WooCommerce SEO Guide: 9 Best Ways To Rank High In Google

woocommerce-seo-guide

These days WooCommerce has become one of the most powerful e-commerce platforms. It is estimated that there are around 4 millions online stores running on WooCommerce. From this, you can see how popular and competitive WooCommerce is. So what do you need to do to boost online sales? The answer is WooCommerce SEO optimization.

Your WooCommerce store looks so attractive with a variety of products, but customers cannot find it when it is not ranked high on Google. Therefore, SEO is a must for any WooCommerce stores and considered the best way to help your website easily reach customers.

In the article today, we would like to introduce you to the ultimate WooCommerce SEO guide by covering the main ideas below:

  • Is WooCommerce SEO-friendly?
  • What is WooCommerce SEO?
  • 9 best ways for WooCommerce sites to rank high on Google

Is WooCommerce SEO-friendly?

For those who first build an e-commerce site, they often raise the question: “Is WooCommerce SEO-friendly?”

The answer is yes. WooCommerce is very SEO friendly. That being said, you need to realize the big difference between having an SEO-friendly website and actually ranking high on Google for the keywords you want. When we say that WooCommerce is SEO friendly, it means it has built-in features that can be used for optimizing a website for Google rankings.

WooCommerce is not an independent platform like Shopify, it is a plugin that requires the WordPress core to run. Meanwhile, WordPress is the best CMS for SEO. As a result, WooCommerce inherits most of the SEO functions from WordPress.

However, you have to do more and more to optimize your WooCommerce store. The optimization starts from the structure to products, categories, tags, schemas, and more.

That’s also the reason why we are here to take you to our WooCommerce SEO guide.

9 best ways for WooCommerce sites to rank high in Google

For your store to get high rankings, you cannot miss our WooCommerce SEO guide below:

Set up a good WooCommerce SEO plugin

SEO optimization is the thing every online store needs to do for higher ranking, more visitors and conversion rates.

With a WooCommerce SEO plugin, you can create and optimize lots of things, from optimizing keywords for meta titles, descriptions, and images of every WooCommerce page to adding your XML sitemap.

Your WooCommerce site will be optimized much better thanks to SEO plugins like Yoast, Rank Math, All in One SEO Pack, or SEO Ultimate.

Although our WooCommerce SEO guide is not all about Yoast or Rank Math, it is still the first and foremost thing you have to think about when doing SEO for WooCommerce sites. And here we introduce you to Top 10+ Best Free WordPress SEO plugins for WooCommerce store in 2020.

In this article, we would like to instruct you to set up your WooCommerce store with Rank Math.

First of all, come to WordPress SEO settings

Before doing any WooCommerce SEO tips, you need to do WordPress SEO settings first.

  • Fill up the “Site Title & Tagline” sections

In the Site Title box, you will add your company’s name while describing your products briefly for Tagline.

  • Check the status of search engine visibility

Make sure that the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” option is not selected.

  • Use the canonical tag to avoid duplicate content

For Google, every URL has only one page with unique content. Despite pointing to the same page, different versions of “WWW,” non-WWW,” “HTTP,” and “HTTPS” are still considered different pages.

If you are running a WooCommerce store, your products may be assigned to this category, then to that tag. As a result, you will have some URLs like:

  1. https://www.yourdomain.com/tag/product-A/
  2. https://www.yourdomain.com/category/product-A/
  3. https://www.yourdomain.com/product-A/

What you need to do is let Google know the standard version.

With Rank Math, you simply go to the Advanced tab and add the actual version of the URL.

  • Create a friendly permalink structure

A clean URL structure is always highly appreciated by Google and bring good user experience. Then, instead of selecting Default, you choose Custom base and fill a suitable link structure.

It’s time to get to WooCommerce SEO settings

After covering the WordPress SEO settings, you continue with the important settings for your WooCommerce store. You may have to enable some of the settings below.

