WooCommerce SEO Made Easy

WooCommerce SEO Made Easy – A Step-by-Step Guide to Ranking #1 in Google

 

Do you want to improve your WooCommerce SEO, but are not sure how to get started? Search engine optimization (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 optimized your WooCommerce store for SEO, then you are missing out on a lot of sales.

We have created this ultimate WooCommerce SEO guide to help you improve your WooCommerce SEO and get more customers.

The complete WooCommerce SEO guide

Before we get started, let’s cover the basics.

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 customize every aspect of your store and easily 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?

We have created a detailed comparison of Shopify vs WooCommerce that you can use to see which is the better platform for you.

The answer to the second question is below:

Is WooCommerce SEO Friendly?

WooCommerce is very SEO friendly out of the box. It runs on top of WordPress which itself is standard compliant and good for SEO. However, you can definitely use plugins and techniques to further improve WooCommerce product SEO.

When you start an online store with WooCommerce, it is up to you to add things like themes, products, product descriptions, product pages, images, and other content to your store. You’re responsible for optimizing all additional content that you add.

WooCommerce SEO is an ongoing process, and you will need to keep it up to steadily see growth in your search engine traffic & sales.

Now you might be wondering, what do I need to properly deploy an effective WooCommerce SEO strategy?

Well, that’s where our WooCommerce SEO guide can help. We’ll go over multiple important SEO tips for your online store and make them easy to understand.

Ready? Let’s get started.

1. Perform The WordPress SEO Setup

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, which means you need to improve your overall WordPress SEO setup before you can move on to WooCommerce-specific SEO tweaks.

However, if you’re in a rush, then the most important thing you need is a WooCommerce SEO plugin. We recommend installing and setting up the All in One SEO plugin on your site.

AIOSEO plugin will help you add XML sitemaps along with setting up proper SEO fields for your products. It also comes with SEO features like rich snippets schema markup, on-page SEO analysis, social media integration, and more.

2. Write Product SEO Titles

Just like you optimize your blog posts for SEO, you also need to optimize your individual WooCommerce products for SEO.

One of the most important 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.

SEO title example

If you followed the previous step, then you would have already installed the AIOSEO plugin. It is the best WordPress SEO plugin that covers your WooCommerce products as well.

You need to start by editing a WooCommerce product and scrolling down to the AIOSEO Settings box. Next, you can edit the product’s SEO title by typing in your own title or using the variables to automatically generate your title from the product information.

Change product SEO title

Your WooCommerce product SEO title can be slightly different than the product title on your store. You can use keywords that you think your customers will use when searching for the product.

You also need to make it catchy, interesting, and attractive to users. However, it’s important not to use misleading or incorrect titles that would trick users and search engines because that could get your WooCommerce website penalized.

Let’s take a look at an example title below.

Boring title: Men’s Leather Wallet by Brandname
SEO Optimized Title: Bi-Fold Brown Leather Wallet for Men – High-Quality built for Durability

In our SEO-optimized title, we’re mentioning long-tail keywords like bi-fold, brown, and durability, all things that people will search for when searching for “men’s leather wallet”.

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 AIOSEO, you will also see a box to add your own product meta description.

Add product SEO description

While this description is not displayed on your website, it will appear below your product title on search engine results pages (SERPs). 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 same keywords that you used in the product’s SEO title. This will boost your chances of ranking for those target keywords.

4. Optimize 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.

Changing product slug

For example, for men’s leather wallet, we’d recommend making the slug be: bi-fold-brown-mens-leather-wallet-by-brandname

5. Enable Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are great for internal linking because it defines a clean path or trail to the page you are on.
Breadcrumbs example

These breadcrumbs also appear in search results giving your site an extra advantage in rankings.

Breadcrumbs in search results

You can enable breadcrumbs for your WooCommerce products by using the AIOSEO plugin.

To enable breadcrumbs, go to the All in One SEO » General Settings.

The breadcrumbs schema markup is automatically added to your site’s code. But, if you also want to display breadcrumb navigation links on your website, then you need to enable breadcrumbs by toggling the switch.

aioseo enable breadcrumbs

You’ll then see different breadcrumb display settings that you can use on your website.

aioseo breadcrumb setting options

For example, you can use the ‘AIOSEO – Breadcrumbs’ Gutenberg block. Simply edit any post or page where you want to display breadcrumb navigation and add the AIOSEO – Breadcrumbs block.

aioseo breadcrumbs block

To learn more about breadcrumbs, see our article on how to display breadcrumb navigation links in WordPress.

