What comes to mind when we say content? Joni thinks about the “words,” what you have to say, and the things you share with your customers. Johanna thinks about the “design,” how things are laid out, and how your customer moves through your site and resources. Blog content layout can refer to both the physical layout of your site and the content plan you implement when you generate ideas for blog posts and pages.
Consider these ideas when setting up your blog content layout’s “look”
What are the best practices that your competition is using to lay out their content? What areas of their site do you find challenging for us? These types of questions will help you to consider how to lay out the content on your site. Take the ideas you like from your competitors’ blog content layout and apply them to your site. Found something that you think is challenging as a user? Don’t do it on your site!
Above the fold
Like the days of the newspaper, ensure the important content and navigational elements are on the first screen a reader will visit. Do not bury important content in a place that a user will have to scroll to see.
Make sure your content is laid out so that your “typical” user will read it. For example, most English language speakers in the US read in a Z pattern. They start at the upper-left corner, scan left-right along the top line, then shift down and to the left-hand bottom of the screen (like when you write the letter Z, and then from left to right along the bottom of the screen.
Consider these ideas when setting up your blog content layout’s “info”
Navigation and menu features
Giving your users a way to easily navigate around your site is extremely important. Most users expect the main page’s navigation feature to be at the top. Drop-down menus can cascade from the main pages, a rule of thumb is to not have more than 2-3 submenus appear.
Adding a FAQ page to round up commonly asked questions about your products, services, misconceptions, or educational tidbits is a great idea. Furthermore, creating blog posts for each of the questions is even better. Then link it all together, and BAM! you have created some amazing domain authority on your site.
Other common pages
Most users expect an About, Articles/Blog, Contact, Home, and some legalese pages on a website. The about and contact pages are typically in the top-level navigation, and the legal stuff is normally in the footer. Speaking of footers, there is typically a way to get back to the home page at the bottom of the site.
You can set up your blog posts to share in many different ways. One of the most common expected by most users is to have your content shared chronologically. Your more recent posts will be about the fold on your main blog page and on the home page if you have a “check out the blog” type widget added to your homepage.
Another great idea to employ in your blog content layout is to make your core or featured article sticky. Sticky means that it will always appear at the top of your blog content page and as the first post on your site’s homepage (if you have that widget added).