List/Grid Tag Archives: blog design

Blog Design For Business Bloggers That Guarantee Call To Action

Blog Design For Business Bloggers That Guarantee Call To Action

The ambiance of a hotel room greatly determines whether you are going to enjoy your stay or come back another time. Our surrounding really matter and thus you should apply the same principle when choosing a blog design.

Make sure that from the first glance readers fill at home while on your blog. Make your visitors have confidence in your site by installing a professional blog design.

Today, there are user friendly templates that you can use without the help of a blog designer. As a business blogger you don’t need to worry about HTML coding, all you will focus on is generating quality content.

The main thing you want to achieve from a business blog is to make sales. Some of the elements that determine sales conversion include easy navigation, readability, call to action and blog design.

For those who have been following my blog, I’m sure you noticed that I haven’t update new content for 3 days now. This is because I have been working on a new template design for my blog.





Kindly submit your opinions in the comment section appearing below this article regarding the new design and let me know if you prefer this or the previous design.

I must admit that for a long time now I had been contemplating of changing my site design. If you thought it was touch and go, think again. My fear was that I would lose some of my visitors who would think they have landed on a different site.

Rebranding your business blog is not easy especially when you have high traffic. For a while your bounce rates may go up and thus you need to have a strategy of gradually moving to your new design.

Though I wanted to change my logo, I thought it prudent to maintain my logo for a while before I change it. Thereafter, when my visitors are used to the new design of my blog I can then get a new professional logo.

The other alternative of maintaining your site visitors is providing a link that allows them to view using the old design. The link can be available for a month as they get accustomed to the new look then you can remove the link to the old version.

Business bloggers are now and then re-branding their blogs and the main reason of doing this is to increase visitor activity. The way you design a blog determines the call of action by your blog visitors.

So, let as discuss some fundamental attributes of a perfect and professional blog design:

Choose your color theme: Depending on your niche you have to carefully choose the colors to have on your blog. Unless your blog is about fashion trends or children stuff it is advisable to work with 3 colors at most.

Make sure that the minute someone lands on your blog he/she can tell right away your dominant theme color. The best place to achieve this is on your header.

It is also imperative to pick colors that match since it will make your blog look organized. Selecting colors that don’t match will result in your site appearing too busy, thus have a negative impact to visitors.

Once you have chosen your theme colors ensure that you use them all the time even when you decide to change your blog design once again. This is what is called online branding.

Logo: A big percentage of blogs out there do not have a logo. Maybe it is because they are newbies or they are just ignorant of the fact that logos play an essential role in online business.

Again, the colors you choose matter when it comes to designing a logo. Pick the same colors as your template theme.

It is recommended you spend some money and get the services of a reputable and professional logo designer. A logo is something you intend to use for a long time thus it pays to have a quality logo design.

Work with a light background color: Readability is very critical if you are going to keep people on your site. Therefore, do not pick a pale background color since your content may not be legible to people with poor eyesight.

Some of the calming background colors to incorporate include white or soft white.

online brandingBuy a professional template: There are many free blog templates you can pick and still your site would look great. But for you to leave a lasting impression and improve your blog ambiance you are better off buying a professional blog design template.

Make certain that the once offering the template have a good support team to make sure you fully optimize your blog appearance. The template should also be SEO friendly and this is why most blog designers recommend wordpress templates.

A good template should also be user friendly where people with no experience in coding can easy work with.

It is therefore recommended you read reviews, checkout what top bloggers are using and visit forum sites that discuss blog template design so as to make the right choice.

Here are some of the recommended sites to purchase premium wordpress templates:

Ultimate Blogging Themes

Thesis

Lifestyle Theme

Theme Forest

Studio Press

buy customized themes

Pick easy to read font style: Another element you need to consider when designing a blog in terms of readability is font style.

It is recommended that you select one font style that you will use throughout your blog. Using different styles will make your site look disorganized and crowded thus will confuse readers.

Personally I love Tahoma but there are other font styles you can work with like Arial, Georgia and San-Serif just to mention few.

Adjust to the recommended font size: Pick a font size that can be read with people with a 20/20 vision.

The recommended body content size is 14 pixels. With this size your site visitors will find it easy to read your content. Furthermore, your call to action will be more effective since people can quickly get what you are telling them to do.