If you’re using one of these best WooCommerce themes, then they will likely come with built-in breadcrumb functionality.

6. Properly Using Product Categories and Tags

Product categories and tags help you organize products throughout your online store. This makes it easy for your customers to find the right product they’re looking for.

Categories and tags also help search engines in the same way. Each product category and tag has its own page in WooCommerce which is crawled and listed by search engines.

Category pages appearing in search results

Since these pages have similar products, this 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 using them incorrectly. 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, jewelry, etc. Categories are hierarchical, so 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.

For more on this topic, see our guide on the difference between categories vs tags.

7. Add Alt Text for Product Images

Many customers switch to image search to quickly find products that they are looking for. 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.

The most important thing you can do to get traffic from Google image search is to add 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.

A broken image showing alt text

Search engines use this alternate text as a ranking factor in their image search. Basically, you can add text to describe what this particular image is about.

Adding alt text to product images

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.

To learn more about Alt text, see our article on image alt text vs image title in WordPress.

8. Add SEO Title and Descriptions for Product Categories

Each product category in WooCommerce has its own 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 optimize product category pages by adding a title and description to them. AIOSEO allows you to set SEO titles and descriptions for each category on your WooCommerce store.

Simply go to the Products » Categories page and click on the edit link below a category.

Edit a product category in WooCommerce

On the edit screen, scroll down to AIOSEO Settings and click on the category title in the snippet preview. AIOSEO will now display edit fields to enter your own custom SEO title and description for the product category.

Edit product category title and description

9. Track WooCommerce Customers in Google Analytics

Enabling customer tracking in WooCommerce with Google Analytics

The most important part of an effective SEO strategy is data. You need to learn where your users are coming from, how they found your store, what products they looked at, and what are they doing on your WooCommerce site.

Google Analytics can help you track all this information, but it’s extremely difficult 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 with confidence.

To learn more about how to use Google Analytics’ advanced eCommerce features, see our article on how to enable customer tracking in WooCommerce.

10. Optimize Website Speed and Performance

Google considers website speed as one of the most important 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.

Website speed case study

The majority of the time, the #1 reason for a slow WooCommerce store is web hosting. If that is the case, then you need to switch to one of the optimized WooCommerce hosting providers like SiteGround or Bluehost.

You can also follow the step-by-step instructions in our WordPress performance guide to increase your page speed.

We also have some more helpful tips in our step-by-step guide on how to speed up your eCommerce website.

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.

Harmful website warning in Google chrome

This could not only destroy your WooCommerce SEO rankings but will also have a severe impact on your brand’s reputation.

Hackers are always targetting random websites with brute force attacks, malware injection, and data theft attempts. To prevent this you need to tighten your WooCommerce store’s security.

WooCommerce SEO (search engine optimization) is essential to any successful eCommerce businesses. It can help your company appear higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Products ranked high in search engine results pages (SERPs) reach more people.

But, WooCommerce optimization isn’t something people are born knowing.

Do any SEO products work well with WooCommerce? Can you use the WordPress SEO optimizer for your store, or do you need a special WooCommerce SEO plugin?

WooCommerce SEO cartoon concept image

In this article, we take a deep dive into WooCommerce optimization to help you on your way to ranking #1. This includes discussing WooCommerce as a platform and providing tips and SEO products.

Is WooCommerce Optimization Easy?

“Easy” is relative. But, WooCommerce shines in its integration with WordPress plugins, including WooCommerce SEO plugins.

WooCommerce optimization takes some work, and you may need SEO products to succeed. But, it may become easier with time and practice.

10 Tips for WooCommerce SEO

Here are 10 WooCommerce SEO tips to get you climbing in those search results.

1. Create Unique Product Descriptions

Product descriptions should be treated as bite-sized bits of content. They should include vital information about products written for your target audience.

Let’s look at two stores selling dresses: ModCloth and New York & Company.

ModCloth’s target audience comprises younger women who enjoy wearing casual dresses. They use a lot of colorful adjectives in product descriptions. The company also points out when dresses have pockets because “thanks, it has pockets!” is a common joke among Millennials and Gen Z-ers.

space themed dress product details for ecommerce SEO

New York & Company speaks to an audience needing more “professional” clothing. Their dresses can be as fun as ModCloth’s, but they write in a more straightforward and functional manner.

blue linen blend flare dress product description for ecommerce SEO

Search engines treat product descriptions like any other content on your site. These descriptions provide what keywords to rank products for in SERPs.