Go to Rank Math > Dashboard to check whether WooCommerce SEO optimization is enabled or not.

Go to Rank Math >> General Settings >> WooCommerce and enable:

  • Remove Base

The removal of redundant prefixes will make your URLs shorter, which makes it easy for visitors and search engines to navigate.

  • Remove Category Base

/product-category/ is the default WooCommerce category that is meaningless to your users and Google. Therefore, after creating your own category, you should remove it.

  • Remove Parent Slugs

For some reasons, people want to remove parent page’s slug from their child pages. If you also like to do it, you enable this section.

  • Remove WooCommerce Generator Tag

Sometimes, the meta generator tag is considered not really necessary for your WooCommerce store. Therefore, it is recommended to remove it from your web code.

  • Remove Schema Markup on Shop Page

In case you want to remove Schema Markup on shop archive pages, enable the option as below.

  • Remove Snippet data From Categories

Besides, you can disable the feature of adding Schema data to your category pages by enabling Remove Snippet Data.

Optimize WooCommerce product pages

When it comes to WordPress WooCommerce SEO, we cannot ignore the product SEO, which is regarded as the deciding factor helping boost your online store. If you cannot design these pages with a well-optimized structure for good visibility on search engines, then your WooCommerce store will miss the opportunity to get more and more traffic and sales.

Below are the specific steps you should follow to optimize WooCommerce product SEO on your website.

  • Learn more about keyword intent
  • Write a unique and descriptive product title
  • Write a smart product description
  • Create SEO-friendly URLs
  • Optimize product images
  • Add product attributes & variations
  • Encourage customers to write reviews

For more WooCommerce SEO tutorials on product pages, you should refer to 7 handy tips to improve SEO for WooCommerce Product Pages

Optimize product categories and tags

Next, our WooCommerce SEO guide wants to mention the two important elements that considerably contribute to building a proper content structure for your WooCommerce store. They are categories and tags.

First of all, you need to know the difference between categories and tags to use them properly.

Creating product categories is aimed at grouping similar products on the website. Categories can be hierarchical, meaning that a category can include many other sub-categories. For example, if you store sells clothes and fashion accessories, then you can create category pages like handbags, jewellery, watches, leggings, and sunglasses.

You can add a new category by going to Products >> Categories and fill in the information.

When you create any product, product categories will be displayed in the right side. Just select the one matching your product.

Meanwhile, tags describe the specific features of your product, including prominent and relevant keywords. For instance, if your product is a men’s T-shirt, then you can add some tags like cotton, crew neck, and summer wear.

Tags are also created in the same way as categories:

Here is the way the your product tags appear when you build product pages.

In general, using WooCommerce product categories and tags will make your store well-organized, helping visitors quickly find the products to buy when they access your site. Google also loves them because they greatly enhance the user experience.

After you add categories and tags, WooCommerce will automatically create their new pages. Then, Google also crawls and indexes the category pages. Therefore, you will have more keywords that can be also ranked on search engines.

Diversify on-site content

You have a WooCommerce store with a variety of products. But don’t provide visitors with only the product description. Make your site more diverse with various types of content. Our WooCommerce SEO guide introduces you to five basic types of content, including blogging, images, videos, buying guide, and customer stories.

Blogging

WooCommerce websites should have a blog that is so useful for SEO and regarded as a part of content marketing. Apart from increasing traffic, this type of content is used for other e-commerce purposes.

You are competing with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of brands, so don’t live in hope that customers will go directly to your website to buy. It is better to let them approach your site through useful information (tips, tutorials, guide, and so on) relevant to the product.

You need to do the research market to find out the keywords to target before deciding what to write. Remember that everything you do is to gain conversions.

Original images

The biggest challenge of selling products online is that customers cannot touch and feel what you will offer before they buy it. They rely on images a lot. Therefore, make sure you have tons of product images from almost every angle. This is essential for your product pages, even you can also reuse images on other social channels.

