Let’s face it – working on SEO for an online shop is no easy task.
You have to search thoroughly for keywords, decide which ones go in the main sections (like the homepage), and optimize all your categories and product cards.
Not to mention, you have to avoid having two pages of your website trying to be positioned for the same keyword, including blog posts.
Such a bummer, right?
Well, despite that, we all know that some order makes things run better, so we’ve made you this five-step SEO guide for WooCommerce.
Keep reading and you’ll find out that reaching the top spots on Google doesn’t have to give you a headache.
And if you’re still coming to grips with SEO, don’t worry because at the end of the post, you’ll find several great plugins to help you.
Ready? Let’s go.
👉 SEO for WooCommerce Tutorial: How to position your online store in five steps
Yes, it can be tedious work dealing with the SEO of an e-commerce with a large catalog of products.
But the effort, as you know, eventually pays off in the form of daily visitors to your online shop without a single dime spent on advertising. ;)
If you’d also like to give your online shop a boost, you can start by following these basic steps for SEO for WooCommerce.
✅ 1. Do a keyword search
The first thing to do is figure out the most effective keywords to get your website as high up on Google as possible.
In broad terms, you have to bear in mind three word categories:
- Product and brand names: These are words like “cellphone” or “Samsung cellphone”.
- Transactional keywords: Words that indicate the user’s purchase intention, like “buy Samsung cellphone”.
- Location-based keywords: If you own a physical store, you should position the same words as those used by shops around you. For example, “cheap cellphones London” (this is also known as local SEO).
To find these keywords, the best thing you can do is to make a list of the search terms you think your potential customers would use.
In the case of an online store, you could base it on your product categories, names, and brands.
Once you have them, sort them according to the different sections of your website:
- Home: This is the page that will get the most visits in your e-commerce, so it’s a good spot to put the keywords with the highest search volume. Here you should include all three keyword types mentioned before.
- Categories: Here you should include keywords related to products and transactions. For example, if one of your categories is devoted to used laptops, you could name it “second-hand laptops” and then incorporate the keyword “buy second-hand laptops” into the text.
- Products: Include keywords referring to the brand or model of each particular item in the title, URL, and product descriptions.
- Blog: Blog posts allow you to position yourself according to those long-tailed keywords (those made up of three or more terms) that tackle queries from users. Besides, it’ll help you attract clients to your sales funnel.
If you have any doubts, check out this article on how to make the most of keywords.
✅ 2. Optimize your products and categories
The products you sell are the core of your e-commerce, so it’s necessary to work on them individually.
That means no copy/pasting descriptions from the supplier’s website (Google considers it duplicate content and punishes you). ;)
Optimizing all your products for SEO may be complex, but the best thing to do is to start with the most profitable items in your catalog and work back through the others bit by bit.
These are the aspects you should pay most attention to:
- Description: Create a single description for each product that differentiates it from the rest.
- Appealing URL: If you want Google to take you into account, make it easy by customizing the links for your products with the corresponding keywords. For example, instead of “myshop.com/juices/150245/”, try “myshop.com/juices/orange-juice”.
- Meta title and meta description: Both the title and the meta description shown on Google help users click on your page, which improves your SEO. If you need to, you can check out the articles we posted, which include some tips on writing meta titles and meta descriptions.
- Images: Your uploaded images shouldn’t be too heavy since they could slow down your website. Include a keyword (the brand or product name that appears in the photo) in the filename and in the alternative text. We tell how in this post.
Remember that there should be at least 300 words of text for both your products and categories.
✅ 3. Implement a high-quality internal search engine
Are your users able to easily find the products they want once they get to your site?
An internal search engine is an essential tool to improve your website’s usability.
It increases the time potential clients spend in your online shop and reduces the bounce rate.
If you’d like to learn more about this, here’s an article on how a search engine can contribute to improving your SEO positioning.
✅ 4. Include breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are your clients and Google’s best friends.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, they’re those links at the top of the page that tell users where they are and how to go back to where they were.
These links facilitate navigation and allow Google to get a better idea of your e-commerce’s structure.
Here’s an example:
✅ 5. Set up your sitemap
It doesn’t matter how big your site is – a sitemap will always help Google index it more easily.
Don’t forget that in many cases, Google’s spiders don’t go through all the pages within a website. Instead, they visit those that are closer to the homepage and then leave.
With a sitemap, you’ll make sure that the trackers index all the different paths your site has.
The sitemap can be created using a plugin, as we’ll see below, and can be uploaded to the “Sitemap” section of your Search Console profile.
👉 SEO plugins for WooCommerce that will help you to position your online store
You already know there are plugins galore for WooCommerce.
And, among them, there are many that have been designed especially to improve SEO on this platform or that will prove useful for these purposes.
Go ahead and take note of them because these plugins will be your best allies to reach Google’s summit. ;)
✅ 1. Yoast SEO
The plugin by Yoast is one of the most comprehensive tools available to improve your e-commerce SEO.
Here are some of the things it allows you to do:
- Optimize your content for SEO: You can enter one keyword per page (or more than one in the premium version) and Yoast gives you some advice on how to optimize the text. For example, it tells you where to place the keywords as well as if they’re mentioned in the text often enough.
- Set up your breadcrumbs: Sometimes you have the same product under different categories, which may make your breadcrumbs seem chaotic. Yoast allows you to assign a main category to each product to keep your links in order.
- Check your meta title and meta description: This plugin gives you a preview of your website on Google so you can make sure you don’t exceed the character limit for the title or description.
- Create your sitemap: The program generates an automatic sitemap of your shop that’s all set to be uploaded to Search Console.
Apart from its regular version (either premium or free), there’s also a specific WooCommerce version of Yoast SEO that offers you some extra functionality, like publishing your products on social media or checking for broken links.
Here’s another extensive plugin to work on your WooCommerce SEO. Rank Math lets you assess the overall status of your online shop’s positioning.
Among others, it allows you to:
- Monitor keywords: The plugin connects to Google Search to offer you information on your Google positioning for different search terms.
- Set up rich snippets: It allows you to include the code for 14 different types of rich snippets. As you know, these snippets are a great way of improving the CTR of your links on Google.
- Keep track of 404 errors: It’s normal for an e-commerce with loads of products to suffer from broken links. This plugin gives you a shout if it detects one so you can fix it.
If you use them together with Yoast SEO, you’ll have full and precise control over your online store’s positioning.
✅ 3. EWWW Image Optimizer
A well-known plugin that allows you to reduce the size of the images uploaded to your website.
Remember that Google penalizes slow-loading websites, so having your images optimized is essential for your SEO.
✅ 4. Doofinder
Between 15% and 30% of your visitors use the internal search engine to find a particular product and if the search results don’t meet their needs, they’ll try to find it elsewhere.
That’s why it’s crucial for you to have a good search engine that keeps them surfing YOUR website.
On top of that, a good internal search engine increases the conversion rate and the average checkout price of your customers. ;)
Doofinder’s plugin for WooCommerce can help you out here because it offers you:
- Synonym-based and self-completed searches
- Responsive design
- Location-based searches
- Product filters
This way, no client will say they couldn’t find the product they were after in your online shop. ;)
👉 Time to get to work on your WooCommerce SEO
Do you know what you have to do now to improve your online shop’s SEO?
In that case, it’s time to get on with the keywords, the sitemap, and everything we’ve told you.
If you want some extra help, don’t hesitate to read our mega guide for SEO for online shops (the perfect complement to this post).
Get your hands dirty and you’ll see how Google starts seeing you in a new light before you know it. ;)