Do you want to improve your WooCommerce SEO but not sure how to get started? Search engine optimisation (SEO) for your eCommerce store is the equivalent of having someone standing on every street corner in the real world, spinning signs with your store’s name and direction.
If you have not optimised your WooCommerce store for SEO, you miss out on many sales. We have created this step by step WooCommerce SEO guide to improve your WooCommerce SEO to get more customers.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin built for WordPress. It allows you to leverage the most powerful content management system (CMS) and use it to run an online store. Because of the open-source nature, you can customise every aspect of your store and quickly build custom extensions.
Before starting an online store, most beginners usually ask one of the two questions: How does WooCommerce compare to Shopify and is WooCommerce SEO friendly?
If you are looking for a cost-effective solution and want to have complete control of your online store, WooCommerce is the best platform.
Is WooCommerce SEO Friendly?
WooCommerce is very SEO friendly. It runs on top of WordPress, which itself is standard compliant and suitable for SEO. However, you can use plugins and techniques to improve WooCommerce product SEO further.
When you start an online store with WooCommerce, it is up to you to add things like themes, products, description, images, and other content to your store. You’re responsible for optimising all additional content that you add.
WooCommerce SEO is an ongoing process, and you will need to keep it up to see growth in your search engine traffic/sales steadily.
Now you might be wondering, what do I need to deploy an effective WooCommerce SEO strategy properly?
Well, that’s where our WooCommerce SEO guide can help. We have broken down everything for you.
1) Perform The WordPress SEO Setup
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, which means you need to improve your overall WordPress SEO set up before moving on to WooCommerce specific SEO tweaks.
The most important thing you need to do is install and setup the Yoast SEO plugin on your site.
Yoast SEO plugin will help you add SEO sitemaps and set up proper SEO fields for your products.
Once you have set up Yoast SEO, you can move on to step 2 of our WooCommerce SEO guide.
2) Write Product SEO Titles
Like you optimise your blog posts for SEO, you also need to optimise your WooCommerce products for SEO.
One of the essential parts of WooCommerce product SEO is to write SEO-friendly product titles.
These product titles appear in your browser’s title bar and are used by search engines as the title of a search result.
If you followed the previous step, then you would have already installed the Yoast SEO plugin. It is the complete WordPress SEO suite that covers your WooCommerce products as well.
It will help if you start by editing a WooCommerce product and scrolling down to the Yoast SEO box section. Next, you need to click on the post title as shown in the snippet preview, and Yoast SEO will display a field where you can edit the product’s SEO title.
Your WooCommerce product SEO title can be slightly different from the product title on your store. You can use keywords that you think your customers will use when searching for the product.
It would be best if you also made it catchy, engaging, and attractive to users.
However, it’s essential not to use misleading or incorrect titles that would trick users and search engines because that could get your website penalised.
Let’s take a look at an example title below.
Boring title: Men’s Double Breasted Suit by A suit maker
SEO Optimised Title: Double Breasted Blue suit for Men – High-Quality tailored for Style
In our SEO optimised title, we’re mentioning long-tail keywords like Double Breasted, Blue, Style, all things that people will search for when searching for “men’s suit”.
When shopping online, people type detailed search queries instead of generic ones. By adding long-tail keywords in your WooCommerce product title, you help search engines find and rank you higher than your competitors.
3) Add Product SEO Descriptions
Just below the title in Yoast SEO, you will also see a box to add your product meta description.
While this description doesn’t appear on your website, search engines will look for them to appear below your product title. You need to make sure that you use this description to provide a compelling reason for users to click and view your product. Think of this as your one-line sales pitch.
Don’t forget to use the exact keywords that you used in the product’s SEO title. This process will boost your chances of ranking for those target keywords.
4) Optimise Product Slug
Slug is a product’s nice-name used by WordPress in your URL, also known as permalinks. By default, WooCommerce uses your product’s title as the slug. However, sometimes the default slugs do not include any relevant SEO keywords.
You can change that in your product’s SEO settings. Make sure that you use your main keyword in the slug and don’t make it too long.
For example, for men’s leather wallet, we’d recommend making the slug be: Double-breasted-blue-mens-suit-by-a-suitmaker.
5) Enable Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are great for internal linking because it defines a clean path or trail to the page you are on.
