The 16 Best WordPress Themes For SEO In 2016

Not all WordPress 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.

WordPress Themes For SEO — The Top 10 List

I’ve covered this topic before in the past — and more than once.

But since then many new themes, each with newer functionality and features that cater to both users and Google alike, have emerged onto the website design scene.

Let’s cover the top 10 WordPress Themes doing this best in 2016…

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.

Represent your professional services with confidence and clarity by harnessing the streamlined professionalism of this Genesis theme.

First impressions are everything, and this WordPress Theme’s smart look and ease-of-use will take your client and customer connections to the next level.

This responsive, yet content heavy theme is designed to help published authors build a better online library of books with its intuitive design and powerful functionality. Further your following by showcasing your published work with the user-friendly features of Author Pro. Your readers will thank you for it.

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.

Designed to help industry savvy real estate agents build a better business with intuitive design, powerful functionality, and smart directory listings.

Rise above the market and achieve results by showcasing your professional services and up-to-the-minute resources with this theme’s buyer-friendly layouts. Clients will thank you for it.

When you’re ready to pare things down to the essentials, you’re ready for No Sidebar.

This is more than just a theme. It’s an approach to life and to digital content that will offer your visitors a light and uncluttered user experience. No Sidebar a minimalist theme with maximum impact.

Altitude Pro Theme

The parallax effects will grab your eye, but it’s the features and flexibility that will move your mind.

Altitude Pro is a WordPress theme with a purpose, and that purpose to take you and your online business higher.

No BS on this one… it’s the best choice of theme I’ve ever built with.

I’ll show you in my upcoming posts how I’ve used these WP theme, and a few other tools, to rank in the top 7 for 97 of my 100 most clicked organic keywords.

Whether you’re a creative studio or a one-person shop, this premium WordPress theme is ideal for the use of inviting visitors into your world.

Its clean, open theme will highlight your best work with its large, dramatic images and elegant typography.

If you’re ready for a theme with unlimited ambiance, take a look at Atmosphere Pro.

Your visitors will take in all the details — both in your images and your copy — when you use this new theme’s wide open spaces and gorgeous contrasts.

If you’re building a business around digital goods, you need a WordPress 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 don’t want any themes shown above, AT LEAST make sure you get the right framework — to help you, here are the top two SEO friendly WordPress frameworks and themes.

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…

  1. Matt Cutts of Google fame switched from Thesis to Genesis in 2013.
  2. 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.

2- Thesis Framework by DIYthemes

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

3- 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.

You can also visit this guide to check the theme you are considering for more WordPress SEO do’s and don’ts.

Originally published at on February 17, 2016.

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