In this article, I have covered everything you need to know about having a fully optimized SEO theme.
The article is divided into four sections:
- Best WordPress theme for SEO
- Best theme for Personal Branding.
- Best theme for Affiliate Niche websites.
- Best theme for Media, Entertainment, Cooking, Travel, and Health blogs.
What does Google want to see on the website
Here are all the factors that Google is looking for in a great website
Just optimizing for the desktop version of your site isn’t enough. Recent stats show that more than 75% of the US population uses their smartphone to access the Internet.
Keeping the stats in mind you need to drill down all your focus on mobile-first indexing.
You need to have a website that has cross-browser compatibility, which means your website looks great on most popular browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Opera and UC browser.
Here are some points to have the best navigation:
- Categorize your content into various subcategories.
- Have a search bar at the top of the sidebar.
- The sidebar should contain your recent posts so that your readers can go through it.
- Easily accessible contact us and about page is a must.
Remember, Google will only read the code that is behind a beautiful looking website. Your website would suffer if you’re using a template which has poor coding structure.
Code structure directly affects the speed of the website and thus your traffic rankings.
Expert Tips: If you can not afford good theme developer, then buy a theme from trusted company who has expert coders (for example MyThemeShop, Colorlib and ThriveThemes).
Website speed is a direct ranking factor. If your website is slow, you’ll miss out on higher rankings in the SERPs.
A good SEO friendly theme with an optimized code will surely help boost your page load time.
Expert developers use the minified version of CSS and JS code files to optimise loading speed.
Google’s algorithm is ever changing and so does the ranking factors and its weight. The developers of the theme should be well versed with this and make changes accordingly.
Never buy a theme from a company who never releases updates frequently after their initial release.
Google can understand your website in and out with the help of structured data. Schema.org helps Google achieve this.
If you’re running an e-commerce site where you display product pricing, implementing a price schema structure will help Google understands the type of your content this way and will give you higher rankings as it now understands what exactly you’re talking about on the website.
The same rule applies for blogs, review content and news website.
Website API hooks help in integrating with SEO plugins to improve the overall performance of the website.
Simply put, when you install a new plugin on your website, the plugin code needs to be properly integrated with website code and API hooks help you achieve that. If your theme doesn’t support API hooks, your website will need custom coding of the theme.
I have categorized themes as per the niches to help you figure out the right fit for you.
We have been using this theme from the past six months on a couple of our niche sites and honestly, I’m highly impressed with GeneratePress performance.
To your surprise, GeneratePress is a free theme created by Tom Usborne. With over 1.7 downloads, 100,000+ active installs and 750+ five star ratings GeneratePress is a theme worth taking the first spot in our best generic SEO friendly themes.
The theme is perfect for bloggers, small business owners, and niche sites.
Key features of GeneratePress
- Compatible with all the popular WordPress plugins
- Built-in support for font awesome fonts
- Frequently updated
- Easy customization options
- Super fast page load speed
- Built-in schema to rank higher in the SERPs.
- Works perfectly well with third-party page builders.
There’s a premium version of the site which is definitely worth the upgrade considering the features they offer (more on this later).
Add-ons library which you get with Generatepress.
Backgrounds – It gives you the ability to add background images and colors on your entire site.
Blog – You can change featured image styles, blog layout and add infinite scroll.
Colors – With over 60 color options to choose from you can be your own designer.
Copyright – Change the copyright message in the footer of your site within seconds. Moreover, with the advanced codes, it will change the year automatically as it changes.
Disable Elements – Take full control by turning off several elements on a particular page of your liking.
Elements – Add dynamic page elements that will make your site look more professional and beautiful.
Hooks – For developers, who want to add their code into the GeneratePress theme you can do it via hooks.
Menu Plus – Add mobile header, sticky menu, sticky logo and more.
Sections – Make your website stand out with adding extra sections inside the page.
Typography – With over 70 fonts you can customize each and every part of your website.
WooCommerce – Make your WooCommerce store the best looking store with the help of additional colors, typography and layout options.
NOTE: These features are only available in the Premium version of Generatepress which costs only $49.99 for first year. After the subscription period is over, you can renew the license at 40% off.
Genesis is a theme designed by team Studiopress recently acquired by WPEngine.
Divi, Avada and Genesis are used by over 17% of all the websites hosted on WordPress which makes it one of the highest used WordPress theme ever.
Here are the Genesis theme features:
- Search engine optimized
- Unlimited support
- Lifetime free updates
- Highly secured framework
- Site customization is completely in your hands
- One click demo install
- Auto-sized featured images
The entire framework works on the parent and child themes.
They have a whole bunch of themes starting from the magazine, news, blog, portfolio, personal blog or a business theme.
With Genesis, you need to pay only once and after that, you get access to 35+ premium SEO friendly WordPress themes and on top of that, you get lifetime updates on all the themes.
You also have the option to buy an individual theme but it would be expensive because you need to separately pay for the Genesis framework and the theme you decide to buy.
- Genesis Framework: $59.95 (one-time payment)
- Theme + Framework $129.99 (one-time payment – includes one theme and genesis framework)
Astra theme is known for its flexibility. You can integrate Astra theme with popular page builders like Divi, Elementor, Beaver Builder.
Talking about the popularity, the theme has over 200k active WordPress installs with 1260+ five star ratings. Astra theme was primarily built for speed & performance. The theme is perfectly SEO optimized and is super easy to configure.
