I find it interesting that for all those bright and spectacular design and design-related information flying around most sites look… Typical. Boring.
Custom design is complex and expensive investment. The one I implemented month (of dust settling) ago. I was not so much dreading as expecting little impact.
So does custom individual design makes a difference?
- Pages/Visit +0.39%
- Bounce Rate +0.49%
- Average Time on Site +22.24% (I think this is a fluke, had several unusually high days).
Design change had no discernible impact on the way visitors use the blog.
Design is not content. It frames the content, but even major design change has little impact on how [not] appealing content is to visitors (and search engines that herd good chunk of them).
Now let me show something more interesting. AdSense terms of service forbid sharing specific numbers. It still little in absolute numbers, but change is striking:
- Unit Impressions +48.95%
- Click Through Rate +207.74%
- eCPM +134.41%
- Revenue +121.26%
Advertisement is not content. It is kicker (not exactly appreciated by many) and design can make it or break it.
Design (or lack of one) is not something that defines a blog. But it does hold content, navigation and advertisement in one cohesive experience.