Given the sheer volume of traffic that Google Search receives every month, search engine optimization should be a priority for every WordPress website that wants to get found, whether it’s for a business, blog, portfolio, or online store.
If you already have a WordPress site up and running but find that your organic search traffic is lower than expected in your space, you might want to consider a WordPress theme that’s better for SEO.
It’s hard to understate the importance of picking an SEO-friendly WordPress theme. Creating quality content takes a lot of hard work, and if you don't have an SEO-ready theme to back it up, your output may not get the exposure it deserves.
WordPress is generally considered one of the best content management systems for SEO, but you should install an SEO-friendly theme and an SEO plugin for WordPress for the best results. To help you build or improve your site with a better theme, here are 31 we recommend to improve your rank in the SERPs and boost organic traffic.
Recommended Plugins for SEO Optimized Themes
Before we dive into our list, here are a few WordPress plugins that you might want to consider with this type of theme. These tools will save you a lot of time (and headache) while setting up your site and will power your marketing and sales efforts over time.
HubSpot’s WordPress plugin connects your WordPress site to your HubSpot CRM. This allows you to capture, organize, and engage web visitors with forms, live chat, email, and more.
As you foster relationships and communicate with visitors over time, HubSpot’s WordPress plugin automatically records interactions in your CRM, creating a unified timeline view of each visitor’s contact history with your business. Not only does this make lead management easier, but it allows you to tailor a truly personalized customer experience for every person visiting your website.
Ideally, these themes should already be optimized for SEO. However, it never hurts to get a little reassurance.
Yoast SEO checks your content for target keywords and readability. It also provides templates for meta descriptions and page titles so you have a better chance of ranking higher on search engines. Between your theme and this plugin, it should be everything you need to follow crucial SEO best practices.
With all of this organic traffic coming to your site, you'll want to make sure you have a way to convert visitors into leads for your marketing and sales teams. WPForms helps you do this by creating contact forms and publishing them on your website. Couple this with HubSpot's CRM plugin, and you have a fast and efficient way of gathering leads and converting traffic into sales.
SEO-Ready WordPress Themes
- MH Magazine
- SEO Crawler
- Olsen Pro
- Marketing Pro
- SimpleShift Pro
Avada is one of the most popular WordPress themes around, acclaimed for its flexibility, ease-of-use, speed, large library of pre-built websites, user support, and integrated page builder that helps anyone build their own site without needing to know how to code.
This multipurpose WordPress theme is also built and designed with SEO best practices in mind. With Avada being 100% SEO-friendly, you have the scope to design and build engaging and semantically structured content for any industry.
By creating custom Avada Theme Builder Layouts, Layout Sections, and Conditional Logic, you can best decide how and where to place relevant information anywhere on your website to aid SEO and visitor usability.
Furthermore, Layout Section Elements and Avada's massive range of Design Elements give you the ability to deliver a compelling business, blog, niche, or ecommerce website.
Building an effective WordPress website takes more than designing pages, adding content, and pushing the publish button. You need to make sure your site is actually found by people to get real results. This is exactly what Astra provides — a firm foundation to build your website while handling several key SEO factors.
With Astra, you get schema markups, in-depth accelerated mobile page support, and lightweight code for better page performance. The theme is currently one of the most popular themes on the WordPress repository, and its fast speed is important for anyone building an SEO-friendly website.
Astra doesn’t sacrifice customization for SEO-friendliness, however. There are over 150 importable demo sites — some for free and some limited to premium users — for a wide variety of website niches, and tools to modify them to your liking. So, no matter what site you intend to build, Astra delivers on the design and SEO fronts.
Another popular multipurpose pick among WordPress users, TheGem theme comes with over 400 pre-built demo websites, dozens of unique page elements, useful extensions to get the most out of your site, and a demo import option so you can get started immediately.
