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The Best Marketing Blog Designs: 3,000+ Data Points from the Top 100

Digital Marketing is like an open-book test in high school…
The answers are all there, you just need to know where to look.   

Every decision your business faces – choosing between a red or green purchase button or redesigning your website – has been encountered by hundreds of marketers before you. 

make the right marketing decisionsMany have failed.

Some have achieved massive success.  

3 months ago, we decided to redesign our blog – our most important marketing asset. Where do you even begin such a project?

So, we looked to the marketers who have paved the way for us.

We broke down and analyzed each and every feature of Inbound.org’s 100 best marketing blogs on the internet (list).

marketing ninja

Before writing a single line of code, we validated our blog design with 3,000 external data points & some data from our existing readers.

Here’s why blogs like Hubspot, SearchEngineLand, Moz, Kissmetrics, CopyBlogger, and more live in their own parallel universe of success.

11 Laws for the Best Blog Design

  1. Background color doesn’t matter, because after reading this you’re going to choose white (#fff) like 93% of top blogs.
  2. Make social share buttons readily available. 90% of the best blogs use social sharing buttons on every post. Most either offered multiple options or had fixed position social buttons (the buttons scroll with you).
  3. 2/3rds use social validation to encourage social sharing: Social Share Counters*We should note, these blogs have an average Twitter following of 143,182 and 109,613 Facebook Fans
  4. Assuming industry-standard conversion rates on exit pop-ups, the 35% of top blogs using exit pop-ups are building massive email lists:Social Validation Exit PopUp
  5. We were able to trigger Slide-In CTA’s on 18% of blogs.

    Slide-In CTA example
    Screen recording of Hubspot’s Red versus Green test mentioned earlier.
  6. Modern blogs are trending away from Serif towards Sans-Serif: 86% used San-Serif family typefaces.
  7. Size matters: let’s move on from that cliché to note that bigger the better. You’re currently reading 20px if you’re on desktop and 14px on mobile. The data we gathered held a strong correlation between font-size and UX rating and Inbound Rank. Neil Patel found additional positive correlation between read time and font-size.
  8. Put the user first: 89% of blogs scored a 95 or higher on Google’s UX test. 60% of media time spent on mobile and tablet, it’s time you prioritize responsiveness, pave a clear path for buttons, and possibly consider mobile-first design. We used Mediaqueri.es for thousands of examples of mobile-optimized sites.
  9. 15 blogs scored perfect on Google’s UX test. Here’s their scorecard:Google PageInsights UX Test Perfect Score
  10. Page Load Speed isn’t as big of a deal as you think. Only 4% of these blogs scored above a 75 on Google’s Mobile PageInsights Speed test. 73% scored at least a 50. Desktop numbers we much higher. Check your website speed here: how do you stack up?.
  11. Of these sites, 30% have switched to secure servers, landing users on HTTPS-based links. Google has officially made HTTPS a ranking factor for organic search. If you’re starting from scratch, this is a no-brainer. Many blogs seem stuck in the past. That’s why we made the switch.

Best-Blog-Design-Infographic-AdHawk

How do you stack up? Are you going to make changes? We try to practice what we preach, so call us out in the comments if we’re breaking the rules.

4 responses to “The Best Marketing Blog Designs: 3,000+ Data Points from the Top 100

  1. “Background color doesn’t matter, because after reading this you’re going to choose white (#fff) like 93% of top blogs.” – So true 🙂

    Interesting data, people do shy away from Serif fonts after all. Well, I guess when it comes to satiation in any design field, meta starts to shift.

    There are a lot of sites now that see more traffic from mobile than PC users so there really shouldn’t be any debate about making your page responsive.

  2. Hi, Bobby!
    Great article! You did an awesome job with all these analyses, wow!

    I wonder why people still don’t appreciate mobile, don’t work on speed, efficiency and UX of mobile versions of their sites. And all these pop-up which works well on PC, but not adapted for mobile. There are still many sites which I leave just because of lack of responsiveness.

    Although, I must agree with your conclusions. I read a huge number of pages, blogs, and articles every day and seriously, every point you indicated matters!

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About the Author

Marketing and Growth Director at AdHawk. Helping business find confidence and success online, one hefty article at a time.