What do you consider when choosing a blog design to install? Are you aware that the appearance of your blog speaks a lot about your work online business?
The fact of the matter is that blogging is the core of internet business. People thought that with the introduction of micro blogging sites like twitter and yammer blogging would become extinct. But they failed to see that you need to have a place that you call home.
Those short messages one sends through micro blogging are not enough to help you make money online. You need to have a place that you will take people which contains full details; that is on your blog or website. This goes to show that blogs are here to stay.
A blog acts a voice of what is in your heart, it gives you an opportunity to show people who you really are. It is only fair that you give a good first impression through choosing a blog design that reflects your business and personality.
If you want people to find you appealing, professional and at the same time make money from your blog, you have to take time selecting a good blog design. Studies show that there are over 165 million blogs on the internet. You can bet that very few of this blogs are designed the right way.
This tells you that if you can come up with a good blog design you are on your way to online riches. On this publication we will share on 11 SEO blog design tips that will help you get a good first impression and make money blogging while at it.
Here we go…
1. Work with the best SEO blog design platforms: Depending on what you want to achieve, the blog design platform you opt for really matters.
It is recommended that you keep away from free blog platforms like Blogger and Blogspot. The reason being that when people see such links they will never take you serious (Buy your own domain name and get a web host). Furthermore, on such platform you will not have full control of you blog.
Some of the most reliable platforms include Posterous, Typepad, WordPress and Tumblr. For example, with wordpress you will have access to some of the most powerful plugins and an array of free templates to choose from. (Open an account with Hostgator and you will be able to install wordpress free: Coupon code “workonline25”, 25% discount).
The beauty of using wordpress is the fact that most templates are already optimized for search engines. In addition, there are plugins that will help you to further boost your blog SEO. For me wordpress is the blogging powerhouse.
2. First Impressions matter: As much as some bloggers may disagree, your blog design plays a major role when it comes to online sale conversion, bounce rate and pageviews.
The notion that good blog templates are expensive is completely misplaced. There are affordable blog templates out there; you just need to be patient to search for one. In addition, you can find free blog design templates if you search carefully.
All said and done, get a template that has an outstanding first impression and thus make your blog stand out from the other blogs.
3. Content Placement: It has been noted that both search engines and people give more emphasis to content appearing at the top of your posts. Hence, you need to have your keywords and important content on the first lines of your articles.
4. Comment: People love a blog that is alive and the best way to achieve that is through regular posting and receiving comments. You should therefore encourage people to submit their remarks on your blog posts.
Comments are a great resource of knowing what your visitors what discussed about. They also help in generating more content on your blog thus boost you search engine optimization.
In case you have not activated your blog comments, you need to do that right away.
5. Allow content sharing: It is believed that over 3 billion pieces of content is shared on Facebook alone on a daily bases. This goes to show how your blog design needs to allow you add the various social media share buttons.
It is advisable that you test which are the best positions to display the buttons in order to increase their click through rate. Just the other day Google Plus joined the social media arena and it would be advisable to add the button too. I believe very soon Google Plus will be an integral element in google algorithms.
6. Easy to locate navigation bar: A good blog design should allow you to display your navigation bar at a position that is easy to locate. Ideally, it should take your audience at least 3 seconds for them to locate your navigation bar.
The tags on your navigation bar should be keyword based. This is a killer SEO tactic that most bloggers have not taken into consideration. The links on your categories can be a great source for rich SEO juice.
7. Search Box: If you ask me every blog or website must have a search box. This are among the tools that make your blog be user friendly.
Apart from making your blog user friendly, a search box will help you a great deal in discovering keywords phrases within your niche. The advantage is that most templates come with a search box function
8. Add Pictures: According to SEO experts, it is believed that the recent google panda updates really affected sites without unique images that are optimized.
For the sake of your audience, it is recommended that you add images within your content. No one likes going through endless text. Break the monotony by adding unique pictures.
Search engines bots cannot read images thus you need to add alternate text in your images. The same applies to the online videos that you add on your blog. Note: Remember to add backlinks to your images and videos.
Apart from RSS feeds being able to bring in repeat visitors, it has been noted that traffic from RSS feeds have a high online sales conversion.
10. Breadcrumbs: Generally, breadcrumbs are vital in ensuring 4 things …
a. Search engines categorize your blog content
b. Increase search engine crawling
c. Indexing of your web pages
d. Helps your visitors navigate through your site.
Do let the word “CRUMBS” fool you, this is an important blog design element that can boost organic traffic generation as you work online from home. (Next week we shall share in details about Breadcrumbs)
11. Back Links: Just the other day I discovered a great wordpress plugin (SEO ALRP) that automates my onsite SEO back linking. There are some amazing posts you may have shared some time back and you forgot adding an onpage backlink to them, this plugin can be a nice tool to use to bring them back to life.
This is the reason I said before that the platform you use matters a lot in SEO blog design.
If you want to know the power of internal back linking you need to have a look at the Wikipedia site. Though it is not advisable to overdo your onsite back linking as Wikipedia, make sure that you link to all pages within your blog.
Within the body of your web page content; make sure you add links pointing to other relevant pages. (Note: Do not add more than two links within a page pointing to one particular post, this may be seen as spamming.)
Linking your pages will not only help your readers navigate through your blog easily but it will also help boost your blog pages rankings. Other blog design strategies to help in onsite SEO include adding tag clouds, categories and popular posts.
As much as on site linking is good, be careful not to overdo it. Too many links will only negate your link juice efforts in terms of crawling difficulties.
Now that you have tips on best blog design ideas and practices get down to work and make the most out of your blogging experience.