We just talked about my first of six reasons (Thesis is screaming fast) that Thesis 2.3 will knock your socks off and impress you. That brings me to the second reason which is that Thesis 2.3 exploits the latest SEO strategies.
Page Load Speed and Schema
The first one, I believe, these days is speed. It used to be meta descriptions and meta titles, semantic markup and so on. Now a days it’s speed and schema and the ability to make it easy for search engines to understand what your the content on your site is. And it does that without loading a bunch of extra data.
This is something that almost everybody else is ignoring and if they aren’t ignoring it what they are doing is giving you the base generic level of schema.
Chris: Yes, it’s not customizable.
Rick: Not customizable, not manageable. Just the base level. This is a blog page, this is a web page, this is a sidebar kind of stuff. And while that’s fine it is the least specific you can possibly be and still be using schema.
Other Themes Rely on Speed Slowing Plugins
If you look at WordPress’ 2017, the new flagship skin. It does nothing. It doesn’t have anything whatsoever to say about schema. It makes no effort at markup whatsoever. Almost every single page builder out there ignores markup entirely. If you load up one of their pages and look at the source and look for schema or an item prop or something like that, that’s not there at all.
What they want you to do is install some kind of plugin that will rely on JSON-LD to provide some kind of markup. The problem is that that does 2 things. First it adds more processing to your web page load at the point of the page load, that is at the point of the server. The server has to go figure out what all the JSON-LD stuff should be as well as what the page should be.
The second thing it does is that it can double the size of a web page because the way this Jason LD stuff works is it essentially takes the web page, recreates the schema aspects of that web page in the JSON language and appends that to the web page itself. This is not a document that can be loaded by Google. It’s actual HTML that is appended.
Thesis Schema Inherent and Customizable
Whereas with Thesis schema is inherent in the markup. It’s available for you to customize so that you can fine tune it based on the content that you have. And you don’t need any extra stuff. You don’t need that extra processing because it’s part of the HTML and you don’t get any of that JSON-LD data at the end of your document thus increasing the size of your web page.
Complete Control Over Your Markup
Now there are lots of other things you can say about Thesis and SEO but I think the most compelling thing is that Thesis gives you control over your structured markup and does so in a way that does not slow your site down. It doesn’t add any weight to your site at all. It provides Google with the information they say they want to have in order to figure out what your web page is about.
Chris: I want to add one thing. Those are all great points. I think there’s another aspect of this as well. Let’s say you’ve been running your site for a couple of years. You have built it, you’ve enhanced it, you’ve grown it and you’ve added more stuff to it in that amount of time.
You’ve come up against the inevitable feature creep where you just have more crap on your site and it grows and grows forever. And it never gets any smaller, it never gets easier to manage, it never gets more organized. It only gets worse.
That’s one of the main things that was a personal pain point when I developed Thesis 2 many years ago now and that’s I wanted to streamline maintenance. I wanted to streamline all my points of interaction with my design in the future. I wanted to fix that now and in the future.
And so that’s another thing that Thesis does to help with your SEO long term. If you are using it the way it’s supposed to be used it’s not getting fatter, so to speak, over time. You keep the same parameters. You’re still operating in the same areas. Your custom CSS goes in custom CSS. It gets appended to your main CSS file so your only serving one. You’re not serving 6 custom files to handle plugin A, B, C, D, E over time. It doesn’t work that way.
All your customizations go in one place. You’re not adding more and more template files. It’s just data and that data either gets used or it doesn’t get used. As far as most people are concerned whatever is not being used is invisible. It’s free. Zero impact on your website. So there’s a lot to that but really that organization and simplified points of interaction like your custom stuff all together is huge long term because it keeps everything as small as it can possibly be.