In today’s online world, simply listing your products for sale on your website is not enough to achieve respectable sales figures. To increase the visibility of your website and drive sales, it is essential to take advantage of WooCommerce SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in ranking websites on Google’s search engine results page (SERP), and the higher your website ranks, the better chance you have of attracting customers to your products.
This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to optimize your WooCommerce store and climb the search results ladder.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a popular open-source eCommerce platform built on WordPress. As an open-source plugin, it offers users a wide range of customization options. While setting up a store on WooCommerce is straightforward, taking full advantage of its optimization techniques may require some technical knowledge.
Since WooCommerce runs on WordPress, it is inherently SEO-friendly. Additionally, there are numerous plugins available to enhance your eCommerce experience. As there are not many comprehensive guides on using WooCommerce, we have compiled this guide to help businesses improve their ranking for relevant keywords.
Is WooCommerce SEO Friendly?
The answer is a resounding “Yes!”
WooCommerce’s integration with WordPress and its extensive plugin ecosystem make it possible to optimize your store for SEO and boost your sales. However, it’s important to note that while WooCommerce is built on a code optimized for SEO, it doesn’t have many built-in SEO-friendly features. Therefore, the responsibility falls on you to customize and optimize key elements such as themes, images, content, and product descriptions for your store. Implementing a well-thought-out SEO strategy is essential for achieving optimal results.
Optimizing WooCommerce for SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous effort. However, the extra work is worth it because, compared to other standalone platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce can provide a more effective eCommerce experience.
How to SEO WooCommerce
There are several ways to optimize your WooCommerce store for SEO. By following these simple steps, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of how to improve your website’s online ranking:
Optimize Page Title
Start with the basics: the page title. The page title is the first element search engine crawlers read, and it is also displayed on the search results page. Therefore, it is crucial to create SEO-friendly titles that accurately describe the product or service you are selling. Keep the title within a character limit of 60 characters and try to incorporate your target keywords in a unique way. Each product page should have a unique page title to avoid confusion and negative impacts on your SEO efforts.
Always Add Meta Description
In addition to optimizing your page titles, it is essential to create custom meta descriptions. Edit the meta description box in your SEO plugin (such as Yoast SEO). While search engines may sometimes choose to display text directly from your page, having a unique meta description for each product is crucial. Ensure that your meta description does not exceed the character limit of search snippets.
Keep URLs Short & SEO Friendly
Don’t overlook the importance of URLs. Configure the permalinks of your product pages properly to have a significant impact on your rankings. Keep URLs short, descriptive, accessible, and SEO-friendly. Access the permalink settings on your site to alter the URL structure. By optimizing your permalinks, you have the option to include essential keywords in the URL, significantly improving your website’s accessibility.
WooCommerce URLs with optimized permalinks will look like this:
Without permalinks, the default URL will look like this:
Breadcrumbs help with interlinking the pages on your website, allowing visitors to navigate easily to the pages they are searching for. WooCommerce has the breadcrumb functionality enabled for all pages. Breadcrumbs not only assist your visitors but also help search engine crawlers understand your site’s structure and sitemap, potentially affecting where your site appears on the search results page. Leverage plugins to have total control over the appearance and functionality of breadcrumbs.
Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate and non-unique content poses a significant challenge for SEO optimization. To rank higher on search results, you need to provide Google with a compelling reason to favor your page over others. Avoid using the same or similar product content as large online retailers like Amazon. Instead, strive to create unique and valuable content.
In WooCommerce, you can add product descriptions in two places: the long and short descriptions. The short description is displayed above the fold, and Google considers any content above the fold as essential. To make the most of this, keep your descriptions short, unique, and descriptive. Include the product’s name, basic details, relevant keywords, and consider adding a summary if possible.
Promote Your WooCommerce Store
It’s time to promote your eCommerce store in a big way. Concentrate on both marketing and technical aspects, including off-page optimization. To go viral, you must ensure that your content reaches and resonates with your target audience. Develop a blog that provides valuable information to your readers, driving traffic and increasing sales.
