Does Changing your Website Theme Affect SEO?

As website developers that are conscious of web design, we know that sometimes it is necessary to change your website theme. As times pass by, we are introduced to new developments, styles, and trends that make it difficult to be consistent with your current layout.

But there are things you must also consider before doing so, such as the impact of the design itself to your page viewers, and of course, the ever-relevant SEO implications.

Website themes and impact to SEO

Recently, Google’s John Mueller shared that website design can indeed impact SEO. It is because website design involves multiple elements that are vital to SEO, such as headings, text, images, page load times, how pages are interlinked, and structured data. He also suggested that good themes make it easier for search engines to comprehend its content.

How changing themes can affect SEO

When you apply a new theme to your website, it can affect your website one way or another. Some changes might be too minute to see, but most of the time, it will result in large distinct changes which could affect user experience and reception either way.

Here are some changes that could take place to a website upon giving it a theme makeover.

  1. Metadata

As a new design is employed to your website, it creates metadata for webpages. If the change is applied, you might lose all this metadata.

To prevent it, use a plugin to keep the metadata. As long as a plugin is in place, the metadata will remain the same even when you change themes. Some recommended SEO plugins are Yoast and RankMath, as they maintain your metadata as you switch your website themes.

  1. Format changes

A new website design can also change the way the posts within it are formatted. While fonts aren’t that big of an issue, some design change can also impact the headings. If the design results in headings getting out of its preferred order, that's trouble brewing for your SEO. The resulting heading changes can be more significant, making it more difficult to read or even access your webpage. And we all know what it means for SEO.

  1. On page speed

Take your page speed into account when choosing a new theme for your website. Remember, not all themes are created equal. Some themes, due to its intricacies, can result in your webpage loading slower, a no-no for SEO.

READ: Adaptive design or responsive design?

  1. User experience

In the end, all these point to the most important purpose of changing your web design - improving the user experience. If the design, no matter how eye-catching it is, results in poor user reception, better think twice about your new website design. Keep in mind that user experience is a factor to your website’s rankings in search engine pages.

READ: Website fixes to improve your site’s user experience

How to changes themes while thinking SEO

Of course, we won’t leave you hanging there if you really want to modify your website appearance. Be mindful of the following tips for a better web design change experience.

  1. Test and check a new theme.

Even John Mueller recommends this - before changing it, check it first. Try out the themes first on a test website. Look for potential changes in formatting and headings, as well as loading speed.

  1. Use a high-quality but SEO-friendly theme

Choose not only an aesthetically-appealing theme, but also, a responsive design that doesn’t hurt most aspects of the website.

  1. Use plugins, keep that in mind, please.

That must indeed sound appealing. Like we’ve mentioned earlier, plugins prevent your metadata from getting deleted after a website design update. This keeps SEO-relevant data on the website in place.

Need help with customising a new design for your website? Elephant in the Boardroom’s game-changing website design and development is trusted by businesses around Australia. See how we can change yours at www.elephantintheboardroom.com.au.




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