This theme’s layout and codebase are SEO-friendly so that your content can achieve a better ranking in search results. Plus, TheGem is compatible with popular SEO plugins and comes with fully responsive and high-performing page layouts, two major factors that search engine crawlers look for.
TheGem also comes with the premium drag-and-drop WPBakery website builder, which you can use to create your custom design without any coding. This theme integrates with Elementor as well if you prefer an alternative builder.
One of the top-selling themes from the MyThemeShop marketplace, Schema prioritizes speed and SEO-friendliness over everything else. The theme is incredibly clean and high-performing, with speed test results from Pingdom to back up its claims. Page regions and elements are coded with plenty of semantic descriptors for better indexing and accessibility, a major perk for this option.
Schema also fully integrates with the Elementor page builder plugin and supports responsive pages so your site will look great across desktops and mobile devices. There are several other perks as well, like built-in rich snippets for Google, unlimited backgrounds, over 350 ready-to-use icons, and an ad management section of the theme options panel.
Divi is the flagship WordPress theme from developer ElegantThemes and is one of the most popular WordPress themes on the market. This theme is known for its versatile designs and integrated Divi Builder, which reformats your page builder interface into a drag-and-drop visual system with tons of layout, element, and styling options.
Like other high-quality premium multipurpose themes, Divi’s back end is coded based on SEO best practices, including descriptive HTML, responsive elements and layouts, and an overall lightweight build for faster pages and a better user experience.
So, by either starting from scratch or downloading any of Divi’s dozens of pre-built websites, you can help your pages land high in search results among your competitors. For more info, see our in-depth look at the Divi theme.
6. MH Magazine
The first specialized theme on our list is MH Magazine, a quality option for news and magazine websites. Suitable for modern publications, this theme provides a dynamic range of options for any editorial project. Layouts are responsive as well for readers on the go.
To get your content out to the public, the MH Magazine WordPress theme has been developed and coded while keeping SEO standards in mind, which is especially important to consider when publishing buzzy content to be indexed by Google.
This flexible theme can also be used for all kinds of different topics and content genres, including news, lifestyle, fashion, sports, music, food, travel, technology, and more. It’s translation-ready, supports RTL languages, and offers great features that give you the chance to set up a unique content site.
Newsmag is another powerful premium WordPress news and blogging theme that comes with a clean code and SEO-optimized design. Newsmag’s pages are fast, even on content-heavy sites with large amounts of text and images.
Newsmag theme gives you virtually unlimited customization options that you can access with the included Visual Composer plugin and twenty content blocks. It’s also AdSense-optimized to help you earn money from your site, and embed-friendly, making it ideal for YouTube videos.
If you run a digital marketing or SEO agency, incorporating SEO on your site is a must. Enter SEOWP, a flexible WordPress theme specially created for digital marketing agencies, SEO companies, and social media specialists. All the aspects of the theme are search-engine-optimized, which can help you to take your online business to the next level.
SEOWP comes with unlimited header styles, unlimited page designs, unlimited footer layouts, and a drag & drop page builder to create a user-friendly website with real-time customization. The theme’s designs are colorful and heavy on illustrations for a modern, friendly appeal.
Since this is a theme for marketers, it also includes premium plugins for tracking and improving your site’s ranking, incorporating social media sharing, and adding opt-in forms to convert visitors to leads.
9. SEO Crawler
While less popular than SEOWP, the SEO Crawler theme is a strong contender for marketing and SEO agencies launching a new site or refacing an old one. This theme offers several sleek demo designs and a one-click demo import option to get started quickly and modify to match your requirements.
This theme is a perfect option for digital marketing agencies, business sites, freelancers, and SEO agencies. It's a quick-loading option with a mobile-first approach, so your site looks great on small screens. SEO Crawler also comes with the GoodLayers page builder for free to create stunning pages that convert with ease, as well as 19 different header styles to make your site unique. And, the theme options panel keeps all control at your fingertips.
Yosemite is a super clean and professional WordPress theme from MyThemeShop. You get plenty of options to optimize your site for search engines to make the most out of your content.
