Proven Blog Design Ideas (For Better Quality Content That Actually Works)
How would you like to create content that engages your readers and keeps them coming back for more? If that sounds good, these blog design ideas will help you enjoy more engagement, shares, and even conversions.
Think about how many blogs you read each day that have an interesting headline but nothing in the article itself worth reading ... Or worse yet, a massive wall of text, hard to read, or so poorly formatted you close your browser window within seconds of arriving on the site. These are all hallmarks of bad blog or content design.
On the other hand, when you focus on good content design, you make sure the content you produce is engaging, easy to read, and interesting. In other words - content design is a key element of great content you can't afford to ignore. And great content is what not only keeps people coming back for more but also encourages them to comment and share with friends.
So, let's discuss some blog design ideas. And how these concepts can be used to improve your blog posts (and show notes) so you end up with better, more engaging content for your readers.
Here's what we'll cover:
- What is content design?
- Why is content design important?
- Reasons to focus on content design
- Content design optimization strategies
- Examples of good design in action
What Is Content Design
Content design is all about the experience a reader has with your content, and includes things like:
- how understandable your content is
- the usefulness of your content
- how easy and enjoyable it is to consume
- the usability of your content
The choices you make when you create your content are what determine the experience your reader has. This includes ...
- the words you use
- how you format the content
- the visuals you include
- how much white space you include
- and more
Other names you may see for content design are blog design, content UX, and sometimes content experience (though this one can have a broader meaning, as well). But whatever you call it, you need to include these essentials in ALL of the content you publish on your website or business blog. No matter what type of content you are working on - blog posts, show notes, landing pages, opt-in pages, sales pages, and so on - you need to consider design for them all.
Why is Content Design Important?
Without good design, it's unlikely people will read it, share it, or take any further action with your business - like buying something. By contrast, good content design helps build trust with your audience because it helps you:
- provide content that is valuable and helps solve a problem
- be transparent and share your knowledge, expertise, or opinions to help others
- make your content more likely to be considered valuable enough to share (which, btw, can also result in increased leads, subscribers, and views)
- stand out in your niche by producing better content than your competitors
Plus, since user experience signals are now included in Google's algorithm, content design is an increasingly important part of search engine optimization. In fact, at the time of this writing, Google is in the middle of rolling out its "page experience ranking change" which makes good content design even more crucial.
I think it's safe to say that content design is a key element of success for anyone looking to create high-quality content. The good news is that it doesn't take much time or effort but yields huge results when done right - so it's worth it to invest a little time into your design elements. Because here's the thing - if you aren't providing your audience with relevant content they enjoy reading and find useful then what's even the point of publishing? Bottom line? Always be thinking about how to provide a great experience for your readers.
Reasons to Focus on Content Design
You might wonder how, exactly, content design will help your business. So let's look at some specific reasons to add a focus on content design to your process.
Better SEO reach
Once upon a time, search engine optimization meant adding keywords in the right places and calling it a day. But these days, it's not quite so simple. As mentioned above, user experience is now a ranking factor in the Google algorithm. Among many other factors.
So, what does this mean for you? If your content isn't readable, doesn't have a logical flow, or is difficult to understand then Google may not rank it very high. And that means fewer people will see and click on it when they search online. In other words: good content design leads to better SEO.
When you're out searching for something online, what makes you decide between two similar offerings? You might be surprised to learn that design has a critical impact on decision-making. As UX Magazine says,
"Decision outcomes are actually largely contingent on the environment or context in which those decisions are made."
In other words, the more enjoyable it is to consume your content - and the better your design is - the more likely you'll be able to persuade someone that what you offer is a good choice. So, when people are enjoying good content design they're much less likely to bounce from your website before making a purchase or signing up for your mailing list. And who doesn't want that?
All this to say, if getting more conversions is on your wish list, updating your content design should be, too.
Build a great audience and community
The more engaging and informative your design is, the better chance you have to build a following that:
- enjoys consuming your content
- shares your content with others
- and wants to hear from you
And guess what? It's so much easier to do this with relevant content people actually want to read. So, don't underestimate the power of great content design. It's not just a matter of aesthetics. Design is an essential part of helping you achieve your business goals. It can make all the difference when it comes to creating engaging, informative content that achieves conversions and builds trust with your audience. Without good design, it's just content. With good design, it can be great content.
Greater brand authority
Your reader's perception of your brand is influenced by many things. One major factor is your visual identity. When most of us think about our brand identity, we think of colors and logos. But how your content is presented also plays a big part. If you want your readers to think of you as a professional and credible brand, then it's worth investing in good content design. After all, if what they read from you doesn't create trust and belief in your skills - why would they buy anything?
So, we already know that good content design can improve our ranking in search, help us build an audience, and boost our brand authority. And all of these factors assist in attracting more traffic to our site via both organic search and audience shares.
But it doesn't stop there. Good content design also keeps people on your website longer and reduces the chance of them bouncing quickly. Which is - yep! - yet another signal to Google that you are offering high-quality, relevant content that people want to read. And you know what that means ... More traffic. I think we can agree that more traffic is something we all want.
It's been shown that content can make or break a marketing campaign. And in some cases, it determines the success of an entire business. So, if you want to get your message out and reach new potential customers - be sure content design is part of your strategy.
You need good content plus good design to maximize your content marketing results. Because the better your user experience - the more likely people are going to convert into paying customers and help keep that ROI high. The importance of content design for success when publishing content is clear. Without a good user experience, content is just content - but with engaging design, it can be a whole lot more.
Content Optimization Strategies
The good news is, there are many simple optimization strategies you can employ to improve the experience your readers have with your content. Such as:
- Ensure your content is always mobile-friendly
- Clean design with plenty of white space
- Increase font size for easy reading
- Keep sentences short and paragraphs succinct for maximum impact
- Powerful, emotive words that make your content more engaging
- Visual elements like high-quality photography or images, bullet points, and charts to help people move easily through the content
- Develop a descriptive and catchy title so readers click through in the first place and know what to expect when they get there
- Call-to-action phrases to get people engaged and ready for more content
- Share resources related to the topic in the article
Your goal is to create content that is enjoyable to read, easy to understand, and offers value. Strategies like these (and many more) result in better content all around and help create an enjoyable reading experience for your audience.
Good Blog Design Examples In Action
Here are a few examples of blogs doing content design right.
Brian Dean of Backlinko is well known for creating epic long-form blog posts. You know, the "ultimate guide to ..." type. So it's extra important for him to make sure his content is easy to read and understand.
And he nails it with clean, clear layouts, lots of white space, a clickable table of contents, a large font size, and lots of images to illustrate what he's talking about.
Lemonade Insurance has a surprisingly nice blog. And they are clearly aware of the role good content design plays in successful content. Again, a clean design with easy-to-read font size, regular headers and images to break up the wall of text, and simple yet eye-catching quote formatting keep the reader moving down the page with zero friction.
As a company that helps businesses improve their conversion rates, it's no surprise that OptinMonster knows exactly how important its content design can be. Although not quite as enticing as the above two examples, their blog posts still feature an easily readable font size, lots of white space, and bullet points to make information easier to digest.
It's clear that good content design is needed to keep people engaged and reading your content. And, as a result, it will improve your search rankings, engagement, traffic, brand perception, and more.
Luckily, there are many tactics that can be used to improve user experience- from making sure the site looks good on mobile to writing short concise paragraphs without jargon or filler words. And that's only the beginning.
I hope this article convinces you that content design is an important tool in your content marketing toolbox. And if you want to maximize conversions and engagement for your blog posts then it's vital. Taking a little extra time to optimize and polish up your content can make all the difference.