2. USE DIFFERENT SIDEBARS FOR BETTER PERFORMANCE
Many WordPress beginners in particular use a standardized sidebar for all content on their site. However, it makes more sense to design different sidebars that are adapted to the content of the respective subpage on which they are displayed. This increases the likelihood that visitors to your WordPress site will interact with your sidebar. For example, if you run a WordPress blog about blogging and publish a post about web hosting on it, and it ranks well on Google, people who are mostly interested in web hosting will come across this page. Your sidebar on blogging topics will interest them less. If you set up a sidebar on this page that is optimized for web hosting and possibly also place a suitable ad there, the user’s interest will be more likely to be met and you may still be able to make a profit if the user clicks on your ad. Creating different sidebars is always possible, but here are six useful plugins that give you additional options when designing your sidebars:
3. LESS IS MORE
Don’t offer your visitors too many options for action in your sidebar. If they have the opportunity to subscribe to your mailing list, like your Facebook account, read the latest posts and also visit your shop, you cannot control that users do what you want them to do . Rather focus your sidebar on one or two projects and only give users the appropriate options to act. There are also examples where a sidebar full of different options has positive effects, but for WordPress beginners it is certainly advisable to concentrate on individual elements first.
4. YOU DO NOT NEED A SEARCH FIELD
Many WordPress blog operators have integrated a search field into their sidebar with which users can search the site for content. Don’t feel compelled to do the same! A search field makes sense for a long-established page with a lot of content. If you’re just starting out with your WordPress blog and haven’t published too many articles on different types of content, a search box can also be a disadvantage. Because it will provide the user with few results and will rather disappoint him. So only add a search field if you think it makes sense for navigating your WordPress site given the abundance of content.
5. KEEP THE VISITORS ON YOUR SIDE
Visitors to your WordPress blog are usually not the first time they come across your site, sign up for your newsletter, or buy something from your shop. First of all, you want to get to know your site better and make sure you really know what you’re blogging about.
Minimalism is trending for blog designs right now. That’s all well and good – as long as users still find the relevant content on your site. This is where the sidebar comes into play. It offers you different ways to direct your users to the crucial content.
Use a plugin to display your most popular posts. There are various plugins for this feature, such as WordPress Popular Posts. It is easy to set up and can be used without changing the default settings. It shows posts from all categories, but you also have the option to exclude individual categories. You can easily adapt your sidebar to the special topic of your subpage and only display popular posts from the appropriate category.
It is now standard to also display new posts in the sidebar. It is questionable whether users are really interested in having the latest posts listed. Certainly the most important contributions are more relevant.
This makes it even more important that you create a custom list of links to the most valuable posts on your page. You can also fix these in your sidebar with the Fixed Widget so that the user always has an eye on them.
6. LEFT OR RIGHT – WHICH IS BETTER?
Most WordPress blogs place their sidebar to the right of the page content. You might think that this increases the chances of right-hand sidebar blindness and making them easier to overlook or ignore. It can be. When we look at a web page, our eyes automatically go to the left. We tend to ignore the right side. If your WordPress theme and the layout of your site allow it, start a test run with the sidebar on the left. Check if the visitors stay longer on your WordPress site, look at more pages and you have a higher conversion rate and decide for yourself whether the sidebar on your site works better on the right or left side.
Basically, WordPress sites are individuals. What works well on one side is the wrong way for the other. Experiment with the elements of your WordPress site and find the right path for you. Do you need support with this? Does your site have little traffic, your sidebar isn’t being used and you don’t know why? Ask the elancer team. Our WordPress experts will be happy to advise you on optimizing your blog.