Videos

The images are somewhat not inspirational enough, but the video can tell the whole story.

Besides, 90% of consumers say that video supports their purchase decision while 54% of consumers want to see more video content from the brands they like. The placement of videos on landing pages can increase conversions by up to 80%.

Like images, in addition to your site, you can reuse them on any social channels. In short, video content should be included in the marketing strategy for any WooCommerce websites.

Product buying guide

The product buying guide is essential for the same reason as a blog. They can be used to drive traffic to your WooCommerce site. Moreover, when people are searching for more information about specific products, they come to the middle of your funnel. Make sure all purchase instructions you have CTAs for a better conversion rate.

Customer stories

There are many different ways to tell customer stories. They can be reviews, testimonials, or case studies. They also can be in different formats such as texts, images, videos, or blog posts. Create separate landing pages for customer stories and share them on social media.

Improve website navigation

The next point of the WooCommerce SEO guide is about the website’s navigation structure is a key factor in boosting a WooCommerce site. A standard navigation system will contribute to improving visitor experiences when they access your e-commerce website.

For a WooCommerce store, it is recommended to:

Enable Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs serve as a small road sign, helping to remind users where they are on the website. There are three main types of breadcrumbs, including attribute, path, and location-based breadcrumbs. Especially, the attribute-based one is most used for WooCommerce stores.

They help your users navigate to product categories to see similar products, helping reduce your bounce rate while search engines see them to better understand your site structure. What’s more, breadcrumbs appear in the SERPs, increasing the likelihood of users clicking on your results among many other search results.

There are dozens of plugins that can help you enable breadcrumbs, but we recommend setting up Rank Math and Yoast SEO. These WooCommerce SEO plugins also include breadcrumb features, then you don’t need to add a breadcrumb plugin to your site.

With Yoast SEO, you add the code below to single.php, page.php, or header.php

<?php
if ( function_exists('yoast_breadcrumb') ) {
  yoast_breadcrumb( '<p id="breadcrumbs">','</p>' );
}
?>

Then, in your Yoast dashboard, you go to SEO >> Search Appearance >> Breadcrumbs. At the Breadcrumb settings, you toggle the switch to Enabled.

With Rank Math, you go to Rank Math > General Settings > Breadcrumbs, then turn on breadcrumbs.

Besides enabling breadcrumbs, you should also:

  • Build a visual hierarchy to help your potential customers to find the items they are looking for at their fingertips. You are advised to make key sections outstanding compared to other parts on the website through colours, sizes, fonts, and so on.
  • Choose the best navigation bar location: it is located at the top left of the screen
  • Use a drop-down menu to give visitors more options right at that time

Optimize site structure

A site structure that is simple and well-organized will make Google crawl your site faster. It is not difficult to optimize your WooCommerce website structure is not difficult, all you need to do include:

Create a hierarchy with no more than 3 levels

Configure your permalink structure to get this hierarchy: / products / product_category / product_subcategory (optional) / product

This way you can put your products in categories and subcategories while still being able to access the products from the homepage in 3 clicks or less.

Make sure your menu and breadcrumb follow the site structure

Your main menu and breadcrumb trail should follow the structure of your website. For example, if you choose to have subcategories, your top menu will list the main categories, then click or mouse over to show subcategories.

The same thing goes for the breadcrumb trail. If a product is part of a subcategory, then it is displayed on the breadcrumb menu.

Provide a XML and HTML sitemap

There are two types of sitemaps, including XML and HTML sitemaps. The main difference between them is that the XML one primarily helps search engines find out different pages on your site while the HTML one is written for the users.

If you are using Yoast SEO plugin, you can enable the sitemap feature in the section of Advanced settings pages to have an XML sitemap.

Once the XML sitemap is enabled, we recommend that you submit it to the Google Search Console tool.