Great for bloggers, Yosemite offers a fluid responsive design with a number of retina-ready icons, SEO-ready designs, 650+ Google fonts, schema integration, and compatibility with mega menu plugins for multi-author blogs and online stores.
Users also get some useful shortcodes, integrated social media buttons, and Google AdSense optimizations, unlimited color and background options, and — for one final SEO bump — website breadcrumbs.
If you’re in need of a quality design for your upcoming blog, have a look at this modern blogging theme. Blogging comes with an impressive and professional look and is fully responsive and retina-ready to make your site viewable on any device.
The Blogging theme is built and styled with CSS3 which makes it light, quick, and mobile-friendly. Important SEO features like breadcrumbs, related posts, author bio box, clean and well-commented code, and easy-to-use social sharing buttons will ensure you rank well in search engines. Plus, this theme comes with custom ad placements to monetize your blog.
Lastly, the one-click demo installation feature helps you to get started with the theme instantly, along with a one-click update feature to get you on the latest version. With the powerful theme options panel, manage everything related to your theme, from changing layouts to uploading a logo.
Looking for more blogging options? The MyBlog theme comes with eight demo design options that you can import with just one click — give them a look and see if any catch your eye. Your blog will be ready almost instantly. If you need any help, the developer support team will guide you through the process.
MyBlog is an SEO-friendly design to ensure that your content gets a better ranking in search results. Additionally, social media is well-integrated with the theme so you won’t have to install a separate plugin. This theme also comes with two beautiful slider options to showcase your featured content through thumbnails, parallax scrolling for a more immersive feel, and unlimited color and background options to top things off.
Websites are essential for establishing your company’s or your personal brand. Brando is one WordPress theme that makes this accessible to anyone. It’s a beautiful, mobile-friendly, SEO-friendly one-page WordPress theme.
Oriented toward creative businesses, agencies, and freelancers, Brando comes with some amazing designs custom-created for different sites. Whether it’s a one-page corporate, portfolio, blog, travel, or photography site, you can choose any of these eye-catching designs and get your site up and running within minutes.
Of course, we can’t forget about SEO. Brando’s templates are built according to SEO best practices and in line with W3C-validated code. It’s also compatible with the popular Yoast SEO and All in One SEO plugins for a ranking boost.
From the creators of Divi, Extra is a powerful magazine WordPress theme with the Divi Builder incorporated, making it easy for new and experienced authors alike to create a custom design for their site. Like Divi, Extra is SEO optimized and well-coded.
This theme comes with a number of different editorial modules and premade layout options to choose from, or you can create a custom design if you like via drag-and-drop. The control panel of the theme comes with an array of settings and is fully responsive so visitors can access the site from any device.
Total is another big hit in the WordPress theme ecosystem. It comes with a massive list of industry-specific demo designs created for different niches. You can select one, customize it, and not need to worry about tweaking the code for better SEO — Total takes care of it while optimizing for speed.
All demos are outfitted with the premium drag-and-drop WPBakery plugin in the theme bundle for a codeless experience. You also get other premium plugins such as Slider Revolution, Layer Slider, and Templatera in the theme bundle for free.
Total is a feature-rich theme, and you’ll have everything you need to create a great new site.
The Customizer and theme options panel are loaded with options to make sure that you can create the perfect site. Finally, Total is built to work seamlessly with the popular Yoast SEO and WooCommerce plugins.
Are you a writer? Might we recommend this next option. While the name might not be the most creative, Writer’s layouts certainly are, making it an excellent choice for wordsmiths of all niches.
Yet another SEO-friendly WordPress theme, Writer packs a great design and tons of amazing features for bloggers. You can easily import the demo designs with the one-click demo import option, then apply different headers as well as blog layout options to make sure that your blog looks perfect.
On top of this, the Writer theme provides a handy options panel so that you can set up your site quickly, along with unlimited color options, unlimited sidebar options, Google Fonts, and a lot more while staying lightweight and SEO-ready.
