[SEO for PrestaShop Tutorial] A guide on how to get quality traffic with your eCommerce (and increase your sales)

Imagine owning a physical store with an eye-popping shop window, elegant interior décor, and interesting well-placed products.

But, as it turns out, your shop is located in the most remote area of the neighborhood.

Nobody would find it – and that’d be a shame, right?

Well, an online store can face a similar situation if it lacks an adequate SEO strategy. You’re invisible in Google’s eyes, so your potential clients don’t even know you exist.

And the worst part is that each CMS has its own idiosyncrasies. The process differs depending on where you want to position your shop, be it WooCommerce, Shopify, or PrestaShop.

It’s a pain in the neck, we know, but we got you.

This post is a super-tutorial to help you to get the expert lowdown on SEO for PrestaShop.

Ready for some positioning? 😉

👉 What is SEO and why is it so important for PrestaShop

 Just a little sidenote first:

We’ve kept this tutorial as simple as possible to make it useful even for the marketing novice.

But in case you’d still like to learn more about SEO, how it works or its benefits for your eCommerce, we’ll explain it to you before we dive into this post.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

It’s a set of techniques that allow you to position your website on search engines; even if we speak in plural, we especially mean Google since it has the largest market share in Europe and America.

The goal is for your web to come up among the first results on the search engine to get visitors —potential customers.

So, what if you have a store on PrestaShop? Does that change the way you should tackle SEO?

Not really. Your basic SEO strategy will be the same regardless of the CMS you use.

However, as we mentioned above, every CMS works in a particular way. For example, PrestaShop has exclusive, specific SEO-modules and themes.

We’ll thoroughly explain all of it in this post.

Note: if you’re interested in learning more about the basics of SEO, here’s this mega guide in which we explain its most basic concepts.

👉 How to optimize SEO for PrestaShop so your e‑commerce goes to the top of the Google search results

 Right, so let’s get to it.

 Next, we’ll show you how to position your store on PrestaShop step by step.

Grab a pen and paper. 

✅ Get started with some keyword research

In other words, find the keywords that work best for your online shop.

And what are the best keywords for your online shop? The ones your buyer persona searches for on Google to find a product like the one you sell in your online shop.

For that, you can check out some of these hacks and tools.

Once you’ve made a list of the most-used keywords to rank your shop for, the next step is to divide them according to the users’ search intention.

They could be either informational or transactional.

➡️ Informational

This happens when a user has a doubt about a specific topic and wants it solved.

An example would be: “what are resistance bands for?”.

optimize-seo-for-prestashop

As you can see, Google shows links with information about uses, exercises, and tips related to resistance bands.

These searches tell us the user isn’t ready to buy resistance bands just yet. Instead, they point out that the user is still learning more about them and what they can be used for.

➡️ Transactional

In this case, there’s a clear drive to buy.

Let’s try searching for “resistance bands”. What we get now is a list of online stores selling resistance bands.

make-seo-prestashop

This basically means that people who Google “resistance bands” aren’t interested in information or exercises related to them; on the contrary, they’re already intent on buying and are looking for a place to do it.

This distinction is really important, as we’re about to see.

✅ Design your site’s structure according to your keywords

As a renowned Japanese guru would say, the magic begins with tidying up. Likewise, a good SEO strategy for PrestaShop also requires organization.

A clean website structure is of the utmost importance for your online shop as it helps Google understand the site’s hierarchy, which, in turn, contributes to better positioning. Plus, users will find it easier to navigate your site.

Here are some of the keys to keep in mind.

➡️ Optimize your categories and product cards

As mentioned above, your shop’s categories, subcategories, and product cards must be set up according to the transactional keywords found during your keyword research.

Take a look at this example by Footshop.

seo-prestashop

In this case, their main category positions for the keyword “kids shoes”, and within this category we find subcategories such as “kids shoes for 3-8 year olds”, which are optimized for longtails.

Finally, we find the product cards lower down within each subcategory.