If you sell products by other manufacturers, you can use those descriptions. But, writing descriptions is often better for SEO. Identical content fights for SERP positions. Plus, these descriptions often aren’t optimized for your audience.

2. Optimize Page Titles

Page titles tell shoppers and search engines what your page is about. Most eCommerce stores have several kinds of pages, like category and product pages.

Category Page

Category pages help shoppers find types of products. Product pages are, of course, for individual products within those categories.

You can optimize category pages for broad terms and product pages for specific terms. For example, Storiarts has a category called “gloves.” Its product pages are for “subcategories” for individual products like “Dracula Writing Gloves.”

storiarts gloves category page for ecommerce seo

Product Page

storiarts dracula gloves product page for ecommerce SEO

Page titles and SEO titles are often the same. The exception is when the page title is longer than 60 characters.

You can tweak SEO titles with a tool like All in One SEO.

Use keywords in page and SEO titles, but remember: Content is for people first. This means keywords should be natural.

Let’s pretend those Dracula gloves above had a keyword-stuffed title, as we’ve all so often seen. It could say:

“Gloves black fingerless Dracula literature handmade scary Bram Stoker costume”

Luckily, they opted for “Dracula Writing Gloves.” What more do you need?

3. Enable Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are at the tops of pages and help visitors return to previous pages. They show visitors where they are and where they’ve been.

WP beginner breadcrumbs for WooCommerce SEO

Breadcrumbs are helpful for visitors and used by Google to determine site structure. It also affects how you appear in search results.

Google result for Storiarts using breadcrumbs for SEO

You can create breadcrumbs in WooCommerce. But, it’s typically easier with SEO products like AIOSEO.

We’ll talk more about AIOSEO when discussing WooCommerce SEO plugin options below.

4. Make Site Navigation Simple

Clean and straightforward site navigation can impact bounce rates and time spent on site. The more time visitors spend on your site, the higher your site can rank.

Keep your main navigation easy to follow. Google will crawl every page, but visitors definitely won’t.

Main navigation, which is often on the homepage and may be others, includes links to crucial pages. Here’s what the restaurant chain Hawaiian Bros considers essential:

Hawaiian Bros site navigation for ecommerce seo

Google uses search spiders to review and index search results. So, if a page isn’t linked somewhere, Google can’t find it. Google also deems links on the homepage more critical than others.

But, what if you have a ton of important pages and don’t want to force users to dig to find what they want?

A perfect solution to this problem is adding links to footers.

Here’s Hawaiian Bros’ footer:

Hawaiian bros footer for ecommerce SEO

5. Keep Permalink URLs Short and Descriptive

WordPress permalinks should make URLs accessible to visitors and search engines.

To do this, open WordPress and go to Settings » Permalinks to choose a URL structure.

wordpress permalink settings for WooCommerce optimization

If you’re not using WooCommerce permalinks, URLs default to product IDs like example.com/?product=111

Permalinks default to whatever you set them to, like “yourdomain.com/product/product-name.” Storiarts clearly has permalinks:

storiarts permalink for ecommerce seo

6. Write Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions can go a long way in improving clickthrough rates (CTRs).

They show up under a search results entry title and describe the content. Meta descriptions are another way to entice searchers to click.

meta description following WooCommerce SEO best practices

Google generally pulls opening text from your page if you don’t write meta descriptions.

In meta descriptions, use motivational words, useful adjectives, deals, and calls to action. But, meta descriptions shouldn’t be longer than 160, so focus on what’s most important.

All in One SEO can set up meta descriptions. It has a smart meta tag generator for dynamic values in SEO titles and meta descriptions.

You can add values like current year, month, day, custom fields, and more. You don’t need to update a post to change the meta description.

7. Add Alt Text to Images

Alt text is vital for SEO and even more essential for readers. It helps visitors with limited vision or blindness know what’s in images.

Use clear and concise alt text providing accurate descriptions of images. If you can fit in a keyword, do so. But, since all pieces should be audience-centric, image content outweighs keywords.

Alt text also shows up if images don’t load or if a user blocks images from appearing. Search engines do see it no matter what.

