Last Tuesday was part one of Basics of a Good Blogsite and today I give you Part Two.
1. Don’t make your visitors think. When a visitor lands on your site they should NEVER wonder
– What’s this site about?
– Where do I go?
– How do I find things?
– Where is …?
– What’s that…?
Make everything on your site clear, simple and easy. Tell visitors where to go and what to do. “Click Here”, “Buy This”, “Subscribe Here”, “Now Read This”. And try to keep down the number of clicks the visitor has to make. There are some statistics floating around that say you lose 7% of people for every click they have to make. Based on my own experience and anecdotal evidence, I personally think the percentage may be higher.
2. Check Your Spelling. Personal rant coming up! I detest sites where there are spelling and grammar mistakes all over it. I know that mistakes creep in, and there are probably one or two on my own site, however I have seen websites and blog posts that are full of them. It’s unprofessional and shows a level of disinterest on the part of the business owner. It’s distracting to the reader.
Every computer has a spell checker – use it. Then proof read for words that are spelled correctly but out of context, ie: check correct usage of words like ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. The spell checker won’t pick them up because they are spelled correctly, however they are the wrong word to be used there.
If you know your spelling ability is lacking, ask a friend to read over your work first. Some mistakes will always get through. Correct them when you find them, don’t stress too much over them, however don’t send out any mistakes that you could have prevented.
3. Keep Statistics. Ok, I know this isn’t something that visitors will see, however it’s really useful for you. Have a look at this recent post for what and how to measure your business statistics.
4. Popular Posts. As Marc mentioned in his comment on the last post, Popular Posts is a great way to let new visitors know what other people on your site enjoyed reading. I personally don’t use it because of a lack of space in my sidebar. I don’t see it as being essential, however it’s certainly very nice to have. A good plugin to use is Easy Popular Posts.
5. Subscribe to comments. Please, please, please install a subscribe to comments plugin on your site. Nothing is more annoying than being forced to revisit a post to see if anyone has posted a comment after you or answered your comment. I’ve seen this on sites I’ve guest posted on, and it’s really frustrating to have to check it a couple of times a day in case there’s been a comment. I use Tempus Fugit Subscribe to Comments, it works well and I’m very happy with it.
6. Ads – Who are you promoting or selling? Ads on blogs… There’s two things I’m going to say about this:
i) Never advertise someone who sells the same products you do. Why would you send your site visitors to a competitors site? Therefore, be careful of Adsense. It places ads according to keywords on your site – which means that the ads are for businesses using the same keywords as yourself. I’m not saying don’t use Adsense, just be careful of what is being promoted.
ii) Always promote your own products or services first. If you have more than one advertisement then your products and services should be at located at the top. The first ads that a visitor sees.
7. Know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Writing blog posts – why? What purpose are you aiming to achieve with them? Setting up a newsletter list – why? What are you going to use it for? Are you doing things simply because you’ve been told ‘that’s how it’s done’ or do you know your reason behind it? Everything you do should have a clear purpose defined before you start.
Well that’s it for this two part series. Feel free to add your own suggestions for improving or tweaking a blogsite in the comments.
Also, beginning next week, we’ll be back to posting three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 🙂