The first step after launching a blog is to set up a theme that looks awesome and satisfying. Although WordPress has a large library of themes often I see people making the wrong theme picks that can hurt their overall business online.
Most beginners end up picking a theme that just looks stunning without even aware of the fact that WordPress themes have something to do with SEO. I have a lot of friends who would never look back to the technical aspects of a theme rather than just a demo layout.
Why Your Theme is an Important Part of SEO
After working with SEO for years, I believe WordPress themes have a role in determining the SEO success of a website but not directly. It’s not something like installing a theme that could give you higher rankings or a specific theme that could hurt your SEO.
If you’re closely monitoring the changes to the signals that determine SEO rankings, you could see UX signals are getting higher weightage in the overall SEO signals. But what does a theme have to do with the UX of a site?
WordPress themes contribute the most part of the UX on a website. From the loading transition to the content structure, themes affect UX signals like responsiveness, fast-loading, optimized interface, and many more factors that are soon to be a part of Google’s Core Web Vitals update.
As you know SEO is changing day by day with page experience signals. Here we have figured out some of the things that you should be focusing on when choosing a theme for your SEO-optimized site.
1. Well coded
As you know, themes that look awesome are really strings of code in the backend. There may be thousands of lines of code to make a theme into the reality you see. As a website owner who is also informed of the SEO advantages of WP theme, you should really make sure it is really well coded.
Only a well-coded theme is going to be SEO-friendly, safe, and fast. But as a beginner who might not know any coding languages at all, it will be difficult to look at the code and gain insights into the quality.
A good rule of thumb is to see if the theme is popular, offers frequent updates, and just look at the developer company to see if they’re experienced. Take some time to also read reviews for a theme. Many times you’ll be able to find other developers’ opinions that you can take into account.
2. Fast Loading
How long do you wait for a website to load? Maybe 4 or 5 seconds, but a study showed that 40% of readers abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Every moment after 3 seconds is hurting your UX and the chances of users bouncing are high.
Themes are one of the most common reasons for the slow loading times. Slow themes may look cool when loaded but most of the time, the visitor has already bounced back and left your site without seeing the completely loaded page.
You can use GTMetrix or PageSpeed Insights to check how well your current theme performs and see the issues causing a slow load time. See if it loads
This article was written by Kyla and originally published on WPExplorer.