Spring is in the air! The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and it’s time to refresh your blog and give your online presence a boost as we come out of that dreadful winter slump. I know as soon as it’s nice outside I’m happy to abandon my blog for mid-day ice cream dates and naps in the park. (Which is coincidently exactly what I’m going to do once I finish writing this post!) A clean, organized blog is a great way to help keep your inspiration and motivation up through the sunny summer months.
Update your homepage
If your site has a homepage, make sure all copy is up-to-date and content is organized to push readers to action. What is the most important thing one should do when arriving on your site? What is the one thing you want users to do before they leave? Updating photos is a great way to refresh your website without making major changes.
Just like the homepage, go through the rest of your pages one-by-one. Re-read that copy that has been going stale for months (or years, yikes!), update your photos, and make sure all of the links are working. If you’re referencing a category, a blog post, or a social media channel, make sure you link to it!
Evaluate your navigation
Once you’ve gone through your pages, update the nav. Would some of your pages work better in a drop-down format? Would readers find a list of categories or a contact link helpful? Are all of your pages 110% valuable and necessary?
Clean up the sidebar
This is the easiest spot to make your whole blog look cluttered and disorganized. Again, what are your readers REALLY looking for? What do new readers want to learn? What are long-time readers coming back for? Give your sidebar plenty of whitespace and remove anything that isn’t being clicked OR if it’s important, like an opt-in, make it bigger/bolder/more informative. Not all users will enter your site through the homepage, so the sidebar may be their first introduction to you—make it good!
Edit your post footer
What are readers doing when they get to the bottom of your blog posts? Better yet, what do you want them to do? Share the post, leave a comment, continue into another post on your site? This should be very clear when users finish reading. For my own blog I realized that the comment form ends up pretty far down the page once a few comments are posted, so I moved the form above the comments instead.
Update blog posts + images
Another quick way to give your blog a facelift is by updating your post design as it’s likely the most visited part of your website. Refreshing post titles, headings, blockquotes, and body text can easily give your blog an entirely new look. But if you don’t want to do any CSS work, updating your blog images will have the biggest visual impact out of all of these suggestions and is the easiest way to give your design a kick in the ass without changing it at all! Choosing a new photo style, a different background or size, or updating your font choices can make a huge difference in your blog’s aesthetic. In-page analytics or click maps will be super helpful in seeing what content is catching users’ attention and what they’re ignoring. You can find this under Behavior in Google Analytics.
Things to consider when making changes:
- Is this valuable or beneficial to your audience in some way?
- Is this something new or regular readers will be searching for?
- What do you get asked for on a regular basis?
- How can you make subscribing, following, opting-in, purchasing, downloading easier for users?
- How can you better show off your personality and style to help people connect with YOU, not just your posts/products/programs?