Bloggers are so busy mastering new SEO techniques, networking and writing content that they forget about their biggest asset- visitors! Have you ever tried to study your blog from a visitor’s point of view? If the answer is negative, I suggest it is high time that you give some attention towards it. As far as bloggers are concerned, visitors are valuable, especially first time visitors. And if you manage to know what they want or what makes them happy and act on it, you’ll get a ‘loyal’ visitor, who’ll come back for more!
So, what do they expect from a blog? Basically, there are some ‘characteristics’ a ‘good’ blog has. Being a blogger, if you make sure that your blog has these ‘traits’, I bet that visitors will love your blog! I urge you to ‘understand’ your visitors, their needs and fulfill their needs. Under normal circumstances, having these traits in your blog will satisfy your visitors and leave them smiling!
What traits in a blog makes visitors happy? Here’s the list:
1. Honest Titles; not misleading ones
Why would a person visit your blog? Well, the prime motive could be to find answers to his questions and get the information he wants. Now, what if he arrived at your blog and found that he has been fooled by the ‘title’ of the blog post? What is the blog post fails to live up to its title?
Visitors want the titles to be honest. They just hate misleading titles, which are just waste of time! This, my blogger friends, is the most striking trait of a ‘good’ blog.
Many bloggers opt to go for ‘impressive’ titles for their articles. They promise much more in the titles, but the article often fails to live up to the title’s hype! The result is- unhappy visitors!
A blog post’s title should reflect what is contained within. There should be no exaggeration. Don’t go for cheap tricks to make it go viral! A misleading title can get your blog new visitors. But these new visitors won’t come back for more. So, make sure that your blog posts are well researched and fact packed ones!
A very crucial yet overlooked trait. While being worried about algorithm updates and traffic stats, bloggers and webmaster often tend to forget the aspect of readability.
It might be a small factor, but still, it plays a big role in user experience. Visitors expect good readability, while visiting a blog.
Good readability is constituted of the following factors- optimal text size, color, background color. Usually, white background and black text is the best for good readability. If you choose to have a different background color, make sure that it goes along well with the text color. Keep the text size neither too big, nor too small!
Leave adequate space between paragraphs. Short paragraphs are more appealing. They are easy to read and apprehend. What use is a helpful article of, if users are unable to read it?
3. Quick Response from the blogger
As I described above, most of the times, it is answers that visitors want. They come and read blog posts to get the necessary information.
Many times, it happens that despite going through the entire blog post, doubts and questions linger in their minds. This is when they look at the ‘comment section’ as a platform to pose their questions to the blogger.
Here, the visitors expect a quick reply from the webmaster. They may even make use of e-mail to pose questions to the blogger. Again, they want their questions to be answered quickly!
By attending to and solving their questions, you are ‘winning’ their hearts! And they’ll soon be a part of your happy and loyal reader base.
4. Good loading speed
I think there is no need to describe the importance of blog’s loading speed. From a webmaster’s point of view, loading speed influences a blog’s position in SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Further, it boosts user friendliness of a blog.
Come on, be honest, do you even care to surf a site/blog that takes ages to load? I would say no! Patience is a virtue most of us, unfortunately, don’t have! The same is the case with visitors of your blog! Don’t keep them waiting for long. They might abandon your blog and move on. They are not short on choices! Infuse this trait in your blog, your visitors will thank you!
Recommended reading: How I reduced my server response time and increased PageSpeed score
By responsiveness, I mean that a blog should load and render seamlessly across all major browsers and devices. The browsers and devices used by visitors vary greatly.
Make sure that your blog can be accessed smoothly from different mobile devices, smartphones and browsers. You either make your blog responsive or be prepared to lose visitors!
6. Business with integrity and honesty
This is the age of affiliate marketing. Internet marketing Gurus are reaping handsome benefits. Many of them do business through blogs.
Apart from marketers, bloggers too are earning good through affiliate sales. They make use of their blogs to market products. They target visitors, who are potential ‘buyers’ for them.
In their quest to earn maximum profit, many bloggers forget about integrity and ethics. They can often be seen promoting products that are not of the best quality.
Unsuspecting visitors fall prey to such sales trick many times. They end up buying things they don’t need due to the persuasiveness of the blogger.
The same thing applies for paid reviews. Never write positive reviews for a product just for the sake of money. You shouldn’t do anything that’ll possibly misinform or mislead your visitors. Visitors expect a blog to have honest business practices. Don’t make it an affiliate marketing trap!
At the end of the day, make sure that your blog’s business practices never compromises on these traits- honesty and integrity. You certainly wouldn’t like to play with your visitors’ happiness for the sake of a few dollars.
7. Assurance of Privacy
Visitors don’t love the idea of their mail inbox being flooded with newsletters from various blogs! First of all, they won’t be having much time to go through all of them!
Many blogs automatically add a visitor to their subscription list without the consent of the visitor! This usually happens when the visitor leaves a comment on a blog.
Okay, notifying him/her about replies to the comment is normal. But enrolling them to the subscription list without their permission is unacceptable. Flooding their inbox this way can be compared to spamming! Visitors want privacy, respect their decision.
Instead of forcibly adding them to the subscription list, place a subscription box at a prominent place on your blog. If the visitor is impressed by your stuff, he/she will subscribe for sure!
8. Safe browsing experience
The last thing a visitor would like to have, while visiting your blog is a malware infection! Yes, try to keep your blog safe from such threats.
Your blog can be turned into a malware attack destination by faulty plugins, themes, unreliable ads etc. Keep an eye on the ‘health status’ of your blog. Ensure that your users have a safe browsing experience.
9. Social sharing options
This is the age of Social Media! There are many social networking sites out there. The social media biggies like Facebook, Twitter and Google + are used by millions!
These social media biggies have influenced the browsing habits of internet users around the world. It has been found that more and more people tend to ‘share’ content that they read on sites and blogs. This attempt to ‘share’ things with their friend list is a result of the influence of these social media giants.
Now, visitors are not patient enough to copy and paste the link to share your blog’s content. To make things easier for them, try to use social sharing buttons and widgets. Go for a fast and efficient plugin that will get the job done.
10. Good ROI (Return On Investment)
While visiting your blog, basically the visitors are investing something. What are they investing? Time, a very valuable asset, gentlemen! In return of that investment, they expect something in return. The return could be- answers to their questions, valuable information, entertainment etc. It ultimately depends on their aim and the type of blog you own.
Being a blogger, giving good ROI to visitors is possible only when there is surplus quality in your work. Whatever you do, make sure that it brims with quality!
I guess if that if your blog has the above mentioned traits, user experience will rise! This has many advantages- you get a loyal reader base, bounce rate reduces, your reputation in blogosphere rises etc. Apart from being a blogger, I’m also an avid web-surfer. I enjoy visiting new blogs and sites. And I particularly enjoy it, if the sites have these traits and satisfy me! Believe me, if you’ll observe those ‘successful’ blogs out there, you’ll find that they all share these traits! I’m waiting for your feedback. Let’s get it started in the comment section!