We also advise you to optimize category and card pages by adding descriptive texts for each one. Check out how they do it at Footshop as well.

seo-on-prestashop-1

Want to learn more about how to write product cards and categories? You’ll find some tips in this post and this other post.

➡️ Decide on the keyword you’ll be targeting on your homepage

Your eCommerce’s homepage plays an outstanding role in your SEO strategy.

Because it’s your website’s most visited URL (up to 50% of visitors land on it), it is also the strongest one at ranking highly-competed keywords.

Now, what kind of keywords are you most interested in targeting on the homepage?

It seems like a simple question, but in reality there are two options:

  • Brand keyword: in this case, your priority is to show up on Google searches that include your store’s name on them. This strategy is applied by British store Holland & Barrett.
  • Home Product: your interest here is ranking a highly-competed transactional keyword encompassing the types of products you sell. If, for example, you own a yoga gear store, you could target the phrases ‘yoga gear’ or ‘buy yoga gear’.  

Which option works best?

None of them.

Going for one of them over the other one depends on whether you’re more interested in positioning due to your brand (in case your strategy focuses on branding) or due to the products you sell.

✅ User experience = satisfied customers (and better positioning)

User experience (UX) is the impression users get from your website after interacting with it.

And why is this so important for SEO positioning on PrestaShop?

The better the user experience, the longer users spend on your site, which means:

●   A better chance they’ll complete a purchase (because the customer experience also improves).

●   Lower bounce rate. Google considers your content to be interesting for users and rewards your eCommerce with better positioning.

Let’s go over a few key aspects to keep your customers (and Google) happy.

➡️ Usability

That is, how easy it is for users to interact with your e‑commerce shop.

As we’ve already said, better website navigability means longer visits by users, better positioning, and a higher likelihood of a sale.

If you have any doubts regarding how to work on your shop’s usability, you can check out this post.

➡️ Load time

On average, users don’t wait longer than two seconds for your online store’s site to load, which results in a greater bounce rate and worse SEO positioning (and lots of lost sales).

Here are a few tips to prevent that from happening:

This other post describes load time and its optimization at length.

➡️ Internal search engine

How many times have you tried to find a product in an online store and wound up lost in an overabundance of categories and subcategories?

Changing the structure of your shop is no easy task. However, it’s easy to install a smart search engine to help your customers immediately find what they’re looking for (and increase sales up to 20%).

If you want to see for yourself, try Doofinder free for 30 days. 😉

✅ Avoid cannibalization and duplicate content

The word itself just sounds bad, doesn’t it?

Truth is that they’re rather detrimental to SEO, so they must be detected and avoided. Otherwise, you’ll face the wrath of Google’s penalizations.

The best way to avoid that is to have a well structured website from the onset and create unique product cards.

➡️ The importance of the title and the meta description

Mind you, duplicate content is not exclusive to cards and categories.

Another common mistake seen with online stores is to use the same title and meta description for every page.

As it turns out, this is also deemed duplicate content.

Also bear in mind that these three lines can be the difference between users clicking on your link when they see your website on Google and them visiting the competition instead – so this is not to be overlooked! 😉

If you have any doubts, check out these two posts to create irresistible titles and meta descriptions.

➡️ Pagination and its effect on cannibalization and duplicate content

Let’s say you’re running a fashion store and you have 300 products in the ‘coats’ category.

However, when a person clicks on that category… you won’t show them 300 products at once, right? Having so many options would be overwhelming for the user and might make them exit your website.

Pagination is meant to avoid this by separating products of a category into batches.

There are two main pagination strategies:

  • Classic pagination: products are divided into different, numbered URLs.
  • Infinite scroll: products load on the same page as a user scrolls down.

Attention now. This is the key part:

The pagination strategy you choose can negatively affect your web’s SEO.

The reason for this is that if the pagination has been incorrectly set, Google might end up indexing many times a single product card (and so we’re back to duplicate content).

