Any successful blogger knows how important it is to tailor your site to your target audience. This involves everything from content creation to aesthetics and design templates. The blog’s content typically comes easy—after all, most people have a purpose and a topic in mind when they create a blog.
Aesthetics, on the other hand, can be a bit trickier. There’s no right and wrong answer when it comes to designing a WordPress blog, but there are certain guidelines and best practices you can follow to guide you on your way. Here’s a look at a few strategies for designing the perfect template for your blog’s target audience.
Get to Know Your Audience
As you start to brainstorm ways to appeal to your audience, take a step back and analyze who is really frequenting your blog’s stratosphere. Are the folks you’re writing your content for really the ones who are reading it? WordPress has a plugin that analyzes the traffic to your blog, and can help you pinpoint the demographic and geographic information about your site’s visitors. You may find this information helpful for tweaking your content strategy as well.
Offer Benefits Your Viewers Will Relate To
Even if your blog has a specialized focus, you might find that offering other topics that appeal to your viewers’ demographic groups solidifies their loyalty even more than your content. Become a sort of one-stop-shop for the things that your viewers are interested in. You can start enlisting the help of guest bloggers who write about different topics to give your site a breath of fresh air and change it up every now and then.
For instance, with the push toward digital streaming throughout the entertainment industry, people are constantly looking for the best Internet connection, so it’d only make sense to have a blog dedicated to helping people find the best Internet deals. And hosting a variety of blogs on such subjects will help drive in new traffic each and every day.
Recognize Psychological Principles
As with interior design, certain colors and shapes on websites invoke certain psychological responses in viewers. Here are some psychology-based principles to use in the design of your WordPress site:
- Large headings attract attention more than images; the headline will determine whether visitors stay on your page or navigate away)
- Image captions captivate readers; eyes naturally drift to the bottom of a picture to look for a caption. Psychologically, it feels like less work to read text that accompanies a photo
- Less is more. The more choices web visitors have, the less likely they are to choose one.
- Short width text will get more attention than long blocks of text. That is, shorter columns generally yield a better comprehension of the information given than long columns
- Human faces drive attention. That is, viewers are more likely to follow the gaze of human faces looking at a prompt or photo than other graphics.
- Certain shapes and colors spark subconscious emotional responses in viewers.
Learn From Your Audience and Your Peers
Don’t overlook the possibility of asking your audience for direct feedback. Poll your readers to find what they prefer, and determine their first impressions of your site. Their direct feedback could serve as a nice set of guidelines to help you pinpoint what areas you can improve upon.
Additionally, look to your peers for inspiration. Do you have a favorite blogger that you look up to, or aspire to mimic? Depending on your professional relationship (if you have one), you could benefit from reaching out to them to find what works well for their site, or how they came to decide on the template they currently use.
The WordPress platform has a huge selection of plugins and add-ons that you can use in the design of your weblog. Explore every resource it gives you. Ultimately every site administrator and every user has their own preferences and ideas about what works and what doesn’t. What are some of your personal ideas about WordPress web designs? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.