Did you know that font size also contribute to your online branding? Yes it does hence work with one font size and style.

Plugin installation: Any blog designer will attest to the fact that wordpress is the best for people seeking to blog for profit. The reason for this is because of one simple fact, availability of plugins.

Plugin are known to perform various task from automating your ad placement, increasing blog activity, improving SEO ranking, enabling social activity and monetizing your blog among other important functions.

I discovered while designing my blog that there was no page counter. Before, I would be forced to look for a website coder to get this done but all I did was to get a plugin and wow! My site has a page count.

Easy navigation: One of the ways to make people take action is to ensure they spend more time on your site. Apart from linking related pages, ensure that visitors can locate your menu within 3 seconds of landing on your blog.

As you consider the template to use, an attribute you seriously need to look at is ease of navigation. Choose a template that has a category bar appearing at the top preferably at the header.

Ad placement: The reason for creating a business blog is to make money hence advisement is a critical aspect to consider.

A good blog design should allow you to rotate and place advertisement at strategic positions. I recommended you try using Ad injection or upload Cranky Ads (both work with wordpress templates).

Read more about how to position your advertisements within your blog.

Bonus points:

Short paragraphs: When writing blog post use short sentences and paragraphs. This makes your content easy to read and digest. In addition, it improves your blog overall appeal.

Usually, people feel intimidated when they come across long paragraphs. Research has also shown that short paragraphs play a major role when it comes to visitor instruction intake.

If you want to be perceived as a friendly blogger try and work on your content structure and arrangement.

Hot introduction lines: The first words you use when starting your article count a great deal since they will determine if a visitor will read on or click the close button.

Therefore, as you work on having the best looking blog design, capture your target audience by publishing content that is interesting to read.

Use phrases that act as pick up lines where you give your readers no option but to read on.

Conclusion: Uploading a new template does not mean you are done. You have to keep on testing and tweaking to see what works best with your target audience.

Never stop researching for ways that would make your blog visitors increase their activity on your site. This is the only way you get your Return On Investment (ROI) especially to online entrepreneurs who blog for money.

My journey to improving your blog appearance and performance has just started.

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Author: Stephen Kavita

Top 9 Blog Design Attributes For Bloggers Working Online

Top 9 Blog Design Attributes For Bloggers Working Online

If you are one of those people who closely follow the top bloggers in your niche, then you will discover that their blog designs have similar features. This is why web design experts advice that you check out other blogs before you design your own.

First impressions count a lot when it comes to generating money online from home. Therefore, spend time choosing the right template and knowing the right plugins to install. Your blog design determines your visitor retention rate thus increase or reduce your online sales conversion.

Since the foundation of your blog design is paramount to your online business success, we are going to share insights on this valuable topic. Learn some of the common attributes and features that almost all top bloggers have installed.

Note: This article is for bloggers who use wordpress as their platform.

Here are the 9 top blog designing features to have on your wordpress blog:




1. Header theme: The size of your header should not be too big or too small. The recommended size is 100 pixels high. Take your time a pick a color for your header that is appealing to your niche. Cool colors are better than colors that scream in the faces on your visitors.

Remember that the header is the first thing that visitors will see when they land on your blog. Hence it is advisable to include a banner advert to one of your products or affiliate products.

Most wordpress templates already have the option for adding a banner at the header section. Alternatively, you can include Google Adsense in the header.

2. Category Section: This section plays a pivotal role when it gets to people navigating through your content. The menu segment also helps search engine to crawl your web pages easily thus indexing and ranking them faster.

The best place to position the category section in your blog design is at the top bar, side bar or at the footer. But when you observe what top bloggers have done, you will note that they have at least two menu sections; one at the top bar and another at the side bar or footer.

Note: Having extra categories links ensures that visitors have an easy time moving from one page to another.

3. Search Box: Installing the search box is important since it offers visitors another option to navigate through your content. It will also assist you to know what your target audience are looking for thus provide them with what they want or need. In short, a search box acts as a research tool for helping you generate relevant content.

Most top bloggers have positioned the search box at the header on the right side. You can also have a blog design where the search box appears on the right side bar but at the top.

In case you get a template that has no search box you can add this code “<?php get_search_form(); ?>” in your header.php editor section.

