I’ve been in the online marketing space since 2008. I’ve run product launch and go-to-market campaign strategies and tactics for multi-billion dollar companies like FedEx and have tripled online revenue for smaller niche local companies by the dozens.
I’ve built and managed online marketing strategies for dozens of B2B and B2C businesses – large and small.
I got my start in SEO and social media marketing. SEO has changed a lot since the early days.
The tools and tactics taught in this article currently work and will likely always work for WordPress SEO.
These WP themes are not only good for Search Engine Optimization but also for your human site visitors.
Forget Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird these SEO strategies will teach you the white hat way to search traffic.
Let’s get started!
Going All-In On WordPress SEO
In the modern era, search is one of the most important – if not THE MOST IMPORTANT – traffic channel for nearly any business online.
Before someone does business with you in 2017, they’ll almost always “Google” you.
You’ll bring in leads and revenue from people searching for products, services and information you have on your blog or website.
Google is impossible to ignore. It’s true.
But don’t go “all in.”
SEO should be part of a larger online marketing strategy. Here are 3 reasons why…
1. SEO is a slow burn – You won’t see results from SEO overnight. In fact, the changes you make today could take months to pay dividends. SEO is a long term strategy… but an important one.
2. SEO isn’t reliable – Google is always tweaking its algorithm and your search traffic will go up and down as competition ebbs and flows in your niche. Don’t put all your eggs in the SEO basket… or any basket for that matter.
3. Consider humans first – Don’t go SEO crazy and start creating content only a search spider could stomach. Always err on the side of user experience.
Not all WP themes are created equal.
Where some only have great designs, others have also built in great SEO functionality by developing with search-friendly code and building in the fields you need to optimize your website for search.
And while you can go with any WordPress theme and optimize it for search using plugins, which we will discuss in the next step, there are certain themes that go the extra mile in considering search optimization during development.
Here are what I consider to realistically be THE ONLY TWO SEO friendly WordPress frameworks for building effective websites using WordPress in 2017 (and beyond).
Let’s cover them one-by-one…
1- Genesis Framework by StudioPress
Themes built on the Genesis Framework by StudioPress are by far the best for SEO. If I had to point out two reasons why off the bat, they would be the following…
- Matt Cutts of Google fame switched from Thesis to Genesis in 2013.
- Joost de Valk, well known for creating Yoast SEO, one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress to date, began creating his own WordPress themes.
They are all child themes built upon the Genesis Framework.
If you’re are a WordPress developer, one thing you will really appreciate about the Genesis Framework / StudioPress themes is the developer package.
Unlike most developer packages, if you purchase a StudioPress Pro Plus Package (currently $374.96 for the Genesis Framework, 43 child themes, plus future themes and lifetime support), you can use their themes (and future ones) on all of your websites and your clients without paying additional licensing fees.
Other perks to going with themes built on the Genesis Framework include…
- Being able to pick from 43 well-designed child themes that look great straight out of the box (plus additional child themes by third party designers).
- Having a go to list of great developers to choose from for additional customization.
- Using a framework praised by WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg.
- Being in the company of other great users such as Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse, Jay Baer, and other industry experts.
You can also choose the Pro Plus Package at $399 for the framework plus all current and future child themes developed by StudioPress.
To learn more about StudioPress, visit their Get Started page.
Another favorite of SEO professionals and those who like to stay search optimized is the Thesis Framework by DIYthemes.
Formerly used by Matt Cutts and Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land, this framework has become more user friendly in its latest incarnation, moving from the dependence of users to build their own theme designs to offering skins, boxes, and drag and drop functionality.
Other perks to going with themes built on the Thesis Framework include…
- Built-in Twitter Card and Facebook Open Graph functionality for better results when shared on social networks (Professional plan only)
- Being in the company of other great users such as Missy Ward, Derek Halpern, Shoemoney and Pat Flynn
- Pricing for the Thesis Framework is $87. The Basic Plus plan at $164 includes 3 skins and email opt-in boxes for MailChimp and Aweber
Now for the list you’ve been waiting for…
Our Top 10 WP Themes For SEO
But since then many new WordPress themes and tools, each with newer functionality and features that cater to both users and Google alike, have emerged onto the website development cosmos.
Let’s cover the top 10 WordPress Themes doing SEO best in 2017…
If you’re building a business around digital goods, you need a theme that will support your efforts and won’t get in the way when you’re marketing your digital products. Digital Pro builds trust with a friendly, open feel and clean, easy-to-read typography.
If you’ve been searching for a theme that’s perfect for showing off your personality, your community and your real estate listings, you’ve found it. Agent Focused Pro is a premium WordPress theme designed with both real estate professionals and their clients in mind.
Are you launching a startup business? Or do you want your business to look like a startup? This high-energy theme is chock-full of features you can put to work for your business with just a few clicks.
Prepare for the attention your new product launch will get, because all eyes will be on your website when you use the Showcase Pro theme. Show off your best product images and content with a WP theme that displays them with clean, bright style.
If you’re a blogger, speaker or thought leader who’s ready to step it up and seize success with a bold, eye-catching theme, you’re ready for Aspire Pro. Aim high with a high-impact WordPress design that puts your best offerings in the spotlight.
As a designer, photographer or other services professional, you likely put a lot of thought and care into the spaces you style … why should your digital presence be any different? With Interior Pro, we’ve taken care of the online staging for you so that you can effortlessly share your creative approach with the world.
The new role of website design is to tell a story, which is what this responsive WordPress theme was developed to do. Parallax keeps your page content in proper narrative order, giving you a simple vertical design for easy visual eye movement and flow.
It divides your content into parts, with a clear connection between them, allowing visitors to read it like a real story, with no pause or break, and leading them right to your call to action.
As a product designer or idea person – you tinker, you conceptualize, you come up with hacks, and then you Make. Maker Pro is a theme that honors your Maker self and puts your ideas — as well as the creations they give rise to — front and center.
If you’re a digital business looking to elevate your brand, Infinity Pro was made for you. It’s an elegant, responsive way to introduce your online presence. With all of the options we’ve packed into Infinity Pro to customize your customer’s experience, it’s also one of the most flexible StudioPress theme releases to date. And did we mention it’s compatible with WooCommerce?
Pat Flynn knows it takes three key elements to create a successful online platform: design, content, and strategy. The Smart Passive Income Pro theme weaves together these essential elements. It features striking design and strategic content areas that will make your online business unforgettable.
Choosing Other Themes (if you just HAVE to…)
There are an endless number of WordPress themes out there, both free and paid themes.
If you decide to go with other themes, be sure to check the following with the theme’s demo version.
- Load time – Google ranks sites that it believes will give searchers the information they want and a great user experience. Slow loading websites do not offer a great experience. If the theme demo takes a while to load, it may not be the one to choose.
- Responsive design – Frameworks and themes that offer responsive design (designs that work on desktops, tablets, and smartphones) are best for both user experiences. Plus, Google may not show your website in mobile search results if your website is not mobile-friendly.
- Footer links – Some free themes (and even paid ones) will insert links into the footer. While having a link to the theme developer you are using isn’t a bad thing, having a theme that puts other irrelevant links in the footer is. Some won’t show these links in the demo version – if you download a theme for free, check it once it’s on your website to ensure you haven’t gained any unwelcome links.
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You can also visit this guide to check your new theme you are considering for more WordPress SEO do’s and don’ts.
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