While blog design is a matter of taste and individual needs, bloggers should always pay extra attention to several aspects of the template - mostly those which organize user experience. After you've set up your essential blog SEO settings, concentrate on making your blog readable, easy to navigate and easy to share.
Online Web Design and SEO Step-by-Step
1) Choosing colors for your blog - make sure there's ample contrast between colors of the background, body and sidebar text, as well as hyperlinks. Colorful fonts and background may look cute, but you should be able to estimate how easy your blog will be for others to read. As a rule, it's best to choose a combination of dark font color, light backround color with a distict color of fonts. Other combinations will make your readers' eyes weary, and they'll browse away;
2) Navigating your blog - make sure your blog is easy to navigate, so as to encourage browsing further as well as contecting. Place widgets with "most popular posts" and blog archive, among others. Make the "follow this blog" and "subscribe" buttons visible and easy to find. Increase page views with the "read more" or "related articles" widget embedded under each of your posts and showcasing similar content;
3) Graphics and pictures - avoid flashing graphics and large, distracting pictures - they're good for attracting attention to your headlines, but don't go out of your way making your blog look like one, huge ad. Too much graphics can also decrease the speed with which your blog's pages will load;
4)Add social bookmarking and social networking buttons - whether they're meant to encourage following you on other sites, or bookmarking and sharing your blog posts, make them large and visible - hardly anyone will bother to bookmark your blog, unless they stumble on an icon as they read;
5) Choose a list of tags, as well as blog categories - let them serve as article reference lists, limit their number and use them adequately while posting new blog entries; they will help your blog's visitors find related content;
6) Insert a sitemap link - it will help crawlers and bots index your content more quickly and with a higher rate of relevance.
Lastly, bloggers often make the mistake of uploading header photos containing title and description - don't do that. Upload a photo with no text and adjust it in such a way so as to place visible title and description onto it directly in your settings. If you substitute words with an image, your SEO will suffer drastically.