Apart from that, you also get a library of pre-built websites if you plan to upgrade to Astra Pro which costs $59/yr only. The additional features and functionalities are worth spending $59/yr.
Astra Pro Theme Features
- Built for speed.
- Support for hooks and filters.
- Library of pre-built themes.
- Seamlessly integrates with page builders.
- WooCommerce support.
- LiferLMS integration
- LearnDash integration
The theme is ideal for small business owners and professional bloggers.
Astra Free has very limited functionalities and you’re restricted in most of the cases.
If you’re planning to start your Amazon review website Bridge theme from MyThemeShop is the perfect and cheapest option.
Bridge is a high performance, a fast-loading WordPress theme which is highly optimized to boost your SEO.
Theme is compatible with WP Review Pro plugin which is a must for all the affiliate websites.
Bridge Theme Features:
- Fully responsive
- SEO optimized
- Beautiful looking author box
- WP Review Pro compatible
- WP Mega Menu compatible
- Lazy loading of images
The default subscribe widget embedded in the theme matches with the color and aesthetics of the overall website.
The Clean theme is considered as one of the best SEO friendly travel themes in the WordPress repository.
The design of the theme is simple and the navigation is super easy to understand. Apart from that, the theme is also responsive across multiple platforms.
Moreover, you can add unlimited buttons in the header which takes your customization to a whole new level without knowing a single line of code.
Clean theme supports font awesome icons and all Google fonts so that you can customize headings, navigation, and body text according to your taste.
Here are more features which you get with the theme:
- Adsense optimized
- Support for shortcodes
- Dedicated Author box
- WP review & WP subscribe pro compatible
- Import & Export functionalities
- One click install & update
- 24/7 premium support
All this you get just at $29 with one year of updates. If you plan to continue with the same theme next year you get it for 40% off which is a crazy deal considering more than 25+ features are offered with it.
As a food blogger, you need to upload a lot of images, which would reduce your website speed.
Lifestyle is a fast loading lightweight theme designed by MyThemeShop which is perfect for your cooking blog.
With the Lifestyle theme, you get support for three header layouts that has a different layout from logo to the menu, social media icons and customizable post layouts.
The best part about the theme is they do offer a special let’s shop section for your blog readers to directly buy paid recipes or cookbooks.
Lifestyle theme also gives you an option to showcase your photos directly on your blog with a powerful Instagram widget.
If you cater to an audience who speak multiple languages, the theme has a feature to translate your entire website to any other native languages.
As the theme was originally developed by MyThemeShop you get features like the unlimited background and color options, support for all Google fonts and compatible with WP Review and WP Mega Menu with all their themes.
The theme comes at $45 for a lifetime subscription in which you’ll get all the updates for one full year. Upgrade for the next year is available at 40% off the normal price.
JustFit from MyThemeShop is specifically designed for health blogs. You can show your client’s testimonials, results and also sell your workout coaching all from your blog.
With the drag and drop sections, you can create professional looking pages within minutes. Most importantly, the website is designed keeping the load time and performance in mind.
JustFit theme supports you to sell your own merchandise and other health products just with a few mouse clicks. The theme is also Adsense optimized.
Lastly, there’s a dedicated video post section to showcase your body transformation to the site visitors and convert them into paid coaching clients.
Not to forget you also get support for 630+ font icon pack with all Google fonts integration and unlimited color & background options.
The theme is designed keeping in mind the content-rich websites who publishes content daily. As media websites receive a lot of traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing the NewsPaper theme is also highly optimized for SEO.
The theme has over 200+ five star reviews on MyThemeShop.
With the featured section present in the theme you can show the most viral content or latest news leak exclusively seen on your website.
Apart from that, you also have a popular categories feature which you can place in the sidebar of your website.
The theme comes at $45/lifetime for one site license.
The schema is one of the hottest selling product from MyThemeShop with over close to 300 positive reviews.
Schema theme comes with a built-in JSON-LD schema markup language which lets the search engine know that the following section of the website is a header. footer, navigation, content, breadcrumb.
This would help in better ranking and you get the ability to have rich snippets for your search results.
Schema theme is one of the fastest loading themes in the entire library of WordPress along with highly secure.
If you’re planning to start a personal branding business where your ultimate focus is to sell a product or service to your target audience Schema is the right theme for you.
There is a built-in review system to get reviews and comments about the product or service you’re selling from the user.
The paid version of the theme comes at $45/lifetime.
#10. Socially Viral
Socially Viral theme is designed to keep in mind the speed, performance, and social shares to makes it good fit for viral blogs.
The main purpose of the theme is to get more traffic and share from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The theme has a clean and beautiful looking layout with proper header style and navigational menu.
With the trending post features, you can show the best and the latest viral content on the blog at the top of the website.
You can collect emails from your visitors with the built-in subscription form feature for email marketing.
SociallyViral theme comes with a built-in Schema integration giving you an edge over others in search engine rankings.
Last but not the least you have a beautiful looking author box to showcase the skills and expertise to your audience.
NewsOnline theme offers the multiple header options, means you aren’t just restricted to having a simple logo and social sharing icons. Instead, you can make a primary and secondary navigation menu all in the header section of the theme just to give a better user experience to your readers.
NewsOnline is a highly optimized theme for Adsense which is main requirement for Magazines and entertainment blog.
The theme is fluid responsive meaning it will work perfectly fine on mobiles, desktop, and tablets.
If you have any further queries in finding the right theme for you do leave a comment down below and let me know.