Thesis theme is my favourite premium theme. I can talk all day about Thesis theme and its features. I run a handful of websites and initially I started all of them with a free theme.
It was because of two reasons –
- I thought “Free themes” were OK for my other sites.
- I thought it will be easier with the theme options to check/uncheck boxes and get beautiful changes in funtionalities, rather than customizing the code myself with Thesis.
And I was so wrong with both of these thoughts.
And then I tried other paid themes hoping that item (2) above will work. I was wrong again.
Then I set aside a weekend and changed all my websites to Thesis theme.
I’m sure I’m not alone to have experienced the power of Thesis.
Why I love Thesis?
First of all, Thesis is not a theme, but a framework. This means that you can plug in different styles and functionalities to your website. For instance, you can use Thesis theme in 10 websites (read “unlimited”), and yet make all those 10 websites look unique.
Thesis Theme WordPress SEO Guide
Now that Thesis theme is mostly known for its SEO features, it is highly important that you know how to use those SEO features to the optimal level. After all, SEO blog traffic is a long term and a reliable traffic. So you should absolutely tap it.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s a short video if you prefer to see things in action, rather than reading (I was having a bad flu when I recorded this video, so please bear with the ahh..s and umm….s).
WordPress SEO as easy as breeze with Thesis Theme
This is the first and the most important thing you should take care of immediately after you install Thesis. Go to Thesis > Site Options > Homepage SEO.
The values you fill in here with affect the appearance of your blog in search engines. The image below shows how the homepage SEO details show up in the search results page (SERPs).
It is very important that you use your blog’s name in the home page title (great if you have your primary keyword in your blog’s name). Your meta description should be enticing and self explanatory. It should tell people what your blog is about. It should be enticing to click through and, as a rule of thumb (or common sense?!) it should have your primary keyword.
The meta keywords part was popular earlier, but no more after it got misused by many webmasters. So don’t spend too much time on that. Just fill out 2 or 3 keywords.
When you write a post or a page, Thesis theme helps you optimize it for search engines in a professional, yet simple way.
All you have to do is you have to enter well a optimized title and description for your post/page. The Custom title you enter here will be the one that shows up as the title in SERPs.
If nothing is entered here, search engines automatically pull up the default post title for SERPs. The thing is, you can make your original post title entertaining for your readers, and the Thesis theme Custom title to be a keyword optimized one (yet enticing enough to click through). This way you can please both people and the bots.
Take a look at one of my posts below.
The same post as seen in SERP –
And just like homepage SEO meta data, you need to follow the general rules of thumb to input the SEO values. Thesis theme tells you the number of characters that are good (if you go overboard they will be chopped off in SERPs), and the number of characters you’ve used.
Thesis theme just makes it ONE CLICK to enable canonical URL settings. If you keep it ticked, then you can stay away from the duplicate pages issue. It is one of those issues caused by WordPress where the following urls are considered as different pages (or in other words pages with duplicate content)
You can set it here Thesis > Site Options > Canonical URLs
I’m not a geek to write in attributes into the Robots meta file. And I hate those details as such. With Thesis theme, all I have to do is, click on the tick box and choose what I want the search engines to index. That simple. Let’s take a look –
Just with the click you can choose which pages should not be indexed by search engines (Noindex) and which pages should be nofollowed (Nofollow).
If you don’t want certain subpages (or category or tag pages) of your blog to be indexed by search engines, that is if you don’t want them to appear in search results, then you should click the box next to the corresponding item.
Similarly, the nofollow attribute, when clicked, sees that you don’t leak out SEO juice in all pages of your blog unnecessarily. Your tag page, category pages, day and month archives need not be do followed.
You will see how much link juice you can stop from leaking out if you use a category Navigation bar and/or if you choose to display the primary category (linked to the corresponding category page) of a blog post under its title.
Even if it is a link to your own blog’s category page, it is still unwanted link leak. You can plug in those!
If you want your Thesis blog customized/custom designed, I can help you with that. FYI, Problogging Success is designed by me
Thesis theme may not be for you
Indeed. Not everyone likes Thesis theme. Mainly because, it is not a theme but a framework. It is both a blessing and a curse! Let me explain in more detail.
If you are a newbie with absolutely zero coding skills, Thesis theme might scare you. Why? Because once you install the theme, all you get is a white blog with blog posts.
A fresh installation of thesis theme will just give you a plain and simple blog. The thing is, you can make a unique looking blog out of Thesis theme. So its a clean slate. Whatever you want to write becomes your blog’s design.
If you’re a newbie with zero coding knowledge,
- you will have to hire someone to do the coding for you, or
- go for a ready-made skin or
- do the customizations yourself (there are lot of tutorials on the web; also on this blog, see above).
Thesis theme uses the hooks which makes it easy for you to customize your blog in a very elegant way. But this aspect will scare most people. In fact when I started with Thesis theme, I was so annoyed because I didn’t know how to make things to work.
But I learned a lot of coding (I didn’t want to give up). But this is my perspective. You may not want to learn coding. If so, then you need to be prepared to customize your blog through any of the above mentioned 3 ways!
Just wanted to give you a word of warning!
Thesis Theme SEO takeaway
If you want to take to a business to a greater level, I’m sure Thesis theme will just give you the right push in the right direction. Remember, SEO traffic is long term and reliable traffic (I think I said that already when I started).
If you are with free themes, its time to quit and get your business real.
If you have any questions about the Thesis theme, I can help you out.