Does a website theme matter for SEO?

The Answer is “YES” – Website theme do matter a lot for SEO, Google has released a short video answering the question of whether the theme of a website influences SEO. The video’s host, John Mueller, confirmed that a website’s theme does have an impact on SEO and explained how this happens.

Mueller said:

“It’s easy to consider website themes as just a splash of color on top of a finished structure. But there’s so much more involved.”

Many SEO-critical content aspects are impacted by a website’s theme:

  • Headings
  • Text Images
  • The way links between pages are created
  • page load times
  • Structured Data

Good themes, according to Google, make it easier for search engines to interpret the information, and Mueller confirmed that generally changing a website’s theme affects SEO.

It was a good idea to test out a website theme before choosing one.

  • Try themes out on a test website
  • Add content from previous website
  • Block indexing of a test website so that Google doesn’t accidentally crawl it
  • Review HTML generated by the theme

Selecting a Theme is Critical

Many themes claim to be search engine-friendly. But this isn’t always the case. Google’s PageSpeed insights tool shows that a large number of themes have poor performance. Even some of the “SEO friendly” themes’ showcase websites perform terribly.

Themes, for example, might have a detrimental impact on the speed of your website by

  • Necessitating the use of many plug-ins in order to function fully.
  • More external resources are being loaded (scripts, webfonts)
  • Loading excess internal resources (scripts, webfonts)
  • Poor coding
  • CSS that hasn’t been optimised
  • Jquery/javascript isn’t optimised

Site architecture is a major concern, especially when a site is rebuilt and some themes have specific post types set up that compel a URL structure that may not match the previous design.

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