Let's say you're from France and have set up - just for examples sake - a blog called frenchlitgeek.blogspot.com where you share your thoughts and insights on French literature. Now, with Google's country specific redirection in Blogger, you might be redirected to frenchlitgeek.blogspot.fr when you try to access your site. The thing is, you perfectly liked the .com and didn't sign up for the .fr but you find yourself being directed there. Sure, your blog works and all but you also wonder why.
blogger country specific redirection

Why Did Google Do This?

Google has always supported the expression of views, and they stated as much on their official blog. In the post Free expression and controversial content on the web, which was published in 2007, it said "Our world would be a very boring place if we all agreed all the time. So, while people may strongly disagree with what someone says, or think that a particular newspaper is total nonsense, we recognize that each of us have the right to an opinion."

The post continued, "We also know that letting people express their views freely has real practical benefits. Allowing individuals to voice unpopular, inconvenient or controversial opinions is important. Not only might they be right (think Galileo) but debating difficult issues in the open often helps people come to better decisions".

blogspot country redirection

While the company is clearly on the side of people freely expressing their opinions, they also believe that a line has to be drawn somewhere. Then again, for a company providing services in over 100 countries around the world and each with their own national laws and cultural norms, it's surely difficult for a company like Google to decide where to draw boundaries.

However, there are cases like child pornography which is illegal in just about any country where decisions are clear cut.

For a company whose products are "specifically designed to help people create and communicate, to find and share information and opinions across the world", how does Google deal with this challenge?

One of the most challenging areas where Google deals with issues regarding free expression is in Blogger, their content generation platform. Since Google can't check what you've written before you publish, they rely on active vocal users who are diligent in alerting the proper if a post borders on offensive. Then again, that in itself is a tricky issue as well because what one person may view as offensive, another might not.

In other words, it's always a work in progress with Google.

Fast forward to January 9, 2012 when Google announced it was making changes to the Blogger platform with regards to censorship. That said change would make use of a country specific domain to the Blogger platform. Doing this would allow Google to censor and remove content specific to a certain country.

In their announcement, Google said: "Migrating to localized domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law. By utilizing ccTLDs, content removals can be managed on a per country basis, which will limit their impact to the smallest number of readers."

The move by Google come after pressure from countries like India that are working on hunting down content on social media sites which are considered inappropriate. Also, the move followed closely on the heels of Twitter's new censorship policies.

Since Google aims to "help people create and communicate, to find and share information and opinions across the world", it would be strange to take down a post that was just banned in a certain area. In essence, with country specific redirection, a piece of content can still be accessible by the world save for the country where it was blocked.

How Would Country Specific Redirection Affect Your Site?

Of course, not all site owners greeted the country specific URL change with open arms. A few of the issues brought up in regard to the change include:

1. A reduction in social stats. These are your Facebook Likes, Google +1s and so on from your blog posts. They might be reduced because the URLs from one blog post will be different depending on where your readers are from.

2. A problem with external commenting platforms. If you use Disqus - for example - for your comments section, then you might run into trouble because blog URLs will be different even if essentially the page being accessed is just the same.

3. A slight problem with AdSense earnings. Some users have complained about seeing a dip in their earnings when their pages are served through country specific domains.

4. An issue with link juice. You want external sites to link to you and not your country specific URL. But the issue here is that you can't control how others link to your page. They might use the top level domain or they might use the country code top-level domain.

Stop Blogger from Redirecting to Country-Specific Domains

If country specific redirection affects important factors such as traffic and link juice, and you need those in order to rank well, what can you possibly do? Well, thankfully, Google has provided a way to get around this. All you have to do is add an ncr/ to the end of the URL - ncr here stands for No Country Redirect. So basically, it goes frenchlitgeek.blogspot.com/ncr/.

That solution is great but do you want your users to always have to do that every time they visit your blog? To eliminate that hassle, and for the good of your site statistics, a simple redirection script will do the trick. Here's how:

1. Log in to your Blogger account.

2. Click on Template → Edit HTML.

3. Find the <head> tag in the HTML editor by opening the search box using Ctrl + F.

blogger country redirection

4. Copy the redirection code seen below after the <head> tag.
<script type="text/javascript">
var blog = document.location.href.toLowerCase();
if (!blog.match(/\.blogspot\.com/)) {
blog = blog.replace(/\.blogspot\..*?\//, ".blogspot.com/ncr/");
window.location.replace(blog);
}
</script>

5. Click on "Save Template".

Credit: labnol.com

And that's it! Whenever someone accesses your Blogger, they'll be taken to the top level domain rather than the country specific one.
Want to know which part of your site or blog will bring you more profit? Add AdSense inside posts and then check out the famous Google AdSense heat map. Recent studies, however, showed that placing AdSense after the first paragraph of a site or blog is one of the best AdSense placement. Unfortunately, the default Blogger platform offered by Google doesn't allow placement of ad after the first paragraph. But because it has become one of the most profitable areas, plenty of webmasters have tried to take advantage of the best AdSense placement. How can you enjoy the same level of profit?

To solve the problem, we will just move the locations of the ads to be displayed by adding JavaScript and DIVs. With the following script, you can easily choose the paragraph or heading after which you want to inject the ad to. This way, you won't have to manually change every post.

adsense inside posts, adsense placement

How to Display AdSense Ads after the First Paragraph in Blogger

1. Log into your Blogger account, select your blog and click "Template" on the left side. Open the Template editor using the "Edit HTML" button. Once the editor has opened, click anywhere inside the code area and press the CTRL + F keys (or Command + F) on your keyboard to open the editor' search box. Search the following line:
<data:post.body/>
Note: You will find multiple occurrences of <data:post.body/>, stop at the second one or if you don't see any changes, test the last one.

