Your blog is the culmination of hours of hard work. Whether you are blogging to share personal insights, or as part of a business strategy, you want to make sure that your hard work pays dividends in blog visitors and subscribers. A good site design is one of the ways that you can set yourself apart from the competition. Knowing what features improve the user experience can help you tailor your website to meet their needs and encourage future growth. Which is why it’s essential in learning more about the design essentials that you should implement into your WordPress blog.

Why Focus on Design?

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One of the common phrases used in the blogging industry is, “content is king.” If that is the case, you may be wondering why you need to place such an emphasis on good site design. While content is the backbone of any site, you need to get your customers to look past the initial layers so that they will consume your content. Think Traffic echoes this sentiment, stating:

“Having a great looking blog is important if you want to attract a big audience.
http://thinktraffic.net/wordpress-blog-design
Your design is your ‘first impression.’ People typically spend just 10 to 20 seconds on a web page. A great design can buy you time because it stands out and puts your visitors in a comfortable frame of mind long enough for them to get hooked on your incredible content.”

Insert Lead Capture Forms

A lead capture form is a valuable tool in developing a relationship with your site’s visitors. It allows you to collect data on your visitors and convert them into subscribers. Once they have subscribed to your site you can continue to build upon your relationship with them through an email newsletter or member exclusive content.

If you want visitors to subscribe to your site, you need to make the process easy. If they have to search for a way to sign up they are likely to give up, taking away your opportunity to build a relationship with them. An effective lead capture form should be integrated into your content in a way that makes it easy for visitors to find, without detracting from the overall user experience.
When you are looking to gather several fields worth of data, a multi part form is an appropriate option. This type of form breaks up the required fields into several easy to navigate pages. When you split a form into multiple pages, you encourage users to finish it, whilst reducing form fatigue. One long page worth of questions may feel overwhelming, but the same number of questions presented over the course of several shorter pages makes the user experience more manageable. WPForms features a video tutorial, offering step by step instructions on how to install a multi-page form on your WordPress blog.  
Another type of lead capture form is exit intent technology. OptinMonster describes the purpose of this type of form that they feature on their site, stating, “Exit-intent technology allows you to make one final effort to convert visitors as they are about to leave your site. By detecting when someone is about to navigate away, it presents the visitor with one final message (in a lightbox overlay) right at that pivotal moment. Unlike immediate popups, which interrupt your visitor as they are trying to browse your site, exit popups aren’t an annoyance.” Exit intent popups come after your site visitors have had a chance to consume your content, so they are already familiar with the value you can provide. In the same article, OptinMonster argues, “When you implement an exit-intent popup on your site, you could recover 10-15% of lost visitors.” Implementing this one simple strategy could have a dramatic impact on the growth of your email list over time.

Start with Your Theme

Choosing the right theme for your WordPress blog is the first step in creating a positive user experience. Your theme will be what determines the way your blog appears to visitors. It is essentially a series of files that allows you to control the look and presentation of your material to your site visitors. Dustin W. Stout, a leader in web design and digital marketing, explains the importance of selecting the right theme, stating, “Killer blog design always begins with your foundation. It is essential that you get firmly planted in a theme foundation that is flexible, cutting edge, and built for the long-term success.”

Once you have evaluated the options and chosen the theme that best meets your needs, the next step is to install it. WPBeginner offers a free WordPress guide here that explains the process in a step by step tutorial. It includes screenshots and detailed descriptions of each step of the installation process, making it easy to install and configure your chosen theme.

Seamlessly Incorporate Photos and Video

Multimedia, such as photos and videos, adds value to the user experience. When you add these elements into your content it is more engaging, and more enjoyable for site visitors. However, if your photos and video aren’t incorporated seamlessly into your content, it can actually detract from the user experience rather than improve it. A gallery plugin can alleviate this concern, by organizing your photos and videos into a visually appealing format.

One such plugin is Envira Gallery. It allows you to organize your photos and videos into albums that are beautifully displayed no matter whether your visitors access your site through a PC or mobile device. The drag and drop builder makes it easy to customize the templates so they achieve your preferred aesthetic. It also features social media integration, making it easy for your site visitors to share your content.

Incorporate Essential Elements for a Successful Blog

Ensuring that your blog meets the needs of your target audience should be your top priority as a blogger. No matter whether you are just blogging for fun or you are blogging as part of a business marketing strategy, a good site design will improve the user experience. When your site is easy to read and navigate, users are more likely to engage with your content, which leads to blog growth.

Incorporate these essential elements into your WordPress blog to ensure future success.

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