Because this is a complex subject, we suggest you have a look at this post on SEO-friendly pagination, in which we explain this thoroughly. 

✅ The power behind the ‘alt’ tag in SEO

If you go to one of your web’s image’s settings, you’ll see one that reads ‘alternative text’.

Alternative text is an HTML tag developed for reading software, used by blind people.

SEO-wsie, this tag’s worth consists in allowing its content to be read by Google as regular text on the page. Therefore, it’s one more place where we should (and must) add keywords.

Note: if you’d like to learn more about it, here’s a post on how to optimize images.

✅ Responsive Design is still paramount

We’re sure your webpage loads well on all devices; in other words, it’s design is responsive.

But watch out.

There are certain common errors that tend to go unnoticed (even in webs that have been created with a responsive design) which affect SEO too.

For example:

  • The text on the mobile version is too small and therefore hard to read for users.
  • Overlapping images.
  • Clickable elements too close from one another.

To avoid these kinds of errors, it’s best for you to have a Google Search Console account (in case you don’t already, have a look at this tutorial in which we explain how to get started).

This tool warns you about these errors so you can fix them.

EXTRA TIP

Speaking of mobile browsing…

Keep in mind that every day, more people are using voice search when browsing on their smartphones.

If you want your eCommerce to be 100% mobile-friendly, make sure your internal search engine includes this option. 

✅ Design a content strategy

Surely you’ve heard about how important it is to have a content strategy.

That is, to plan the content to post on your website according to your goals.

So how can a content strategy help you?

  • You make sure no product cards or categories are cannibalizing your blog posts.
  • It allows you to attract a lot more qualified traffic (and to turn it into customers).
  • It strengthens your brand image.

Keeping an editorial calendar will prove useful when it comes to planning and carrying out your strategy.

And this brings us to our next point: writing.

✅ Learn the art of SEO writing

The point is to appear on Google and get more visitors, right?

For that, you must write attractive texts, both for users and Google.

And how can you do that?

SEO writing is an art in itself, but here’s a summary of the main concepts:

  • Users’ search intention.
  • Putting the right keywords in the right place (H tags, URL, title, images’ ALT…).
  • Working on the layout to provide a good user experience.
  • Creating a good snippet (title + meta description) that increases the CTR.
  • Adding internal links.

And this goes for blog posts, product cards, and categories alike. 😉

👉 PrestaShop modules for SEO

Now that you have some basic notions of SEO for PrestaShop, we’re going to show you some modules for this platform that will give you some extra firepower to improve your positioning.

  • SEO Expert: This module allows you to automatically fill your title and meta descriptions, as well as to create SEO-friendly URL tags. It’s especially advisable for stores with a big product offering.
  • SEO Images: It automatically fills your image ALT tags with adequate (and already-optimized) keywords.  
  • Page Cache Ultimate: This module helps you reduce the overall load speed of your eCommerce shop.

Still want more?

Here’s a post with some of the best modules for PrestaShop.

👉 How to choose a PrestaShop template

We’ve seen the most important factors for improving SEO in your PrestaShop store.

But before we come to an end, we must mention yet another key element: templates.

Yes. We know you have probably already chosen a template and created a store. But when you made that choice, did you make sure it was SEO-optimized?

If not, it’s best you replace it.

We know it’s a challenging task, but here’s the truth: the template you choose deeply affects your website’s SEO. Unless you replace it, it will become a hassle that will keep your website from positioning to its full potential.

In order for your template not to become an obstacle for you but a tool for positioning, it must:

Be able to offer a fast load speed.

Be responsive.

Be frequently updated (to solve errors, prevent safety problems, etc.)

Do you have any questions?

Here’s this post with some of the best PrestaShop templates (all of which are SEO-optimized). 

👉 Ready to enhance the SEO of your PrestaShop eCommerce?

Sit back and relax, the tutorial is over.

Now it’s your turn to put all these tips into practice to help your online store get to the top of Google.

Time to put some elbow grease into this positioning. 😉

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