Changing WordPress Themes: Does it Affect your Search Engine Visibility?

This is one question that site owners should ask even before they are choosing a particular WordPress theme. We often commit the mistake of being too floored by the visual appeal of themes – so much so that we end up unwittingly undermining the need for estimating their scope—both in terms of business suitability and search engine ranking.

All the premium and free WordPress themes are backed by responsive features today. However, that doesn’t really mean that you can actually buy a theme or template without even testing its speed and responsiveness.

Does changing the WordPress theme necessarily impact SEO?

Now, it’s a common practice for those primarily working with free WordPress themes to change their themes quite frequently. What they do not consider is the possible impact of changing these themes on their search engine visibility.

While none can say each and every time you change that template or theme you are necessarily inviting chances of better or worse search engine visibility, you can still never rule out possibilities. We will explain the “why” and “how” of it.

To start off with, let us tell you that a new theme itself will not really change anything. However, if the newly implemented template presents your data in a different order in your HTML then there are chances of your search engine visibility being impacted by a considerable degree.

HTML: What should you be careful about?

Now, it is very important on your end to ensure that you are considering the order of HTML without fail. One needs to remember that there is a particular way in which Google reads your HTML and it’s in a linear fashion. Now, this might differ from what is presented on screen. You can use WordPress themes that allow you to use your Content Boxes and tables to present your content in a manner different from which HTML chooses to show your page source code. Did your previous theme have a left hand sidebar? Are you replacing it with one having a right hand sidebar? Do remember that spider generally reads the sidebar content before the main text. In this case, the search engine ranking of your site may be affected adversely.

Then, of course, there are several theme related attributes that need to be taken care of before buying a new WordPress theme or just changing it for free.

The way you use images and the speed at which they load governs your search engine ranking to a certain extent. Is the new theme going to help you there? Is it anything which supports images better or is more compatible with heavy images than what your previous theme was?

Responsiveness of the Themes: What you need to Know

As has been pointed out earlier, all WordPress themes are responsive but it still means that you have to test the speed at which the themes are loading on mobile devices. The speed of two themes on mobile devices may always vary – no matter how “fast” the modern templates generally are.

Find out how the site with the new theme looks on various browsers. If the new theme renders a more improved look does it mean that your search engine visibility will improve as well?

Do consider asking these questions and securing answers to the same before you are about to incorporate a new WordPress theme.

The final words

As the web gurus have always maintained, implementing a new theme should never be treated as a random exercise. If you weren’t aware earlier, let us tell you that there are SEO-friendly themes that you have access to. Make sure you are selecting something backed by SEO friendly codes and are bug free. Once you are done choosing the WordPress theme you can use tools like SEO spider and SEMRush to figure out if you have errors in your blog or not.