What Makes A SEO-Friendly WordPress Theme?

by Jay | Posted on November 22nd, 2022

There are a lot of WordPress themes out there. How do you know which one is the best for your website? If you’re looking for a theme that will help you rank higher in search engines, then you want a theme that is SEO friendly.


But what exactly makes a theme SEO-friendly? This blog post will answer that question and give tips on choosing an SEO-friendly WordPress theme.

What makes a WordPress theme SEO-friendly?

WordPress themes can significantly impact the search engine optimization of a WordPress site. In general, any well-written theme is SEO-friendly, including most free themes. 

In fact, some of the best-selling premium themes aren’t so great for SEO because they’re overloaded with features and offer poor performance.

A few important factors can make a WordPress theme better for SEO. 

Don’t choose a theme just because it’s supposed to be good for SEO. Don’t choose a theme because you are getting the most value in terms of pricing or the number of features you get.

Other factors should play into your decision, but once you’ve found the perfect theme for your project, it makes sense to consider whether it will also be the best foundation for future search engine optimization.

For example, if you want to build an eCommerce site, you’ll need to find a theme that supports WooCommerce. You’ll want a theme with great blog features to create a blog. 

Start creating a list of essential features you need to make your site SEO ready.

The good news is that there are plenty of great themes out there that are designed with SEO in mind.  

We’ve done most of the work for you. The list below is the essential things you need to choose the best SEO-friendly WordPress theme.

Performance: A good theme is fast and lightweight

With the competition in the online world becoming increasingly intense, it is imperative to have a website that loads as quickly as possible.

Visitors are getting impatient and have no time to wait for slow-loading websites. There’s a chance they will leave your website if they see your website taking too much time to load.

Website load time is a major ranking factor for SEO. If you have a fast-loading website,

WordPress site performance is taken into consideration by Google and other search engines. With everything else equal, a faster site will rank higher in search engine results than a slower site.

A slow WordPress site could harm your search engine optimization (SEO). To improve your WordPress site performance, you should check how fast the theme runs.

Many things contribute to a website’s performance, for example, WordPress hosting, caching, and the use of a content distribution network. However, the front-end design provided by a theme can also cause performance problems—particularly if it’s not well-optimized.

To ensure that your WordPress site performs at its best, choose a theme built with performance in mind. This includes creating a lightweight design without bloated features.

Before selecting a theme, test its demo page with performance tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, and GTMetrix. Doing so will give you an idea of how much attention the developer has paid to performance optimization.

However, do note that most of these demo versions are optimized to make it seem that the performance of their theme would also work on your site. Again, several factors must be considered before concluding that the theme was the main contributor. If you run ads, that can also lower the overall performance score.

A good theme is mobile-friendly & responsive

Being mobile-friendly is a crucial part of contemporary search engine optimization. If a page isn’t optimized for mobile devices, Google won’t rank it in mobile search results. Google has specifically stated that mobile-friendliness is a major ranking factor.

Mobile-friendly means a page can be viewed on a mobile device without zooming in and out. This can be achieved by making the font size large enough to read without zooming, using responsive design, and keeping links far apart so they can be clicked easily.

A WordPress theme worth considering will include a responsive design. Still, mobile-friendly involves more than just basic responsive design: Flash should be avoided, typography should be reasonably sized, and pages shouldn’t be excessively large. Otherwise, you could end up with a great design that is unusable on mobile devices.

With so many WordPress themes to choose from, it cannot be easy to find the perfect one for your business. Consider your business needs and then use this list to narrow down your choices.

You can also use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is a great way to see if a theme is mobile-friendly.

A good theme has clean code

Newsmag is another powerful premium WordPress news and blogging theme with clean code and SEO-optimized design. Newsmag’s pages are designed to load quickly, and its code is clean and well-organized. This makes it a great choice for any site that wants to improve its search engine rankings.

Validity of the theme’s code

Although code validity isn’t as crucial as other factors, choosing a theme that is coded well and will load properly on browsers and search crawlers is still useful.

It’s important to check the validity of your code so that all web browsers and assistive technologies can correctly handle your content.

You can’t expect perfection, but it’s worth taking the time to run themes through a code validator like the W3C validator.

You can use a CSS validator to check your Cascading Style Sheets and a JSONLint to check your JSON code.

A good theme is easy to set up and use

A good theme is easy to set up and use. It’s easy to customize and can be used for any website.

Astra is a great choice for those starting with WordPress. The theme is fast, lightweight, and easy to use.

Kadence WP is a great choice for a feature-rich WordPress theme.

The Presence theme is great for those looking for a super flexible WordPress theme.

The front is great for those looking for a multi-purpose WordPress theme.

And SEO RANK SERP theme is the perfect choice for affiliate websites

A good theme is SEO friendly out of the box

A good theme is SEO friendly out of the box. The theme is designed to meet Google’s AMP standards and is responsive to various browsers, devices, and screen resolutions. A good theme will also have these optimized right out of the box so that your website can easily be found by crawlers and added to the index.

Structured Data

Schema.org is a standard structured data format that can give search engines extra information about the content on a page. Rich snippets on search engine results pages depend on Schema.org markup, and so does the display of items on many social media networks.

The more information you can give Google, the better your pages will be displayed and ranked. Ask the developer if you don’t know if a theme supports structured data.

In most cases, implementing structured data requires a manual or a WordPress plugin. In some cases, some of these WordPress themes have a built-in section to add structured schema data or has it built in.

SEO RANK SERP theme, for example, already comes with Organization for your homepage and Article schema for the articles you publish.

While plugins like Rank Math might automate this process, the fewer plugins you use, the better your overall performance.

Caching

Caching is a great option for almost all WordPress websites, and the performance gains can be significant. This isn’t to say. However, that caching is a silver bullet and will magically speed up your entire website.

Caching works best when used in conjunction with other performance optimization techniques, such as minifying resources, using a content delivery network, and so on.

Caching is storing copies of files in a cache, or temporary storage location, so they can be accessed more quickly. This can help improve the load time of your web pages and thus optimize your site for search engines. In addition, caching can reduce the latency in the roundtrip time by retrieving the content much faster.

In addition to choosing an SEO-friendly WordPress theme, you may want to install a caching and an SEO plugin. And, of course, you should opt for performance-optimized managed WordPress hosting.

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is thinking that switching to a theme will magically transform their website’s search engine rankings.

It won’t.

And if you’re using a cache plugin, the theme’s load time becomes even less important. WordPress themes don’t matter for SEO, but they can help load your website faster.

Conclusion

If you’re a WordPress user, you know that there are thousands of themes to choose from. With so many options, picking the perfect theme for your site can be overwhelming. But if you’re serious about SEO, you must make sure you choose an SEO-friendly theme.

As mentioned above, some aspects of a well-optimized SEO WordPress theme need to rely on your hosting provider, a WordPress plugin, or caching tool to make your theme SEO-friendly.

Jay

I've worked for WooRank, SEOptimer, and working on a cool SEO audit tool called SiteGuru.co. Now I have build Linkilo and SEO RANK SERP WordPress theme. I've been in the SEO industry for more than 5 years, learning from the ground up. I've worked on many startups, but also have my own affiliate sites.