Themes Boost Your Rankings

You may be inclined to choose a web theme that looks nice – almost anyone would, but be cautious. As a professional promoting your business, you need to visit the world of online marketing beyond the realm of design. Search engine algorithms have specific metrics that they pick up in order to effectively rank a site. Even the most beautiful site in the world will go unnoticed if Google can’t read it.

Even with social media marketing, search is still crucial to your traffic and conversion rates. Compared to social referrals, search traffic is 10% more likely on mobile devices and 15% more likely on desktop to convert. More than any of your other marketing efforts, you should invest energy into search engines. Here’s how an SEO-friendly theme will boost your search rankings.

How Does Responsive Design Affect SEO?

A modern search optimized theme will undoubtedly have responsive design – images, text, menus, and widgets will translate well on both mobile and desktop. 90% of adults in the US have a cell phone, and 60% of all website views take place from mobile devices. Additionally, the number of desktop and mobile internet viewers is expected to rise. So responsiveness is a critical element for your visitors.

It is also favorable for your search presence. Google and other search engines are paying attention to which devices people browse from, how long they stay on a site, and how often content is shared. If your content is optimized for both mobile and desktop, search engine algorithms will ultimately favor your site.

What is the Impact of Social Media Sharing Tools on SEO?

90% of Millennials and 35% of people over 65 use social media. That’s a majority of your potential site traffic. Social referrals will likely increase traffic to your site, whether you have company social profiles or not. SEO-friendly website themes either have built-in social media tools or work well with social sharing plugins to help increase these referrals. But how does this influence search rankings?

The more social signals – triggers from public social media shares for a specific URL – a search engine detects, the more clout a web page is granted. It’s unclear whether or not Google considers the number of your actual social media backlinks when ranking your site. What social sharing definitely guarantees is more potential viewing, which improves rankings.

Other SEO-Friendly Website Theme Traits

Responsive design and social media readiness are two critical functions of an SEO-friendly theme, but there are more. These other search engine optimized theme traits will help improve your rank in searches.

● Fast Upload Speeds – your media will be compressed for fast page loading. This ensures that visitors will stay on your page long enough to at least allow them to view everything above the fold (the visible part of a web page before scrolling).
● Viable, Clean Coding – everything in your HTML and CSS actually makes sense and serves a function. Clean coding won’t bog down your website or interfere with most add-ons.
● Logical Web Structure – your internal and external linking strategy, menus, content structure, etc. are easy to follow. Search engines will know whether you link to the pages they expect to see from your home page (contact information, about page, privacy policies, sitemap, and products and services) and a link back to your home page from other main pages.
● Schema Markup – your content is not only visible, but comprehensible to search engines. Your code will be automatically enhanced.
● Simple SEO Integrations, Plugins, and Add-Ons – for what isn’t automatically included in your theme, there is a compatible tool you can add. Otherwise, you risk a poor user experience of your online content.

Each of these will help optimize your site for your target market while letting search engines understand your website.

Do You Have to Give Up Aesthetic Appeal?

Choosing between website aesthetics and functionality may seem like a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be. You do have to learn how to leverage the tools provided with any website builder to rock SEO. Fortunately some SEO-friendly website themes are gorgeous. Shop around until you find a template that effectively conveys your brand message while simultaneously catering to search engines.

Katia Myroniuk is a BusinessTown.com contributor