2. Add the below DIVs in red before and after, like this:
<div id='adsense-target'><data:post.body/></div>
3. Copy the AdSense code that you want to show and use this tool to convert it into plain text. Just above the line that we just found, add the following HTML and replace the "ADSENSE CODE HERE" text with the converted ad code:
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;'>
<div id='adsense-content' style="display:block;text-align: center">ADSENSE CODE HERE</div></b:if>
Screenshot:


Align AdSense Left or Right

By default, the Google AdSense ad unit will appear in the middle just after the first paragraph. If you are unhappy with the results and want to wrap text around the ad, you can choose one of the options below:

a) Align AdSense to the left: change <div id='adsense-content' style="display:block;text-align: center"> with
<div id='adsense-content' style="display: inline-block;float: left;margin:15px 15px 15px 0px">
After modifying it, the ad will display something like this:

adsense inside posts, adsense placement

b) Align AdSense ad to the right of the content: change <div id='adsense-content' style="display:block;text-align: center"> with
<div id='adsense-content' style="display:inline-block;float:right;margin:15px 0px 15px 15px">
4. Finally, right after <div id='adsense-target'><data:post.body/></div> (step 2), add this script:
<script type='text/javascript'>
function insertAfter(addition,target) {
var parent = target.parentNode;
if (parent.lastChild == target) {
parent.appendChild(addition);
} else {
parent.insertBefore(addition,target.nextSibling);
}
}
var adscont = document.getElementById(&quot;adsense-content&quot;);
var target = document.getElementById(&quot;adsense-target&quot;);
var linebreak = target.getElementsByTagName(&quot;br&quot;);
if (linebreak.length &gt; 0){
insertAfter(adscont,linebreak[0]);
}
</script>
Note:
- To insert the ad after the second paragraph, change "0" from the line in red with "2".
- If you want to put AdSense just below the heading h2 or heading h3 of a post, replace br from &quot;br&quot; with h2 or h3.

5. Click "Save template" to save the changes and you're done.

With this trick, you can insert AdSense after the first paragraph automatically in Blogger with ease. Now it's your turn to decide which format works best on your site.
It's near impossible to find a blog or site these days without at least one social media account to their name. Be it Twitter or Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, or all of those for that matter, what's become increasingly clear is that social media helps increase your online presence.

Gone are the days when you used to rely on good old search engine results alone. These days, maybe you don't rank well in results for your keyword on Google or any other search engine, but you can launch a social media campaign that can hopefully give you the results that you want.

Essentially, your site and social media need to co-exist. One cannot live without the other, if you want another way of putting it. Social media is one of the best drivers of traffic on the internet, and if you want to increase your chances of being seen, then you have got to get an account on one or more platforms as long as it fits with your brand's identity.

font awesome social icons

Spreading Awareness of Your Social Media Presence

Once you've set up your social media accounts, you don't just leave it there to be discovered. Sure, you can make use of hashtags and communicate with industry leaders, but that's not enough to bring awareness to your customers. To let them know you have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine or Pinterest, you have to make use of the real estate on your website.

How exactly do you do that, you ask? Well, by means of social icons.

Social icons are those little images you see that represent a symbol associated with a particular social network. For example, social icons for Twitter usually feature a blue bird. If not that, then a lowercase letter T.

The presence of these images remind your viewers that they have other ways of being up to date with whatever you put out. Social media use is pretty high these days thanks to the immediacy of the medium as well as the fun factor. And more likely than not, your audience would want to know whether you're on any social network.

If you're on the Blogger platform, you can add these social media representations through Font Awesome social icons.

What is Font Awesome?

Font Awesome "gives you scalable vector icons that can instantly be customized - size, color, drop shadow, and anything that can be done with the power of CSS". In essence, it functions as a toolkit where you get access to more than 500 icons for use on your site - free of charge.

Now, if you've used social media icons before, you know that there are non-vector varieties. But those offered by Font Awesome are scalable vector icons, and in the long run, they are the better option for your site.

Why is that the case?

Well, a very good reason would be that images take time to load. Yes, these images are tiny but the point still stands. Plus, images tend to lose their quality as computer resolution increases. In other words, if you want your icons to load faster and have a nice, crisp and clean look, then you're better off with using the collection of Font Awesome. Also, the chance to customize your icons accordingly is definitely an attractive factor too.

Why you should start using Font Awesome?

Of the many providers out there, why stick with Font Awesome?
  • Large collection of icons. You'll not only find social media icons here, but other traditional icons as well.
  • CSS support. With CSS, you can adjust the icons according to what suits your site best. You can tinker with the colors, size, shadows and other components. This is something sorely lacking with non-vector images because you're stuck with the icon you chose.
  • Speed. Vector images are lightweight and therefore load faster.
  • Free. You don't have to pay a single thing when you use Font Awesome.
So now you know the importance of icons on your site, it's time to learn how to add Font Awesome icons in Blogger.

Adding Font Awesome Social Icons in Blogger

The adding of icons to your Blogger isn't rocket science. In fact, the process is pretty straightforward.
Here's what you have to do:

Add Font Awesome Stylesheet into Blogger

Follow the steps below to get Font Awesome working with your blog:
1. Download Font Awesome from the official page.
2. Copy the entire font-awesome directory into your project.
3. Open your Blogger dashboard, go to Template and press the Edit HTML button. Find the <head> tag then add this line of code referencing the location of your font-awesome.min.css stylesheet.

font awesome stylesheet

Or if you'd prefer the easiest method, add this line just below the <head> tag:
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/font-awesome/4.4.0/css/font-awesome.min.css" />
4. Start playing with Font Awesome!

Using the Font Awesome Icons

After you get the steps in the previous section done, you're now ready to use Font Awesome in your blog. The first thing you need to do is add the social icons links to the HTML and delete the icons that you don't need anymore. This is a sample HTML that you can add:
<div id="fawesomeicons">
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Facebook" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-facebook"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Google Plus" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-google-plus"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Twitter" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-twitter"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Pinterest" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-pinterest"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Instagram" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-instagram"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Bloglovin" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-heart"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Tumblr" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-tumblr"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="RSS" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-rss"></i></a>
</div>
In the above HTML code, we can see 8 separate social icons which can be recognized by looking at the link title attribute. For example, the first one is for Facebook.

To use the social icons, paste your URL where it says URL-HERE for each social icon you want to include. Put the link between the quotes and make sure to not remove any of the quotation marks.

If you want to remove a social icon, just delete that line of code starting with "<a href" and ending with "</a>".

Now, keep in mind that Font Awesome works anywhere with the <i> tag as it was designed to work with inline elements. Although you can use <span>, official documentation prefers the <i> option for brevity.

Font Awesome icons can be placed anywhere using the CSS prefix fa together with the name of the icon. For a list of social media icon names, you can refer to the official website of Font Awesome.

