While black hat tricks may be effective in the short-term, they can never really make up for a lack of proper content and design. In fact, their very goal is in contrast with it seeing as how, with black hat marketing, your goal is to deceive your audience that you are offering something of value.
On the other hand, with great content and web design on your site, you actually do have something valuable to offer, which makes your job so much easier. That is, provided that you know how to create top-notch content to begin with. So, for all those interested in such a thing, there are several ways in which great content and design help you boost organic traffic and reach, as well as several tips, tricks, and hacks to help you get there in no time.
Responsiveness gives you a direct boost
In the past, mobile internet was expected to run more slowly than its desktop counterpart, while nowadays, this is no longer the case. Only 11 percent of mobile users expect their mobile internet to be noticeably slower, which might put you in an odd spot. In a world where the majority of the online population are mobile users, this can be a problem, unless you focus on making your web design responsive on all devices. Making a layout that is compatible with various screen sizes is one of those things that sound incredibly complex, but are actually quite easy to pull off.
Failure to do so, nevertheless, has its consequences. Apart from the audience leaving your website without giving you a chance, you also risk annoying them with your long loading times, therefore diminishing the quality of their user experience. In turn, this will affect both your average abandonment rate (by decreasing it) and your conversion rate (by increasing it).
The choice of color matters
The issue of adequate color for your website may seem like something trivial or even situational, yet, there’s some real science behind latest web design color trends. Nevertheless, choosing an adequate color is a fairly easy thing to do if you know who your target demographic is. For instance, orange, brown and gray reduce conversion rate in your female audience. The most controversial color here is purple, which boosts conversions with females, yet decreases it with the male populace. As always, the safest choices are green and blue (universally conversion-friendly). On the other hand, with your CTA button, you should probably go with something a bit more aggressive (preferably red).
The use of images
Most psychologists agree that about 90 percent of all information we absorb comes is visual, which is why you need to try speaking through images as much as possible. We’re not just talking about the use of photography, but about icons and symbols in your site’s overall layout.
For instance, you’ve probably noticed that most websites link to their social media profiles by leaving a button shaped like that social network’s logo. So, if this method is so effective, why not apply it to your categories as well? Naturally, this has its shortcomings and some notions are simply too abstract to be explained with a logo, yet, using this method whenever you can sound like a solid plan.
Offering value and being consistent
In the introduction, we talked about offering value versus faking it. Still, you need to understand that value comes in different forms. For instance, teaching people how to fix their household budget is advice that offers a pragmatic financial value. On the other hand, creating entertaining content that will help people blow off some steam after work offers something completely different.
Keep in mind, though, that you probably need to choose between the two. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with enriching your instructional and educational videos with some humor, but keep in mind that this is not why all of these people are here. In most cases, people visit your tutorials to get quickly actionable information and if you beat around the bush for too long in order to make your content unique, you’ll start losing them. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on what your audience says about your content. For instance, you can leverage social media mention monitoring to track conversations about your brand. This will give you insight into what your audience is saying, as well as give you ideas on how to improve both your content and your web design for better results.
Take your time
Another trend that is currently dominating the blogosphere is the fact that audiences lean towards longer posts. Nowadays, 3000+ words blogs are all the rage, seeing as how they allow your audience to get all the information they need from a single source, instead of having to search half the internet for it.
As a side effect of this trend, the average time for writing a blog post has also increased. In 2014 an average time spent writing a blog post was 2 hours 24 minutes, whereas, in 2017, it was 3 hours 20 minutes. To be fair, this is not simply due to the length of the content. With the growth of the blogosphere, the competition has become much tougher, which means that the bar was raised as well.
To further support this claim, we merely need to mention the fact that the median has grown as well. These days, there are more people spending 6+ hours writing a single post than ever before, while the percentage of people who do so in under an hour has plummeted.
Including social proof
While a lot of people are skeptical towards things they read on the internet, they’re definitely not equally as skeptical of everything they encounter online. Sure, a lot of testimonials and comments can be faked; however, the majority of the online audience can differentiate between corporate jargon (marketing speak) and a genuine review. Therefore, it might be for the best to ensure that your social proof is as unaltered as possible. To get there, simply ask your previous clients to make a statement and upload it online next to their image. By allowing your audience to put a face to the review/comment, you will make this recommendation somewhat more personal (more WOM-like).
At the end of the day, like in any other line of work, a lot of people are prone to asking what is it that successful bloggers do better than unsuccessful ones and the answer is – everything. They’re better at creating quality content, enhancing it with adequate design and promoting it as organically as possible. Unfortunately for some, this is a road that has to be taken one step at a time, seeing as how most shortcuts lead directly to a dead end.