Or I should say, kill your blog :)
So you found this new theme. It looked classy and you fell in love with it straight away. You’ve decided to ditch your current theme and use this new theme. If you then tweak the theme files to further suit your taste, then you are one of the lucky bloggers who knows how to tweak CSS and HTML codes. If you are not, then your new theme can actually backfire on your own blog!
That first paragraph happened to me. I saw this new theme, it looked classy, it looked perfect (almost perfect), and I could see straight away what I need to change (design-wise) to further suit the new theme to my taste. After tweaking it for days, I was satisfied (Thanks to your feedback too).
After a while, I noticed a drop from my search engines traffic. I wasn’t sure what caused it (people say it’s probably just Google acting mad), but I decided to look at my new theme to make sure that it isn’t one of the culprits.
Surprised, I found these lines on the Header file:
The theme, by default, put its own name as keywords to your blog and your posts! This is bad for search engines as the blog should have put your blog/posts’ keywords instead for a better search match. Although having the SEO-All-in-One WordPress plug-in helps, some bloggers may not be so lucky.
I also found out on my older theme (not this one), that by default, the theme put all posts’ title on an <H3> HTML tag. Now, if you have been following some SEO tips about post titles, everyone recommends you to put your posts’ title on an <H1> tag. It lets search engines know that it is one of the most important “keywords” on your posts. Luckily, I spotted this and made a change straight away on the theme file!
Whenever you are thinking to make a theme change, make sure that you double check the new theme, whether it has been optimized for search engines. It may not be fully optimized, but it needs to have at least the basic needs for search engines above! You are welcomed to share more SEO basic tips on the theme files here with us.
Reflection: Have you checked your new theme for basic SEO optimizations?