How to Choose a SEO Friendly WordPress Theme
Not all WordPress themes are SEO friendly and optimized to help your blog rank well on the search engine. Using a theme that is not SEO optimized can produce negative consequences on your blog’s search engine ranking. Often, the WordPress theme will include the term SEO in their theme name but it is not necessarily so. To ensure that you choose the right WordPress theme, there are a few things that you should look into.
First of all, the WordPress theme should be responsive and be able to display properly on all kinds of devices such as smartphone, tablet, laptop and computer. Many people use portable devices to surf the web nowadays. It is estimated that over 50% of the online traffic comes from mobile surfers. Google did state that sites with templates that are not mobile friendly will rank lower in the search engine so it is important that the WordPress theme that you choose not just display properly on a laptop but also on a mobile device.
SEO friendly themes are properly coded with up to date coding standard. Using a properly coded theme prevents you from encountering errors with the WordPress plugins. Just because a theme look nice, it doesn’t mean that it is properly coded. You will think that the plugin has problem when the issue is actually with the theme you are using. To make sure that the theme is properly coded, you can use an online validation service such as theW3C markup validation service.
It is advised that you avoid choosing a WordPress theme that utilizes carousel slider. Carousel slider tends to slow down the loading of the homepage and make visitors frustrated as they wait for the page to load fully. Each slide will use a H1 heading so there will be many H1 headings on the homepage which is no good. The best SEO practice is to use just one H1 heading on the homepage.
To ensure your visitor has the best surfing experience, you should choose a WordPress theme that load fast. The image files used in the theme must be compressed and the CSS files must be optimized for the fast load time. You can test the page load time by using the online pagespeed checker.
You should choose a WordPress theme that integrates social media profiles so that it is easy for your users to ping the post and share it with their friends. Social media can help to bring in additional traffic to your blog. Besides, it should put a share with link under each post.
The WordPress theme must have an organized navigation and all the navigation links must be working. Having an organized navigation will enable the visitors to find the important information easily. The top and side navigation must be logical. The navigation menu must be located in a convenient location that allows the visitors to easily see. It is best if the theme supports a sticky menu that will always stay on the screen even when the visitors scroll down. The size of the menu must be right and not distract the visitors while scrolling down the page.
The WordPress theme must be compatible with the SEO plugin that you want to use so that you will be able to optimize your blog posts. Some themes feature their own built in SEO options so you don’t have to download any SEO plugin.
Besides, you should also make sure that the theme supports schema markup. WordPress theme with Schema markup allow search engine to easily read the content and index it in the search engine. You can check whether the WordPress theme support schema markup by right clicking on the page and selecting View Source Code. When the source code load, you can press Ctrl+F to look up for schema.org. If you see the word schema, it means that your theme supports Schema markup.