Top Ways To Improve WooCommerce SEO Results
As one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world, WooCommerce is a reliable tool for millions of online shop owners. In fact, research shows that out of the top one million sites that deploy eCommerce technologies, WooCommerce is the most popular one amongst users, with 26% of those eCommerce sites built using WooCommerce – ahead of both Shopify and Magento.
However, just having an eCommerce store built on WooCommerce, is not enough to succeed in today’s fiercely competitive online retail arena. With so many options available to consumers, how do you ensure that your target customers find your site and products?
The answer lies in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Why Is SEO Important for WooCommerce?
Operating in such a highly competitive market where you are competing for search traffic, it is vital that online stores optimize their sites for Google and Bing. If you want to have better search engine rankings and make it easier for target customers to find your products in search engines, then you need to optimize your site.
Consider this; 39% of all global eCommerce traffic comes from search engines. In other words, it’s all about how much traffic you can redirect to your online store and SEO plays a crucial role in this regard.
With many eCommerce platforms, SEO can prove to be a real competitive differentiator when it comes to improving your organic traffic and sales revenues.
Yoast WooCommerce SEO Plugin
One of the best plugins for WooCommerce SEO is the Yoast WooCommerce SEO plugin. This is a great plugin for WordPress and WooCommerce and it can help create better visibility of online store and products with Google and Bing, and it integrates with Facebook & Twitter to provide better product presentations on those social media platforms.
The Yoast WooCommerce SEO Plugin Provides These Features:
- Optimize for Five Focus Keywords per page, allowing you to rank for related search terms as well
- Optimize Products and Pages for visual presentation on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
- Improves your Sitemap so Google and Bing can find product info faster and allows search engine crawlers to search through your website and online products more easily
- Provides ‘breadcrumbs’ for easier navigation and access to your product structure
4 Ways To Improve Your WooCommerce SEO Results
Did you know that Google uses over 200 factors to determine the rank of your site?
While nobody is 100% sure about the entire list, we do know that the following factors play an important role in determining your site’s page and product rankings.
1. Optimize Your Product Descriptions
eCommerce store owners often view SEO descriptions as filler text and as such, they simply copy-paste the manufacturers descriptions. But search engine crawlers see your product description just like any other content on your site.
This means that you should include valuable, original and keyword-centric information. Don’t just use the standard manufacturer’s product descriptions. Not only are manufacturer’s descriptions often bland (which makes them uninteresting for your visitors) but they have not been crafted for the target keywords you are trying to rank for. Also, when you copy the standard product description, and use it for the SEO product description, you are effectively creating duplicate content on the page. So, the lesson is that you really should craft your own keyword optimized product description for all your products.
If you did not already know, Google has really strict rules when it comes to having duplicated content on your site, so you are not doing yourself any favors with Google and Bing if you if you don’t create unique keyword focused product SEO descriptions.
2. Enable ‘Breadcrumbs’ Navigation
According to Google, 61% of users stop engaging with a website if they have trouble accessing different pages on it. Navigation is one of the key aspects of an intuitive web design as it allows users to browse through your site seamlessly.
Users want an intuitive way to find products and navigate through sites. A WooCommerce store that fails to provide intuitive navigation will experience higher bounce rates which negatively affects your SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) rankings.
So, using a premium plugin such as Yoast WooCommerce SEO, is great because it provides breadcrumb navigation and it shows breadcrumb trail snippets in Search Display Results.
For instance, assume your eCommerce store deals in clothing; a typical breadcrumb trail for your site can be Women > Shirts > T-shirts or Men > Pants > Denim. Users can trace back their entire journey and easily shuffle between pages.
Here’s an example:
3. Optimize & Compress Your On-Site Images
Images remain a cornerstone of every eCommerce website as high-quality visuals allow consumers to visually see the product and you want to be able to create a favorable first impression of the product. But you must also balance the quality of your images while optimizing their size.
Hi-Resolution Uncompressed Files are a heavy resource and will take up considerable space on your website, adversely affecting your loading speed. Large files mean that your website loads slower, which can have a negative affect related to cart abandonment, and especially customers on slower networks.
Slow load times will frustrate your customers; according to research, 39% of people stop engaging with a website if images don’t load or take too long to load. This results in a high bounce rate.
Slow load times, high bounce rates and other factors can contribute to a poor user experience. And knowing Google’s constant emphasis on prioritizing user experience, a high bounce rates, and slow load times are likely to negatively affect your rankings with Google and Bing.
The solution lies sizing and compressing your site images, without comprising their quality. You should always figure out what the optimum size of each image on the site should be. If you are using an image for a full screen-width header or slideshow, your horizontal resolution will be wider than for products on a product page. You don’t want file resolutions to be higher than necessary, but at the same time you don’t want them to be too low and ruin the visual user experience.
Also, bitmap images and photos need to be compressed. There are a variety of WordPress Plugins such as WP Smush, can help you improve your loading speed considerably. These plugins will go through your media archives and compress and optimize your new and existing images.
4. Add Alt-Text Tags to Images
Alt-text tags can help boost your SEO in a couple of ways:
First, people with visibility issues rely on alt-text to understand the images on a page since they cannot see them, and therefore, understand your products
Second, well crafted Alt-text tags have been known to help boost SEO efforts. In case your image does not load, the site is likely to show alt-text which means that it provides you with an opportunity to do both – add a clear description to help your users (boost user experience) and add focus keywords that fit naturally (boost SEO).
The best Alt-text tag is one that does a good job of describing the picture while including a keyword. Here are good and bad example’s of Alt-text tags from Google:
Integrate and Monitor with Google Analytics
It is important to setup a Google Analytics account and connect your site with Google Analytics. Google analytics can tell you a lot about your site visitors, what products are drawing them to the site, their visitor actions, bounce rates, and more. While connecting to Google Analytics does now improve your SEO rankings, it can certainly tell you how to improve your site, check site’s speed and load times, and show where your visitors and coming from and how long they spend on your site and what they do while they are there.
Improve Your Site’s Security
WordPress is the #1 Content Management System (CMS) used to build websites worldwide. More than 30% of all websites globally are built using WordPress. Consequently, WordPress is the #1 target for hackers. So, we recommend that you keep your site safe by 1.) Keeping your site software and plugins updated to fix gaps in security and other bugs that might leave your site vulnerable to hackers; 2.) We highly recommend using a security plugin such as Sucuri or WordFence as a protective firewall against hackers and intruders with malicious intent.
If you are using WooCommerce as your store’s eCommerce platform, you want to put your best foot forward to optimize your site using SEO techniques that will give you the best chance to compete in the market. If you follow the tips shown above you will optimize your site in ways that are favorable to Google and Bing, and in ways that will boost your site and product’s visibility in local and global internet searches. By following the tips outlined above, you can make your website more user-friendly while also boosting your site’s rankings and visibility with Google and Bing.