Do Website Themes Affect SEO?
Why do themes matter for a website?
There was a time when SEO was about using the right keywords and establishing links, but those days are long gone. Themes and templates are part and parcel of a website’s framework. Even if your content is good, you won’t gain visibility on the SERPs unless your website offers good UX. UX heavily depends on website speed and the overall look and feel of the website, which means that themes are essential for a website.
Search engines and website themes
Another thing to remember is the connection between structure and speed. As mentioned above, the website theme decides the structure, which in turn determines the loading time of your media elements. If the items at the bottom of the page load before the ones at the top do, it’ll be a negative mark on your website performance.
Will changing your website theme affect SEO?
Are you planning on upgrading your website theme? While it is advised to spice up your website every now and then, there are a few things you need to keep in mind for a successful upgrade. The common problems during a site theme upgrade include:
1. Poor design and UX: User-friendliness is an important ranking factor. If the theme you upgraded to makes the site hard to navigate and slow, you may lose your rankings.
2. Poorly formatted content: This is a common mistake that happens during a theme upgrade. While upgrading won’t change your content, usually, it’ll have an impact on how the content is formatted. It will lead to your posts losing their heading structures and other similar problems that make your website look messy. If this happens, make sure you go through the posts and do the necessary updates to make them look great.
3. Losing custom data: Meta descriptions, titles, alt text etc., are integral parts of SEO. If you were previously using a theme with built-in SEO tools that allow you to create these elements on the go, there is a high chance that you will lose them when you do a theme upgrade. This will have adverse effects on your SEO. So, when you’re doing an upgrade, use plugins like Yoast SEO to keep the structured data and SEO metadata safe for future upgrades.
4. Cluttered files: If you have a lot of unnecessary files on your website, you may have to deal with unorganised files after switching to a new site. The excess data will make your site exponentially slower; your SEO may take a hit, and the site can go down in the rankings. Make sure to clean up unnecessary files before you do a theme upgrade.
5. Image formatting: One main concern of theme upgradations is the handling of images. Images may lose their original formatting and affect the visual element. If you’re using a WordPress theme, you wouldn’t have to worry as WP offers options to set image versions when they’re uploaded.
How to make the right theme choice for your website
Good themes can boost your SEO and help you achieve your goals faster. Here are four simple tips for choosing the right website theme to make search engines perceive your content better easily.
- Always choose an SEO-friendly theme by doing proper research.
- Test out the themes in a test environment before deciding to switch your website to them.
- While doing theme upgrades will keep your site fresh, don’t do it frequently.
- Review the HTML code of the theme before committing to it fully.
UX: The user experience (UX) refers to how a user experiences a product or service via interactions.
SERP: The pages that search engines like Google display when a user submits a search query are Search engine results pages (SERPs).
H1 tag: It is an HTML tag that is used to markup the page title or the first heading of a page.