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How to Select a WordPress Theme and Optimize for SEO


Illustrative designer Von Glitschka once shared that, “Marketing without design is lifeless, and design without marketing is mute.” That statement is very true and for web designers, it is one of the biggest catch-22’s they face when selecting a website theme.

SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a way to increase the visibility of your websites in natural search engine rankings, such as Google or Bing. Some of today’s most popular SEO techniques involve the content on your page.

However the theme you select also plays a huge part in a successful SEO campaign, and could determine if the future of your site will be a rousing success or a big flop. Choosing the wrong theme or using the apps incorrectly will actually turn audiences away from your site.

There are countless commercial and free themes and apps that you can download for free. Depending on the license associated with each, you may be able to modify them to suit the needs of your site. But before you go downloading a new theme, consider these things first.

Relativity – The theme and plugins that you choose should be relevant to the industry or niche represented by your business. For example you wouldn’t have a theme featuring puppies and kittens if you use your site as an affiliate tool for marketing vitamins for elderly men.

Simplicity – Too many features are distracting. Go for a simple design that has everything you need but lacks the unnecessary frills. If you need a lot of features and aren’t sure how to keep a simple design, hire a freelancer to design your site for you.

Compatibility – Just because your theme is compatible with Mozilla Firefox does not mean that people with Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, or any number of other browsers see your site the way it appears to you.

TOS-ability – Every theme, regardless of whether it is free or commercial, comes with a Terms of Service, or TOS. If a free theme requires you to jump through a lot of hoops before downloading, keep looking. There are literally thousands of others from which to choose.

Behold the Power of Plugins

A theme alone will not make your website SEO-friendly. Plugins are an integral part of the big picture. One great example is WordPress SEO by Yoast, it takes the guesswork out of your on page optimization. The plugin add field under your post where you enter some very important information such as:

  • Focus keyword
  • Title tag
  • Meta tag

The plugin then rates your post on several different factors, like keyword density, use of Heading Tags etc. Then will give you a list of things that you should change or add to make your post more powerful for SEO. This works like a bit of a checklist for you, so that it is easy to see what you are missing.

How to Add Plugins to Your WordPress Site

The task of adding a plugin might sound daunting but in reality it is as simple as uploading a file or folder to any other part of your computer. Just go to Plugins and choose Add New. Then insert the name of the plugin you wish to add and click Install.

Once installation is complete, then click Activate and you are ready to go. If this does not work, then it might be necessary to use an FTP program to access your site’s server and upload the program manually. The manual process may vary from this point forward.

Getting used to WordPress, especially if you are accustomed to working with a different content management system, is not always as easy as some websites make it sound. But once you master the basics, the rest is not only easier but also worth every last bit of the effort.

WordPress is based on the use of templates. These templates make it very easy to make changes to your entire site with just a few clicks. That includes changes to things like posts, tags or plugins.

Overall, using WordPress allows you to create dynamic websites with SEO techniques that help you rise above and beyond whatever methods that are being used by your competitors. And also allows you to keep control of your site without having to have a design or tech support team with you anytime you want to make a change.


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How to Select a WordPress Theme and Optimize for SEO

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