Do you use all optimization techniques to maximize your online store’s search engine visibility? Selling products and services online is great. What you have to do is to create a WooCommerce site, add products, and start selling. How should the SEO optimization of your WooCommerce store be? In this article, we will talk about the tips to optimize category pages and how to use WooCommerce. Continue reading to learn more.
Why Do We Optimize Category Pages?
The e-commerce domain is very competitive. There are hundreds of e-commerce stores competing for one of the top locations on Google, and only a few manage to sell their products without spending a fortune for advertising. We will talk about the secrets of SEO, a three-letter word that can change the fate of your online business.
In this article, you will learn how to take your WooCommerce SEO to a whole new level. We are going to show you step by step how to optimize WooCommerce and start ranking for key keywords for your brand.
Is WooCommerce SEO Friendly?
Let’s start by answering a very popular question about WooCommerce. Is Woocommerce SEO friendly? The answer is yes. WooCommerce is an out-of-box product for SEO, but there is a big difference between having an SEO-friendly website and ranking high on Google for the keywords you actually want.
When we say WooCommerce is SEO friendly, we mean that it has some SEO features that can be used by SEO Specialists to optimize a website for SEO ranking. WooCommerce is not a stand-alone platform like Shopify; it is a plugin that needs WordPress to work. WordPress is perhaps SEO friendly CMS (Content Management System), and WooCommerce inherits most of these SEO functions.
However, you need to work hard to fully optimize a WooCommerce store, starting from your site structure, products, categories, tags, schemes, and more.
How to Use WooCommerce for SEO?
We will only talk about WooCommerce in this article because when it comes to categorization, WooCommerce is the king. It powers a third of all online stores, so let’s learn how to distinguish yours from the crowd.
Down below there is a list of the best WooCommerce SEO tips for tracking and fully optimizing your online store:
- Optimize Your Product’s Page Titles
- Add SEO Meta Definitions to all products
- Create SEO Friendly Product URLs
- Optimizing Product H1 Label
- Product Content Optimization
- Optimize product pictures and videos
- Enable and Optimize Breadcrumbs
- Optimize Your Store Structure
- Create SEO Category Pages
- Optimize and submit a sitemap to Google
- Check WooCommerce Schemes and Structured Data
- Speed up WooCommerce
- Make sure your page is mobile-friendly
- Promote your WooCommerce Store
Let’s branch these out. The first product on the list is SEO, for a very good reason. Product pages are the most important pages on your site, and these are the pages you want to rank higher in search.
Optimize Your Product Page Titles
Start by optimizing your page titles. Whatever you write on the <title> </title> tag of a product page, search engines are shown on the results pages (SERPS), and this is the first item browsers read.
To make your SEO work easier, you have to install the free version of the Yoast SEO plugin. This adds a section on all your product pages where you can optimize both titles, meta descriptions, and slugs.
To change the product title, log into your WooCommerce website, EDIT a product and go to the Yoast SEO plugin. Then, look for the SEO Title (you may need to click the Snippet Preview to see it).
Optimizing WooCommerce Product Titles
An SEO Friendly page title should identify the product or service you’re selling correctly – The title gives search engines and users a great tip on what to expect when visiting a webpage.
It is important that you should keep the length between 50-60 characters. It is the average number of characters displayed in Google search results.
Uniqueness is very important – Every product in your store must have its own unique title. Having more than one product in the same title will confuse search engines, and this may negatively affect your exposure in search.
Be different from what’s already on the first page of Google – this is essential if you want to increase your chances of a high ranking for a ‘seller keyword.’
Before you write a title for a product, open Google, and look for your product keywords. See what’s already available on the first page and try to differentiate your product titles.
Make sure your title is not a duplicate of what is already there, as Google will not show you the same title more than once.
You can differentiate your titles by adding advantages such as the example below. Remember how ‘Free Shipping’ pays attention to the click’s being different from the others.
Product Advantageous Title
SEO Keyword Insertion – Before creating a title, do your keyword research and choose which of each of your product pages
Determine if you want to rank SEO keywords. Determine if you want to have an excellent optimization of category pages.
Then search these keywords on Google, see what’s there, and create your headline to include these keywords, but also create your headline to make it unique, descriptive, and attractive for users to click.
This is the same steps as above, but we added it separately to emphasize that your product titles should be based not only on general search terms but keywords with a good search volume and clear user intent.
Keep your domain name to the right of the title – It’s common to add your domain or brand name to a product title, but it’s better to keep it to the right.