Being mobile-friendly is crucial in today’s digital landscape. Take advantage of Google’s mobile-friendliness test to determine if your WooCommerce store is optimized for mobile devices. If not, consider changing themes or redesigning your store to ensure a seamless mobile experience.
Use SEO-Friendly Themes
Choose an SEO-friendly theme that optimizes your WooCommerce store for search engine crawlers while providing a user-friendly experience. Consider factors like load time, high-quality images and videos, navigable site structure, and valuable content when selecting a theme.
Use Product Categories & Tags Properly
Take advantage of product categories and tags to help customers find the products they are looking for easily. Use accurate, keyword-rich tags to enable search engine crawlers to list your products effectively. Remember that categories describe broad terms related to your products, while tags provide specific identifying information.
Add Alt Text to Every Product Image
Since many users rely on images to refine their search, it’s crucial to provide alt text for all product images. Alt text allows you to add relevant text that will be displayed if the image fails to load. Take advantage of this feature in WooCommerce by adding alt text to all your product images through the media library.
Monitor WooCommerce Users in Google Analytics
To make significant changes to your ranking, you need to continuously track your WooCommerce site and evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO strategy. Utilize Google Analytics and other plugins to collect data about your users, keywords used in searches, most-searched products, time spent on your site, zero search results, and more.
Optimize Performance & Page Speed
Page speed is a critical factor that Google considers when ranking your WooCommerce website. Slow-loading websites have higher bounce rates and lower search engine rankings. Therefore, it’s crucial to optimize your site’s performance and page speed. Ensure you choose an optimized web hosting provider and implement techniques to improve page load time.
Use Best SEO Plugins for WooCommerce
One of the advantages of WooCommerce is the wide range of plugins and extensions available. These plugins can enhance your store’s functionality and speed. Take the time to research and find the right plugins for your specific needs.
Create Simple Site Navigation
A well-structured and straightforward site navigation is essential for both visitors and search engine crawlers. Make it easy for visitors to find their way around your site, reducing the bounce rate and increasing the time spent on your site. Ensure that your primary navigation includes the most critical pages, while the rest can be linked in the footer.
Submit Sitemap to Google
While your WooCommerce store may have numerous pages, not all pages contribute to your site’s ranking. Submit an XML sitemap to Google that includes all the important pages on your site, such as the homepage, product pages, and blog posts. Focus on creating unique and valuable content for these pages before submitting them to Google.
WooCommerce vs Shopify
When it comes to choosing an SEO-optimized eCommerce platform, two popular options are WooCommerce and Shopify. Both platforms offer desirable features, but it’s essential to choose the one that aligns best with your needs.
Shopify, while not inherently SEO-friendly, offers free hosting and unlimited storage. However, it falls short in certain SEO aspects compared to WooCommerce. Shopify generates copies of the same URLs on Google, limits your ability to edit tag pages, and restricts customization of the robot.txt file. Additionally, Shopify creates duplicate content when using tags to sort products, and it imposes limits on title and meta description characters.
In contrast, WooCommerce provides greater flexibility and control over SEO optimization. Although it doesn’t offer hosting by default, you can select a hosting provider that suits your storage needs. With WooCommerce, you have more freedom to customize your SEO optimization and create unique, high-quality content.
WooCommerce is undoubtedly SEO-friendly, but optimizing your store for SEO requires continuous effort. Develop unique content, structure your site effectively, engage in on-page and off-page SEO activities, and prioritize website performance and mobile-friendliness. Stay informed about high-ranking keywords relevant to your niche, and aim to provide value to your customers.
Remember, your WooCommerce store exists to serve your customers, so prioritize their needs. Focus on reducing site load speed, improving mobile-friendliness, and delivering valuable products and information. SEO optimization is an ongoing process, but with the help of experts in WooCommerce SEO, you can achieve significant improvements in your Google rankings.
For more information and expert assistance, visit ProgramMatek, a trusted provider of WooCommerce SEO services.