If you look at most blogs, you’ll notice that most of the bloggers have a sidebar, but do you actually need it? Should it be on the left or right side? In this article, I will cover whether your blog needs a sidebar! Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Does Your Blog Need A Sidebar?
The purpose of a blog is to deliver valuable content with good information. It’s also a great place for people to ask questions that relate to the article. If you take a look at this blog post, you’ll notice that I’ve included Social Media sharing buttons below if my readers want to share it with their peers. So, do I really need a sidebar? Is it a little distracting?
Not really, you see, the purpose of my sidebar is to have a space to promote products and services as well as other important information with my readers.
For example, if you take a look at my blog or blog posts. You’ll find on my sidebar, a picture of me and a short biography. It helps me connect with my readers which will help build a loyal readership.
I also have one at the bottom of each post, but unfortunately, not everyone reads the entire blog posts. By having my bio on the sidebar, it is not distracting my readers from consuming my content.
If I were to place my bio on the top of every blog posts, it would annoy my readers because they would have to skim through that before actually getting to my content.—The sidebar is also a great place to display your social profile or email opt-in forms and other popular posts.
Should You Include A Sidebar On Every Page?
Even though you get lots of benefits from having a sidebar, you don’t actually need one on every one of your pages. For example, my homepage contains NO sidebar because it doesn’t need it.
A sidebar should also be excluded from your sales pages to increase conversion. If you want your readers to opt-in or purchase a product, a sidebar will only distract your readers from the purpose of that page. That’s why my free eBook page contains no sidebar.
Other than that, you will find that the majority of my blog posts will contain a sidebar. So definitely ask yourself what you want your readers to do on specific pages and posts. Do you want your readers to read or click on a link or banner located in your sidebar? If the answer is no, then don’t include the sidebar.
Should You Have A Left Or Right Sidebar?
Last but not least, should you have a left or right sidebar? Personally, I prefer to have my sidebar on the right side. In my opinion, it looks better and converts better.
When someone is reading, they tend to read from left to right (unless you read Japanese manga), so when you have a sidebar placed on the left side. It can be extremely distracting!
From a case study that I did a few months ago… I realized the following:
- I was getting more email opt-in when I placed my sidebar on the left side. However, 1 out of 10 opens the email. I believe the reason why is that the readers who opt-in never read or never finished reading my blog posts.
- After I switched back to having my sidebar on the right side, my opt-in rate decreased, but more of those subscribers are actually opening my emails. I believe the reason why is that the readers are actually reading my blog posts.
So is it worth it to have fewer email opt-ins? In my opinion, it was definitely worth it because I was getting much more returning visitors.
In the end, I am running a blog, so why wouldn’t I want my readers to read my blog posts? If they like my content, they will opt-in knowing what to expect which increases open rates.
Are you currently running a blog without a sidebar? You should definitely add one right now! If you already have one, make sure it is placed where it should be placed. Also, do consider adding your bio or email opt-in boxes.
Do you agree with this article? Do you currently run a blog with a sidebar? Please leave a comment below.