You should begin writing the title with the most important message with the product name, features, and benefits. You should keep the site name at the end.
The structure should be like this: “Product Title-Website Name”
Add SEO Meta Definitions to All Products
In addition to looking at product titles, you should also provide custom meta descriptions for all your products. You can do this by editing the META DESCRIPTION box of the Yoast SEO plugin while editing a product using WooCommerce.
Things you should know about product meta descriptions are:
- It is up to Google to decide whether they show the text you will provide or whether they create their own articles.
- In most cases, they tend to create custom meta descriptions using the text on the page.
- However, it is still important to have unique descriptions for all your products.
Product Meta Descriptions must be less than 160 characters – This is the average amount of characters shown in the search snippet.
Add keywords and product description and benefits – Use 160 characters wisely. Don’t repeat what’s in the title exactly, but try using similar keywords and get more benefits.
Create SEO Friendly Product URLs
Another element that requires your attention is product URLs. The first thing you should do is to check your WordPress settings and make sure the product permission links are configured correctly.
Select SETTING> PERMALINKS from the WordPress admin menu. Scroll down and find the PRODUCT PERMALINES section. “WooCommerce Permalink Settings” is where you will identify the permanent connection of your products. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin and to avoid any conflicts with existing WordPress pages, the URLs of all your products should start with a unique identifier. This can be the word ‘product’ or any identifier you believe is related to the products or services you sell.
Set your product permissions like this:
/ Products / product_category / product_name
In this way, you can add more products and lessons without letting any conflicts to occur, and this structure is SEO friendly.
You may follow the exact pattern for your WooCommerce store to ensure that your WooCommerce setup does not conflict with your WordPress posts and pages or different plugins.
Note: There are some plugins that can remove the requirement to have the product identifier and category name in the product URL. But we do not recommend it due to the duplicate URLs issue and performance by WooCommerce. From our experience with hundreds of WooCommerce installations, we recommend maintaining this URL structure.
In addition to paying attention to the permanent link structure of the product, you should also optimize the actual product URLs, which are the URLs for each product.
When editing a product, you can do so by changing the permanent link of the product.
How to change product permissions in WooCommerce?
Here are some guidelines for making SEO friendly products URLs:
- Use dashes (-) to separate words that make up the URL.
- Keep it brief and descriptive.
- Avoid words like ‘Moment,’ ‘‘and’ etc.
- Include keywords.
- Add the product name and its most important features.
- Keep unnecessary information at the end of the URL.
Optimizing Product H1 Label
The H1 Tag is what you see on the product page. It can be the same or different from the page title. You can use the H1 tag to give more information about the product, without worrying about the 60-character limit of the page title.
Product Content Optimization
One of the biggest problems of e-commerce websites, in general, is the duplicate content in product descriptions. This is a major SEO issue because if your product content is not unique, it does not give Google any incentives to maximize your pages. In particular, if you have the same product content as Amazon or other major online retailers, you have no chance to appear near Google’s first page. Therefore, the first thing to keep in mind is that you should do your best possible to write original product descriptions for all your products. Let’s see the best way to do this:
While you are editing a product in WooCommerce, there are two places where you can add product content:
Edit WooCommerce Product Description – The top is a long description of the product, and the bottom is a short description of the product.
If you have not customized your WooCommerce theme, when you add both a long and short product description and post the page, it looks like this:
WooCommerce Product Descriptions – A short description is shown at the top of the page and the long description of the product details below.
Both of these sections are important to SEO.
The top part (short description): Google shows the content shown at the top of the screen to make the content at the bottom of the page more important. To use this for your benefits, make sure that:
- You provide a UNIQUE short description for all your products.
- Include product name and key features
- Include a summary of product benefits
- You add the keywords you want to rank
- Here is what we have in our product brief description (We have customized our product page to look different from the default Woo theme).
“WooCommerce Product Short Description Example”: Notice that we use both keywords and product benefits in just two paragraphs. Amazon also does a great job with product descriptions above the bill.
Follow these best SEO practices
Make your product content unique. We are aware that it is tiring to re-read the importance of product uniqueness, but you have to understand it and have priority. We know it’s difficult to have 100% unique content for each of your products if you have similar products, but at least try to keep pieces of content on a product page that is not found on other pages of your website. For example, if you sell the same product in different sizes and colors, and you decide to have separate pages for each, add an appropriate ALT text and caption for each product page and images of that color and size. You can also add user-generated content (reviews) specific to that product (such as Amazon).
