A properly configured and designed WordPress site can be awesome for SEO. As a matter of fact, WordPress is one of the leading CMS options for both experienced and inexperienced website developers and administrators because it’s so user-friendly and SEO-ready. It has virtually all you would need your website to possess for SEO purposes and integrates well with any external system you might want to use for your search engine optimization efforts. However, there is a hidden problem that often surfaces for most WordPress users. Usually, this red flag is something you’ll run into during the auditing of a new website and it’s an issue that must be fixed in order for you to experience the results of your SEO efforts:
Not All WordPress Themes are Supportive to Your SEO
One of the great selling points of the WordPress platform is the enormous variety of themes ready for you to pick from. These templates or skins allow DIY owners of businesses and new Web designers to develop professional, beautiful looking sites in just a few hours. Unfortunately, some of these themes do not lend themselves to acceptable SEO techniques. In fact, even some themes tagged as “SEO friendly” are actually below the standard for acceptable optimization.
In a lot of cases the label “SEO friendly ” is the only place that SEO was accounted for at all. It might put a damper on some of the themes you love visually, but the hard truth is that a lot of the WordPress themes were made with no comprehension of SEO. Not only are these themes not properly structured to increase SEO rankings, but often they hurt your site’s performance as well.
You’ll find that when an in-depth audit is done on the existing web presence of a WordPress site, the theme is usually found to be blamed for a lot of the challenges of the site’s SEO performativity. Though the mistakes that these themes create can vary so much that it’s difficult to generalize, here are two main problems that are quite popular:
Poor Use of Headline Tags
One of the standard rules for the optimization of each page is the inclusion of unique and single heading. This shows what every page is about and it aids search engines to understand the content of a page. It also has a role to play in the ranking of a page on a search engine for specific keywords – if you put a desired keyword in the heading tag, you’re more likely to rank for that term.
Most good themes for WordPress take the post or title of a page and add the tags automatically to it. Others provide the user the extra control of assigning the tags themselves. This works either way, though most savvy SEO-ers prefer to control the H1 themselves. Bad themes for SEO, however, don’t allow for any input to the tag at all – automatic or manual.
Some assign the tag to the logo of the website, which renders the tag completely useless in relation to the content and any potential keywords. These type of themes do not allow for every page to have a unique tag as well. Pyne themes utilize post and page titles coded in a way that causes them to use the header automatically. This makes the large bulk of the site to be without proper, keyworded headings and this is a major NO if you required search engine traction. Really, who DOESN’T want to rank their site for Google users?
It is vital to note: The only method that these issues can be fixed is by changing the PHP code at the back-end, so if you nice your theme cannot handle tags well, you’d need to consult a professional developer which could cost you extra money, time, and energy. Choosing a better and more SEO-savvy theme could solve this issue.
Some years back, it was announced by Google that the loading speed of a website is among the many factors utilized to determine rankings on the search engines. In clearer terms, the slower your website loads, the more improbable it would be to rank highly on any Google search result.
Some of the themes for WordPress are a making use of codes which are inefficient and get browsers bogged down. The acceptable time is lower than 3 seconds and if your page takes longer to load, many users will leave. This poor speed can easily frustrate users and cause your SEO ranking to plummet. Optimizing the speed of your website and making sure that it loads as quickly as possible is essential if you plan to compete in search results. A website that loads fast will also enhance the experience of your visitors. This means that there’s a greater possibility of them converting and purchasing your services or products and actually carrying out transactions with your brand. Not only are these conversions the end-all purpose for many websites, but Google also looks at this data and will hold back your rankings even further when your bounce rate is too high.
When a WordPress theme is very slow the only probable solution is the replacement of that theme with an efficient one. Utilize a new lightweight theme or – for a lot more money – get a developer to aid you to pare down the slow one. You’ll have to decide whether your current look and feel is worth the loss.
Picking the Right Theme for WordPress
All these stories of horror about WordPress themes have probably had you thinking ” Have I picked the right theme?”
This is, unfortunately, a tough question to answer. It is highly recommended that you only make use of themes that have a good reputation. Most of the bad themes stated above are only purchased when in a random marketplace where anybody can place his or her theme up to be sold. On sites like that, it is impossible to know if you are buying a theme of high quality or one that just looks great outwardly. Hence, it is important that you choose a theme from a reputed source as well as a theme with positive feedback. This will allow, proper functionality as well as total SEO customization when they are configured correctly. Regardless of what you do ensure you pick your WordPress theme meticulously. Even though it may appear gorgeous from the outside, it needs to have the right foundation or it could definitely affect your business negatively in the long run.
It’s very frustrating, to put in a lot of effort into search engine optimization and get little to no results for your WordPress site, without realizing that your theme is what could be hurting your search engine ranking. This is why it’s crucial to study and review any theme you want to add to your site. Although it may be one of the last places a website owner would consider checking for his/her bad SEO results. It’s actually a major aspect that could plummet your search position.
1 thought on “Is My WordPress Theme Hurting My SEO?”
Thank you for very informative article! In my humble opinion, the best way to pick the right theme for SEO is to choose the one that has the functionality and design that you like, but at the same time does not have many plugins included.
You should compare several themes, and find out which one has the least plugins, while having the functionality that you need.
For onsite SEO implementation for wordress, you will need a plugin, such as Yoast or All in one SEO, as they offer an option to add custom Page Titles (with important keywords contained in it), Meta Descriptions and even a sitemap generator.