The Ultimate WooCommerce SEO Checklist 2021
WooCommerce has powered the WordPress CMS to convert your website into an eCommerce site.
From the WordPress website, you can directly sell your products through your own personal online store. However, to sell your products, you need traffic to your site. Otherwise, it would seem like “Store at home”, nobody will know about your product. That is where WooCommerce Search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play.
Without SEO, people are unable to find your website and your product will not get the exposure it deserves. Thus, you will not be able to sell your products. Our website has a high scope to grow your products sale.
But how do you get to your potential customers? How do you improve SEO on WooCommerce website? What if your website does not get traffic at all?
If you do not have answers to these questions, your online store and your efforts would be in vain. To solve these problems and grow your product sales, you need to perform WooCommerce SEO on the website. Here is the complete guide to performing SEO on WooCommerce website.
Is WooCommerce SEO Friendly?
Before moving to SEO parts, let us have some overview of WooCommerce. WooCommerce is an open-source plugin (by Automattic) for WordPress that enables you to run an online store. You have full authority to customize it to your needs. Here are some notable abilities of WooCommerce Plugin:
- Create product, cart and checkout pages
- Payment integration
- Tax calculations
- Add extensions for enhancing specific features of your site
- Sell both physical as well as digital goods
- Configurable for shipping options
- Online store for both local and global markets
- Variety of themes available
WordPress CMS, itself is SEO friendly, and WooCommerce is installed on the top of it. Thus, without any doubts, WooCommerce is well optimized and SEO friendly. But before moving on WooCommerce, you must optimize the website first. If you have difficulty with SEO on the site, I suggest you, install the Yoast SEO plugin which will guide you through the optimization. After website SEO, you are ready to perform SEO to your products.
The SEO benefits of WooCommerce plugin are:
- Product contents, URL, meta description optimization
- Categories, tag, a brand name, review declaration
- Product image with “alt” tag
- Optimize breadcrumbs
- Shop structure
- SEO friendly WooCommerce themes
- WooCommerce has its schema markup for product
On-Page SEO for WooCommerce Products
On-page SEO is directly done on the product contents and is one of the major factors for ranking. This depends on you how you handle SEO.
On-site SEO is the trick to play with keywords. The keyword may be the product name. These keywords should be placed appropriately so that your website will be visible on the search engine results page (SERP) if the visitors type the same key phrase in the search box.
Do you know that not all keywords provide traffic to the website? You must have knowledge of researching the keywords, such as its volume, difficulty, and so on. Thankfully, Google provides a free tool for performing the keyword research – Google Ads Keyword Planner.
WooCommerce is installed at the top of the website. To begin with, the website should be SEO friendly. Before selling any product, you must have blog contents about it. These blog contents should also be made SEO friendly. Blog content is a content marketing technique which grabs organic traffic to the website. The blog content can be about product review, guidelines, buyer’s guide, etc.
We recommend using Yoast SEO plugin to optimize the website. After optimizing the website with Yoast plugin, you can move on to the Yoast WooCommerce SEO plugin. After installing both plugins, follow the below procedure to make the product SEO friendly.
Just like the title of blog posts, you must optimize the title of every product. The title must contain the keyword. Make sure the title of your product is specific and provides relevant information about the product. Use 50-60 characters on your product title; otherwise, the search engine will truncate parts of the title, as shown below. It would be better to show your website name after the product title.
Optimize Product Permalinks
Permalinks are the web address to reach your product page. On WordPress, you have authority to optimize the permalink to fit your requirements. It is beneficial to use keyword in permalink as well. But make sure the permalink doesn’t contain stop words and is not more than 3-4 words.
Product Meta Description
Meta Description reflects information about your product. It inspires the visitor to click on your page’s link displayed by the search engine result page (SERP). The meta description should not contain more than 160 characters. Never optimize your meta description with keywords recurring more than two times. Keep the meta description clear and to the point.
Appropriate “Alt” Text for Product Images
“Alt” tags help your website to get visitors through images. As people prefer window shopping, most people search for images before purchasing any items. Make sure to use the clear alt tag. For example, If I want to buy a green bag, then, your image alt tag must contain the keyword “green bag” which is more specific than simply writing “bag”.
Product Categories and Tags
Categories and tags provide a clear view of the product. For example: “Bag” can be a category and “women bag”, “Men bag”, “Schoolbag”, can be taken as tags. This helps visitors to properly navigate the website.
If you have separate page and content about the category and tags; then, optimize it for SEO. You can submit your categories page and tags page to the search console. However, if categories and tags pages are empty and do not have the title, meta description or contents, mark them as a “no index” page.
Breadcrumbs provide proper internal linking between webpages and provide a clear path. It also helps with navigation when browsing other pages.