The user sitemap (HTML sitemap) is very important for WooCommerce stores. It reflects the site hierarchy. Almost all the users love sitemaps, and if you check the Google analytics, you’ll notice the sitemap page is one of the most visited pages on your site.

If you want to create an HTML site map for WooCommerce, use the WP Sitemap Page plugin.

Optimize website speed and security

In WooCommerce, speed and security are two of the most important SEO factors. In other words, your WooCommerce site cannot reach the top Google position without optimizing these two factors.

Few potential customers are willing to visit the website with slow speed. Once getting poor experience, almost all of them will choose to leave your site with the thought that your site is not professional enough to put their trust. Bad user experience, of course, will lead to loss of traffic and conversions. Besides, it comes as no surprise to see your rankings to drop on Google.

Onpage SEO và Technical SEO It is essential to check your speed and optimize it to the best. If you are seeking for a method, please check out more WooCommerce SEO tips at Find Out 11 Best Ways To Speed Up Your WooCommerce Store.

Together with speed, security plays a vital role in WooCommerce SEO. But it is related to not only user experience but also causes a lot of consequences. Without having the best security, your WooCommerce stores may have to face the risk of business & customer data theft, a loss of revenue and reputation, and many others. Therefore, it is necessary to learn how to secure your WooCommerce store.

Do off-page SEO

Email marketing

To be honest, email marketing is not only for just a specific e-commerce content strategy. There are many ways for your e-commerce store to leverage emails.

Whenever someone purchases something on your website, you will have the opportunity to send them a small campaign related to that purchase.

It can be an order confirmation, shipping notice, delivery information, or order’s shipping status. They are all good excuses to send emails to customers because all of them provide the information customers want to see.

After taking notice of people, you can take advantages of emails to gain more conversions. For example, you can offer a discount code for an upcoming product (up-sell) or show them product recommendations based on what they have bought (cross-sell).

Then, there will be five basic types of emails you can use for your marketing campaigns, including:

  • Confirmation emails: as mentioned above, this type helps you approach customers through the ask for confirmation.
  • Drip campaigns: you will automatically send a series of emails according to schedule. They can be some pieces of information, reports, products, or promotions. These emails work towards the ultimate goal of selecting a customer file that can bring more conversions.
  • Promotional emails: you can show incentives, aimed at getting conversions.
  • Newsletters: Considered the most popular type, these emails are sent daily, weekly, or monthly, covering the information related to your business’s products, news, events, and other updates.
  • Lead nurturing: sending these mails to nurture leads, making them aware of your brand, taking them to your website, and turning them into your customers.

For email marketing campaigns to run more smoothly, we recommend you the top effective software such as Mailbluster, Mailchimp, Getresponse, and SendinBlue.

Guest posting

This is one of the most effective techniques for link building of WooCommerce stores. That being said, say no to spamming and keyword stuffing. If not, you will face a Google penalty.

To promote your products and improve your website’s ranking through guest posting, you need to thoroughly research the partner’s websites to see whether they are reliable or not; their traffic is high or not. In addition, you also need to find the sites whose content is related to yours, which will help build sustainable backlinks.

With a good guest blogging strategy, you will not only earn high-quality backlinks but also turn you into an authority in that area.

Social media marketing

Before starting to create your social media marketing campaigns, consider your business goal. You should first define what you want to achieve through social media marketing; who is your target audience; what social media channels your target audiences are using; which message you want to convey to your audience through social media.

In general, an effective social media marketing strategy can meet the following goals:

  • Increase website traffic
  • Create more conversion rates
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Bring different points for the brand

The more audiences you have on social networking sites, the easier it is to achieve your digital marketing goals.

Influencer outreach

Influencer Marketing is a form of marketing that uses influencers who have a relatively large number of followers online to send your brand’s message to people. Influencers can help you increase brand awareness, build trust and reliability, approach to the right customers, and bring back many potential and quality customers.