At over 200,000 downloads to date, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of The7, a groundbreaking multipurpose theme for WordPress admins who value easy building interfaces, high performance, and mobile-friendly yet flexible layouts.
From viewing this theme’s specs and demos, it’s clear that the creators of The7 care about outperforming similar themes — there’s a nearly unmatched amount of customization options, including beginner-friendly and advanced layout templates, dozens of pre-made sides to import, six premium plugins included, and hundreds of additional page options.
The7 is WooCommerce-ready, compatible with popular SEO plugins, and even comes with the unique Design Wizard feature: Just pick a layout and color scheme, and you’ll have a site design generated for you.
Saasland is a versatile WordPress theme that can be used to create pretty much any type of website. Known for its responsivity, this theme looks great across all browsers and devices and comes pre-installed with over 50 pre-built demos — 10 of which were added this year.
Saasland's drag-and-drop page builder makes it easy to customize your site's header and footer. You can also enable "Dark Mode" which flips the color scheme of your site so users working in different lighting environments can still read your content. This creates a better site experience because users can customize display settings to their liking.
20. Olsen Pro
Olsen is a fully responsive blogging style WordPress theme offering eleven different layout options so you can make your site look unique. The theme is super quick and SEO-friendly, and the content-focused layouts will help your articles shine. It also comes with demo content and a demo widget to help you to get blogging faster.
Olsen Pro includes integrated social media icons that will help your users to share your content on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can place the social icons on a single page as well as the homepage below each article. On top of this, the theme comes with more than 80 customization options conveniently incorporated in the WordPress Customizer.
21. Marketing Pro
The Marketing Pro theme is designed for modern marketing and agency sites, as well as business sites that need to showcase their work to increase their client base. This theme comes with nine amazing pre-built designs that are completely customizable, making it a great option for SEO experts and agencies to showcase their offerings.
As this theme is focused on creating conversions, it comes with its own email capture system. You also get the WPBakery drag-and-drop website builder for free with the theme and 11 pre-built website templates that achieve a minimal but stylish look.
Don’t let the name throw you — H-Code lets you build effective websites for businesses, freelancing, and ecommerce without coding. This multipurpose theme is packed with over 50 demo homepage templates to choose from and over 190 demo pages if you want to build your site page-by-page. You also get the premium WPBakery and Slider Revolution plugins included, and the theme is WooCommerce compatible.
H-Code is created with the Bootstrap responsive CSS framework and coded up to HTML5 and CSS standards to make it lightweight and SEO-friendly. There’s also a shortcode generator for quickly adding different functionalities without needing another plugin. Despite the flexibility, this theme never loses the simplicity or minimalist feel.
Monstroid2 is another bestselling multipurpose WordPress theme with search engine optimization built into its pages and templates. It offers you several gorgeous homepage templates to start creating your site, along with layouts for ecommerce sites, blogs, and more. The whole thing is tied together with an Elementor integration, helping you build out a site with ease.
Monstroid2 also brings exceptional compatibility with plugins like bbPress, BuddyPress, WooCommerce, MailChimp, Yoast, and W3 Total Cache. It’s these handy perks that make Monstroid2 one of the predominant themes around.
Boasting almost 30,000 downloads to date, Sahifa is a news and magazine WordPress theme with tons of amazing features and options. This theme is highly flexible and comes with its own drag-and-drop page builder with a variety of different layouts to choose from. Sahifa also includes attractive image slider options with several layouts. The featured section of the theme will ensure your content gets maximum exposure.
This theme is already one of the top-selling themes in the ThemeForest marketplace and is used by many quality blogs, thanks largely in part to its clean code and adherence to SEO principles.
The Neve theme from ThemeIsle prioritizes mobile sites, and that makes it one of the most SEO-friendly themes around today. Created in line with Google’s accelerated mobile page standards, Neve is ideal for business websites that get significant mobile traffic.
