In 2021, the Divi theme is more popular than ever! This rise in popularity has led to a surge of new debates between “conservative” and “keep up with the times” web designers around the world. But in every argument there is one question that is always brought to the table – is Divi any good for SEO? Given the importance that SEO plays on website visibility, traffic, leads and conversion, this is a priority when it comes to choosing the right WordPress theme for your website – but is Divi really as bad for SEO as some of the “old-fashioned” web designers are claiming? Before we get there, let’s understand what the Divi theme is.
What is Divi in web design?
Known for simplifying website design by using a drag and drop system, Divi offers a framework that allows designers to use shortcodes and modules (rather than writing the code themselves) to incorporate various features onto the web pages, making the design process much easier and more streamlined with less chance for mistakes in the code. Web designers don’t need to spend time and effort changing thousands of code lines anymore, as Divi and its add-ons provide a lot of flexibility and innovation.
Is Divi any good for SEO?
There is a big myth surrounding Divi and SEO, with some web designers claiming that Divi is bad for SEO, which is a common argument made against most types of page builders anyway. When it comes to the issues that they claim Divi has with SEO, it’s always the same two problems you will hear about – shortcodes and a slow website.
Divi Shortcodes – Bad for SEO or a complete myth?
Divi uses shortcodes to make the entire design process much faster and valuable. This is why so many awesome Divi websites are appearing every day. Yet, the process of using shortcodes does often lead to bloating on the site, with coding from scratch being a lot cleaner -although coding also increases the chances of mistakes and takes much longer to complete!
The idea that shortcodes are bad for SEO is a complete myth. The fact is that search engines will only see whatever is inside the shortcode, rather than the entire shortcode itself. So, the only real SEO problem that arises from using shortcodes is that they often cause some issues with meta descriptions.
This is easy to overcome, though! Use an SEO plugin (such as SEOpress) with Divi, and you will have complete control over meta descriptions while improving site accessibility on search engines. Sorted!
Does Divi really slow down your website?
Another big argument against Divi is the fact that it usually makes a website slower. All those shortcodes can add up when you overload the site with different functions.
If a theme is overloaded with shortcodes, it forces bots to comb through even more code than normal to pick out the important parts such as meta descriptions, title tags and site content. However, this only affects websites with an insane amount of flash elements and other outdated platforms. For instance, most Divi sites are averaging around 2-4MB, which is certainly nothing to get worried about.
How to speed up Divi and WordPress?
Even if the Divi theme is slowing down the site and impacting SEO, there is a quick fix that you can find for free – use cache plugins to help the site loading faster and always present the latest version to the viewer.
How to speed up your Divi website using free plugins
When it comes to speeding up your Divi website, there is a really effective combination of plugins which always helps me to bring page speed scores to grade A (90%+) on GTmetrix:
- Hummingbird (gzip compression + page cache + browser caching + database cleanup + general optimisation)
- Fast Velocity Minify (HTML, CSS & JS optimisation)
- Smush (image optimisation with lazy load feature included)
- Use Google Libraries (load common libraries directly from Google to free up some server usage)
Fast Velocity & Use Google Libraries are plug&play.
Configuring the Hummingbird plugin
Go to caching, activate page cache, set browser caching with the recommendations (1 year) and check if gzip is working well. Your hosting company can assist you if you struggle with any of these settings.
Configuring the Smush plugin
Go to Smush’s dashboard, activate “automatically smush images on upload”, “strip my image metadata” and “resize my full-size images” to 1920px*1920px. Press “Bulk Smush” to start optimising your images.
Best paid plugin to speed up your Divi website
Check out how much my website scores after switching to WP Rocket:
Other SEO Factors
So I’ve mentioned two major myths about Divi and SEO, and we’ve learnt that they are just that, myths, with no real truth behind them.
But now, let’s dig a bit deeper into SEO and see whether Divi has a positive, negative or no effect at all on the SEO.
SEO (Meta) Title Tag
The Title tag in HTML is one of the strongest on-page ranking factors. This is both because search engines give the keywords in the title a lot of weight, and also because the actual Title tag is shown in the search engine results. This can have a direct correlation with the number of clicks that the page gets, which is also a ranking factor (more clicks = better rankings).
So does Divi affect the SEO (Meta) Title tag negatively?
No. Divi, in fact, allows you to specify the Title tags for both pages and posts, as opposed to the majority of WordPress themes. This means that Divi has full support for this metadata element, and therefore there is no negative effect. On the contrary, used to good effect, this can affect your rankings positively.
Another strong SEO ranking factor is the H1 or Heading 1 tag.
Once again, the Divi theme or Divi combined with an SEO plugin, gives you complete control over the Heading 1 of the page, in fact, it gives you total control over ANY Heading tags of your content. Especially if you also use an SEO plugin like SEOpress, where can actually have a Title tag and a Heading 1 which are slightly different than each other (this also has a slight ranking factor).
So by creating a good Heading 1 and a different Title tag, you’re fully optimising your on-page SEO. You can do this with or without Divi if you have a good SEO plugin. So, it’s clear that Divi is not bad for SEO in this case either.
URL or “Slug”
The URL or “Slug” is another strong ranking factor, where your ranking keywords in the URL can have a positive effect on your search engine rankings. Divi does not affect the slug negatively in any way whatsoever.
So there is no way that Divi can harm your SEO.
Given that there are three of the most critical on-page ranking factors, and Divi does not affect them negatively at all, we can confidently say that Divi is great for SEO!
Great Content + Good UX
Great content and a good UX is the foundation of good SEO. In fact, without these two, you can never get good rankings. And here is where Divi can have an incredible benefit. Divi is so versatile and easy to work with, that a good designer can create an excellent user experience for the end-user.
A beautiful design, a good user experience combined with good content that meets the user intent, means that your rankings will soar. And Divi can play a strong part in designing a beautiful site.
Check out the following Divi theme review, (read more here) to understand how the most popular WordPress theme in the world can help you design a great site that not only your visitors will love, but will also perform well on search engines like Google.
As you can see, a lot of the concern about how Divi is bad for SEO is mostly a myth. While there are instances where the builder doesn’t offer the best SEO, it’s effortless to find solutions. Plus, Divi is SEO friendly, and it has plenty of other features that make it better for your SEO than most WordPress themes around!
For example, you can use schema mark-ups and canonical URL, take advantage of efficient site structures and customise all meta titles, descriptions and keywords.
You don’t even require SEO plugins to take advantage of these – although when combined with Divi (affiliate link – 20% OFF) you have one of the quickest and simplest theme builders on WordPress that you can use to improve your SEO rankings.