UX stands for user experience, and it’s a key concern for everyone who runs a website. It isn’t enough to optimize your website for search traffic and expect visitors to stick around due to the sunk cost fallacy. If it doesn’t impress them, they’ll leave fairly swiftly, and they won’t come back.

If you’re running a blog, this is a frustrating prospect. You might put a lot of work into your content, knowing that there’s an audience for it, only to see that audience fade away because some issue with the design of your website is discouraging them. You need to do everything you can to ensure that your site is providing an excellent UX.

Blogging takes time, though, and you might have a full-time job to deal with in addition to that. What can you get done that won’t take too much time? How can you bolster your UX design without spending much money?

In this piece, we’re going to set out 4 UX hacks for bloggers.

4 essential UX hacks for bloggers you should apply to your blogClick To Tweet

4 Essential UX Hacks For Bloggers

Get to the point immediately

This blog post is about UX, so what are the first page elements below the title? A featured image of a designer working, and a comment about what UX stands for. Note that these elements match the promise of the title with minimal wasted time. This shouldn’t sound especially interesting because it’s quite obvious — in principle, at least.

In practice, bloggers can get carried away with throwing in extra ingredients, leading to their pages waffling on extensively before getting to their subject matters. This isn’t just annoying for visitors. It can actually send them elsewhere. How? By leading them to believe that they’re not going to find what they’re looking for. To keep attention, and to convert, don’t bury the lede.

Hubspot

HubSpot (see above) does this very nicely on its blog. Every post opens with the title, a summary, and — if available — a downloadable resource. This allows the writer to get more creative down the page, knowing the main theme has already been confirmed (and will be repeatedly noted throughout the piece so it isn’t forgotten).

This need to be succinct is a key motivator behind savvy bloggers having dedicated pages for specific purposes: you should be familiar with about us pages, but there are also contact pages, branding pages, portfolio pages, and potentially others. (The point of a portfolio page, for instance, is to collate varied snippets of work, allowing the blogger to showcase their range upon request using a single link that’s more likely to be read than several full post links.)

Throughout any given piece of content, then, you need to focus on the main theme. Mention it in subheadings where useful (vital for SEO and readability). Include it in the conclusion to wrap things up. Everything in a piece of content should be about supporting that theme: addressing it directly or tangentially. If you drift too far from the point, the reader’s attention will go.

Draw inspiration from the UX of similar blogs

You don’t get points for originality when it comes to website design, so there’s no sense in putting a lot of time into crafting an innovative layout that might not work anyway. Instead, do as Steve Jobs did, and build on the good ideas around you. Look at blogs similar to yours and think about what you like and dislike about them. Where are they strong? Where are they weak?

Assemble all the good parts (those that are complementary, at least), add your own twist, and you’ll have a great UX design that didn’t require any significant originality or effort to devise. It’s all about taking the path of least resistance. Why work more than you need to? After all, you inevitably have other things to do (perhaps other projects to deal with), so your time is valuable.

Invision

At the same time, you should also start reading blogs about UX, because they’ll often have valuable tips that can easily be implemented. The InVision blog (pictured above) is one such example. Anything about trends will generally be fairly low-level, meaning you can glean some useful insight even if you don’t know much about design.

Keep your UX extremely simple

I just talked about avoiding unnecessary work for your design, but this is a slightly different matter. Keeping things simple isn’t always easy, but it is important. Here’s what I mean: it’s easy to explain a complex point in four paragraphs, but it’s hard to explain it in just one. If your content is overly complex, it could be ruining your UX.

To combat this, revisit each page and imagine that you’re seeing it for the first time. Does it make sense to a stranger? Is everything adequately explained? Is there too much information? The simpler you can make each page without removing all the vital content, the more useful it will be, and the more the visitors will enjoy it.

Netflix

Take Netflix as an example of how to trim your content. The Netflix homepage has been through numerous iterations over the years, and each time the content has been slimmed down. How was this managed? Through steady effort, an ever-improving level of brand awareness, and a growing understanding of what messages people would respond to.

Whenever you revise a page, aim to strip it back to the point at which you feel you’ve just gone too far, then add back whatever you just removed. This will ensure that every element left in place is fully justified — and help your pages load as quickly as possible, since additional elements (particularly images) will slow things down.

Use UX-relevant plugins and templates

Taking inspiration from other sites is great, so why not take plugins and templates from those who give them away freely? If you have a WordPress site (which is likely, given its popularity with bloggers) then you shouldn’t have any issues finding suitable plugins with various functions: adding social sharing buttons, for instance, or custom notifications.

There are plenty of great plugins out there to find, so take a look (here’s a good list to start with). And templates can be particularly useful for framing your blog posts to save time and improve readability. The layout you should use will depend on the type of content you create, so search accordingly — for instance, if you write recipes, look for recipe blog post templates.

Cookely

You should also look around for themes. Above, you can see a WordPress theme (named Cookely) designed specifically for food recipes: if you can find a theme that truly matches the kind of blog you’re running, you can get every element of your site’s UX moving in the right direction without having to do anything more than make a few tweaks.

Final Thoughts

There you have it: 4 essential UX hacks that can help bloggers improve their websites without too much time or effort. Given the positive consequences of impressing site visitors, the value of this is obvious, so add them to your workload and see how you fare.

Blog UX Decoded: 4 Essential UX Hacks For BloggersBlog UX Decoded: 4 Essential UX Hacks For Bloggers