4. Logo installation: In most cases the best place to put your Logo is at the upper left corner of your blog design. The advantage is that most wordpress templates position the logo at the place that is recommended.

The logo is also hyperlinked to your blog homepage automatically when using wordpress.

Features contained in the Content Section:

Blog Design ElementsThe ideal blog design structure is to have the content area on the left while one side bar on the right. It has been noted that when most people are browsing, the cursor is usually on the left side of their computer. Hence the reason to position the one side bar on the right side.

This means that if you add adverts on the side bar you will have a higher probability to generate leads.

5. Tags:

a) Popular Post tags – Having a blog design with popular posts will help introduce your target audience to your best articles. A close observation of top bloggers in the world, have their popular posts on the right side bar somewhere in the middle.

Again wordpress has great plugins to add this feature (upload the plugin called “Popular Posts +” and then drag it to your side bar).

b) Related Articles tags – To further help retain visitors on your blog and reduce your bounce rate, add a related post plugin. This will assist your blog visitors to access other related articles when reading a post.

The ideal setting is to have related posts appearing below every blog post. This will encourage readers to have a look at more content hence retain them on your site.

A recommended plugin to install so as to be able to add this feature is “SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2”

6. Social Networking Icons:

a) Social Media Share Buttons – All top bloggers have installed a plugin for sharing their web content. This is a great strategy of implementing viral marketing. Some of the common social media share buttons include twitter, facebook, google +1, Digg and LinkedIn.

The best share button to have is the wordpress sliding Sharebar. The recommended position is to have the share icons floating on the left of your blog.

b) Social Media Profile Links – Adding your social media accounts will help you get more people to follow or become your fans. There people who rather be your fans on facebook rather than subscribe to your RSS Feeds or Newsletters.

Most top bloggers have included social media accounts like facebook, twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and StumpleUpon in their blog design.

7. Call to Action Message: If you visit most top blogs you will find that they have a call to action message at the bottom of their webpages. This message could be; asking readers to subscribe to their opt-in list or purchase a product.

The other approach to take is a call to action where you ask visitors to share your content on social sites, post comments or click on a link. Either way, you need to include a call to action in your work online blog design in order to generate sales or build your mailing list.

To implement this feature you can add the call to action message in the footer using a plugin called Ad injection.  At the section called footer ad in the Ad Injection plugin, you can add a call to action message or advert.

8. Email List Builder: The best positioning of your email opt-in form is on the side bar preferable at the top. As we earlier stated, most top bloggers have placed one side bar on the right side.

In order to implement this feature you will first need to open an account with an email management provider. Two of the best to work with are Aweber and IContact.

These sites have detailed instructions that will help you to embed the opt-in form and have it to look the way you desire.

9. Product Ads Display: The one thing you want out of your blog design is to make money. This is why it is imperative that you know how and where best to position your adverts.

A study carried out revealed that blogs that generate a lot of income are the ones that have products displayed on the right side bar. In addition, blogs that include an advertisement at the bottom of a post also recorded high sales volume.

For you to add products with ease you can install the “Ad Injection” plugin that will help you to even rotate your adverts. It is a simple plugin to use where you just copy and paste your banner HTML codes in the required sections within the Ad Injection plugin.

Conclusion: The overall appearance of your blog design can mean the success or failure of your quest to make money on the internet. Therefore, set aside some time to implement the above mention features.

If you have queries or opinions feel free to submit them in the comment section below. Use the social icon buttons appearing on the left to share this article.

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Top 11 SEO Blog Design Tips For Killer Traffic Generation

Top 11 SEO Blog Design Tips For Killer Traffic Generation

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).

wordpress blog designThe 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.

work online RSS feed9. Activate RSS Feed: One of my top resources for online traffic generation is through my RSS feeds. Over the years, RSS feeds have proven to be integral in blog design.

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.

Best Blog Design Practices For Work Online Bloggers

Best Blog Design Practices For Work Online Bloggers

On this blog post we are going to look into the best practices of blog design that are search engine friendly. The way you design your blog can mean success or failure of your work online blogging business. Usually, it starts with one mistake that causes a ripple effect and in the long run hinders your online home business growth.

One major impediment of a wrong blog design is site ranking. As you all know search engines are the main sources of targeted traffic. Therefore, if you are blogging for money you need to make certain that your blog structure is properly formatted.

