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Google Says Website Themes Affect SEO

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Webmasters and website SEO consultants need to take their site themes into strong consideration as these can have a significant impact on search engine rankings. Google recently published a short video hosted by John Mueller that discusses how themes could affect one’s website SEO.

Mueller said that many SEOs look at website themes and see them as “a splash of colour” placed on a finished structure. However, there is so much more to website themes than what most people might link.

A theme can affect how the site shows its content elements, which are crucially important to SEO. These page elements include text, headings, images, how the pages are interlinked, their load times, and structured data.

Google said that having great website themes will help their search engine understand the page content. Mueller also confirmed that updating a website’s theme will affect its SEO.

The best thing for the SEO community to do is to test out their website themes before choosing a new one. Here are some of Mueller’s recommendations:

  • – Try themes out on a test website
  • – Publish content from their original website to see how it looks
  • – Block indexing of a test to prevent Google from crawling it accidentally
  • – Review HTML the theme generated

Many marketers and web design experts agree with Mueller that website themes could affect their website SEO rankings.

One search marketing expert agrees that the way a site renders affects the way it resolves for search engines. They found that the overall number of views for a website they worked on increased by 26 per cent simply because they changed the theme.

The SEO also said that themes are significant in SEO, especially WordPress themes. These themes are specifically designed for SEO, and they are optimised using the latest techniques. Many WordPress themes have clean code, responsive designs, and fast-loading speeds. Moreover, they allow SEO companies to optimise websites effortlessly.

For developers using WordPress, it’s generally recommended to opt for Gutenberg-based editors or Gutenberg blocks builders because these are the best type of editor for the WordPress core. Using these editors will also lead to better page speed.

Even if Google does not include Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor, the search engine would likely still prioritise sites that use Gutenberg-based editors because users love fast websites. This means there would be more calls and clicks, as well as improved sales conversions. The response from users will always be positive, whether the site in question is a global-level website or that of a local company.

Therefore, Gutenberg Blocks-based editors are the best if site owners want to achieve a faster load time on their WordPress websites.

The marketer also recommended other site themes: Bricks Builder and Oxygen. However, these themes are only for those who are willing to spend time and effort learning them. Otherwise, one should use the WordPress editor directly because not everyone can accomplish 100 on mobile scores in a mobile-first world. Alternative themes will load up a lot of scripts that would lead to lower scores. The lesser the moving parts, the less friction there will be, and the same principle can be applied when selecting a site theme.

A marketing director also weighed in on the topic, saying that choosing the best site theme is critical as a poorly chosen WordPress theme can negatively affect SEO rankings. They said that the theme affects JavaScript and CSS, which can have a significant impact on site speed.

A web design and SEO agency founder also shared their insights on the importance of site themes to SEO. They said that website themes could affect page structure, internal links, and architecture, which can make or break site speed.

Some of the things that can negatively affect site speed are as follows:

  • – Poor coding
  • – Requiring several plugins to function “properly”
  • – Loading excess internal/external resources (web fonts, scripts)
  • – Unoptimised jquery/javascript/CSS

They also said that site architecture is a huge problem when rebuilding sites because some themes may require a URL structure that does not match the existing architecture, especially if the theme is set up with custom-built custom post types.

Choose Website Themes Carefully

Many themes claim to be SEO-friendly, but it is not always the case. Many of these themes result in low-performance scores in Google’s PageSpeed insights tool.

Gutenberg Block Editor is a great option if website SEO consultants want to achieve a fast-performing site. They can build the site directly with the WordPress Gutenberg site builder. The theme generates the site straight from the core, so there is no need for it to go through extra layers. WordPress also continuously improves the Gutenberg code to make it only load the files needed to generate the web page.

However, one must note that Gutenberg is not fully finished. Gutenberg is currently being built in four phases, and WordPress is still working on the second phase, which focuses on bringing full site editing to Gutenberg. Here are the four phases of Gutenberg development:

Easier editing – This phase is already available in WordPress, with continuous improvements being added

Customisation – This involves Block Patterns, Full Site editing, Block Directory, Block-based themes.

Collaboration – This phase is expected to provide publishers with a more intuitive way to co-author content.

Multilingual – This is the core implementation for multilingual websites.

Just like what Mueller suggested, it’s advised to first set up a mockup site where themes can be tested. Site owners can then configure the website and achieve the exact appearance they want it to have. SEOs can also take advantage of other services, like WP Stagecoach, for an easier process.

Optimise Your Website’s Theme With Position1SEO

Position1SEO has a web development team that can help you improve your site’s appearance to provide the best user experience.

We will first provide you with an in-depth SEO audit that looks at the following areas of your website:

  • – Web-based reporting system set-up
  • – Site load speed report with speed optimisation recommendations
  • – Mobilegeddon report (mobile-friendliness)
  • – Google Search Console overview report
  • – Malware and blacklist check report
  • – SEO review report
  • – W3C validation report
  • – Etc

Afterwards, we will conduct a free consultation over the phone with you to discuss your personalised SEO package.

For more information about our services, call us on 0141 404 7515 or write to us at office@position1seo.co.uk.

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      Preferred day of week

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