WooCommerce is a highly popular plugin for WordPress (WP). Alas, there is not much information on SEO for it floating around. Therefore, we aim to set things right and allow you to get the most bang for your buck. Before we dive into detail, the first thing to note is that the world of SEO is always on the move.
The days when placing keywords and links was enough to climb up the ladder are fading away. There is a multitude of novelty tools and tactics that prove to be fruitful. They empower you to improve the SEO of the website and drive more internet traffic to it. So, here are some SEO WooCommerce and WordPress best practices to get the ball rolling.
Tools of the trade
In the eCommerce business, to rank better is to sell more. The investment of time an effort in SEO pays dividends in the long run, but where does one start? Unfortunately, there only so many hours in a day and the SEO landscape is as diverse and vast as it gets. To make a difference, you have to factor in a mind-blowing range of SEO elements, ranging from diminutive to huge.
To make it more complicated, the ranking is not set in stone, and you must be well optimized at all times. Some general tips from the SEO checklist apply, but there are many specifics for WP and WooCommerce users. In the competitive arena, you must display top-notch quality of implementation. Despite all the challenges, optimizing for online searches has no alternative.
In the realm of the internet, content is the king. Quality reigns over quantity, so get your priorities straight. Always use attention-grabbing, standout headlines. Bear in mind that you also have to deliver on the promise made by the title and offer relevant and informative content. The same qualities must be present in product descriptions, just with a bit of emotional ingredient added.
Furthermore, include client opinion in the form of testimonials and product reviews. One study found that 92% of internet users read these pieces of content and find them trustworthy. From the SEO standpoint, reviews ramp up the volume of the content and improve click-through-rates (CTR) via elements like the rating stars in search results snippets.
You can score extra SEO points by crafting video content as well. It offers similar benefits like images, just more opulent. YouTube video optimization is still in its infancy, but that just means there is more to be gained if you act proactively. Submitting video sitemaps is one of the things you can do to speed up indexing.
Enhancing the digital architecture
Like it or not, you have to enable search engines to crawl and index your pages without any fuss. There is a variety of ways to facilitate this scenario. Take breadcrumbs, for instance. These vital pieces of the SEO puzzle help search engines grasp the website’s structure and also aid users in navigating your product listings. Thus, make sure to format them with vocabularies like Schema.com and limit their depth.
Internal linking may help as well and give search engines a clearer idea of what your site is about. Apart from that, strive to underline duplicate content and do not let bots waste time crawling redundant areas of your storefront. Carry out log analysis with Screaming Frog Log Analyzer to pull these things off. There are also ways to flatten the architecture with tricks like HTML sitemaps and A-Z indexes.
In general, focusing on the technical side of the structure gives rise to the easier crawling and indexing. On the other hand, website owners must also make an effort to improve the informational dimension of the structure. For the most part, it refers to activities of organizing and classifying the inventory. One of the most important things is to realize that these two structural aspects are interwoven.
Now, as for the informational framework, you should keep it functional and user-friendly. Everything should be within reach, preferably just a few clicks away. Make good use of internal linking to enable users to effortlessly discover related and relevant content. If your WP site features a plethora of product from different categories, you can take advantage of siloing (theming) them.
Categories are, hands down, the key element of the architecture, so get them right. Mind mapping software tools in the league of MindNode are great assets to bring your vision to life. Just try to keep things simple: With too many layers, your WP site becomes fragmented and dysfunctional. That is why SEO practitioners must do the homework and produce taxonomies that echo user’s intent.
The climate is changing
Do not go overboard with keywords as Google does not look kindly upon this practice. You do not want to stuff them in every image ALT text or saturate the body text with them. Similarly, adding a dozen of tags per product is not the way to go. Good SEO is moving away from “let’s overdo it” tactics that used to yield results in the past.
For this reason, the mega menus have fallen out of favor. Yes, they can still take users to a lot of places with just one click. The problem, however, is that they increase the number of the links on the page. So, think twice before you take a lunge. One of the possible workarounds is separating your website into silos or replacing the regular HTML links with JS links.
Finally, note that hidden content is on thin ice. The problem is that it blocks the access to JS and CSS files, which means that Google’s bots struggle to crawl your pages. What is more, the search engine giant refuses to designate any content in secondary tabs, scroll boxes, and closed boxes as quality content. In some cases, it is not even indexed, which has a profoundly negative impact on the SEO.
With the surge in the sector of mobile platforms and Google’s announcement of mobile-first indexing, eCommerce businessmen are under pressure to optimize their websites for multiple device uses in mind. Therefore, conduct a mobile friendliness test and see how you hold up. Use the acquired insights to figure out ways of improving user experience and engagement.
Along the similar lines, in the wake of Google pushing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) forward, it is clear that faster mobile web is high on the list of priorities. There is no guesswork here and the steps to satisfying the need for speed are straightforward: restricting the use of HTML tags, limiting CSS and JS elements, and external stylesheets blocking.
What does this mean for WooCommerce, though? Well, checkout pages with a lot of JS and Ajax are no longer such a viable solution. And when applied to product and category pages, principles of AMP lead to streamlined design features. This is not to say that aesthetics have to suffer: Those who still want the best of both worlds can rely on tools such as Yoast’s APM Glue plugin.
On top of the eCommerce game
People in eCommerce are doing their best to please Google and impact how well customers can find them. So, do not fall behind if you want to move up in the rankings. Pay close attention to elements that make or break site’s architecture. Provide smooth mobile experience and draw people in with great content, nice visuals, and peerless functionality.
Know that we have covered only a fraction of the topic and did not touch other elements that tend to come into SEO play, such as social sharing buttons. For better or worse, there is a whole bunch of things to do and a lot of bases to cover if you are to make strides towards better ranking.