Here are several building blocks of an ideal blog design:

Webpage URL’s: Personally, I recommend that your webpage URL’s to be short and contain your targeted keyword phrase. In addition, for every blog post you create come up with a different keyword in your niche. This will ensure you avoid creating duplicate content that will affect your blog ranking.

The best webpage links are the ones that have small letters hence avoid capitalization. In addition, rather than use spaces in your URL’s, it would be advisable to break up your words with hyphens (-).

Your URL’s are vital components of blog design that help search engines know what your content is about thus index and rank your webpage appropriately.

Webpage Titles: If you want search engines to know exactly what your page is all about, then the title is the first place you can achieve that. Carefully do your keyword research and use them in your title.

Place your keywords at the beginning of your title ensuring that you use H1, H2, H3 format.

Paragraph number 1: The second most important component of blog design after your title is the first paragraph. Both this sections fall under what is called internal optimization or onpage optimization.

Make sure the same keyword that you settled for in your title is repeated in your first paragraph. On my blog, I try to make sure my keyword appears in the first line of my first paragraph. This is an ideal blog design strategy that will ensure engine robots know exactly what your content is all about.

If it is possible try to use your short tail keywords in your first paragraph and then go further and have them in bold format.

Adding hyper links in your first paragraph is also very important. This is where you use your keywords as anchor text to link to other webpages within your blog and also linking to your homepage.

Page Content: As much as there are many forms of content, the best to use on your blog design is written content. Search engines have an easy time crawling text than pictures or videos. The more you make it easy for engine bots to crawl your content the better placements on SERP (search engine result pages).

Since the last google algorithm panda updates, you need to come up with articles with about 700 to 1000 words. Before with just 400 words you were able to rank well, but that has now changed. Google did these adjustments to improve their users experience by providing quality content.

Make certain that as you optimize your content it is well drafted with insightful and rich content. Try and make your content exciting to read by engaging your audience. This is by being original and sharing provocative content that will necessitate your readers to take action.

It is amazing how by just asking your readers to click a certain link they will do so. This is what is known as “Call to action”, where your direct readers on what to do, where to perform it and how to do it.

Again, remember to use the keywords you want to rank on and making sure you maintain the right keyword density.

Add images: Within your blog design it is imperative that you add images within your content. Pictures help to break the monotony of having endless text. You can imagine coming up with 1000 words, this can be boring to most readers especially noting that most people just scan through content.

Images also offer you an opportunity to add your targeted keywords as alternate text. Apart from adding your keywords, you should also include a short description of your images. The description should also be rich with keyword terms to better make your blog design search engine friendly.

Pictures play a major role in blog design in regards to appearance and optimization. Image alternate tags are best optimized with exact match or primary keyword phrases.

blog designHave a blog design with a robots.txt file: One thing that search engines look for while on your blog is the robot.txt file. Here it is recommended that you work with templates that already have the robot.txt file.

Ideally, this file is where you get to specify the pages and sections of your blog that you want search engines to crawl or not to crawl. Avoid the issues of engine spiders coming across missing files because this generates errors which will eventually affect you blog ranking.

A blog design with errors can be quite detrimental to your online business. Research has proved that about 75% of visitors that encounter errors while browsing your blog actually exit. Therefore, it is advisable to create a custom 404 page for monitoring pages with errors and broken links.

Site Maps: A robot.txt file also should contain a link to your sitemap. Sitemap is a simplified structure of your blog design. They help in easing search engines crawl and indexing your blog content faster.

In normal cases, the more you create content the further some of your older pages are pushed down. Search engines are known to Crawl only the homepage and first 3 or 4 pages. Sitemaps shorten your blog design by use of HTML (hyper text markup language).

When you install a sitemap on your blog, it will make sure that every page you create is submitted to the search engines for indexing.

Experts in blog design recommend HTML or XML version of site map.

Avoid Flash: One thing that engine robots don’t like is flash images. Hence it is advisable to minimize the use of flash images or do away with them all together. A good example of a flash image is JavaScript.

Note: Search engines cannot read anything contained in a blog design that has JavaScript. It is true that flash images are very catchy, but what is the point of using them and if that will negate your blog optimization efforts.

Summary: The best SEO blog design should be simple and search engine friendly.

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