Let's say that you want to display a Youtube icon so you can link it to your official account on the platform. Find the Youtube icon on the list and click on it:

font awesome icon

That will bring you to a page for Youtube where you will see this code:

font awesome social icons

To include the icon within the list, copy any line starting with "<a href" and ending with "</a> from the code above, paste where you want it to appear and replace the code starting with "<i class="fa " and ending with "</i>" with that of your chosen icon.

Finally, after adding the icon, the list will look like this:
<div id="fawesomeicons">
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Facebook" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-facebook"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Google Plus" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-google-plus"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Twitter" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-twitter"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Pinterest" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-pinterest"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Instagram" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-instagram"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Bloglovin" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-heart"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Tumblr" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-tumblr"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="RSS" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-rss"></i></a>
<a href="URL-HERE" title="Youtube" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i class="fa fa-youtube"></i></a>
</div>
Note: don't forget to change the title and add your URL between the quotes.

Once you've finished editing the icons, insert the code into a HTML/Javascript gadget by going to "Layout" and click on the "Add a gadget" link. If you're using WordPress, paste it in a Text widget.

Customize the Font Awesome Icons Using CSS

Suppose you want to make the icons a lot bigger than they currently are. That task is made simple with the use of CSS. Here's a sample code:
#fawesomeicons a {
    font-size: 16px;
    width: 30px;
    height: 30px;
    line-height: 30px;
}
To change the font size, increase or decrease the 16px value. Below are the values (30px) for the container's width and height which should always match. Increasing/decreasing these values, will increase/decrease the size of the container where is the font.

Here are some different styles for the font awesome social icons. In the CSS, look for the #background-color, #border-color, #font-color and #hover-color text so that you can know here to put the color codes. You can use this tool to generate the color code: Color Code Generator. If you don't know how to add CSS, follow this tutorial.

font awesome social icons

#fawesomeicons {
text-align: center;
}
#fawesomeicons a {
background: #background-color;
color: #font-color;
display: inline-block;
font-size: 16px;
width: 30px;
height: 30px;
line-height: 30px;
margin: 0 1px 6px;
}
#fawesomeicons a:hover{
background: #hover-color;
}

font awesome social icons

#fawesomeicons {
text-align: center;
}
#fawesomeicons a {
background: #background-color;
color: #font-color;
display: inline-block;
font-size: 16px;
width: 30px;
height: 30px;
line-height: 30px;
margin: 0 1px 6px;
-webkit-border-radius: 100%;
-moz-border-radius: 100%;
border-radius: 100%;
}
#fawesomeicons a:hover{
background: #hover-color;
}

font awesome social icons

#fawesomeicons {
text-align: center;
}
#fawesomeicons a {
border: 1px solid #border-color;
color: #font-color;
display: inline-block;
font-size: 16px;
width: 30px;
height: 30px;
line-height: 30px;
margin: 0 1px 6px;
}
#fawesomeicons a:hover{
background: #hover-color;
}

font awesome social icons

#fawesomeicons {
text-align: center;
}
#fawesomeicons a {
border: 1px solid #border-color;
color: #font-color;
display: inline-block;
font-size: 16px;
width: 30px;
height: 30px;
line-height: 30px;
margin: 0 1px 6px;
-webkit-border-radius: 100%;
-moz-border-radius: 100%;
border-radius: 100%;
}
#fawesomeicons a:hover{
background: #hover-color;
}

font awesome social icons

#fawesomeicons {
text-align: center;
}
#fawesomeicons a {
color: #font-color;
display: inline-block;
font-size: 23px;
margin: 0 6px 6px;
}
#fawesomeicons a:hover{
background: #hover-color;
}

Now, what if we want to change the background or font color of a specific icon? First, we need to identify the icon class which is just after the <i class="fa ..." and add it like this:
#fawesomeicons a .fa-facebook {
background: #background-color;
color: #font-color;
}
Here, we can change the background and color for the Facebook icon but we can do it for any icon you want. For example, let's add another rule for the twitter icon:
#fawesomeicons a .fa-facebook {
background: #background-color;
color: #font-color;
}
 #fawesomeicons a .fa-twitter {
background: #background-color;
color: #font-color;
}
To make the fonts bigger, we can add the CSS code like this:
#fawesomeicons {
text-align: center;
}
#fawesomeicons a .fa{
display: inline-block;
font-size: 16px;
width: 30px;
height: 30px;
line-height: 30px;
}
#fawesomeicons a .fa-facebook {
background: #background-color;
color: #font-color;
}
 #fawesomeicons a .fa-twitter {
background: #background-color;
color: #font-color;
}
To apply, copy the code above and add the CSS rule with the icon class that you wish to change.

Important: When adding the class for your icon, always put a dot (.) in front of it as you can see in the example above, otherwise it won't work.

And that's it! Hopefully, this tutorial helped you to add Font Awesome social icons in Blogger. If you're still in trouble adding them, please take a look at Examples page.
If you're using Blogger as the platform for your personal or business blog, you're probably looking for ways to customize it and make it your own. This way, you'll make your webpages unique and eye-catching and ensure they'll stand out from the many other pages on the internet. You'll also grab the attention of your target market, encourage them to browse through your blog and become your loyal readers and followers.

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to personalize your Blogger blog, and one of these is to customize your Popular Posts widget. Haven't installed this yet? Don't worry since putting it in your blog easy.
popular posts widget for blogger

Adding the Popular Posts Widget for Blogger

Just click on your blog title, access the Layout menu, click "Add Widget" and choose "Popular Posts". A window will appear asking you to configure the widget by choosing which posts you'll feature (e.g. those that were most viewed in the past 7 days or 30 days or from the beginning of your blog). You'll also be asked to choose how many posts you'll feature in your Popular Posts section and select if you'll show the post title only or along with the image thumbnail and/or the snippet. (Remember that each widget style has different requirements, so follow the instructions carefully to know if you'll need the snippet and image thumbnail or not).

