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Sidebars are important areas on your website that can often be overlooked or not used effectively. Designed correctly, your sidebars can help you provide a user experience, promote your business, generate leads, and help you increase your sales.
There is no rule in a set of widgets that sidebars must necessarily display. Instead, the content of your sidebar should be guided by your site goals. In this tutorial, we'll look at how to choose the right widgets for your site's goals, in order to optimize your sidebars. Next, we'll take a look at a selection of the most important widgets, including viewing subscription forms, social media links, and popular articles, among others.
By the time you finish this tutorial, you should have a clear view of the widgets that you can display on your sidebar.
Establish the objectives of your site
It is important that you use all the spaces of your sidebars to reach your goals. As a result, the widgets you use in your sidebars should be directly related to your site's goals.
You may be trying to increase your list of subscribers. You may be looking to keep your audience on your site longer, you may want to encourage them to read more of your blog, or become repeat visitors. Or you may be interested in selling products, services, or a subscription-based online course. Whatever your goals, your widgets should take this into account.
The order of your widgets is also important. Widgets related to your most important goals should have prominent positions at the top of a sidebar. Lower goals should be ranked lower.
Make sure you do not overload or clutter your sidebars. Doing this could be very confusing for visitors and make your sidebars ineffective. Think carefully about what you will add to your sidebar. Always make sure you always have a reason behind each widget you have chosen.
So, let's take a look at some of the widgets you should use.
Display an "About me" Widget
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No matter what type of website you use, an “about me” widget is important. It allows visitors to understand what you are trying to achieve with your business.
If your theme does not have a specific "About Me" widget, a simple text widget is sufficient. If you want to display your gravatar, Jetpack provides a module called " Extra Widgets Sidebar ". One of them allows to display the profile Gravatar. This widget allows you to add your gravatar to your sidebars, as well as some of your Gravatar profile data.
Add a subscription form
Collecting e-mail addresses should be a goal for all sites, regardless of your business. Being able to communicate with your audience after leaving your site is crucial. Obtaining visitor emails means you can continue to market your business by sending them newsletters, promoting articles, products and services, and encouraging them to return to your site.
Adding a subscription form to your sidebars is a great way to get visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. Most of the time, people don't bother to search for a subscription form, so you need to make it as visible as possible to your followers.
Promote on social networks
Social networks are another key area that companies must always consider. Sidebars are a good place to post buttons to help you win supporters. You can also view a social media feed, or two, to show what's happening on your social networks.
Simple Buttons Follow Me Social Widget
« Simple Follow Me Social buttons Widget Is a free social media widget plugin on WordPress that will allow you to add follow buttons to your sidebars. Adding these social media widgets to your sidebars means that your follow us buttons will be prominently displayed on your blog to encourage visitors to follow you.
Social Feed Them
« Social Feed Them Is another social media plugin, but this time it shows the social media feed. You will be able to create personalized feeds for Facebook pages, groups, events, photo albums, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and more. These feeds can then be placed in boxes to show what is happening on your various social profiles.
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Use a plugin of similar or related articles
If you're looking to keep your visitors on your site longer and explore your content, it's important to display a widget to help you. Using a comments or popular posts widget is a great way to give visitors an overview of what's available on your site. Likewise, if you have specific content that you want to promote then you can post that as well.
WordPress Popular Posts
A widget displaying your most popular articles is an effective way to encourage your visitors to click on another article. People like to follow the crowd, so if certain articles are perceived to be "popular" it should increase the click-through rate.
WordPress Popular Posts is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to display your most popular posts in your sidebars. This highly customizable widget gives you many configuration options and features that you can use, so you will have the ability to track statistics of popular articles.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
If your site covers a wide range of interests and topics, a popular article plugin might not be of interest to visitors, the articles displayed might be irrelevant to them or be off topic. In this case, displaying similar articles in the sidebar will be a good idea.
A plugin for similar articles will be relevant to visitors. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) is a free WordPress plugin. It relies on a unique and powerful algorithm that finds content on your site that might be of interest to those viewing the article. The results are then displayed in a thumbnail or list format in your sidebar, to help grab your viewer's attention and encourage them to keep reading.
View Google Map Map
If your business is a store, a restaurant, a spa, or something else, then you have to tell your online audience how they can find you. You can do this by adding a card to your sidebar.
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The widget Google Maps allows you to add a miniature map with custom icons on your sitebar. There are also interactive options and a lightbox, to help you grab the attention of your visitors. This widget is the perfect way to show your customers where you are and how to increase traffic to your store.
If you are looking to increase sales then use your sidebars to help you achieve this. Whether you are selling subscriptions, products on your site, or affiliate products, use your sidebars to encourage your audience to make a purchase.
View your most popular or specific products you're trying to promote. Add a banner announcing an exceptional offer. Make sure your audience can quickly click on the products they are interested in.
As you can see, there are many widgets that you can add to your sidebars. Choose those that are specifically tailored to your site's goals. Each widget posted should help your site get the results you need.