't matter how interesting your headlines are or engaging your content is -- visitors leave before the words even register.
- Colors: Marketing psychologists have studied the effect of color on customers for years. Don't choose your blog's color scheme based on your personal preferences -- use established data to determine which colors will best promote leads through your blog.
- Layout: An overly-busy layout filled with columns, links, and ad space will confuse your visitors and make it more difficult to parse your blog content -- if they bother trying at all.
Related: Hire a professional web design team to improve your blog
Poor On-Site Navigation
In order for your blog to generate leads, it needs to lead visitors to your lead forms. If your customers can't find your call-to-action or links to your lead forms, they won't bother searching too hard for them. Instead, they'll go to a competitor's website.
- Make sure that your blog's audience can quickly and easily navigate to a lead form. Include the appropriate links in your menu bar.
- Link to your lead forms within the content of your blog posts or at the end of each post so that viewers can navigate straight to the form without having to find your menu bar. This is especially important for customers who syndicate the blogs they follow into an RSS feed -- they see only the content of your posts, not the rest of your blog.
47% of internet users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, (Tweet this stat!) and 40% of them will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load (Kissmetrics). Your blog -- just like your main website -- needs to be optimized for page load speed.
This is especially important given the growing use of mobile devices to surf the web. More than half of mobile device users expect a mobile site to load as fast as or faster than a regular website accessed through a desktop computer.
If you want users to stay on your blog long enough to become a lead, you need to ensure that they don't have to wait in order to access your content.
If your blog isn't generating the number of leads that should be expected, you need to find out why. While content, SEO, and other elements of your blog should be taken into account, the source of the problem may be in your blog's design itself.