Configuring Popular Posts Widget for Blogger

Once you've followed these instructions, you'll get to see the basic version of the Popular Posts Widget for Blogger in your blog. You can stick with this if it matches your blog design but, if it sticks out like a sore thumb or doesn't suit your taste, there's no need to fret since you can personalize it. You can choose from the following styles - see the demo blog:

Popular Posts Style 1 - Box within a box

This is an interesting widget style since it uses your snippet and image thumbnail in a unique way. Your snippet is written in opaque text and placed in a small transparent box. This, in turn, is placed in a bigger rectangular box, wherein your image thumbnail is used as a background. Choosing this Popular Posts Widget for Blogger can be a great option if you want to brighten up your blog and grab the attention of readers with your colorful photos.

popular posts widget for blogger

CSS code:
<style type='text/css'>
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul {
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li {
list-style: none !important;
padding: 0 !important;
margin-bottom: 10px;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail {
height: 190px;
margin: 0;
overflow: hidden;
width: 100%;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-title {
position: relative;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts img {
height: 100%;
width: 100%;
object-fit: cover;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-title a {
color: #FFFFFF;
font: 15px &#39;Oswald&#39;, sans-serif;
text-transform: uppercase;
font-size: 20px;
padding: 10px;
position: absolute;
right: 0;
left: 0px;
margin: 0px auto;
text-align: center;
text-decoration: none;
top: 40px;
width: 60%;
height: 26px;
overflow: hidden;
z-index: 2;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-snippet {
background: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.35);
border-top: 6px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.1);
border-bottom: 6px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.1);
color: #FFFFFF;
left: 0px;
right: 0px;
margin: 0px auto;
padding: 65px 10px 10px;
position: absolute;
font: 13px &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,Times,FreeSerif,serif;
text-align: center;
top: 35px;
width: 60%;
z-index: 1;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-content {
position: relative;
}
</style>

Popular Posts Style 2 - Large thumbnails with small post titles underneath

This uses the same code as the basic Blogger Popular Posts Widget with a few tweaks. Popularized by well-known blogs, this style is eye-catching because it focuses on pictures, which don't only summarize the posts' content but also add visual drama to the entire page. This is particularly useful for blogs that focus on clothes, makeup, art and other topics that highly depend on visual presentation to better express ideas.
popular posts widget for blogger
CSS code:
<style type='text/css'>
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul {
counter-reset: popularcount;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li {
width: 100%;
list-style: none !important;
padding: 0 !important;
margin-bottom: 20px;
position: relative;
border: 0;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail a {
clip: auto;
display: block;
height: auto;
height: 120px;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail {
width: 100%;
position: relative;
margin-bottom: 15px;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail::before {
background: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0) none repeat scroll 0 0;
border-bottom: 29px solid #fff;
border-left: 29px solid transparent;
border-right: 29px solid transparent;
bottom: 0px;
content: &quot;&quot;;
height: 0;
width: 0px;
left: 0px;
right: 0px;
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;
position: absolute;
z-index: 3;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail:after {
color: #000;
content: counter(popularcount, decimal);
counter-increment: popularcount;
font: 13px &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,Times,FreeSerif,serif;
list-style-type: none;
position: absolute;
bottom: 0;
text-align: center;
margin: 0px auto;
left: 0px;
right: 0px;
z-index: 4;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail img {
position: relative;
width: 100%;
height: 120px;
object-fit: cover;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-title {
font: 15px &#39;Oswald&#39;, sans-serif;
text-transform: uppercase;
text-align: center;
margin: 0px auto;
padding-bottom: 10px;
border-bottom: 1px solid #000;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-title a {
color: #000;
text-decoration: none;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-snippet {
padding: 10px 15px;
font: 13px &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,Times,FreeSerif,serif;
text-align: center;
}
</style>

Popular Posts Style 3 - Colorful boxes

If your blog needs a pop of color, this is the right choice for you. This widget style presents your Popular Posts in several boxes that feature a thumbnail image and have bright, eye-catching shades like light green, ocher yellow and vivid orange. Each box has a different color, and you can add up to four boxes.

popular posts widget for blogger

CSS code:
<style type='text/css'>
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul {
padding: 0;
margin: 0;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail a {
clip: auto;
display: block;
height: auto;
overflow: hidden;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail {
width: 130px;
height: 130px;
border-right: 5px solid #fff;
margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px !important;
position: relative;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail img {
position: relative;
height: 100%;
width: 100%;
object-fit: cover;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li {
float: left;
margin-bottom: 5px;
max-height: 130px;
min-width: 250px;
overflow: hidden;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li:first-child {
background: #D9EDF7;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li:first-child + li{
background: #F2DEDE;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li:first-child + li + li {
background: #DFF0D8;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li:first-child + li + li + li {
background: #FFEEBC;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li:first-child + li + li + li + li{
background: #E0E0E0;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-title {
font: 13px &#39;Oswald&#39;, sans-serif;
text-transform: uppercase;
padding: 10px 5px 10px;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-title a {
color: #000;
text-decoration: none;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-snippet {
font: 13px &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,Times,FreeSerif,serif;
padding-right: 5px;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .widget-content ul li {
padding: 0px 5px 0px 0px!important;
}
</style>

Popular Posts Style 4 - Grid layout

Just like the large-picture widget style, the grid layout is an excellent option if you want to showcase your pictures or if your blog depends on visual information. However, the title of your posts won't be included in the layout, so readers will have to hover their mouses on the images to read the titles.

popular posts widget for blogger

CSS code:
<style type='text/css'>
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul {
padding: 0;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li:first-child{
width: 100%;
max-height: 100%;
opacity: 0.9;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li:nth-child(even){
margin-right: 2%;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li {
box-sizing: border-box;
position: relative;
padding: 0px !important;
width: 49%;
max-height: 120px;
opacity: 0.4;
overflow:hidden;
float: left;
margin-bottom: 2%;
-webkit-transition: all 0.5s ease 0s;
-moz-transition: all 0.5s ease 0s;
-ms-transition: all 0.5s ease 0s;
-o-transition: all 0.5s ease 0s;
transition: all 0.5s ease 0s;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li:hover {
opacity: 1;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail {
margin: 0;
width: 100%;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li img {
box-sizing: border-box;
width: 100%;
height: 100%;
object-fit: cover;
padding:0;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-content:hover .item-title a,
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail-only:hover .item-title a {
visibility: visible;
opacity: 1;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-title a {
color: #fff;
background: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0) linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(0, 0, 0, 0) 0%, rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.93) 100%, rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.85) 100%);
text-decoration: none;
position: absolute;
text-align: center;
font: 13px &#39;Oswald&#39;, sans-serif;
left: 0;
right: 0;
bottom: 0%;
padding: 100px 10px 10px;
opacity: 0;
visibility: hidden;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-snippet {
display: none;
}
</style>

