Picture the following: you have two plates of food in front of you, both containing cheeseburgers. One plate contains a large but rather greasy fast-food chain burger and a side of stale fries. The second contains a micro-burger: a small, pesto and truffle oil infused patty in a small brioche bun with a side of four thick cut appetizing Belgian fries and a small decorative carrot carving. Which one would you choose?
Odds are you said the latter (unless you were really, really hungry…). That’s because while content is one of the most important things to take into account when trying to attract traffic to your site and rank better it is not the most important thing. The design, layout and ease of use are far more important.
Think of it this way: you might have Pulitzer-worthy content on your page but if the layout is awkward or simply unappealing, very few people will actually make it to your content. Good can help you get potential customers or readers to your page but their efforts will be squandered if the customers just click back after taking a look at your site design.
The Age Of Skimming
The age of use.net has come and gone a long time ago and studies have shown that modern Internet browsers actually read rather than skimming content in less than 20% of the cases. This means that if you don’t have some way of visually enticing and directing browsers to the content that you want them to see it’s not going to get seen at all.
A good example of blending good content and great design is MailChimp’s resources page. Many sites offer white papers and how to guides for download as part of their content but the way the mailing list website has organized its resources and the fact that they went the extra mile to create cool and attractive covers for each of their white papers and guides instantly makes visiting traffic linger on long enough to read the titles and possibly choose to download them. Imagine the same site with a bunch of bold script on white background PDFs.
Not as eye-catching, is it?
Outside Your Blog
Design is important and you shouldn’t limit yourself to having an attractive webpage or blog. Your social media should be equally attractive to passers by. A custom, original background for your Twitter page, an eye-catching Facebook Timeline photo, these are all essential to get the most bang for your social media buck. After all, if someone took the time to check out your social media pages, odds are that they’ll take a look at your main page as well, particularly if you have a handy link.
Design matters. Regardless of your field, regardless of whether you run a commercial site or a blog, design matters. A good-looking site with average content with have more people browsing than a terrible looking site with great content. So re-vamp your site today !
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