Free SEO Friendly WordPress Themes 2021

Having an SEO friendly WordPress theme is quite important to getting good results on the search engine. Wonder why? Keep reading.

CMS platforms such as WordPress have made revolutionized web development. This explains why about 380 websites are created every minute. This would not have been possible if websites are still built by only professionals.

Except you have exceptional needs or you are trying to create a web app, anyone can now build a website without writing a single line of code. This has made it possible for individuals and businesses to easily launch their websites.

While that is good for everyone, it came with its challenges.

One of the most important parts of creating a website using WordPress is having a theme. A theme is your website display interphase. It adds aesthetics to the sites and takes care of navigation and a large part of user experience.

Apart from this fundamental role of a theme, it’s also quite important to SEO. In other words, the type of theme you use on your site will go a long way in determining your performance on the search engine.

Hence, the importance of having SEO friendly WordPress themes.

What Makes a WordPress Theme SEO Friendly?

  • Social media Integration

Social media integration can be viewed from two perspectives. On one hand, it involves linking your website to your respective social media platforms.

On the other hand, it’s a one-click button with which visitors can easily share your website contents on their social media pages.

While this may not directly impact SEO, it is an additional way of generating more traffic to your site which ultimately affects SEO.

  • Website Structure

Navigation, easy-to-understand interphase, inner links will all make it easier for search engine crawlers to access your website.

  • Valid Coding

For your site to perform well on the search engine, your theme has to be created with the latest coding standards.

  • Responsive Design

Responsive design is an integral part of SEO – Google, for instance, favours responsive websites over non-responsive ones on SERP.

  • Load Speed

A site that takes forever to load would have a high bounce rate. High bounce rate leads to a lower ranking on the search engine. The type of theme you use would determine your load speed so it’s something you must always look out for.

  • Plugins

You are going to be needing additional tools (plugins) in the daily management and optimization of your website. So you need a theme that comes packed with some of these plugins, or that’d be compatible with them when you install yourself.

  • Schema Markup

Schema markup helps you better enhance your website codes to make it more understandable for search engine. This means the content would have better indexing and that’s great for SEO.

Unfortunately, not all themes have schema markup. To check if your theme has the markup; open the demo, right-click and click on “page source”. This will open the file page source on another tab, press CTRL + F on your keyboard and type “” or “itemscope”. If you can’t find any of the two, then the theme does not have schema markup.

Free SEO Friendly Themes

There are premium themes and there are free themes. While some premium themes may not even be SEO friendly, there are free themes that are SEO friendly and vice versa. In other words, paying for a theme does not guarantee that it would be SEO friendly.

Here is a compilation of the best free SEO friendly themes

  • Sparkling

Sparkling is a modern, clean, flat design highly responsive theme. This theme has features that you’d find in premium themes.

Great widgets, pixel design and its full-screen slider put it in a class of its own compared to several other themes.

It also supports schema markup, a feature that boosts ranking on the search engine. And what’s more? It supports all the cool plugins that would help your website such as Contact form, Yoast SEO, Gravity forms, W3 total cache among others.

Whether it’s a personal website or corporate in education, business, health or fitness, Sparkling works with all.

Main Features

  • Compatible with WooCommerce
  • Compatible with Schema
  • Unlimited colours
  • Translation ready
  • Fullscreen slider
  • Zakra

Zakra is up there as one of the best SEO friendly WordPress themes. It has 10 free template options and they all have layouts that’d give your site professional look.

The theme has clean codes that are in line with the best SEO practices and they are updated often to boost the site’s loading time. And yes, it is fully responsive.

Zakra was created with site builders in mind so it is highly customizable. It contains general layouts for posts and pages like right sidebar, left sidebar, full-width. You can add different widgets of your choice in more than seven widget areas.

The theme also allows for the addition of custom CSS to enable you to tweak it to your taste and style.

Main Features

  • GDPR compliant
  • Translation ready
  • Compatible with Gutenberg
  • Boxed and wide layout
  • Compatible with most browsers
  • SEOPress

This theme is one of the few that’s completely compliant with WordPress theme development rules. It is reliable, secure and highly responsive.

The theme has all it takes to boost your site ranking on the search engine because it complies with the latest Google Webmaster Guidelines and its structured data is implemented in line with standards.

It has over 200 theme options for editing, making it highly customizable. Also, you can do real-time customization of your site with the live customizer tool.

Main Features

  • Translation ready
  • Supports mega menu plugins
  • Compatible with page builders
  • Built-in social profile options
  • Live customizer tools
  • ColorMag

ColorMag is best of magazine, newspaper or blogging sites. It is responsive, SEO friendly and it follows SEO guidelines.

It has clean codes which make it load really fast. It’s also customizable and allows for the addition of more than five widgets in over 15 widget areas. If you know anything about coding (or have someone who can help), you can even write your own custom CSS to change the theme design – customization at its best.

Main Features

  • Translation ready
  • 6 social icons
  • Boxed and wide layout option
  • Supports the sticky menu
  • Woocommerce compatible
  • Ocean WP

This theme is arguably the most popular SEO friendly WordPress theme among developers and WordPress users. With an inbuilt SEO base, this theme guarantees great SEO results.

Its load time is topnotch and scores really high on most speed testing tools. And developers love it because it has an extendable code. Customization is covered as it works with the majority of the popular page builders.

Ocean WP is such an amazing theme that suits virtually or niche.

Main Features

  • Fully responsive
  • Fast page load speed
  • Translation and RTL ready
  • Works with most page builders
  • Compatible with WooCommerce


Having an SEO friendly WordPress theme is a good place to start when optimizing for search engine. Of course, that’s not all; you still have to make sure you work on other on-page and off-page SEO.

But take it a step at a time. Get your theme right first, and then you can move to others. Try one of these themes and observe the effect on your site performance on the search engine.

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