Popular Posts Style 5 - Numbered posts

If you love numbered lists, or if you'd like to make your blog more organized, this can be the perfect option. By using the code for this widget style, your Popular Posts will be automatically numbered and will feature clean, minimalistic boxes that include your snippet and image thumbnail.

popular posts widget for blogger

CSS code:
<style type='text/css'>
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul {
counter-reset: popularcount;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts ul li {
float: left;
max-height: 130px;
min-width: 250px;
position: relative;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail::after {
color: rgba(255,255,255, 0.63);
content: counter(popularcount, decimal);
counter-increment: popularcount;
font: 70px &#39;Oswald&#39;, sans-serif;
list-style-type: none;
position: absolute;
left: 5px;
top: -5px;
z-index: 4;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail::before {
background: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.3);
bottom: 0px;
content: &quot;&quot;;
height: 100px;
width: 100px;
left: 0px;
right: 0px;
margin: 0px auto;
position: absolute;
z-index: 3;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail a {
clip: auto;
display: block;
height: auto;
overflow: hidden;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail {
width: 100px;
height: 100px;
margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px !important;
position: relative;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail:hover:before {
display: none;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-thumbnail img {
position: relative;
padding-right: 0px !important;
height: 100%;
width: 100%;
object-fit: cover;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-title {
font: 13px &#39;Oswald&#39;, sans-serif;
text-transform: uppercase;
padding: 0px 5px 10px;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-title a {
color: #000;
text-decoration: none;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-snippet {
font: 13px &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,Times,FreeSerif,serif;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .widget-content ul li {
padding: 0px 5px 0px 0px !important;
}
.sidebar .PopularPosts .item-content {
padding: 5px 0px;
border-bottom: 1px dotted #dedede;
overflow: hidden;
height: 100px;
position: relative;
}
</style>
These are just some of the widget styles you can choose from. When you've picked a style you want, make sure to copy its CSS code. Once you do so, go to your blog, click "Template" on the left side and select "Edit HTML" under the template preview.

These next codes need to be pasted above the "</head>" or "</body>" tags, so check the instruction to know exactly where you need to put the code.

Adding the CSS

When the template editor has opened, click anywhere inside the code area and hit CTRL + F or Command F to search the following tag:
</head>
Just ABOVE the </head> tag, copy-paste the CSS code of one of the styles above.


Important: If the Popular Posts widget is located in the footer of your blog, remove the .sidebar class found in the CSS code in order to make it work.

Please note that most of the styles are using the Oswald font which you need to add to your template's code as well.

So, search for this tag:
<head>
Just BELOW it, add this line:
<link href='https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Oswald:400,700' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'/>

Adding the JavaScript

These styles also require JavaScript codes in order to resize the popular posts image / thumbnail and trim the post snippet and title. To add the JavaScript, search the </body> tag and paste the following script just above it:
<script src='//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js'/>
<script type='text/javascript'>
$(&#39;.popular-posts img&#39;).attr(&#39;src&#39;, function(e, t) {
return t.replace(&#39;/s72-c/&#39;, &#39;/s350-c/&#39;)
});
$(&#39;.popular-posts ul li .item-snippet&#39;).each(function(){
var txt=$(this).text().substr(0,60);
var j=txt.lastIndexOf(&#39; &#39;);
if(j&gt;10)
$(this).text(txt.substr(0,j).replace(/[?,!\.-:;]*$/,&#39;...&#39;));
});
$(&#39;.popular-posts ul li .item-content a&#39;).each(function(){
var txt=$(this).text().substr(0,60);
var j=txt.lastIndexOf(&#39; &#39;);
if(j&gt;=6)
$(this).text(txt.substr(0,j).replace(/[?,!\.-:;]*$/,&#39;...&#39;));
});
</script>
Note: if you have already the jQuery library in your template, remove the line in red.

Once you have added all the codes in the right place, press the "Save template" button to save the changes.

That's it!

The five Popular Posts widgets for Blogger featured today are all great solutions for adding a popular post section to your blog. They all have different appearance for determining what makes a post popular, but the end result is the same: visitors are always one click away from your best content. Try some of these styles, find your favorite, and see how it impacts the performance of your blog.
Visual content holds a certain appeal that websites integrate images to every page, or even operate solely through photos. Now, with the new AJAX navigation menu widget, images can be added to the drop-down menu as well.

The AJAX navigation menu for blogger is a widget designed specifically for the Blogger platform. It is inspired from the Mashable website long before it was given a makeover. Despite the plain and simple inspiration, the drop down menu with images is a huge hit.

It works based on the jQuery library and Blogger JSON Feed API. Function-wise, it works just like a normal drop-down menu when JavaScript is disabled. For it to work online, a blog must be for public visitors, so the Blogger JSON Feed API will function as designed.

Features

Multi-Level Menu Support

The AJAX menu is a multi-level drop-down menu that is based on the standard unordered list of HTML. When a menu contains a sub-menu, it loads on the fly when a user rolls over the main menu. What is great about this is that it saves outgoing traffic, especially on a website that uses a large navigation.

Cross-browser Compatibility

Most AJAX applications will work across different browsers even with other plugins or proprietary technology already installed.  The menu with images works in the same premise, instead of being designed for a specific browser. Because there is no telling which browser you or your blog readers would use, the new AJAX drop-down mega menu with images is the ideal option.

Some of the Windows browser supported includes IE5+, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari Netscape 7+ and Opera 8+. When you're using a Mac, the AJAX menu is supported on Firefox, IE and Safari. If JavaScript is disabled, however, the menu is still accessible, but only as pure CSS menu.

Automatic Sub-Menu Display

With the new AJAX menu, you only need to roll over a menu item and sub-menus will automatically load. No need to click on a menu to get the sub-menu to drop down. This not only saves users' valuable navigation time, but also outgoing traffic.

Menu Styling

AJAX menus can be styled by simply changing the megamenu.js and the CSS style. The former is used when javaScript is turned on, while the latter is when it is turned off. You can adjust the menu parameters manually or you can use ready-to-use templates.

