Welcome to another page critique! About pages, PR pages, product pages and so on are critical in helping you meet your bloggy goals. Each week I dissect a page on someone’s blog as a way to refine it into being more awesome. Read, learn and apply these tips to the important pages on your own blog. Here we go!
Page: Recipe Index
Oh My Veggies is a vegetarian food blog that focuses on easy recipes made with mostly seasonal ingredients. Most of the readers aren’t vegetarian, but they’re looking to either eat healthier or cut down on meat a few days a week.
Because Oh My Veggies has popular posts on Pinterest, Kiersten gets a huge amount of hits on the Recipe Index page – it has become the starting point for people wanting to explore her blog. So, knowing this she’d like to encourage more browsing and clicking in hopes to increase subscription. The Recipe Index page is accessed from the navigational menu bar at the top of the blog.
In Kiersten’s words, the Recipe Index page is “SO BORING… it’s a list of recipes. Yawn.” With two to three new recipes a week, it is starting to get a little unwieldy. She’d like something that is more interactive and more visual. In fact, she’s willing to pay someone to build something amazing, but the problem is that she doesn’t know what she wants!
- Ooooh do I love that vivid image at the top of your page. Talk about pop! It complements the rest of your design (which is FAB by the way), and the title on the image is perfect.
- While I know it’s your style to use all lowercase in your page titles, the heading gets a little lost. While this would mean changing all your page/post titles, I’d consider using a slightly larger font size. I like the all lowercase so I think just a bump in font size would help that title be more noticeable.
- Each heading is currently just bolding of your normal text. Instead, use headings (h2, h3, etc). I don’t see you using headings in other posts so I’m not sure how they’re styled. But if they are like your heading 1 (your page title), then it would look just fine!
- You’re right in that there are a lot of recipes! Plus you’re adding to it so it can get cumbersome. There are many ways you can go about adding some visual interest to this page (which would improve click-through). One way is to remove the sidebar and make your page two-columns wide. If you do this, you still need some more visuals so perhaps add a thumbnail image to each heading. If you wanted to use a plugin, there are a couple of paid plugins that might do the trick. I found these two: Get Me Cooking and Social Engine Recipes. Maybe one of them would work for you and perhaps automate some of the updating.
- I think it’s perfect that you include the Recipe Index in your main navigation menu. I also think it would be good to add a link somewhere in your footer and/or your sidebar. You should also mention it in your About page!
- Also, I think with a page like this, you may want some more robust search functionality for this page, such as if people could search by ingredient or keyword. One of the plugins I mentioned seemed to offer that functionality. Something to think about!
- At the end of this page, there are some small social media sharing buttons under the bottom ad. I notice when you mouse over the last buttons, the pop-up isn’t fully visible. Also, as a whole, they don’t seem to make sense there. They are on the bottom right under an ad, making them hard to notice. Plus, you have larger versions of them floating on the left. As a reader I’d wonder: what’s the difference? which one should I choose? I’d add a call to action to the small buttons and move them to align to the left.
- Well since this page is mainly a list of recipes, there isn’t much content to critique! So I’ll also mention what content I think you should add to the page.
- As for what text you do have on the page, it’s great that you kept it short and sweet and that you mention that the page is updated often. However, I think you need another sentence to introduce this page and showcase your personality a bit more. Since this page is often the first page a new reader lands on, they may not know anything about you or your blog. Add a sentence that gives them a flavor for your site, without being too obvious (i.e. don’t say “Oh My Veggies is a blog about…”).
- To increase subscriptions, consider adding a visual at the bottom which asks people to subscribe to your email. You could also link to your subscription page by linking it within a sentence in your page intro.
- Also, since this page is so long, you might want to break it up (somewhere in the middle of the page) with a call to action to get your printable How Long Does It Last? guide to fresh veggies. It’s a perfect tie-in to this page and will get people moving around your site.
- Something you said struck me: most of your readers aren’t vegetarian! If that’s the case, I think your recipe page needs a section for the best vegetarian recipes for non-vegetarians. You could name the section something fun like “Best Vegetarian Recipes for People Who Like Meat” or something that gets the point across that these are good recipes for people who typically aren’t used to veggie-only dishes.
Let me know your thoughts on the critique in the comments below. If you have an extra moment, head over to Oh My Veggies and give Kiersten some comment love.