To choose the right influencer, you need to consider whether his/her followers are the target audience of your campaign and see if that influencer is suitable for your product or brand.

Last but not least, track the website with SEO tools

Apart from optimizing, tracking the website is an essential step that our WooCommerce SEO guide wants to mention here. To do that, you need support from some tracking tools like WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration and Google Search Console.

There are numerous types of information you need to research before and during the process of implementing SEO strategies. It is important to collect data about visitors’ areas, habits, actions, thoughts, and so on. From there, you can understand more about your potential customers and improve their journey. For all these things, WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration is the best choice for you. To install and activate this plugin for your WooCommerce, of course, you need a Google Analytics account before that.

If WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration provides you with customer data, Google Search Console helps you see how your site performs on search engines. With this tool, you can check index status, SEO technical errors, traffic data, backlinks, mobile performance, and so on. You cannot have an effective SEO strategy without Google Search Console.

Each tool comes with different features and functions. Then, it is recommended to combine them.

3 things you should avoid for WooCommerce SEO

Besides, our WooCommerce SEO guide recommends you avoiding some things below:

Delete WooCommerce products

Your WooCommerce site has some out-of-stock products because you have not imported those products or they are no longer in business. In another case, you create seasonal pages in special events like Christmas or Black Friday. After these events end, all the coupons and deals on those pages are no longer valuable. So with these out-of-stock products or seasonal pages, how should you handle them?

It is advisable not to delete any WooCommerce product pages because this action not only creates a bad user experience but also affects SEO and traffic. Not any visitors love 404 pages. Even they will think that your website is faulty or no longer working.

Besides, deleting a page from the website, especially the page ranking high in Google, will cause a number of SEO problems:

  • Lose link juice from passed from the product page to other pages on the website
  • Disrupt links from other pages on the website or backlinks from elsewhere pointing to that product page
  • Be lost from Google’s index

To solve this issue, you should create a 301 redirect. But don’t redirect that product page to the home page. It is highly recommended to redirect it to its category or a similar product.

Duplicate content

For e-commerce sites, duplicate content often comes from product information. If different websites sell the same item and they all use the manufacturer’s description for those items, duplicate content will be generated. It is called external duplicate content

Meanwhile, internal duplicate content appears in tag pages, filter pages, category pages, single product pages added to different categories, and pagination.

For internal duplicate content, Google does not impose a penalty. But if your website has external duplicate content, then it will receive harsh Google penalties such as making your ranks drop, removing your index, or removing your website from search engines.

To avoid duplicating content, you need to:

  • Not steal content from other websites
  • Regularly check for duplicate content on your website
  • Check if you content is stolen by any other website
  • Select a URL to be indexed by the spider and use robots.txt to prevent the similar URLs in case there are multiple URLs on the same domain pointing to the same content.
  • Use the duplicate checking tool to remove duplicate pages or prevent spiders from indexing these pages

Stuff keywords

In the past, SEOers used to add so many keywords with high search volume in their content, aimed at boosting the website ranking well on search engines. However, this keyword stuffing often makes content unnatural.

Google is now smart enough to be aware of this poor SEO technique. Therefore, this method is no longer effective and you should stop doing it. Instead, you should use keywords at a moderate density. Apart from the main content, you find a way to distribute main keywords and sub keywords to other different parts on the page such as titles, meta descriptions, headers, URLs, and alt text.

For the final word,

Although WooCommerce is SEO friendly, you cannot rank higher on search engines without applying the above SEO techniques.

Some WooCommerce owners wonder after optimizing all these factors, how long does it take for your keywords to rank high? WooCommerce structure, content, and backlinks account for up to 75% of the success rate. But truthfully, there are some other factors affecting your rankings, particularly, which product you select for SEO, how strong your competitors are, and so on.

Thanks for reading our article. Hopefully, our WooCommerce SEO guide will help increase your WooCommerce site’s ranking. If you have any contributions or queries, please leave your comment in the box below!

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