There are plenty of other features, but you would not be able to use or experience them if you do not install the new mega menu with images. What do you need to do then to implement it in your blog or website?


Adding Mega Menu with Images/Thumbnails in Blogger

Step 1. Log in to your Blogger account, then go to the Dashboard. Select the blog where you want to install the new mega menu.

CSS

Step 2. Click on Template, then press the Edit HTML button. Press anywhere inside the code area and use the CTRL + F function to make your search quicker and easier. Type the following tag and hit Enter to find it:
]]></b:skin>
Once you find the tag, add the code below just above/before it:
.megamenu *{margin:0;padding:0;font-family:'PT Sans Narrow'}ul.megamenu{list-style:none;line-height:1;overflow:visible !important}ul.megamenu:after{margin:0;padding:0;content:' ';display:block;height:0px;clear:both}ul.megamenu li{float:left;display:inline;position:relative;text-transform:uppercase}ul.megamenu li a.menu-target:after{content:"";width:0;height:0;border-left:3px solid transparent;border-right:3px solid transparent;border-top:3px solid #fff;font-size:0;line-height:0;bottom:22px;right:5px;position:absolute}ul.megamenu li a{display:block;line-height:50px;padding:0px 20px;text-decoration:none;border-left:1px solid #000;box-shadow:1px 0 0 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.1) inset;color:#d9d9d9;font-size:14px;transition:all 0.3s ease-in-out}ul.megamenu li a:hover{background:#111111;color:#fff}ul.megamenu ul{position:absolute;display:none;top:100%}ul.megamenu li:hover > ul{display:block}ul.megamenu ul li{z-index:72;min-width:149px;float:none;background:#000;text-shadow:none}ul.megamenu ul li a{text-transform:none;font-weight:normal}ul.megamenu ul li a:hover,ul.megamenuid ul li a.hover{background:#E0E0E0;color:#444}ul.megamenu ul ul{display:none;left:100%;top:0}ul.megamenuid li div.megasubmenu{background:#F9F9F9;position:absolute;width:830px;z-index:90;left:0;top:100%;overflow:hidden;min-height:150px;-moz-transform:translate(0,30px);-webkit-transform:translate(0,30px);-o-transform:translate(0,30px);transform:translate(0,30px);transform-origin:50% 0;visibility:hidden;opacity:0;color:#888;box-shadow:0 10px 7px -7px rgba(0,0,0,0.1);transition:all 0.3s ease-in-out}ul.megamenuid li:hover div.megasubmenu{visibility:visible;opacity:1;-moz-transform:translate(0,0);-webkit-transform:translate(0,0);-o-transform:translate(0,0);transform:translate(0,0)}ul.megamenuid ul,ul.megamenuid ul li{display:block !important;border:0 none !important;margin:0 !important;padding:0 !important}ul.megamenuid ul li{background:none !important;float:left !important}ul.megamenuid ul.leftmenulist{position:absolute;width:18%;left:0;top:0;bottom:0;background:#EEEEEE;border-right:1px dashed #e5e5e5 !important}ul.megamenuid ul.leftmenulist a{border-left:none !important;color:#555}ul.megamenuid ul.rightmenulist{position:relative;display:block;width:81%;float:right;margin:0px 0px 0px !important;background:none}ul.megamenuid ul.rightmenulist li{display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;min-height:210px;padding:5px 17px 5px 0px !important}ul.megamenuid ul.rightmenulist li .thumb-container{left:0;width:100%;height:100%;position:absolute;overflow:hidden;font-size:0;line-height:0}ul.megamenuid ul.rightmenulist li .thumb-container img{position:relative;top:10px;padding:0;width:100%;height:100%;display:block}ul.megamenuid ul.rightmenulist li a{display:block;border-left:none !important;padding:0px 5px !important;line-height:1.4;color:#777;font-weight:bold;font-size:14px}ul.megamenuid ul.rightmenulist li a:hover{color:#000;background:transparent}ul.megamenuid .loading-icon{background:url('http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N9HNU11nhiA/Va-NLcGF0lI/AAAAAAAALW4/HzSlCK7PGeY/s1600/wait.gif') no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;width:22px;height:22px;position:absolute;top:50%;margin-top:-11px;right:5px}ul.megamenuid .menu-icon{border-bottom:4px solid transparent;border-top:4px solid transparent;border-left:4px solid #777;display:block;height:0;margin-top:-4px;position:absolute;right:11px;top:50%;width:0}#megamenuid{background:rgba(0, 0, 0, 0) -moz-linear-gradient(center top , #3d3d3d, #212121) repeat scroll 0 0;background:-webkit-linear-gradient(top,#3d3d3d,#212121);background-color:#3d3d3d;box-shadow:1px 1px 0 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.1) inset;height:50px;width:100%;position:relative;max-width:1000px;margin:0 auto;padding:0px}#megamenuid h5{font-size:16px;margin-top:70px;text-align:center}#megamenuid h5:before{content:"";position:absolute;top:50px;left:50%;width:5px;height:2px;margin-left:-4px;border-left:2px solid black;border-right:2px solid black}#megamenuid h5:after{content:"";position:absolute;top:55px;left:50%;width:10px;height:5px;margin-left:-7px;border-top:2px solid black;border-left:2px solid black;border-right:2px solid black;border-radius:8px 8px 0px 0px}li.search-box{float:right !important;line-height:35px;margin:7px 10px 0 0}li.search-box .search-field{border:none;padding:3px;background:#3F3F3F;color:#fff;width:135px;font-size:13px}li.search-box .search-field:focus{border:none;outline:none;background:#4C4C4C;color:#fff}li.search-box .search-button{background:url('http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VJqk_zzkAuw/VazlDH_goDI/AAAAAAAALVM/t-AjU3ix55k/s1600/search.png') no-repeat;border:none;cursor:pointer;padding:5px 10px;transition:all 0.3s ease-in-out}li.search-box .search-button:hover{opacity:0.9}.search-alert{background:#E84C3D url(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TQMok5egm8c/Va44AXnjg3I/AAAAAAAALV8/eq_8ICAlH2I/s1600/search-info.png) no-repeat;background-position:5px;text-transform:capitalize;color:#fff;margin:-5px;padding:0px 15px 0px 40px;display:none;border-radius:5px}