Furthermore, the search engine also displays the breadcrumb which helps the visitor understand the page. You can enable breadcrumb through the theme functionality. If the theme does not have a breadcrumb feature, then you can enable it on the Yoast plugin.
Technical SEO for WooCommerce Website
Just ranking your website on search engine will not be enough. The search engine takes the website, in addition to the users’ behavior on the site, as a significant SEO factor. Therefore, the search engine continuously updates the results accordingly.
If you want to keep your website at a higher rank for a long time, then you should not neglect technical SEO. Moreover, Technical SEO refers to optimization that helps search engine to crawl (fetch) the website more efficiently.
Optimize Website Speed and Performance
People detest slow websites. They do not enjoy waiting for long periods of time. Instead, they would rather leave the website and go to another. This results in a higher bounce rate and lowers the time on site. This degrades the ranking of the website.
It has become mandatory to optimize the website for faster browsing. People would love to visit more pages on the site, which improves the ranking as well as increases the sale on the page. The web hosting company plays a vital role in optimizing the website speed.
If your website has 100 visitors simultaneously, then the site may slow down. Therefore, make sure you have a good web hosting provider that uses higher bandwidth and processing power, low ping, and SSD disk or cloud network.
Not only do you need the right hosting provider, but a professional WordPress theme which is optimized for speed. Unnecessary files in the theme would give visitors a bad experience and degrade the performance of the website.
Use Schema Markup for Product
Schema provides more informative results to the users. It provides rich snippets on the Search engine result page. In the below figure, you can view the schema about the product. It improves trust amongst the customers; hence, the link has a higher chance of getting the click.
The Good news about WooCommerce is, it has a built-in schema markup feature. When adding the Product, the product data should be ready for the schema markup. However, if all the schema needed for the product is not available, you can get additional extensions for adding schema structures through the WooCommerce site.
Internal Linking, Broken Links, and 404 page
Website means interlinking between pages. Research shows that the indexing becomes faster if the webpage has enough internal links on the page. The internal link is the linking between pages on the same website domain. Make sure you have adequate internal links on every page. It gives the search engine spider an incentive to crawl the site. Do not link the page with relevant keywords.
Broken links result in 404 pages and degrade the ranking of the website. Broken links should be removed from the site. For detecting and eliminating these broken links, you can use our plugin. In addition to internal links, external links should be kept away from broken pages.
Analyze Google Analytics Data
Without understanding the user behavior on the webpage, your website cannot maintain a high ranking on the search engine result page. Google Analytics data helps you to understand the behavior of your visitors. It gives data about bounce rate, page session, time on page, etc.
Furthermore, it also provides data about robot visitors. Google comprehends bot visitors as paid traffic. And hence, it degrades the ranking of the website. For this reason, you must block those visitors to keep your website safe.
Make Your WooCommerce Site Device Responsive
Without any doubt, the number of internet users on mobile devices is higher than that of desktop or laptop devices. There is no clear method to determine which device your WooCommerce website is browsed on and if the site does not appear correctly on the device, then, the user will leave the website.
To solve the problem, you should either have a separate website for mobile browsing or responsive theme. The responsive theme provides a proper layout to the website according to the size of the device’s screen.
Google has started the “Mobile indexing first” protocol. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that your website has a mobile version. The alternative for the mobile version is “AMP Pages”.
No-Index Empty Pages
There are some pages created by WooCommerce plugin automatically. These are account page, cart page, checkout page, etc. These pages are not accessible directly. Whenever the search engine spider crawls the website, they take these pages as empty pages. And the blank page is not suitable for SEO.
Hence, it is not recommended to index these pages by the search engine. Thus, you must not include these pages in the sitemap.xml file.
Summing It Up
WooCommerce SEO does not happen in a day. Updating contents helps to increase the ranking of the website. When adding the product, make sure you perform on-page SEO. On-site SEO on the product page is a one-time task. The product pages are not designed to be updated daily. The website owner must emphasize technical SEO and blog contents.
Blog contents are frequently updating pages on the website. So, the website must have a blog about their product. Optimizing the blog will improve the rank of the website as well as product page.
To maintain the same higher position on the search engine, the website owner must understand the user’s behaviors. Moreover, to increase sales on the page, you must perform actions such as copywriting, put call-to-action-buttons and attention-grabbing images on the product page.
Eventually, it may become challenging to manage SEO directly on the pages. So, it’s a better idea to use Yoast plugin or any other SEO plugin which provide the feature of performing SEO at the same time as editing the page. The SEO plugin updates the Sitemap.xml automatically according to the availability of the contents on the website. Sitemap.xml is provided to the search engine console for better crawling of the site.