Like any digital marketing channel, blogging has evolved over recent years, from the platforms and tools available to the entire practice of writing as a whole (we’re looking at you, Copy AI). There are unique features of a blog that should almost always be present. Internal and external links, effective subheadings, consistent structure and keywords are all examples of good blogging practices.
A blog that fails to include the features above will be at a severe disadvantage both from a user experience perspective, but also when it comes to SEO and search engine rankings. Responsive design has also become a significant feature for blogs as the shift from desktop to mobile usage has continued to grow over the past decade. Responsive design is a great indication of how blogs need to adapt and react to user behaviour, in this case being the way we consume digital content. Here we focus on 3 unique features that could take your blog to the next level, specifically improving the overall user experience.
1. Audio Versions
We’ve seen a staggering rise in the amount of audio content available for people to access from quite literally anywhere. Podcasts have taken the world by storm, now being hosted on various platforms like iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and Audible. Speaking of Audible, the rising in audiobook popularity saw Audible become an entirely separate entity to Amazon Prime, increasing revenue by 58% since 2018 generating over $1.01 billion in the US alone. Essentially, consuming content via audio is a big deal and blogs can absolutely benefit from this.
While the operational factors will vary depending on the organisation, recording audio versions of blog posts can be a great way to offer your audience an alternative way to consume the content. A key benefit of having audio versions is the accessibility; if a user suddenly has something else to focus on and cannot continue reading, they can instead listen to the content in the background. Furthermore, it can help encourage users to finish a blog post by having the option to take a break from reading and listening to the remainder. As of now, we’re still yet to see how Google will approach audio versions of text articles but I’d be willing to bet that we’ll see algorithm updates in the future to incorporate them as a positive SEO feature for ranking.
2. Embedded Social Media
Embedding the likes of Tweets and LinkedIn posts within blog posts is being seen more and more often as the integration between various platforms continues to develop and improve. A particularly important feature of embedding social posts is the interactive buttons that can be included. Users can write their replies, like and share all from your blog page. Having social media posts displayed directly within a blog post is a feature that has numerous advantages over traditional external links to the individual social media platforms.
Firstly, debates and topics from social media can be seamlessly built into the blog’s content, where the ‘conversation’ can continue. If the blog post is directly created around a post or trend seen on social media, the reader can also see exactly what is being referenced to in the blog, therefore eliminating the risk of them clicking off your content and searching for the social media post in question. As well as this, you can embed your own social media posts if they relate to the content, therefore encouraging readers to interact with your socials and further grow your network.
3. Interactive UI
Having a UI that is clean, efficient and modern will help users engage with your content for longer. Accessibility is a major aspect of digital content as users want to consume content in the easiest way possible, often taking little effort or time. The UI being used for a blog can be a make or break feature for users, with overcrowded and outdated blog posts being instant turn-offs. Minimal design has been a trend that continues to shine, as it further bolsters the practice of less waffle, more value. Reading content online can be like fast-food; users want quick, easy-to-digest content with a lot of ‘flavour’.
An interactive UI essentially allows users to determine what they’re seeing on the page. Often blogs will contain a table of contents at the side, pop-ups and chatbots to name a few. While these features have proven to be effective in the past, now a user may just want to read the content in a timely manner without any distractions. This is where interactive UI comes in; any side bars or headers can be set to off-screen, requiring the user to hover over where it can pop out for interaction. This results in a clean presentation where the user can focus on what matters most, the content.
Inflowing is a B2B marketing agency. We help B2B organisations do meaningful things with marketing. Whether that’s getting more leads, more visibility, or supporting their sales teams.
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