Before the CMS(Content management system) like WordPress, building any website used to take more than 1 month, but due to the WordPress revolution, there are 5-10 websites getting built for every single second.
Due to this WordPress, anyone can build a website, you don’t need to be so professional to work on it. These things bring a lot of opportunities but also clogged up with many problems. The installation of any WordPress theme takes only 5 minutes, after installation, everyone wants to customize the aspect of their new website. This is not that much hard, because there are thousands of templates or themes available. But do these templates or website themes affect your website ranking or SEO?
While working on themes many a non-professional person thinks about the visual aspect of any theme not technical aspects. While you are finding any theme for installation, you can “SEO Friendly” word in the description of many themes. But this information misleads a user to think that it will solve SEO-related issues. When a user starts noticing SEO, he starts to think about changing a website template.
The main question arises that “Can this website theme affect my SEO? Is there any need to change the template?”
Then the answer is YES. Your website theme affects SEO, this article will help you out not only for WordPress but also for other CMSs also like Drupal, Joomla & Magento.
Let’s see how choosing a perfect theme is very important for SEO?
● How themes affect SEO?
Before sometimes SEO used to be very easy, you just needed to add the keywords in your website & you all set in the world of the web. Still, if you want to get organic ranking, you have to build some linking & definitely you used to rank.
Today, we can see that there are thousands of websites available for any type of keyword. So, how to rank them is one of the crucial points of any search engine. Due to this situation, there are many SEO factors that have developed. There is another reason also is that many people are abusing the previous rules of doing SEO. So, to return the most perfect websites to users, there was a necessity of SEO factors.
Design is the main aspect of any website, but the themes & templates are also the undeniable part of website structure, which also affects the speed. If we synchronized these three things together you will definitely get a good ranking.
1. Ugly designs will scare users
When your design is too clogged up with things, it might turn off the users. When we find the balance between content placement, your product placement, Look & design also. When your website design is so much, users will get confused about where to click. Regarding it, your website should look neat & clean with readable content of the font.
The above things affect one of the SEO factors that is the Bounce rate. When your website’s design or theme is not that much attractive or readable, users will exit from your website immediately which counts as a bounce rate. Moreover, the bounce rate lowers the ranking.
2. Low website speed is so much bad
While installing any theme you can’t ignore the page speed insights. Many templates & themes are there, whose components take time to load. When your websites take very much time to load, users turn them off immediately. The average load time for which users can wait is 3 seconds. To decrease the load time of your website, you can work on the optimization of images you are going to use, you can minify the HTML & CSS files.
3. Bad structure is not suitable for Search Engines
We all know that everything we see on the internet works on the code. So, the search engines don’t see the designs, they see the code behind that design. If the code is not well structured, the search engine doesn’t understand it.
For it, your HTML tags should be placed correctly. Many users can use different types of heading tags to write content, it is good to use but not for SEO. This thing is also related to the page load, if a search engine finds that your page’s bottom content is loading first than other content, it finds it unprofessional & can decrease the rank of your website.
● How to make your theme SEO-friendly?
We all know that the main purpose of using a website theme or template is to make your website look good, if a theme or template is SEO friendly then it is a side benefit. Due to competition, these side benefits are most demandable & every theme has started adding “SEO optimized” & “SEO Friendly” words in their description. But the truth is, these themes are not the same. If you get the option of adding meta description or meta title in the theme, it’s not enough. You need to take additional support from the plugins also, which adds more SEO factors to your website.
There are some factors that can help you to check the SEO friendliness of the theme
1.HTML Markup - HTML Markups are most important to check the SEO friendliness of any website. If you use all HTML tags correctly & which are highlighting the important content that is liked by the search engines. If you are using the title tag at the bottom it’s counted as a good practice for SEO. IT means that if you use all the HTML markups correctly for every component it’s very useful to get ranking.
2.Speed - Users don’t like the slow speed of a website. Poorly developed website themes cause websites to load slowly. A theme you are using should try to load the upper part of the website first, then the bottom part. If it is vice versa, it means that your website is loading slowly. If your website’s content is loading first & then the graphics part is loading, this causes users to think that your website is bugged or hacked.
3.Responsive Design & images - Nowadays Responsive design is a standard of any website. If your website is not responsive for mobile devices, you can lose 50% of traffic. So, your website should be responsive for any device. It is the same for the images also, your images also should be optimized & responsive.
4.Content prioritization - A theme you are using should point effectively that which part of the content is important & should also avoid the addition of duplicate content. You need to add to heading tags till H3 only, p tag, img tag with the alt attribute. You need to take care of adding this from the beginning only, when you add it later can be a headache for you.
● How to get an SEO-friendly template?
A good start of building any website is selecting a theme. While selecting any theme you can check the following things to make your website SEO friendly.
1.Images - we already have seen that you need to choose a theme which has more optimized images. If you choose a theme optimized image it will affect the page speed.
2.Heading tags - Every theme is designed using a code. There is inclusion of basic tags in the code of a theme. There should be atleast inclusion of heading tags like H1, H2 , H3. If you find only multiple H2 tags, but not any H1 tag then this theme is not SEO friendly. There should be the inclusion of at least one H1 tag.
3.Rich snippet - Meta description, meta title & URL are part of the rich snippet. You can use the Google Snippet Checker on the theme. If your theme follows the structure with the page snippet then your theme is SEO friendly. The above things are regarding selecting a template, but we can also customize a theme according to our standards.
While customizing any theme you have to keep following things in mind
● Use fewer sliders
Every slide has a slider. But they are not that much cooler. To create these sliders there is a requirement of a lot of code & they are slow. If these sliders are animated then they require a lot of time to load & to get them loaded, the page needs to make multiple requests to the server. Users are most likely to see only the first slide. So, if there is a possibility you can avoid the use of sliders.
● Optimize core images of the theme
We already have seen that to load images properly & to balance the page-load you have to optimize every image, we can optimize the image which we are going to add to the website. But if there's a possibility, you have to optimize the core images of the theme also.
● Minify the code
To increase a page speed or website speed you can minify the code. This also helps you to avoid copying the code. It means that if a user sees your page sources they can’t copy the code.
After reading the whole article you can say that Themes don't affect the design only but they affect the SEO very well. If your theme is not making your website fast for users & readable for search engines, it will affect you negatively. So, before searching a new template for your website, read this article carefully.