WooCommerce is a great WordPress plugin you can bank on when looking to set up a store online. It’s free, easy to set up, and most importantly, it is SEO friendly. If you have already set up a store, and you are looking to grow your sales, it’s important you take your WooCommerce SEO pretty serious.
Like WordPress SEO, you have to optimize your WooCommerce store to see meaningful, quality traffic.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be an SEO guru to properly optimize your online store for search. It all boils down to optimizing your meta description, products title, improving your site’s load time and installing the right SEO plugin.
In this SEO guide, we will be sharing with you some of the tactics you can employ to make your website ranks high on search engines. This also includes a list of WooCommerce plugins that ought not to be missing from your site.
We’ve made this guide super easy to follow. So, even if you are just starting out on the web, you will catch up pretty quickly.
Why You Need to Take WooCommerce SEO Seriously
In the opening paragraph of this guide, we highlighted WooCommerce’ SEO friendly nature. However, this doesn’t mean you have no work to do on your own part.
For your store to succeed, a lot of marketing effort needs to be put into it. While there are many marketing options you might consider, SEO is one of the most cost effective.
You don’t have to spend money on ads; all you need to do is to have your website SEO optimized. Plus, you can run a successful SEO campaign without hiring an extra hand. That’s more savings for you.
Another benefit is that traffic coming from search engines have higher buyer intent. That is to say, they most likely came to your site because they have the intention of making a purchase. That’s the kind of traffic you need for your store to grow.
WooCommerce SEO Plugins
The success of your SEO efforts is largely dependent on your choice of plugins. These plugins where specifically created to do the heavy lifting for you.
Without further ado, here are a list of plugins that can help increase your visibility on search engines.
Yoast is a behemoth when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Yoast BV, the makers of the plugin, are one of the biggest players in the industry.
Yoast SEO plugin comes in two variations: regular and WooCommerce. If you run a regular website or blog, the former would suffice. But we will be spotlighting on the latter: Yoast WooCommerce SEO plugin.
So, what can this plugin do for you? Quite a lot! Here are a few
- Helps optimize your focus keywords. Keywords are the bread and butter of SEO. When a user searches for your focus keywords or something similar, your product will appear.
- Sets up breadcrumbs for you. It’s important you enable breadcrumbs on your website. It helps human visitors as well as search bots navigate your site easily.
- Page preview on Facebook and Twitter. Want to know how your product pages will be displayed on social media? Yoast can help.
- Internal links optimization. Internal linking is very important in SEO, so you need to get it right.
- 24/7 support for up to a year.
As at the time of writing this guide, Yoast for WooCommerce goes for $49 for 1 site.
Maybe you are just starting out, and so don’t have the upfront capital to invest in a premium plugin like Yoast. All in One SEO Pack is where you can look.
Though free, this plugin has all you will ever need to optimize your WooCommerce products.
Here are a few features of the plugin that might be of interest to you.
- Automatic Meta tags generation. That is, you only get to write products description, and the Meta tags are generated for you.
- Beginner friendly.
- Automatically submits your sitemap to Google
- Optimizes your SEO titles for better visibility
- Can be integrated with Google Analytics
- Supports AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Great if you are looking to attract more mobile users to your site.
All in One SEO Pack has a premium version with lots of loaded benefits. With it, you can optimize your product categories, control how your product pages will appear on Facebook, and do so much more.
The premium version starts at $57 per annum.
One important feature you need to be on the lookout for when choosing a plugin is speed and lightness. Thankfully, The SEO Framework plugin combines both features.
Here are a few takeaway points about the plugin
- It saves you intense amount of time by automatically generating Meta tags for you.
- Once you have the plugin installed, everything you need to make SEO a success is automatically set up for you. All you need do is to tweak things up.
- Automatically notifies Google as well as Bing search bots when you make a change to your website.
- Designed for speed and performance
- Allows you share posts and product pages to Facebook, Discord, etc. at the click of a button.
This ecommerce SEO plugin comes with extensions to better improve your visibility on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
For instance, it has an extension called Local. This is an excellent solution if you are looking to target a market within a particular locality.
Though more of a performance and security plugin, Jetpack also performs when it comes to SEO. At least you need to keep your site safe from malicious attacks.
It has a free and paid version. In the free version, you can do quite a lot. For instance, it gives you access to your website’s statistics, thus helping you understand your audience preferences.
Additionally, the plugin comes with numerous pre-built themes you can choose from to improve your website’s user experience.
In the paid version, you can connect your website to advertising programs like Adsense, AOL, Amazon, Facebook ads, etc.
8 WooCommerce SEO Tips to Make Search Work for You
Now we’ve shared with you plugins you can use to make SEO a success, it’s about time we showed you how to use them optimally.
Here are tips to optimize your website for optimum exposure on search engines.
Write Catchy Product Titles
Product titles are the bolded, blue text users see when they make a search on Google.
