Saturday, October 19, 2019

I’ve been saying for more than 1 year that I have to improve the design and usability of this blog. It is good to know the theory but it is still better to put it into practice.

Why better navigation should matter to you

How well do you know the things that I tell you in this blog are mostly common sense. At first glance, it is logical that better navigation has a positive impact on usability, so the experience of the reader on your site is more pleasant. If you want, you even have indicators that help you understand if the improvements you are implementing show a positive effect.

  • More page views : when browsing is simple, it’s convenient to jump from page to page and consume more content. If I have to look for the next link or I am clear about where it takes me, I typically go out of the web and I do not run the risk of wasting time.
  • Longer stay : people spend more time reading on your site. A simple navigation invites you to stay a while longer because the blogger is finding it easy to find what you are looking for.
  • Conversion from visit to reader : as long as your content is of quality you increase with every second that passes and each new page that is read, the probability of turning a visitor into a faithful reader because he subscribes to your blog. From this moment you will receive notifications of your new content to bring it back to your site.
  • Positive impact on SEO : especially the first 2 points have a positive impact on SEO. A longer stay and more page views per user tell Google that the content is relevant and quality. The search engine seeks a positive user experience that seeks to measure (among others) through these indicators.

What can I do to improve navigation on my blog?

In general, a new design is not necessary to make navigation more pleasant for a reader. With small changes you can already get important improvements.

1 internal link per paragraph : internal links are not only relevant to improve the web positioning of your page but also to prevent a user from escaping again and create curiosity towards other related entries. For the link to be visible and not create too much visual noise my recommendation is not to use more than 1 link per paragraph (in long paragraphs you can also put one at the beginning and another at the end). If for some reason you have to enter several searches, there must be at least a separation of 2-3 lines so that the links are not on top of each other. In case of a quick reading you can not differentiate well and lowers the probability of someone clicking on them.

5-9 categories : the categories are very useful to give the reader an overview of what the site is about. Looking back now I would not go past 9 categories . Above all, it avoids the use of subcategories at all costs. The problem with the latter is that at the beginning they are created (eg the main category would be “nutrition” and the subcategories would be “ecological”, “vegetarian”, “childish”, etc.) because you had an idea for a post but they never get more filled because on that subject you do not have much more to tell. When someone clicks to see more related posts you will not find hardly any entries which could even give you a regular image.

5 articles related to the end : this part is easily solved with a plugin of related articles. Since they help me with some “technical” things with the blog until recently I had not even known that mine is called Zemanta . It has become popular in a short time because it also offers the possibility of monetization including advertising in related articles (I do not have it activated). In another blog of mine I am testing a competitor to see if it is a profitable option for a blogger. You can see at the end of this post the visual result you get using the Zemanta plugin.

Making navigation more comfortable is a fundamental aspect for the reader to feel “at home”. If you manage to improve the indicators of time of stay and page views, even Google will reward you by opening the tap a bit more .

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