JavaScript

Step 3. Check if your blog has the jQuery plugin already installed. If not, you need to add a few lines of code before the </head> tag (CTRL + F to find it). See the code below:
<script src='http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.8.2/jquery.min.js' type='text/javascript'/>
<script src='https://helplogger.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/megamenu.js' type='text/javascript'/>
<script type='text/javascript'>
jQuery(document).ready(function($) {
 $(&#39;#megamenuid&#39;).megaBloggerMenu({
  postsNumber : 4,
  noThumbnail : &#39;http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Z7jG9iO9OTg/Vazz6YJnFQI/AAAAAAAALVs/wlSvXPgdDAo/s1600/no_image_available.png&#39;
 });
});

$(function(){
  $(&#39;.search-here&#39;).submit(function(e){
    if($(&#39;.search-box .search-field&#39;).val().length==0){
       $(&#39;.search-box .search-alert&#39;).fadeIn().css(&#39;display&#39;,&#39;inline-block&#39;);
      e.preventDefault();
    }
  });
});
</script>

Note

- If jQuery plugin already exist, remove the line in red.
- To change the number of posts, change the 4 value from:
postsNumber : 4
- To add a different thumbnail when a post has no image, replace the url in blue from:
noThumbnail : &#39;http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Z7jG9iO9OTg/Vazz6YJnFQI/AAAAAAAALVs/wlSvXPgdDAo/s1600/no_image_available.png&#39;

HTML

Step 4. Carefully add the HTML code to ensure that the drop down menu with images will work as designed. There are only three types of URLs that the AJAX Menu accepts and they must be used accordingly.

Label URL: http://yourblogurlblogspot.com/search/label/LABELNAME
Search Query: http://yourblogurl.blogspot.com/search?q=SEARCHQUERY
Label w/ Search Query: http://yourblogurl.blogspot.com/search/label/LABELNAME?q=SEARCHQUERY

Among the three URLs, the Search Query has to be URL encoded using a specific tool.

Step 5. Search the following line using CTRL + F:
<div class='main-outer'>
Just above this line, add the following HTML code:
<ul class='megamenu' id='megamenuid'>
<li><a href='/'>Home</a></li>
<li><a class='menu-target' href='#'>MENU TITLE</a>
<ul>
<li><a href='http://ADDURLHERE.com'>LABEL NAME</a></li>
<li><a href='http://ADDURLHERE.com'>LABEL NAME</a></li>
<li><a href='http://ADDURLHERE.com'>LABEL NAME</a></li>
</ul>
</li>
<li><a class='menu-target' href='#'>MENU TITLE</a>
<ul>
<li><a href='http://ADDURLHERE.com'>LABEL NAME</a></li>
<li><a href='http://ADDURLHERE.com'>LABEL NAME</a></li>
<li><a href='http://ADDURLHERE.com'>LABEL NAME</a></li>
</ul></li>
<li><a href='http://ADDURLHERE.com'>Normal Link</a></li>
<li class='search-box'>
<form action='/search' class='search-here' method='get'>
<input class='search-field' name='q' placeholder='Search Here' size='30' type='text'/>
<input class='search-button' type='submit' value=' '/>
</form>
<p class='search-alert'>Search form is empty!</p>
</li>
</ul>
<div class='clear'/>
<div class='clear'/>
Note: replace the text in blue with the label url and the text in red with the name of the label. This is the label that you have added to the Labels settings of your post editor:


Step 6. Click on Save template for all the changes to take effect.

If you can't find the line from step 5, access the Layout tab, click on Add Gadget, and then choose HTML/JavaScript Gadget. Copy the HTML code and paste it inside the box... then press the Save button.

That's it!

Once that is done, your AJAX menu with images will be implemented and ready for you to use. Make sure to choose photos that are relevant to the menu and sub-menus so your website will have cohesive look and appeal. Research shows, however, that text accompanied by any image, even if completely irrelevant, can grab attention. 
There are apps and widgets for almost everything, but one thing that is lacking is a widget that connects one of the most popular image-based social network to your website. Unfortunately, Instagram has yet to design an official widget that will allow you to easily and quickly embed grams on your website.

A widget is like a desk accessory that allows an end user to execute a particular function within a webpage. It fetches information from a particular source and then display it on an intended area. It can be designed to provide easy accessibility to weather, maps, sports updates, calendar and many others. Android and WordPress are two of the biggest contributors of web and mobile widgets, but Instagram still has to catch up.

While they're still trying to figure out how to make an Instagram widget, take advantage of any of the third-party widgets for Instagram. But because there are plenty of them out there, choosing the right one can be tough. Well, we did the sorting and guesswork out for you and presented you with the top 3 options:
instagram widget, instagram

Instansive

Instansive is a widget generator for Instagram that you can use for free or for a fee. Both versions practically have the same features, except for the number of times that the photos refreshes. It only happens once per day with the free version, but is always up to date with the premium version. If you want to do away with the restrictions of this Instagram widget, be ready to make a tiny investment.

instagram widget instansive


Instansive Features

- Display photos and hashtags in grid, slideshow or column.
- Customize the number of columns and rows
- Add a hover effect
- Show or hide image captions
- Photos are linked directly to Instagram
- Offers native support for Drupal and WordPress

For a one-time fee of $5, you can upgrade to the premium version.

Instansive, however, is not perfect compared to other third-party widgets for Instagram, because it has limited features in terms of customization, display, and refresh frequency. Even if you pay the minimal fee, only the photos will be kept up-to-date, but no other features will be added. But look on the bright side, it is responsive.


Intagme

Intagme is pretty simple and straightforward, which can be a bonus if you have to manage plenty of social media accounts and widgets. Its features also get the job done.

instagram widget intagme


Intagme Features

- Pull photos or hashtags and display them in grid or slideshow
- Get to customize the layout, thumbnail, size and image padding
- Edit photos by adding borders and/or background color

On top of all these, Intagme is 100% free, which would probably put all other third-party widgets at the bottom of your list. Before you make a final decision, however, know that Intagme lacks one display feature - column, similar to what you will see on Pinterest. It is not responsive and has limited customization options. Moreover, photos are linked to a page on Intagme.com, instead of directly to Instagram.

