Achieving and maintaining success in today’s highly competitive business world is not as straightforward as you might want it to be. Fortunately, there are several tools that, if properly mastered, can give you the edge you need. One such tool is WooCommerce.
Optimizing your WooCommerce SEO can go a long way in increasing your visibility, sales, and profit. It’s an essential tool for your business’s success. This post will arm you with all the information you need to capitalize on the many benefits of WooCommerce SEO.
Is WooCommerce SEO friendly?
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress eCommerce plug-in. This tool allows you to leverage one of the most powerful content management systems to run your online store. Furthermore, since it’s open-source, it gives you the option of customizing every aspect of your store and building custom extensions.
If that wasn’t enough, WooCommerce is very SEO-friendly. For starters, it runs on WordPress, which is standard-compliant and ideal for SEO. On top of that, there are techniques and additional plug-ins you can use to improve WooCommerce’s product SEO even further.
However, capitalizing on WooCommerce’s SEO friendliness heavily depends on your strategy. Fortunately, this post has all the information you need to guide you in developing an ideal SEO strategy.
How to implement SEO in your WooCommerce online store
When you set up your online store with WooCommerce, you are in charge of adding things like products, descriptions, themes, and other content to the store. On top of that, you’re responsible for optimizing the content.
Optimizing content will be an ongoing process that you need to maintain if you want to see consistent growth in your search engine traffic and sales. Follow these steps to implement SEO in your WooCommerce store.
1. WordPress SEO Setup
Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plug-in, you first need to improve your WordPress SEO setup before addressing your WooCommerce SEO. There are WordPress SEO guides that detail how to do this.
Alternatively, you could install the All in One SEO (AIOSEO) plug-in on your site. This plug-in will help you add SEO sitemaps and set up proper SEO fields for all your products.
2. Write Product SEO Titles
Once you have set up your WordPress SEO, you will need to optimize the individual WooCommerce products for SEO. A critical part of this optimization is writing SEO-friendly product titles. Search engines will use these product titles as the titles of search results. They will also appear in your browser’s title bar.
If you set up the AIOSEO plug-in, scroll down to the AIOSEO settings. Once there, you can edit your product’s SEO title by using the variables to generate the title from the product information. You also have the option of typing in the title yourself.
If you choose to type it yourself, ensure that the title is interesting, attractive, and catchy to users. Try to use the keywords you think potential customers will use when searching for the product. Also, make sure the title is correct and not misleading.
Keep in mind that people use detailed search queries when shopping online. Therefore, add long-tail keywords to your WooCommerce product title whenever possible. This will result in search engines ranking you higher than competitors.
3. Add Product SEO Descriptions
After adding the product SEO titles, add your product meta descriptions. Though these descriptions will not appear on your website, they will appear below the product title.
Ensure that the description you use provides users with a compelling reason to click and view the product. Do not forget to use the same keywords you used in the SEO title to boost your ranking chances.
4. Optimize Product Slug
Also called permalinks, the slug is the product name that WordPress uses in your URL. While WooCommerce uses the product’s title as the slug by default, it might not include the relevant SEO keywords.
To ensure that the slug contains the main keyword, you can head over to your product’s SEO settings and change the slug.
5. Enable Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs help you define a clean trail or path to the page you are on. They are excellent for internal linking. They also appear in search results and give your site an extra advantage when it comes to rankings.
The Breadcrumb NavXT plug-in will allow you to enable breadcrumbs for your WooCommerce products. First, install and activate the plug-in. Then go to the settings menu to configure it.
Certain WooCommerce themes will come with built-in breadcrumb functionality. However, if you are using a theme that doesn’t have breadcrumbs built in, you can display the breadcrumbs by going to the “Appearance” tab and choosing where you would like to display your breadcrumbs.
6. Use Product Tags and Categories
Many new users get confused between tags and categories. Ideally, you should use categories for the broad grouping of the products and tags to specifically describe the product’s properties.
For instance, if you have a clothing store, you can have categories such as women’s, men’s, children’s, accessories, etc. On the other hand, for tags, you can have descriptive terms like “summer wear” and “casual” to describe a shirt.
Product tags and categories help you organize your products throughout your online store. This makes it easy for customers to find the product for which they are looking. Tags and categories help search engines do the same.
In WooCommerce, each product tag and category has its own page, which search engines crawl and list. Since these pages have the same products, including product tags and categories increases their keyword density. It also increases their chances of ranking for those keywords.
7. Add SEO Titles and Descriptions for Product Categories
You can optimize your product category pages further by adding titles and descriptions to them. It’s easy to do this using AIOSEO. Go to the “Products” tab, then “Categories,” and click the “Edit” link below each category.
Once on the “Edit” screen, scroll to AIOSEO settings and click the category title in the snippet preview. When you do, AIOSEO will display the edit fields and allow you to enter your custom SEO title and description for that category.
8. Add Alt Text
Customers might switch to image search to find products quicker. Fortunately for you, Google has removed the “View Image” button from its search results, which means that users now have to visit your site to see the image with context.
