Having the right theme is important when you’re using WordPress. There are plenty of themes to choose from because Wordpress is the most widely used CMS on the web today. Choose a WordPress theme to satisfy your design requirements is one thing, but what is the best WordPress theme for SEO?
Answer: There is no single best WordPress theme for SEO
There’s no such thing as a single best WordPress theme for SEO. However, there are plenty SEO-friendly themes, and you can leverage SEO plugins, plus SEO techniques to help you rank better in search engines.
That being said, not all themes are put together with SEO in mind! A non-SEO friendly theme will only cause you headaches down the road, so keep reading below to see which themes and plugins I recommend to optimize your website for search engines.
A WordPress theme that is already optimized for SEO right out the gate will save you time, money, and help you earn income faster from your affiliate marketing ventures.
What Makes a Good SEO Theme?
SEO-friendly WordPress themes make it super easy to take care of basic and obvious tasks such like meta data and other on-page optimizations . For example, having your page title appear as h1 means your main keyword automatically appears with an h1 tag, one of the basic keyword requirements for ranking.
They also come with clean code that will load fast. By far, coding is the most important benefit you get from purchasing an SEO-friendly theme. You need a WordPress theme that looks great on all devices, secure and coded with SEO in mind. Mobile optimization is paramount. Just take a look at this wonky setup I just discovered for my current theme (need to be fixed ASAP).
You also want something that is reliable (i.e. doesn’t crash) and regularly updated to keep up with any WordPress core changes. Consistent updates are critical because they prevent compatibility issues.
SEO-friendly themes also include but not limited to the following features and benefits.
- Responsive with layout adjustments based on user device types
- Structured data ready
- Known security vulnerabilities are addressed
- No bloat or un-needed software included
- Use of light-weight coding
- Facilitates crawlability and indexability
6 WordPress Themes That Are SEO-friendly
There are literally thousands and thousands of themes out there. These are two of my personal favorites.
Genesis Framework From StudioPress
There are a number of “Frameworks” out there which can leverage many different child themes. My personal favorite is Genesis Framework from StudioPress. Just below, I'll introduce a couple of themes I like from theme. I'm using one now called Metro Pro. Though I like the design for myself, I'm not sure I'd “recommend it”. I dunno. Maybe I'm just bored of it after so many years.
Other great frameworks include:
- Divi (Elegant Themes)
The folks at StudioPress built the Genesis framework. Part of the goal was to provide WordPress users with lightweight, SEO-friendly and cleanly coded themes that load fast. The Genesis framework is one of the most popular on the web, and it's what I use for all my websites.
To use the Genesis Framework, you'll need to purchase both the framework and a “child theme”. You can’t go wrong with a Genesis-powered WordPress theme when it comes to SEO, and it terms of design, they’ve got a wide variety to choose from.
Eleven40 (Genesis Framework)
This blog theme looks slick and comes with built-in customizable features like the ability to change your color scheme to orange, red, blue, green or purple. I love this theme because it's got a slim header, meaning content is pushed to the top of the page. Minimal design elements also means your site is going to load fast, and multiple sidebars (optional) means that you can still get all your important pages connected to your audience.
“Page builders” are extremely popular now, so I wanted to make sure I introduce a couple to you. They are popular because they allow a lot of customization without coding knowledge. Very often, page builders will come with options to help you make beautiful, search engine optimized pages by adding schema, navigation, and other unique elements.
Thrive Themes is currently going through some changes with regards to their themes, but you can get updates here. For now, you can use their Thrive Architect plugin to customize landing pages for ANY theme, including the Genesis Framework child themes I mentioned above.
These page builders are definitely worth checking out too:
- Thrive Themes (my personal favorite!)
More WordPress Themes
Honestly, listing just six themes on this page doesn't do justice the number of options out there. These are just a few that I found that I liked the look of, and are also popular online.
Digital Pro (StudioPress)
Look no further if you’re looking for a WordPress theme that has everything you’ll need to run a business website. Digital Pro is professionally and uniquely designed to meet the needs of any online company or retailer. While it’s popular among business sites, it’s also suited for any type of website.
Drone is a simple, yet slickly designed theme that is equipped with a built-in portfolio. It’s a very affordable WordPress theme. However, you’ll need to purchase the Genesis Framework separately. Like Eleven40, it includes a selection of layout designs, shortcodes, and more.
Hestia Pro (StudioPress)
This is a WordPress theme developed and maintained by Themeisle. It’s dynamic and can be used for businesses of all sorts such as eCommerce retail, catering, restaurant etc. It’s beautifully designed and quick to load.
In addition, this theme comes with a live customizer or web page builder, which makes it easy to customize your site without programming knowledge. You can view edits in real-time as you work on your site.
SEO Crawler is definitely one of the best WordPress themes out there. Comes equipped with a drag-and-drop page builder and several pre-built templates to select from. It’s highly customizable and jam-packed with extra features like 19 header design options, detailed theme settings, easy Google fonts integration and much more. Definitely a good one.
This is a remarkable WordPress theme that can be used for almost any kind of website. Pofo is multi-purpose, includes a set of pre-designed templates and extremely customizable.
You can adjust global settings like colors, layouts, and fonts among others very efficiently without tampering with your code directly. Plus it incorporates a front-end web page builder and greater than average built-in social media integration.
This theme is absolutely lighting fast, cleanly coded and simply designed but aesthetically pleasing.
Has full support for rich snippets, hence, its name ‘Schema’. Rich snippets help search engines understand your web pages better and enable them to show extra info about your pages on the SERPs (i.e. review stars).
So you won’t have to install a structured data WordPress plugin on your site if you own this theme. It’s already pre-loaded with all the necessary functions/options and includes numerous shortcodes that aid customizability.
This WordPress theme is customizable, SEO-friendly, and 100% free, which is hard to come by these days. It loads quickly, completely responsive, lightweight, eCommerce ready and more. Not to mention that a good database of support docs are available if you ever need them.
You can always extend the theme’s functionality because it was built to be extensible, unlike most WordPress themes. Some OceanWP extensions are available for a fee but worth the price since the main theme was free, to begin with.
What's your favorite WordPress theme maker?