In the world of inbound marketing, the statement “Content is King” is indisputable. However, experienced marketers know that great content alone does not make readers click that purchase or subscribe button.
Indeed, it takes numerous elements to work together to attract, engage, and convert visitors into customers. After all, a king cannot run a kingdom on his own, as a king needs its queen (among others). And with the way compelling images and layout can complement and supplement equally compelling content, you could say that visual content is the queen.
Not convinced? Then take it from HubSpot whose 2020 Visual Content Statistics Report reveals that 32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their business, with blogging in second (27%).
Additionally, did you know that 44% of users are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures? That’s right. Images increase the possibility of reader-engagement. This is important because engagement with your readers builds brand trust and improves the chances of conversion.
Indeed, aside from well-written articles, blog design and other visual content have great potential to turn your loyal readers into loyal customers. A closer look at blog performance reports shows us that there is a certain layout that helps blogs increase engagement and conversion. Although there is no one-size-fits-all layout, there is a template that has been observed to spell the difference between a high-converting blog and a flop.
This template contains specific elements that contribute to enhanced user experience, which eventually affects engagement and conversion. And as you can guess, half of these elements has to do with visual content such as a catchy banner that supports the headline, relevant high-quality images or videos as text-breakers, a well-designed Call to Action banner, and the overall blog layout.
Here is an infographic to better illustrate how a high-converting blog looks like:
- Headline – Use a catchy headline to tease your readers into clicking that Read More button.
- Byline and Date – Putting your name (and preferably your photo) is a way to build thought-leadership. The date, on the other hand, tells your readers your post’s relevance.
- Banner – Make sure the banner does not only captivate your readers but also supports the headline.
- Content – This is a no-brainer.
- Text Break – Give your readers a break by using appealing but relevant images or videos.
- CTA below the post – To drive your readers to your service or contact page. You can also offer them some freebies for which they will be very grateful for.
- Author Box – Show them you know what you are talking about by listing a few of your credentials or experience. Add in your hobbies or vision to make it a bit personal, as well.
- Related Posts – A great way to drive traffic to your other posts.
- Comments – Engage with your readers!
- Social Media Sharing Buttons – Buttons encourage your readers to share your content.
- About Me – This is your elevator pitch. Make a snappy introduction and tell them briefly why they should follow you.
- E-mail Subscription Button – Convince your readers that you have so much more insights to share with them via newsletters.
- Social Media Links – Encourage your readers to follow you for updates.
- Top Articles – Similar to #8
- Blog Categories – Display more articles to keep your readers in your blog longer.
- CTA Banner – See #6.
17. Navigation – Make links to your other pages accessible to your readers.
18. Hero Image + CTA – Use this space to showcase an element of priority customer action.
All the wise and proven marketers leverage on these elements by incorporating them into the blog pages they are working on. The design may differ depending on the products/services offered by the business, but the general structure has to be the same and the identified elements must be present.
Keep in mind that each element is vital regardless of the size they take up in the layout. Moreover, the order of the elements will depend on your priority customer action. Hence, when you tweak this template to tailor-fit your business and content marketing goals, keep a checklist to make sure that the crucial elements are there.
Look at the top blogs you are subscribed to. Do you see these elements? If yes, it’s probably because of the strategic presence of these elements that those blogs are at the top of their game.