In many ways, image SEO works like web search. Google uses algorithms like image recognition to help users find images that match their search. By adding alt tags to the images on your site, you attract traffic from Google’s image search.
Alt text is an HTML attribute that allows website owners to add text to their images to describe what the image is about. The browser will display this text if it is unable to fetch the image. Additionally, search engines use this text as a ranking factor.
9. Optimize Site Speed and Performance
Google views site speed as one of the most crucial ranking factors. The faster your website is, the more likely it is for Google to rank it higher. Besides high rankings, fast websites are also good for your business. This is because faster speeds affect user experience and even save you money.
There are several ways you can increase your site’s speed and overall performance. You can either configure your WordPress settings or switch to a hosting provider that is optimized for WooCommerce.
10. Improve WooCommerce Security
Search engines prefer sites that are safe and secure. Google quickly marks unsafe sites with warnings and notifies all visitors. If this happens to your website, it can destroy your WooCommerce SEO rankings and negatively affect your brand’s reputation.
Furthermore, improving your WooCommerce security will protect your store from the hackers that often target random sites with data theft attempts, malware injection, and brute force attacks.
ECommerce analytics for WooCommerce shops
The most essential part of an effective SEO strategy is analyzing your data. It helps you learn about where your customers are coming from, how they discovered your store, what products they browsed, and whether they made a purchase. This is where eCommerce analytics comes in.
In order to help you manage and optimize your SEO strategy, WooCommerce has structured data reporting and analytics on-site. With its new analytics reporting, you now get valuable information regarding sales, stock, and performance within the website.
Furthermore, the WooCommerce analytics menu has several helpful data sets and reporting tools, all meant to help you optimize your efforts to increase profits. You can even export the reports and use them with off-site data management tools.
Through WooCommerce’s analytics, you can get reports on variables such as:
You also have various menu items like “Overview” that provide you with a customizable dashboard that gives you a brief look at your store’s performance. There is also the “Settings” menu, which lets you configure the reports you generate. All you have to do is specify a date range, and WooCommerce will generate a report for the set period.
WooCommerce SEO Plug-Ins
There are several WooCommerce SEO plug-ins you can get to make it even easier to optimize your online store for search engines. These plug-ins allow you to easily add SEO titles, keywords, and descriptions to all your products and posts.
The following are some of the best WooCommerce SEO plug-ins you can use to optimize your online store.
Here Rank Math is an SEO plugin that helps you optimize your content with built-in suggestions based on the best SEO practices. What we like about Rank Math is its easy-to-use interface combined with tons of different customization and features. Another thing that we love about this plugin is that some of its free features are paid features on other SEO plugins. So if you are trying to find a free SEO plugin, you must try this!
Here are some of the features of Rank Math:
- Easy To Follow Setup Wizard
- Schema Markups
- Google Search Console & Analytics Integration
- Track Google Keyword
- Advance SEO Analysis Tool
- Built-In Redirection
- 404 Monitors
Yoast SEO is one of the best SEO plug-ins available, and with millions of downloads and thousands of positive reviews, it’s easy to see why.
The plug-in lets you perform several on-site technical optimizations to improve your site’s SEO. It also offers a variety of features such as:
- Keyword optimization
- Readability checker
- Preview page
- Full control over breadcrumbs
- 24/7 support
- Content insights
While Yoast offers a free version, the paid premium version is better if you have advanced SEO needs.
As we mentioned earlier, the All in One SEO plug-in is an excellent option, especially for beginner WooCommerce users. It’s ideal for users who want an easy-to-use plug-in. This plug-in works automatically and has parameters that don’t need too many adjustments to work correctly.
Some of its main features include:
- Google analytics support
- XML Sitemap support
- Built-in API
- Bad bot blocker
- Social meta
The main drawback of AIOSEO is that it does not have the features you would need if you aim to fine-tune your site extensively.
All in One Schema Rich Snippets
All in One Schema Rich Snippets is a plug-in that offers you a summary of the content on your site. With this plug-in, you can:
- Optimize your content for higher search engine rankings
- Improve your site’s click-through rate
- Display your information on Facebook links
Including product images in your eCommerce store can help users quickly find the product they’re looking for. However, the problem with having images on your site is that it slows down your site’s loading time.
WP Smush.it can save your online store from this disaster. The plug-in allows you to optimize, compress, and resize all your images without losing any image quality. It comes with a WPML media translation add-on and can support PNG, JPG, JPEG, and GIF images. It is also compatible with media library plug-ins.
Broken Link Checker
Sometimes you might link to a product page that you later take down. Whenever a user clicks on this link, they get a 404 error. Broken links are not just frustrating to users. They can also get you negative points and lower rankings from search engines.
The Broken Link Checker plug-in can help you avoid such penalties. The plug-in monitors the links and quickly detects those that do not work. It can also find missing redirections and images. Whenever the plug-in detects a broken link, it will send you a notification via its dashboard or your email.