Neve is a fast theme with lightweight code to help your site gain favor among search engines and visitors. Plus, it has tight control over your site’s mobile-ready layouts and styling, including Elementor, WPBakery, Divi Builder, and Beaver Builder compatibility. Unlike some other themes that require you to stick with one builder, Neve gives you options.
The SEO-friendly Brixton blogging theme is easy to get started with and easy to maintain, especially with its minimal blog layouts – these make it best for writers that want to drop the visual gimmicks and put all focus on their work.
This theme is focused on readability and created with beautiful typography, and the developers have implemented SEO best practices to ensure your content gets a good ranking in search.
Brixton is also quite easy to customize and offers plenty of design elements to play around with. You can make your site boxed or full-width, and you have unlimited color options, access to Revolution slider, and Google Fonts to style your article text.
27. SimpleShift Pro
SimpleShift is a beautiful modern design that comes with a fully responsive layout to make your site look great on most devices. It's a one-page business WordPress theme with an impressive parallax effect, image slider, and several sections to fill out your home page. Whether you want to include a “Meet the Team” section, a contact form, a CTA, or a link to relevant blog posts, the ordering is up to you, and everything is optimized for organic search.
X is another WordPress theme you might have heard of before — it’s tremendously popular on ThemeForest because it allows anyone to effortlessly build a website, no matter its purpose or niche. X is clean-coded yet still has plenty of room for creativity thanks to its advanced design system.
X is based around the Cornerstone builder, a drag-and-drop tool that lets you construct pages live without needing to switch between build and preview mode. X also does a good job of dividing workspace from preview space, and lets you view your changes in real-time with both panels onscreen.
To make additional SEO tweaks, you can leverage X’s code editors to see how live code changes affect your site and install any popular SEO plugin you want — it’s sure to be compatible.
SociallyViral is a theme made for viral content sites and offers a great combination of appealing design, social optimization, and search engine optimization. It’s SEO-optimized perfectly to ensure your content gets the maximum benefit from search engines and social media sites, which is especially relevant for going viral with your posts.
The clean layout and professional design of the theme make it one of the best modern designs, and there are tons of features and options to customize your site: Color schemes, unlimited sidebars, AdSense optimization, 650+ Google fonts, a shortcode library, and social media integrations.
TruePixel is flexible enough to accommodate any content-heavy website while providing SEO readiness and a fluid responsive design for any mobile screen. The theme comes with fixed navigation, different layout options for articles, homepages, a contact page, an online store, social media integration, powerful theme options, and much more. All of this works to get your content the exposure it deserves backed by a theme that delivers.
Nico is a portfolio theme for freelance creatives or those just looking to showcase their work under their own domain. Nico is minimalist, fully responsive, SEO-friendly, and easy to install with its demo options, including a filterable portfolio option so visitors can view your work by categories set by you. You also get a powerful theme options panel from which you can update your site's details.
Though Ekko has only been live on ThemeForest for a couple of years, it’s made an impact with its speed, flexibility, and easy customization. Ekko’s codebase is written based on SEO best practices and is compatible with the SEO plugins Yoast and All in One SEO.
Ekko was made for online businesses, and this shows with its over 50 complete demo websites that are ready to import, its integrated WPBakery drag-and-drop page builder, advanced theme options panel, hundreds of template blocks, and a blog section to support your content strategy and target keywords with your posts.
WordPress Themes to Help You Rank Higher
Of course, a lot of things go into increasing organic traffic, and there are many ways to optimize your WordPress website as such. With all the possibilities, you may feel like putting your theme on the back burner as a priority when it comes to SEO
However, your WordPress theme makes up a lot of your site’s code, and largely determines how your pages look to indexing bots that inform your ranking. All this means that a quality SEO-ready theme can make the difference between your site showing up on page one or page 12 of the SERPS. If you’d prefer the former, try any of the options above.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in January 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.