Use LSI or similar keywords – Note that besides providing an explanation that can convince users to buy your product, you should also give search engines accurate signals about the content of the page. You have cleverly added your target keywords, which is a great first step in your page title, URL, meta, and short descriptions.
In the product long definition, you should use long-tail keywords, related keywords, and semantically related keywords (also known as LSI keywords). These keywords should be the result of your keyword research. Read the guide below for step-by-step instructions.
Optimize Product Pictures and Videos
The images you add to your product page, product slider, or product descriptions should be optimized for SEO. Having optimized images increases your chances of ranking high in Google image search and also in Pinterest search. When adding images to WooCommerce using WordComress’s MEDIA function, you have the option to specify a title, ALT Text, Title, and Description.
WooCommerce Image SEO Settings
Title: Use the name of the product (without dashes)
SUBTEXT: Image is the most important element for SEO. It defines the product in the picture at the bottom. Try adding keywords wisely, but avoid using keywords only.
Caption: Write a caption and make sure it is displayed correctly under the image. The caption can be the same or different as the ALT text (recommended).
Description: This is optional. It is not used for SEO purposes.
Videos are a very useful tool, especially for the sale of physical products. You can add videos to your video description section to show the product features to customers. SEO wise, you should consider the following:
Upload Videos to YouTube. Create a YouTube Channel and upload your videos to YouTube and then embed it in WooCommerce.
Uploading and publishing videos from WordPress slows down your website. The best way is to place the video URL on YouTube on your product page by copying/pasting it. In this way, your chances of getting organic traffic from YouTube search will increase.
Enable and Optimize Breadcrumbs
WooCommerce has enabled the breadcrumbs trail for all pages by default. WooCommerce Breadcrumbs is a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to restyle the breadcrumbs. Otherwise, you can change your WooCommerce theme or use a custom plugin (like Yoast SEO). Breadcrumbs are very useful for a WooCommerce store. Help users go-to product categories to view similar products, and search engines use them to better understand site structure.
In terms of SEO, you need to make sure that your crumb track has valid structured data. You can read below how to check your schema implementation.
Optimize Your Store Structure
We have gone through the steps to optimize your products so far, but you should not forget the structure of your store site. Having a simple and well-organized site structure makes browsing faster, makes your website suitable for Google links, and simplifies product maintenance. Optimizing your WooCommerce site structure is not difficult; all you have to do is:
Create a Hierarchical structure with up to 3 levels. Configure your permalink structure (as described above) to have the following hierarchy. In this way, you can organize your products into categories and subcategories on demand and still make the products accessible from the home page with three clicks or less.
Make sure your menu and breadcrumbs accurately display the URL structure. Your main menu and crumb trail should follow your site structure. For example, if you chose to have subcategories, your top menu should list the main categories and click or click on the mouse to display the subcategories. The same applies to the breadcrumb trail, which should be shown in the breadcrumb menu if a product is part of the subcategory.
Provide a user sitemap
A user sitemap is very important for e-commerce sites. The sitemap should reflect the site hierarchy. If you check your analytics for users such as sitemaps, you will notice that the sitemap page is one of the most visited pages of your website.
Create SEO Category Pages
As I mentioned above, one of the biggest problems of e-commerce websites is copy content, and this also applies to category pages. Unlike a non-e-commerce website, an online store must have category pages. They are very important in terms of usability, but they also have roles in SEO. Categories optimized for SEO can be well ranked in search. WooCommerce uses the same concept as WordPress when it comes to categories. The product category is an archive page, like a blog’s category page. You can find CATEGORY settings under PRODUCTS.
By default, a WooCommerce category displays the product name, thumbnail, and price of products in a particular category. If you want your product category pages to rank in search, you need to add some content (promotional paragraph) to EDIT your categories and help Google understand what kind of products a particular category is selling.
If you have enabled pagination in category pages, you must provide a canonical URL to point to the main category pages for each of the sub-pages. This is an advanced SEO concept, don’t worry, make sure Yoast SEO is installed and will automatically set the canonical URLs.
Optimize and Submit a Sitemap to Google
A WordPress website with WooCommerce enabled has too many pages, but not all pages are important for ranking. For example, you don’t need to submit your ‘payment,’ ‘shopping cart,’ ‘order received’ and ‘account’ pages to Google. In most cases, you don’t need product tag pages or author archives. As part of WooCommerce SEO optimization, you only need to optimize your XML sitemap. It is important for your website (home page, product pages, product category pages, blog) and has unique content. To do this, you can use Yoast SEO and, once ready, submit your sitemap to Google.