Here is an example for inspiration.
The product title real estate is where you get to capture the attention of a prospective buyer. So, you need to make it catchy, precise and short.
Since search bots will be reading your product title, it is important you spice it up with your focus keywords. However, the keywords should be used logically.
Always Add Product Descriptions
Product descriptions – which is the same thing as Meta description – gives a brief summary of what your product is all about on SERP.
It’s the block of text you see beneath the product/page title, after the green text link.
Just like product titles, product descriptions play an important role in ecommerce SEO. It’s where you give searchers more convincing reasons to visit your page. That’s where you also tell search bots what your page is all about.
To add a product description, you first need to have Yoast SEO installed and activated. Next, open the product page you wish to edit and scroll down.
Click Edit Snippet
In the Meta description box, type in your desired description.
Then update your page/post.
Make Proper Use of Category and Tag
Aggregating similar products on your website in the same category makes it easy for buyers to find their way around. And Google loves it when you do so.
Let’s say you sell men, women and kids wristwatches, and you had them categorized accordingly. If a buyer makes a search for “men’s wristwatch”, your category pages for men’s wristwatch will pop up on Google. That way, the customer will have a plethora of options.
Here’s an example:
You could see the men’s-watches collection (category) which appears when a buyer searches for “men’s watch”.
Another added benefit of category is that it prevents your products from competing with each other for attention on SERP.
So what about tags? Well tags add extra bits of information to your products. Using the wristwatch example, your tags could be “Rolex”, “Tag Heuer”, “gold” etc.
Adding categories and tags in WordPress websites is easy. Just navigate to Posts >> Categories or Posts >> Tags if adding tags is what you intend to do.
Set a name for the new category, the slug will be automatically generated for you. If there’s a parent category, specify from the dropdown box. Set a description, if any, and click Add New Category.
It’s the same process for tags.
Keep an Eye on Your Product Slugs
In WordPress, slugs simply mean the URL to a page or post. They are sometimes referred to as permalinks.
The good thing about WordPress is that it automatically generates a slug for you when you publish a page or a post.
However, most times these generated slugs aren’t particularly SEO friendly, thus denying you enhanced ecommerce visibility.
As a rule of thumb, the slug to your products must be spiced with your focus keywords. Also, to the best of your abilities, keep them descriptive.
To create your own slug, scroll down your post/page, click Edit snippet. Then set your own slug.
To learn more about this, please read our WordPress slug article.
Optimize Your Images
One area beginners often ignore when it comes to SEO is images. This is a costly mistake.
Oftentimes, prospective buyers search for products using the image search tool on Google. Now, if your product images aren’t properly optimized, they will never show up.
Secondly, search bots depend on alt texts to determine what an image is about.
There’s nothing hard about optimizing images. All you have to do is add alt text – short for alternative text – to your images.
When uploading a picture to your media library, WordPress provides you with a box to create an image alt text.
Like everything else, your alt text should be descriptive. In addition to that, it ought to contain your focus keywords.
Choose the Right Hosting Solution
Your choice of a hosting provider affects your website’s performance in more ways than you may think.
Going for any regular WordPress hosting solution such as shared hosting can lead to frequent downtimes. Something you definitely wouldn’t want for your business.
The best thing to do is to go for dedicated WooCommerce Hosting solutions. This type of hosting, though quite similar to Managed WordPress Hosting, is specifically tailor-made for WooCommerce.
Track Your Stats on Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great webmaster tool you need to keep track of your website’s statistics. It provides you insights into the behaviour of your website’s visitors.
Though Google Analytics will not directly improve your site’s visibility on SERPs, it will provide you with the data and guidance to ranking your site better.
For better ecommerce tracking, you can install Google Analytics together with Monsterinsights, a Google Analytics plugin.
Make Your Website Load Faster
Loading speed is an important ranking factor Google uses to decide which site comes on top. And if you don’t want your competitors to win you out, you must take your site’s loading speed seriously.
The very first thing you have to do is to check how fast your site loads. To do this, you will have to utilize online performance tools like Google Pagespeed Insights
The beauty of these tools is that they don’t just measure loading speed, they will offer suggestions to improve your site’s speed if it is low.
One of the simplest things you can do to reduce loading time is compressing your images. Compressed images are lighter, and so load faster.
In addition to that, you could utilize Content Delivery Networks to serve your content to your visitors. CDN services reduces loading time by serving the content of your site from servers nearest to your visitors.
Finally, go for premium WordPress themes, especially if your business has started growing. Cheap themes can harm your site’s performance.
Improving your website’s visibility on search engines is serious business, and so should be treated as such.
In this guide, we shared with you tested and proven tactics for making a woocommerce store rank high on search engines. We first began by listing out plugins for WordPress specifically created to give your WooCommerce store better ranking.
Then we shared 8 SEO tips to help your achieve your marketing goals with search. All you have to do now is execute!