With so many online stores vying for visibility, knowing how to leverage SEO for WooCommerce should be high on your agenda, which is why we’ve put together some simple but key ways you can start working on your WooCommerce SEO strategy.
What is WooCommerce SEO?
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress users worldwide. SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimisation, and is a range of methods used to optimise your site so that search engines favour it over others, and put it as high in the search engine results pages (SERPs) as possible. The goal is the top of page one. Ergo, WooCommerce SEO is the process of making your WooCommerce site more attractive to search engines so that it is far more likely to be seen by users searching for topics related to your site.
Let’s say, for example, you sell walking boots. If a potential customer is typing ‘best walking boots for the countryside’ into Google and you have optimised your site so that Google knows your site has a page that can help this user, then your site will be given priority over other sites that perhaps don’t answer the question as clearly. This can then convert a lead into a sale.
WooCommerce SEO means doing as much as you can with the content on your site to make it as helpful and clear as possible. When done right, you will rank higher in the SERPs and pull in more organic leads and drive higher conversions. There are many ways to go about SEO for WooCommerce so let’s take a look at them.
Technical SEO means the more technical aspects of a site, such as page load speed, device dependent functionality and 404 error pages. For your site to be considered valuable, it should load at a reasonable speed, be usable across all devices with particular attention to mobile devices, and have as few broken links and 404 error pages as possible.
Give your WooCommerce site a once over to ensure the technical aspects are all in good order. Things to look for are:
Any unused or unnecessary plugins that could be slowing the site down
Core web vitals, which are the load speed, the interactivity and the visual stability of your site
Making sure your site is mobile friendly for the ever growing mCommerce market
The use of breadcrumb navigation to clearly mark to users where they are on your site
Opportunities to use structured data, which is things like FAQs or How-Tos
Checking for any redirects or broken pages
Creating an XML site map to clearly signal to search engines which pages are the most important
Expired or broken links that interrupt the user journey and increase bounce rates
Any duplicate content that could confuse search engine crawlers
Pop-ups or overlay messages that interfere with the user experience
Start a tick sheet of these elements and work through them to maximise the technical aspects of your WooCommerce site. Once you’ve taken this step, you can move onto the actual content on your site.
Metadata can be overlooked when thinking about SEO for eCommerce stores. Metadata is the description of what your page is about and should be completed for all products. If not, Google may create their own meta description for your product page that isn’t as accurate.
Use keywords in your meta descriptions and provide as much information as possible in a small amount of words. The aim is to tell anyone landing on the SERPs what you offer in a bitesize chunk so that they are encouraged to click through.
As with metadata, adding alternative text to your on-site images is a simple but effective way of improving SEO. Alt text is what users will see if your image won’t load and also tells search engines what your images are. This can be particularly useful for customers with impaired vision also. Keep it short and to the point - for example, an image of ‘chocolate protein powder in a blender’ will suffice rather than ‘chocolate and vanilla swirls combined in a cylindrical food blender showing the method of making delicious chocolate cookie protein shakes.’
Keywords are the foundation on which all SEO content is built. There is no use having the best, most cost-effective products on the internet if you aren’t using keywords to sell them. This goes for product descriptions, category copy, metadata and any blog or guide style posts. Before you create any WooCommerce SEO content, do some keyword research.
Ahrefs has a free and easy-to-use tool that lets you search for keywords around your product or industry. If you sell clothes and accessories, you might search for ‘silver earrings’ or ‘most popular dresses’. This free tool will show you the search terms most people are searching the web for. You can then structure your on-site content around these terms. Don’t overdo it though. Keep it natural.
Keep your WooCommerce product titles simple and then add detailed information or product descriptions that utilise keywords.
Category copy is the bit at the top of a category page that tells users what the page is about. Be sparing with keywords so that the writing is fluid but signal early on what the page sells, such as ‘our range of silver earrings are a classic choice and come in round, square or diamante options’.
This is where you can really make use of keywords. Look for variations on the same keyword to make sure your content is repetitive. Ideally, use blog posts as a chance to answer common questions your customers ask. Answer these questions clearly and with a good smattering of keywords to show the SERPs that you are a trusted place for potential buyers to go to.
More isn’t always better with keywords and content. In fact, quality over quantity will improve your WooCommerce SEO far more than cramming in lots of keywords or irrelevant blog posts. If you want directions, are you more likely to ask the person who gets straight to the answer and tells you where to go, or the person who goes off on a tangent and forgets what you asked? Be the authority, not the keyword crammer.
All of these points above come down to one main thing; the user. Improving the experience of your WooCommerce store for the user will improve your SEO. The two go hand in hand. If you want to optimise WooCommerce for SEO, always think about your target customer and what they want. Every single internet user wants sites that load quickly, product descriptions that are helpful and guides that give them all the information they need. Put your user first at every stage of your WooCommerce SEO strategy.
Further to these universal expectations, consider who your individual customer is. Are they more likely to want next-day delivery or would they prefer to pay less and wait? What age and social demographic are they from, and how can you write content in a way that will appeal to this? Create a flow chart of everything your customer could want and then go through your site and your content to make sure you are fulfilling that expectation. WooCommerce stores that provide genuine value, and not just in monetary terms but in time and information, are far more appealing to search engine bots than those that focus only on the final sale.
WooCommerce SEO plugins
WooCommerce users are likely to have used Yoast as part of their WordPress set up. Yoast has over 5 million active instals, and is easy to use for beginners and more practised SEO specialists.
Rank Math is another very popular WooCommerce SEO plugin with a simple setup wizard. Rankmath also integrates with Google Search Console to track keyword rankings and make sure your site is optimised at all times.
All In One SEO is brilliant for anyone new to WooCommerce SEO and takes care of every aspect of SEO with an SEO audit checklist to get you started.
There are literally hundreds of apps and integrations you can use alongside your WooCommerce store to make it better in both the eyes of search engines and your target customers. Optimising for the likes of Google will help to get your online shop found and increase overall traffic. Consider how you can then make your WooCommerce offering even better with things like Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), free shipping or hassle-free returns. These are the things that will turn traffic into conversions and keep customers coming back.
Gilson leads the dynamic marketing team at Zendbox in producing insightful content designed to help eCommerce businesses scale up. With over 20 years of digital marketing experience, Gilson is highly adept at discovering business hacks and providing solutions to impossible problems.