Check WooCommerce Schemes and Structured Data
WooCommerce provides support for built-in schema formatting. This is great news because schemes and structured data are one of the best ways to describe your content (and products) to search engines so they can understand it.
It is also used in Google search results to create rich snippets that can lead to higher CTR and more google traffic.
A default WooCommerce installation (Yoast SEO Plugin Installed) provides the following schemes:
Your first step is to open the structured data testing tool and check your home page, product category, and product pages. If you don’t have any errors or warnings, you don’t need to do anything else. In most cases, these are all schemes you need to follow.
In case of a warning, you probably need to edit your products and provide the necessary information, and in the event of an error, the best solution is to hire a developer to look for problems and fix them. Do you like our tips for optimizing category pages so far? Keep on reading.
Speed Up WooCommerce
Loading speed is a known ranking factor and a factor that can affect sales. Several studies show a direct relationship between a website’s load time and conversions. The page speed is a crucial topic for the optimization of category pages.WooCommerce is constantly striving to improve the loading speed of WooCommerce supported websites. The things can do to speed up your WooCommerce site are:
- Make sure you are running the latest version of both WordPress and WooCommerce.
- Upgrade your PHP to the latest stable version. Check with your hosting provider for options.
- Make sure you have your own VPS hosting and not using shared hosting.
- If you have a lot of images, use a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
- Avoid installing too many plugins. Plugins are great, but lots of plugins can slow down a website.
- Review the WooCommerce System Status Report (found under WooCommerce> Status) and follow the suggestions
- Use a cache plugin compatible with WooCommerce. We can suggest Wp-rocket, but there are other options.
Make Sure Your Page is Mobile-Friendly
Whether your WooCommerce website is mobile friendly depends on the theme you use. This has nothing to do with WooCommerce kernel functionality. What you should know is that more than 60% of searches and the vast majority of e-commerce transactions are now carried out on mobile devices. This means that if your website is not mobile-friendly, you have minimized your chances of getting valuable SEO traffic or selling. So before doing anything else, run the Google mobile-friendly test and fix the issues. Make no mistake; this step is mandatory, not optional. Many WooCommerce stores we work with have been optimized for desktop computers only, and no care has been taken for mobile devices. The result was, they were making half the sales they could do if their website was mobile-friendly.
Promote your WooCommerce Store
Working on your technical and page SEO is just one piece of the puzzle. You need to work hard on your off-page SEO to be successful at the optimization of category pages and to be on the top of competitive ‘purchase’ keywords. It consists of several sections, including off-page SEO:
Link Building – creating high-quality links from reliable websites.
Brand Promotion – Making people talk about your brand on your forum and other websites.
Social Media Promotion – building a community on social media networks that talk about your brand and products.
Video Promotion – It shows how to Publish optimized video content on YouTube.
Off-Page SEO, which is one of the most challenging areas of SEO, and it gets harder when you need to promote an online store. The main reason is to ensure that people connect with your product pages and talk about your products on social media unless they are competitors. One of the best ways to overcome these obstacles is content marketing and especially blogging. Launching a blog is a great way to increase your exposure, which can lead to more traffic and sales on search engines and social networks. You can read various E-Commerce Blog guides, which contain all the details about how to structure and write your blog.
WooCommerce is SEO friendly, but this means that any WooCommerce website can rank high on Google without working on technical SEO, content, site structure, and off-page SEO. When you are optimizing your WooCommerce store, We suggest you follow the steps in the order described above.
Your top priority is your products. This is what you are selling, and these are the pages where you want to attract search engine traffic and sell. Think about your product titles and URLs and work on the product content. You should provide as much information as possible to users (and search engines) in a language that both can understand.
Research for keywords and find out what keywords people are using for your products and make sure they are included in all SEO optimization elements. Work on mobile ease of use and page speed and make sure your website is mobile-friendly and fast.
When you’re done with SEO, start thinking about how best to promote your brand on the Internet (on other websites and social networks). Having an effective blog with quality content can solve most problems with website promotion.
We optimize our site to make it rank higher in Google search results.
WooCommerce is an open-source internet business module for WordPress. It is intended for little to huge measured online dealers utilizing WordPress.
WooCommerce and WordPress are both free, open-source programming.
Thanks for reading this article until the end. We hope that it helps you grow your SEO knowledge. If you want to read more SEO-related blog posts of InstaFollowers, click here. If you want to learn more about Category optimization, then check this video out by IgniteVisibility: