The Beginner’s Guide to Finding an SEO-friendly Theme

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As a business owner, when do you think is the right time to implement a search engine optimization (SEO) policy? Do you wait until after your site is launched to hire an SEO company to assist or during the web development planning stage? Here is the beginner’s guide to finding an SEO-friendly theme.

Define Your SEO Strategy During Development

Newcomers to e-commerce often believe the most important task is to build and launch a website. It is only after a site is up and running do most people think about how best to optimize their content creation. Taking this approach is a major mistake as you want to choose a theme that allows you to use SEO in headlines, subcategories and metadata, which will allow your customers to find you easily and rank higher on search engines.

SEO Coding Authentication

To make your theme an SEO-friendly one, you need to think about SEO coding authentication best practices that will allow search engine results page (SERP) to crawl and read your pages easily. You will want to ensure your chosen theme follows basic coding standards as you need to ensure it is browser compatible, has an effective HTML and is mobile-friendly.

Webpage Load Time

Google primarily focuses on user experience, so quick load time is a critical component to search engine algorithm ranking. Google believes that a company that takes the time to reduce page load wait times will most likely produce quality, informative content. A page must take less than two seconds, so implement these tips to cut down on time.

Social Media Accessibility

When selecting your theme, you need to ensure you have access to social media platforms. While it is not considered SEO-friendly, it does provide several platforms that you can use to market and advertise using keywords. With starting or changing your theme, determine that your theme has “share” option for each social media site.

Responsive Website Design

You must choose a responsive website design as search engines test a page’s receptiveness as a factor to SERP ranking. For example, a website that offers a mobile-friendly application programming interface (API) will rank higher because of this accessibility. Think about how a search engine would rate a design if half of their users had no access. If you want to improve your website design responsiveness, visit Google’s Webmasters Tools.

Navigation

The construction of your theme must be an important step in your website development planning stage since you need to have a clear idea of just how a theme will affect user experience. A well-structured theme with accessible links and content will ensure that when search engines crawl your pages, you have a better chance of ranking in SERP. It also ensures that your users will be able to navigate the theme layout structure.

Utilization of Plug-ins

Regardless of how well your theme functions, you must utilize plug-ins that allow access to additional tools that enhance the user experience, site function and theme deployment, which will help your optimized website rank better in SERP. Helpful site plug-ins include Google XML Sitemaps, Yoast SEO and Google Analytics by Yoast.

Avoid Themes With Pop-Ups That Block Content

You can not visit a site without getting a pop-up requesting your personal information before you can view a White Page, study, or official report. While this task does build a following, it hurts the chances of your content ranking since search crawlers do not have the capacity to provide data, submit forms, do surveys, or retrieve data from links. To make your content more visible on search engines, you must provide a condensed SEO-friendly version of the content and then provide a CTA to receive the full report.

Keep Your Links To A Minimum

Your website choice must present a balanced amount of data to be visible on search engines which is why choosing a theme that is data-heavy with links is a bad idea. Most especially if you are a retailer, restricting the number of links on a page will allow search engines to crawl your pages and index all the links. As their intention is to conserve rankings, a page that has hundreds of links will create nofollow, 404, and noindex codes.

Strategic Keyword Utilization

You must choose a theme that allows you the freedom to implement a keyword strategy that allows for easier information retrieval and indexing without overcomplicating pages with lots of irregular word placement in your text, links, meta tags, or URLs. While search engines used to rely heavily on keywords, now they rely on logical, readable pages that use keywords and phrases naturally. Keyword best practices must include relevant data.

Choose A Theme That Augments On-Page Optimization

When thinking about page layout, choose a theme that will promote your business rather than confuse your visitors who are coming to your site for solutions or answers. While targeting is still critical to search engine algorithm ranking, you must rely on on-page optimization techniques to deliver quality content on your pages. Use keywords in the title and include a keyword phrase at the beginning of it to boost content ranking.

You also want to include the keyword phrase at the beginning of the content to show the relationship exists between the title and the text written as well as three times in the content body. It is a good way to play on keyword variations to mix up the language, but it will not impact ranking. Also, include the image or video keyword tags to improve ranking and attract a different demographic. Use your keyword phrase in the URL and meta description to entice a searcher to click on your link rather than your competitors.

Theme Privacy Settings

Did you know that the privacy settings of your theme choice may automatically be set to block search engines? Before you decide on a theme, ensure that you have the option in the privacy settings to block or unblock search engines as auto-install features set it as the default which in turn blocks your content from getting indexed, analyzed, and ranked.

There is a lot to consider, which you need to do before initiating your website since an SEO-friendly theme is a critical element that allows searchers to find your products or
services.

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