After deciding to start a blog to grow your business, one of the next steps you need to take is determining how you want your blog to look like. Keep in mind that anyone can start a blog and there are currently millions of blogs online so if you want to be taken seriously, you can’t just settle for a run-of-the-mill looking blog because you decided to go with a free theme. You won’t earn a pocket full of cash this way.
WHAT ARE THEMES?
Your blog’s identity is determined by two things, its content and theme. In simple words, your blog’s theme is the overall design and functionality of your blog. It sets the ambience that you want your visitors to feel when they land on your page. One difference between websites and blogs is that you can easily change your blog’s theme anytime by just clicking a few buttons compared to websites where you need to rewrite codes just to change the appearance.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR THEME
There are businesses that still use free themes because if you look around, you can find some decent designs with complex functionalities. Most of these themes though are not recommended by blogging platforms because there is no assurance in security and there is always the danger that the theme is carrying malware. If you are investing on a blog to grow your business, then invest a bit further to make your blog look appealing.
Aside from a stunning first impression, here are some things you should consider when choosing a theme.
SEO Friendliness – Content may be king but it’s not the only factor that relates to SEO. Your theme also impacts your blog’s ranking on search engine results pages. Weak coding and structure affects a blog’s organic ranking.
Sidebars – Visitors use the sidebar a lot and it’s the second most noticeable part of your blog after the main page. Make sure the theme has an easy to use and customizable sidebar.
Readability – Most visitors wouldn’t immediately read your entire content. Their first instinct is to scan your pages. Make sure your text content is appealing to the eyes and easy to scan because the average human attention span is only 8 seconds long.
Navigation – This is synonymous to being user-friendly. Make sure you have noticeable signs and links to various parts of your blog. Use an ample amount of hyperlinks so it would be easier to refer to different pages.
Load Time – There are themes that encompass all of the features mentioned above but still wouldn’t be a good choice for you. Rich media has a tendency to prolong loading time so try to find a balance between aesthetics, functionality and site speed.
Mobile Responsiveness – In 2014, the number of internet mobile users have surpassed desktop users. More and more people use their mobile device to surf the net so make sure your theme is compatible to almost all mobile platforms.
THE IMPACT OF YOUR THEME
It has already been mentioned that your theme also affects your blog's SEO. Aside from SEO, the right theme helps retain visitors and convert them into promoters of your blog. If your theme has readable content, easy to navigate interface, and very short load time, you are sure to have happy visitors which equates to better traffic. One of your main goals for theme is to stand out from the multitudes of blogs online.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT THEME TO HELP YOUR BLOG GROW YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
Your blog’s theme plays a major role in its success so choose carefully based on the features mentioned above. Decide whether you want to go premium or use something free and if you are going for the latter, use only those endorsed by your blog provider. To learn more about choosing the right theme for your blog, check out the blueprints below.