These breadcrumbs also appear in search results giving your site an extra advantage in rankings.
You can enable breadcrumbs for your WooCommerce products by adjusting Yoast SEO settings. Go to the SEO » Search Appearance page and click on the Breadcrumbs tab.
Next, you need to make sure that the breadcrumbs option is set to ‘Enabled’. Additionally, you can also use the product category in your breadcrumbs.
Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.
To display breadcrumbs in your WooCommerce theme, you will need to add the following code to your theme or child theme. Edit the header.php file for your theme and add this code towards the end.
6) Properly Using Product Categories and Tags
Product categories and tags help you organise products throughout your online store. This makes it easy for your customers to find the right product they’re looking for on your website.
Categories and tags also help search engines in the same way. Each product category and the tag has its page in WooCommerce, crawled and listed by search engines.
These pages have similar products, which increases their keyword density and makes them more likely to rank for those keywords.
Many beginners get confused about the difference between category and tags and end up misusing them. Categories are meant for the broad grouping of your products. If your store was a book, then categories will be the table of contents.
For example, a clothing store can have categories like men’s, women’s, accessories, jewellery, Etc. Categories are hierarchical so that you can add child categories to them.
On the other hand, tags are more specific keywords that describe the properties of the product. For example, a t-shirt product can have tags like casual, summer wear, and more.
7) Add Alt Text for Product Images
Many customers switch to image search to quickly find products that they are looking for on your website.
To help website owners, Google recently removed the ‘View Image’ button from their image search results. This means that users will have to visit your website to see the image with context.
This trend further helps online stores drive highly-motivated customers to their websites.
Image SEO works a lot like web search. Google uses artificial intelligence, image recognition, and other algorithms to help users find the images they are looking for via search keywords.
The most important thing you can do to get traffic from Google image search is adding an alt tag to all images on your website.
Alt-text is an HTML attribute that allows website owners to add some text with their images. The purpose of this text is to be displayed when the browser is unable to fetch an image.
Search engines use this alternate text as a ranking factor in their image search. You can add text to describe what this particular image contains.
You can add alt text to all your product images when uploading them to WooCommerce. You can also edit your old product images in the Media library and add alt text to each of them one by one.
8) Add SEO Title and Descriptions for Product Categories
Each product category in WooCommerce has its page. This page contains similar products, which increases the keyword density for your targeted keywords. This makes product category pages more significant for WooCommerce SEO.
You can further optimise product category pages by adding a title and description to them. Yoast SEO allows you to set the SEO title and description for each category on your WooCommerce store.
Go to the Products » Categories page and click on the edit link below a category.
On the edit screen, scroll down to the Yoast SEO section and click on the snippet preview category title. Yoast SEO will now display edit fields to enter your custom SEO title and description for the product category.
9) Track WooCommerce Customers in Google Analytics
The most important part of an effective SEO strategy is data. It would be best to learn where your users are coming from, how they found your store, what products they looked at, and what they are doing on your store.
Google Analytics can help you track all this information, but it’s challenging to set it up properly.
That’s why we built MonsterInsights, the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.
The pro version of MonsterInsights comes with a built-in eCommerce tracking feature that you can use to enable WooCommerce enhanced eCommerce tracking with a single click.
You can use MonsterInsights combined with Google Analytics to make data-driven decisions about your WooCommerce store and grow your business confidently.
10) Optimise Website Speed and Performance
Google considers website speed as one of the most crucial ranking factors. This means faster websites are more likely to rank higher than slower websites.
Slow websites are also bad for your business because they affect user experience and cost you actual money.
According to a StrangeLoop case study, a 1 second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
The majority of the times, the #1 reason for a slow WooCommerce store is web hosting. If that is the case, then you can switch to one of these optimised WooCommerce hosting providers.
11) Improve WooCommerce Security
Search engines love websites that are safe and secure. Google warns users of scams, malware, and phishing websites by quickly marking unsafe websites with warnings.
This could not only destroy your WooCommerce SEO rankings but will also have a severe impact on your brand’s reputation.
Hackers are always targeting random websites with brute force attacks, malware injection, and data theft attempts. To prevent this, you need to tighten your WooCommerce store’s security.
If you have any more questions about this subject or anything to do with WordPress, please leave a comment or contact us here.