How To Choose SEO-Friendly Themes For Your Blogs [+7 Actionable Tips]

Written by in Articles, Tips on September 26, 2018  |  No comments

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Starting a website today is as simple as never before. There are several ways of doing this. You can hire a web designer, use a website builder, or buy a website template.

Most of the people choose the latter option, that is why our article is dedicated to choosing a theme. Using a premium website template is the easiest and the most cost-efficient way of launching a website. The templates are beautiful, but it’s important for them to be SEO-friendly as well. Otherwise, nobody will find your website on the web no matter how visually appealing it is.

But let’s discuss all the mentioned above ways of the website launch.

Things to consider before you start

  1. How much time are you planning to spend on the project
  2. What is the level of your web design skills
  3. What is the level of your technical skills
  4. How much money are you ready to pay

Custom design

Hiring a professional designer to build your unique website from scratch is a great idea if you are not tight on budget. The solution is pretty expensive. A custom design will cost you from $5000 to $10 000+ bucks. Negotiations with the developer and the approved variant execution take time. Custom design can hardly be called a fast and savvy way to get a website. What’s more, the result may disappoint you. This will lead to controversies and stress. Furthermore, some designers strive to save their efforts and handle more orders quicker. In other words, earn more money. So, they just buy a website template from their favorite provider and customize it according to your requirements. The question is does it make sense to pay for the job you can actually do yourself…

Website builders

There are free and paid website builders. If you are going to create more or less professional website, we suggest you opt for a paid website builder.

Website builders help to create beautiful landing pages for any types of businesses or apps in a matter of minutes.

They are very easy to use. All you need to do is drag and drop template elements from a sidebar onto a canvas in the landing page builder. Then you will modify content or design such as text / titles / http://www.opencartnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/ icons / fonts / colors / margins etc. The next step is to host your landing page on servers.

If website builders are so good why do people still hire designers? Because web development pros have abilities automated template builders don’t:

  • They can’t provide customized, personalized SEO approaches, write content, produce eCommerce solutions, social media strategy, and integration.
  • Website builders give you generic forms instead of personalized, customized care.
  • Wix, Weebly, Vistaprint, and other template builders are huge because they offer free or very cheap one-size-fits-all automated generic quick-fix solutions. More often they serve as starting points and not final destinations.
  • The majority of businesses need more than just a template built in a website builder.
  • Entrepreneurs need custom designed themes and designs that will stand out from the herd.
  • People need help with writing attention-grabbing original copy/content/text.
  • Website builders don’t help with appropriate Search Engine Optimization. They won’t help your site get on the first or second page of Google search results.
  • Website builders won’t help with business strategy and marketing advice as well as with long-term success. They are indifferent to your Return on Investment (ROI).

Below you see the table of most popular website builders according to Websitesetup.org study.

website builders

Website templates

➥Website templates are ready-made layouts created for different engines (WordPress, HTML5, Joomla, PrestaShop, Magento, premium Shopify themes, WooCommerce, Moto CMS, and others).

➥You can use them for blogging, news websites and eCommerce projects. Website templates are custom solutions suitable for building an online resource from scratch or revamping an outdated one.

➥Leading developers always take their clients’ needs into consideration. They invest a lot of time and efforts to creating the best possible offers for each and every requirement.

➥You will succeed in installing and editing your website regardless of your computing skills. Templates make web development simple. Every theme comes with all necessary documentation that explicitly explains every step of the installation process.

Current templates offer a variety of shortcodes and plugins, as well as the possibility to update their appearance.

➥Templates enable you to create unique websites using different types of posts for various information blocks you would like to showcase. A hundred features allow to customize logos, navigation and typography, make changes to the slider, blog pages, portfolios, page footers, etc.

➥Every website layout is shipped with a set of powerful easy to operate widgets. Handy preview function lets you view the changes in real time.

➥The templates comply with the modern trends. They are cross-browser compatible, so your website will look flawless in all modern browsers. Moreover, almost all contemporary templates feature 100% responsive designs. The feature makes it possible to visit and enjoy your online resource from any popular mobile gadget.

➥The developers strive to make their themes Search Engine Friendly. What does this mean for you? That you will be able to optimize your website so that more clients can learn about the goods and services you provide.

➥Additionally, premium templates are delivered with 24/7 support. This is important as professional assistance is provided by technical specialists day and night, whenever you need it. They work to answer your questions and handle your issues properly.

To make a long story short, website templates will help you build a website that will instantly catch your viewers’ attention and beat the competition. Do you know what platform to choose to power your future website? Below you see a table featuring 10 most popular engines.

CMS

Why WordPress?

✓It’s clearly visible that WordPress takes the leading position. It’s not by chance. The CMS is free and open source, which means that hundreds of nerds all over the world work on its perfection every day.

