Over 35% of the web is built on WordPress.
And a lot of those websites want to being in organic traffic from search engines.
If you’re on of those people, one of the biggest concerns is choosing a WordPress theme.
Ready to pick a theme?
If you’re looking for some help in choosing a theme, I’ve prepared a little checklist for you to help you choose one that is SEO-friendly:
1. Page Load Speed
Page speed can definitely have an impact on search engine rankings. So you will want to ensure your new WordPress theme is fast.
Before you choose your theme, run the demo theme page through page speed tests such as Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix and Pingdom Tools to verify that they load fast and meet page speed best practices.
2. Clean Code
SEO friendly WordPress themes will have valid code.
One way to confirm this is to use the W3C Markup Validator. If errors seem excessive, you may want to consider other options.
Note: it’s not uncommon for a few errors to be found. Just be sure that its not a common occurence in the theme.
The Schema.org system was developed by Google in conjunction with Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex, Schema is code that is “marks up” specific parts of a website to provide search engines with a higher level of context.
Schema can help search engines better understand the difference between apple (the fruit) and Apple (the company).
Running the demo page of the theme through the Structured Data Testing Tool will show you what Schema markup it is using.
4. Responsive Design
Google’s mobile-first index prioritises the mobile version of your site, so a mobile responsive theme is more important now than ever.
Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to determine if your theme is mobile-friendly.
Also check to see if the theme uses AMP pages.
5. Content Management
It is also a good idea to check that your theme manages content in a way that suits your content strategy.
Many themes have built in functionality for different post types, such as video, infrographics, testimonials, etc
When you’re learning how to market your business using content marketing I would suggest you use a theme which has the functionality you require to best promote your content.