Strategies and tips for WooCommerce Search Engine Optimization
We’ve gone through all the SEO customizations that are possible with WooCommerce. Now we shall share with you a few SEO tips on how to optimize your WooCommerce for SEO.
1. Write Original, Fun, and Engaging Product Descriptions
Treat your product descriptions as bite-sized pieces of content. Avoid making them too long. Take as much time as you need to ensure that they are search-engine-friendly and well-crafted.
While you can use the manufacturer’s product descriptions, your search results rankings will be better if you write the descriptions yourself. You should make your descriptions fun and engaging, and be sure to use keywords throughout the descriptions.
2. Write Descriptive Page Titles
Make your page titles as descriptive as possible to inform both search engines and users about your page. Ensure that you have both product and category pages for your eCommerce site. The two pages will help you prevent individual pages from competing with each other in search engine results.
When crafting your page titles, prioritize your users first. Squeezing in too many keywords might affect readability, which would hurt your website and business.
3. Place Your Breadcrumbs at the Top of Pages
Ensure that your breadcrumb links appear at the top of product pages to make it easier for visitors to move back to landing pages or previous categories.
Breadcrumbs do more than show your customers where they are and where they have been. They also help search engines to determine how you have structured your site.
4. Make Your Site’s Navigation Simple
Speaking of breadcrumbs, ensure that you make it easy for visitors to navigate your site. Having clean and straightforward site navigation can affect your bounce rates and the time users spend on your site. The longer visitors spend on your site, the more likely it is to rank higher.
Make site navigation simple by ensuring that it is easy to follow. For starters, your site’s main navigation should only have links to the most essential pages. You can place other links in your website’s footer.
Internal links help users get easy access to all the crucial parts of your site. Linking to other pages also informs search engines that these pages are vital.
5. Use Permalinks to Keep Your URLs Short and Descriptive
Permalinks make it possible for you to include keywords in your URLs instead of product IDs. Though it might not seem important, doing so makes a significant difference in how well users can navigate your site.
Without permalinks, your default URL will look something like “yourdomain.com/?product=111.” However, with permalinks, your URL will be “yourdomain.com/product/product-name.”
Enable WordPress permalinks to ensure that your URLs are accessible to search engines and visitors. You can do this by going to settings, selecting “Permalinks,” and choosing a URL structure.
6. Write Your Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions appear under the title of search result entries. They describe the content and give you another way of enticing users to click on your link. While meta descriptions do not directly affect your SEO, they can impact your click-through rates.
Since Google uses meta descriptions from your page to generate search result snippets, we recommend that each page have a unique and valuable meta description. The more useful the descriptions are, the more likely they are to show up in search results.
You can edit your site’s meta descriptions using certain plug-ins like Yoast. You can also use AIOSEO, which has a smart meta tag generator that allows you to use dynamic values in your descriptions. You can include values like custom fields and the current year.
While there is no fixed length for meta descriptions, the average length should be around 160 characters.
7. Avoid Duplicate Content
If your site has pages that are very similar to other pages on the web, Google could remove your content from its rankings. You should pay close attention to duplicate content if you:
- Regularly share or publish press releases
- Own multiple websites with the same content
- Are using similar content in several areas of your website
The first step to resolving the issue is to determine if you have duplicate content. You can do so manually or by using specific tools like SEMrush.
If you have multiple URLs with identical content, retain the page that ranks the best, has the most organic traffic, or has more internal links. Once you do that, redirect other pages to the one that you are retaining.
On some occasions, you might want to keep pages with content that is similar but not identical. In such cases, you should use canonical links instead of a redirect. These links inform search engines where they can find the actual content.
8. Use a Search Engine Optimized WooCommerce Theme
To capitalize on the full advantage of WooCommerce’s SEO functionality, ensure that your site uses a theme that is built for SEO. The following are some of the best WooCommerce SEO themes.
Astra is one of the most popular all-purpose themes. It has an extensive library of pre-built sites from which you can choose. The theme integrates seamlessly with different SEO plug-ins like Yoast and AIOSEO. Furthermore, since it is lightweight, your pages will load quickly.
Divi is another popular option that comes with a built-in page builder. It has a drag-and-drop functionality that allows you to add, delete, and move elements on your site quickly. The theme also has built-in search engine optimization.
This is the official WooCommerce theme. It has a responsive, simple eCommerce-focused homepage ideal for displaying product categories and more. It also has several display options, seamless WooCommerce integration, and enhanced SEO performance.
What comes next for you?
Now that you’ve read through this entire article, you should have learned everything from how to set up WooCommerce on your webpage to SEO for WooCommerce. We hope that you now feel more confident in how to utilize WooCommerce for your business and online presence.
If you are still confused or want to learn more about WooCommerce, feel free to contact us at Connective at (888) 831-6095 or by filling out our contact form here. WooCommerce is among one of our many service areas, and we’d love to help your business grow!