Related: How to Add an Instagram Widget in Blogger


SnapWidget

Among Instagram widgets, snap widget is the most popular and is used by more than 100,000 websites daily. It can be used free or for a monthly fee of $6.99.

instagram widget snapwidget

SnapWidget Features

- Pull photos or hashtags, then display them in grid, board, slideshow, map or scrolling.
- Thumbnail size and layout can be customized
- Background color hover effect layout and photo padding can be used to customize photos
- Show or hide sharing buttons

Features of Premium Version

- All of the above
- Create up to 10 widgets
- Filter photos by username & hashtag
- Link photos to Instagram or any other page add custom CSS if so desired
- Has more advanced customization options, such as pagination controls integration of Google Analytics and photo pop-up functionality

For a price of $6.99 per month, this Instagram widget is a worthy investment, especially because the free version is ad supported. This means thumbnails are linked to a SnapWidget page where photos appear alongside ads. An added bonus is that whether free or paid, there is an option available that lets you make the widget responsive for mobile use.

Which Instagram Widget Should You Choose?

Even if only 3 options were presented, making a choice is still not a walk in the park, but at least you don't need to shuffle through tons of widgets. From the information above, you can make an informed decision as to which Instagram widget to use. Or, you can narrow down your options based on your budget - whether you have one or not, the features you need, and how much customization control you want to have.

You should also think about how an Instagram widget can affect your SEO efforts. If you want it to be SEO friendly as the rest of your website, find out how it was developed or rendered, as some of the platforms used may not be visible to search engines. Consider all the factors above and your work will be easier.
SEO, as you might have already know, is an acronym for search engine optimization. In the simplest of words, it's the way search engines like Google.com, Yahoo.com, Bing.com and others present your page in users' search results on their sites.

Cool, how do they that?

Well, they do that via sophisticated software tools, called spiders. Consider the whole internet as an empty room, with air particles as websites. Now sneak a spider into that room. Each tiny step that this spider would take now is essentially crawling a website (as the room is dark and full of websites). This is how search engines crawl through the web picking up site after site, studying them and ranking them. This ranking is important, really important. A higher ranked website by Google will always be on the first page of Google's search results for a related query compared to a lower ranked one.


So, in order to get ranked higher, you and I need SEO. SEO is like black pepper without which fried egg might not taste 'that' tastier. In simple words, in order for search engines to find your site and rank it higher than others in your field, you need to optimize it. Let's see how with these 7 simple tips.

Ways to SEO Optimize your Blog

Before starting with our 7 simple tips for a quality SEO, it's important to broadly classify those tips into two basic areas, on the basis of origin:

On-page Optimization

Refers to optimization of your actual web content including your HTML code, your text, as well as graphic content.

Off-page optimization

Off-page optimization, however, deals with things like backlinks (hyperlinks pointing to you site from other websites, apps and networks).

1. Create SEO Friendly Blog Post Titles

Post titles are important for SEO. They really are since they are deal makers or breakers. Whenever you write something, make sure you give proper attention to the post's title. Make your titles simple, intriguing, descriptive and gullible so that people may know what is this all about and what to expect. An even better approach is to wear searchers shoes while giving a title and think how would you Google it if you were looking for content like this.

google search results, seo title

Also, don't forget to include keywords in your title and keep it under 70 characters (or search engines would crop it before looking).

2. Improve the quality of your content

If you think 'content' isn't important for SEO, think again! Your content is the most important part of your site. While writing, don't copy-paste from elsewhere, don't stuff it with keywords alone, don't bombard it with images and multimedia files and don't write any lesser than 300 words. These all would affect your ratings quite poorly.

So, write original, use keywords in scenarios instead of straying them around (like I didn't use SEO here, SEO there in every next line), use images where they suffice and make sure you name them properly to appear in image search results, i.e. an image with the "img009.jpg" name would never appear in the image search results but "tips_to_success.jpg" would. The best would be to use text content and wrap them proper in HTML tags like <H2></H2> etc. (search engines likes content this way). Also, make sure your blog post's length is somewhere between 300-500 words - crossing over is fine but lesser isn't.

seo title headings

3. Keywords are keys

Keywords are terms that others may use to search for your content. While keywords are important for SEO, don't go on and stuff your site with keywords. This would make your content appear like a spam to spiders, who would neglect it henceforth.

Ideal is that once you have chosen your title (and included your keyword in it, as I have added keyword SEO in title above), use it in page URL, in your starting and ending paragraphs, as well as in article body where required without sounding awkward. Additionally, you may link it using anchor text to relevant resources in and out of site.

Adding keyword in the post URL using Custom Permalink

4. Meta-tags are important, but not 'that' much

If we had been living in early part of 21st century, meta tags might have done all the SEO for your site. Unluckily, we aren't. Google and other search engines have long left using meta-tags for finding site information. Hence, if someone tells you meta-tagging is all you need for your sites SEO, tell them it isn't.

Nevertheless, it's important that you use your keywords in your meta-data. Some themes already do that for you, if they don't (you can check that using page source or using view source code from browser), don't sweat. You can use 3rd party plugins like All in One SEO Pack and Scribe.

5. Socialize!

Make others talk about your site and share your content on social media sites or their blogs. It gets even better if somehow sites with high ratings link back to your site. This makes spiders think that you are someone important that everyone these days is talking about, resulting in enhancing your ratings dramatically.

Guest posting is another good approach for that. Comment on other sites, make friends with bloggers (best in business) and make them comment at yours. These tiny little things do matter a lot, resulting in enhanced SEO of your site.

6. Link in and Link-Out

Hyperlinks or Links are important from SEO perspective. You can use them to:

Link out to other sites, networks and posts, or even to your previous posts (also called inbound or backlinks) using anchor element with keyword.

anchor element with keyword

Or even better, make others to link in to you, via sharing your content on their sites or social media networks.

As stated above, an even outstanding strategy for building links is guest posting.

7. Write Often

Sites with new content every day, or twice thrice a week have still far better ratings than those who post every fortnight. A better incoming content frequency makes spider come to your site regularly, resulting in better ratings and enhanced SEO.
Are we done then? Well, trust me - your sites rating is in your hands, not in Google or Yahoo. SEO is just about doing things neatly and in a sophisticated manner. Walk your site these 7 steps for a quality SEO and you will witness the difference yourself at Google, if no place else.

Remember, code clean, write original, socialize... this is what SEO is all about!