✓WordPress fits for any kind of project, be it a blog, portal, portfolio, online store, etc. But if you are willing to open your online-store, better to think about other CMS platforms and templates: OpenCart, Shopify themes, Magento etc.

✓WordPress is ideal both for noobs and seasoned developers. You don’t need to have extensive technical skills to customize a WP theme and maintain your website in future.

✓Selecting a good WordPress theme will make things way easier for you. So continue reading and know how to choose SEO-friendly themes for your blogs.

7 actionable tips

1. Valid Coding

MagicLab - Cosmetic Clinic WordPress Theme

Example

If you want your site to rank higher in search engines, choose the theme developed according to current coding standards. Check the theme compatible with all popular browsers, having valid HTML, CSS and working well with mobile devices. You can utilize the code validators below:

2. Upload Speed

ServaX - IT Services Business WordPress Theme

Example

Site loading speed is essential for great user experience. This is the reason why Google gives higher rankings to faster websites.

What you need to do is make sure that your images and other media files are not too large, optimize CSS files (you can use online CSS optimizers like CleanCSS.com or GiftofSpeed.com or install CSS optimization plugins for the purpose), use hosting with quicker server response time and surely choose a theme that originally loads fast. Which site is considered fast? The one that loads in 1.5 – 2 seconds.

Test the template of your choice before the purchase for load speed at:

3. Responsive Design

On The Road - Travel Blog WordPress Theme

Example

Having responsive design is not optional. The point is that when responsive websites get better results on SERP.

Lots of users surf the web via their mobile devices, so a mobile-optimized site will be higher in their search results than one that isn’t. What’s more, 50% of traffic comes from mobile gadgets. Are you ready to disappoint half of your visitors with bad experience on your website?

You can check template responsiveness and mobile optimization at:

4. Social Media Integration

Imagico - Photographer Portfolio WordPress Theme

Example

Don’t forget about social media integration when choosing a website template. To be accurate, social media is not a part of SEO, but it’s an important site traffic acquiring channel, which is closely related to SEO.

So, you’d better make sure that it’s possible to link it to social media like FaceBook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

If we are talking about WordPress theme for a blog, check whether the blog posts can be shared via social networks with the help of special “Share with …” buttons at the bottom of posts. This is awesome as not only you but also your visitors will be able to promote your website.

5. Website Structure

Cuisinette - European Restaurant Cross-browser WordPress Theme

Example

Website architecture or the way your pages are linked together must be an essential part of your website planning. Well-structured navigation together with inner links boosted by content will make it easier for bots to crawl and index your pages. This will increase their chances to rank higher in Google. It will also improve the quality of your visitors’ experience, helping them to find information quicker.

The takeaway is: when choosing a template for your future site mind layout structure, its navigation, and logic. Examine the live demo of the template you are going to purchase, for usability. Is it easy and intuitive to find what you need?

6. Schema Markup

Mortgates - Financial Services WordPress Theme

Example

What is Schema markup? It is the way of enhancing the code of your site in order to make its content not just visible, but also “understandable” to search engine bots. This way your content will be better indexed and presented more attractively in search results. This will increase the likelihood that the user will click and follow the link to your site. This Markup is provided by Schema.org. We advise you to check this resource to get a better understanding of how to promote your content with structured data.

You can see whether a theme includes Schema Markup. You need to open the template’s demo, right-click the page and click “View Source Code”. You’ll see a new tab with the page source code on it. Click CTRL+F to activate page search and type “itemscope” or “schema.org.” If this type of code line is available, the theme has Schema Markup.

7. Plugins

Rocket - Mobile App Landing Page WordPress Theme

Example

Even if your WordPress theme is perfectly optimized for search engines, you will definitely benefit from using additional tools. Let’s take a look at some plugins that will help you utilize your future website’s potential to rank better in the search engines to the fullest:

  • W3 Total Cache plugin increases the upload speed of your website.
  • Yoast SEO is an awesome plugin, which helps you to improve your content, generate sitemaps, add social media and do so much more.
  • WP-Optimize plugin will clean up and optimize your database.
  • Google Analytics by Yoast plugin helps to add Google Analytics to your website enabling you to analyze your traffic.
  • WP Smush plugin reduces image file sizes without quality loss.
  • Broken Link Checker plugin checks your website posts and pages content for broken links that harm SEO.
  • Google XML Sitemaps plugin creates an XML sitemap for your website
  • All in One SEO Pack plugin comes with a bunch of tools for SEO: sitemap, Google Analytics, titles optimization and many more.

Over to you

It seems like it’s pretty much of it. We hope this simple guideline will help you choose an SEO-friendly theme for your blog. Just make sure that it’s responsive, uses valid coding and schema markup and uploads quickly. If you decided to use WordPress, don’t forget that it can be upgraded with dozens of plugins that will help to boost your website and increase your ranking.

Have your own SEO tips for choosing the right template for a blog? Please drop them in the comments.

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