Have you ever wondered if your blog really needs a sidebar? And if you need a sidebar, should it be on the left or right side?
Sadly, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. But with some testing, I’ve figured out the optimal layout for a sidebar on a blog.
Download this bite sized cheat sheet to get to know about the necessity of blog sidebar.
So, should you be using a sidebar? Well, it all depends…
People come to a blog to read content. Their main purpose is to devour your information and ask you questions through commenting.
If they really like your content, they may share it on the social web, but you don’t need a sidebar for that. You can add social sharing buttons throughout your post or use plugins like Flare.
So, what’s the purpose of a sidebar? Well, it’s an area you can use to promote products or services as well as to get users to do anything else you want.
I’ve found that including your bio on every page of your blog, within the sidebar, is a great way to connect with your readers. This helps build a loyal community, which is the main reason I have a sidebar.
Sure, you can add a bio at the bottom of each of your blog posts, but you have to keep in mind that most people don’t read your blog posts in their entirety. And adding it to the top of each blog post is distracting as people are mainly coming to your blog to read the content—they don’t want to continually have to read about you before they are able to get to the content.
In addition to that, if you are trying to get repeat visitors, a sidebar is almost a necessity. Why?you may ask. Because within it, you can put links to all your social profiles and add an email opt-in box.
If you don’t think it is effective, just consider the fact that Quick Sprout received 145,971 visitors from email over the last 30 days.
That’s not too shabby. Plus, you have to keep in mind that a lot of the emails have been collected within the sidebar. For that reason alone, I have a sidebar.
And the best part about having a sidebar isn’t even the email traffic. It’s the ranking lifts it provides in search engines.
Look at the Quick Sprout sidebar…what do you see?
I link to all the popular guides and posts on Quick Sprout. Why do you think that is? It helps pass search engine juice to all those pages, and it causes them to rank highly in Google. For example, if you search for “online marketing,” you’ll notice that this guide ranks on page one.