Business Catalyst Blog Layout Tips

Business Catalyst has a built-in Blog module that simplifies the process of publishing blog content. This article focuses on the best way to layout your blog content so that it presents well from a web design point of view.

When it comes to online marketing the term ‘content marketing’ is widely used. It is one of the best ways to spread the word about your website and position your business firmly in the dot com world.

Writing blogs are a good way to enhance your site with rich and interesting content; provide useful information; attract new customers, and give your business a leg up on the Google ranking ladder.

However there is more to a blog than just words on a screen. Eye catching headings and careful formatting will make your blog easier for people to scan and take in all the information quickly.

Blog List and Blog Detail Pages

Most blogs on a website designed on the Business Catalyst platform have the following layout:

  • A blog list page that lists the blog articles and includes filters and search tools to allow the audience to find the blog article that interests them quickly
  • A series of blog detail pages containing content that each targets a defined keyword.

Blog List Page Layout Tips

Typically each blog article on the blog list page displays an image, the blog title, the first few lines of the content and a link to the full content on the blog detail page.

Here's how to prepare your blog post so it displays well on the blog list page:

  1. Use an image that has a landscape orientation (not portrait!) and with the primary focus in the centre
  2. A short snappy heading with all the major words capitalised
  3. Get straight to the point in the first paragraph of your blog (it’s these first few lines of content that are on the list page, and entice the reader to click through).

See below for three examples of blog list pages built using the Business Catalyst platform:

Blog Detail Page Layout Tips

Most blog detail pages display the title, a larger version of the related image, additional information about the blog article (for example the author, published data and category tags). Following these is the blog content itself.

To make it easier for the reader, the blog needs be divided into sections, with each section having a heading.

Further details on how best to present the content can be found by referring to the SEO Tips - Technical Factors blog.

Here's three examples of blog detail pages built using the Business Catalyst platform:

Publishing the Blog

The Blog module in Business Catalyst includes a "Release Date" field. I always recommend entering a future date in this field as you're drafting your blog so that it doesn't appear before its ready to be viewed.

It's also important to think carefully about adding tags to each blog post to help categorize the content.

For example this blog article has an "SEO" tag, making it easier for the reader to find other related articles about SEO by filtering using the SEO tag.

Check and Double Check

Before going live with the blog post (by changing the Release Date to Today), it's important to run through the following checklist:

  • Check the image has been loaded into the website database
  • Check there is at least some wording in the two SEO Metadata fields
  • Check the post is tagged with at least one tag
  • Check the correct Author is selected

Final Check of the Live Blog Post

Once live, it's time to carefully check the end result. Check the blog list page first:

  • Does the image display correctly?
  • Does the title look too long or too short?
  • Does the first few lines of the blog display appropriately on the List page?

It may be necessary to adjust the wording slightly to ensure everything looks balanced on the blog list page.

At this point the blog detail page itself is likely to be fine, but of course it's still important to check:

  • Does the larger image display correctly?
  • Does the blog layout look inviting to your audience?
  • Does the blog present well on different devices?

A Well Designed Blog Layout is Essential

Writing a high quality blog article is a time consuming process - it typically takes about 3 hours per article - but the benefits can be significant.

Time spent ensuring your valuable and original content presents well on your blog list and blog detail pages is therefore essential.

If you'd like more details on how best to have your Business Catalyst blog content rank highly on Google, feel free to Contact Us.

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