WebAIM, one of the best resources for accessibility, provides these best practices:

Alt text should be as specific as possible. For instance, a cat picture shouldn’t just say “cat.” It should describe the cat’s color, actions, and anything else necessary.

If you search “how long should alt text be?” you’ll see everything from 100 to 140 characters. Grand Valley State University states most screen readers stop after 140 characters. Most sources recommend being as brief as possible.

8. Avoid and Consolidate Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is tricky. If two pages are very similar, they cannibalize content and harm each other’s rankings.

This is true for pages on the same site, all sites you own, and competing sites.

Say you run an eCommerce business for cat toys and a different one for dog toys. You may end up with a page about why cats and dogs need different toys on each. Those could harm one another.

More established sites publishing similar content could outrank you, too. Pet stores probably can’t compete with the ASPCA if they have such an article, for instance!

The easiest way to make sure content could rank high is to write and publish original content. But what about existing content?

First, find duplicate content. You can look for content manually or use an SEO product like SEMrush.

Next, consolidate.

two identical men on devices shaking hands represent consolidating for WooCommerce SEO

Let’s first look at duplicate content on the same website. If you have 2 or more URLs with more or less identical content, keep the better performing page.

If you missed anything essential but can find it on the similar pages, add it to the one you plan to keep.

Then, redirect the other pages to the page you keep. WordPress has several plugins to create redirects.

Redirects become crucial if you move from one eCommerce platform to another.

Going from Shopify to WooCommerce, for instance, will likely change URL structures. If you want to keep page rankings from Shopify, redirect to the new WooCommerce URLs.

Sometimes you may find pages with similar but not identical content and want to keep BOTH. Canonical links tell search engines where to go using this tag in the header of your similar content:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://myoriginalcontent.com”>

Both redirects and canonical links work for duplicates across all domains you own.

If your work like another website’s but it’s essential to have on yours, don’t delete it. Instead, find a unique spin on it.

9. Use the Best WooCommerce SEO Plugins

WooCommerce comes with thousands of extensions and plugins to help grow your business. It can be overwhelming to find the best ones for WooCommerce optimization.

At OptinMonster, a premier WordPress plugin, we love finding plugins for business growth. Here are our picks for the best WooCommerce SEO plugins:

1. All in One SEO (AIOSEO)

All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is an excellent SEO plugin. Its setup wizard helps choose ideal SEO settings for your business.

You can choose focus and secondary keyphrases for every page.

AIOSEO focus and additional keyphrase entry for WooCommerce SEO

Once you select the focus keyphrase, AIOSEO suggests how to use it best.

Using the pet toys example, here’s what AIOSEO may look like before optimization:

AIOSEO keyphrase suggestions to improve WooCommerce optimization

Here’s what it might look like after making adjustments using their suggestions:

AIOSEO focus and additional keyphrases after better WooCommerce SEO

AIOSEO also has WooCommerce optimization features for pages, images, and more.

2. Broken Link Checker

broken link checker WooCommerce plugin

Broken Link Checker can find broken links, so you don’t have a high bounce rate from 404 error pages.

This SEO product is resource-intensive. So, we recommend installing and activating it when you use it, then uninstalling it. Going through your site twice a year should be enough.

If that sounds like too much, AIOSEO can help you here, too. They offer a broken link checker that can automatically send visitors to the correct URL, even if that’s not the one they click on in a search engine. It can also run reports for you and you can check on things manually.

AIOSEO 404 monitoring

3. MonsterInsights

monsterinsights plugin homepage

MonsterInsights gives you the power of Google Analytics from your WordPress admin area. You can track successes and potential problems in real-time to maximize potential revenue.

4. TrustPulse

trustpulse honest marketing for WooCommerce optimization

If you really want to send your WooCommerce sales soaring, check out TrustPulse.

While TrustPulse isn’t specifically for SEO, it can work wonders for social proof. It lets you leverage real-time page activity to increase trust, conversions, and sales by up to 15%

TrustPulse gives visitors reasons to buy your products. You can say, “my product is the best!” until you’re blue in the face. But TrustPulse taps into what they want: Evidence from other consumers.

So, they tap into “peer pressure” by providing popups saying “[Name] just bought this product!” and targeted ads.

trustpulse stats why people buy products

10. Use WooCommerce Optimized Themes

WordPress is friendly with search engines. But, not all themes are ideal for WooCommerce optimization. Make sure your theme is the right SEO product for your store.

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