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Planning an ecommerce site with WooCommerce?
Hold your horses before you launch – SEO needs to be part of the plan from day one.
Neglect SEO, and no one will be able to find your new online store. Do SEO right from the start, and you’ll drive organic traffic and sales much faster.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through the crucial SEO strategies and best practices for optimizing a WooCommerce powered store. Follow these tips, and you’ll boost your site’s visibility and organic reach.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Important SEO basics for WooCommerce sites
- Optimizing site architecture and URL structure
- Fine-tuning WooCommerce SEO settings
- Creating optimized content and product pages
- Technical site optimization for WooCommerce
- Building high quality backlinks the right way
- Analyzing traffic and performance with Google Analytics
Let’s dive in!
Must-Have SEO Basics for Any WooCommerce Site
Before diving into WooCommerce-specific tactics, there are core SEO best practices that apply to any site.
You need this strong SEO foundation for your store to rank and drive organic sales.
Choosing the Right Hosting
Your web host has a big impact on site speed and uptime, which are both SEO ranking factors.
Stick with well-known managed WordPress hosts like SiteGround, Bluehost, or Kinsta for WooCommerce sites. Avoid cheap, low-quality hosting which can negatively affect performance.
Google prioritizes secure sites with HTTPS. It’s a must for SEO and conversions.
Most managed WP hosts include free SSL certificates to easily activate HTTPS across your store.
Optimize Site Speed
Page speed impacts SEO rankings, bounce rate, and conversions. Use caching plugins like WP Rocket and enable other speed optimizations like compressed images, minimal plugins, and optimized code.
Aim for under 2 second load times on mobile and desktop. Test with Google PageSpeed Insights.
Over half of ecommerce site traffic comes from smartphones. If your WooCommerce store isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll lose visibility and sales.
Choose responsive WooCommerce themes and test across devices. Google Search Console will also notify you of mobile usability issues.
This covers the ecommerce SEO basics – now let’s look at WooCommerce specific optimizations.
Optimizing Your WooCommerce Site Architecture
How you structure URLs and organize your WooCommerce site has a big impact on SEO. Follow these architecture best practices:
Use a Logical URL Structure
Clean, descriptive URLs are better for usability and SEO. Add context with categories, tags, and readable product names:
Avoid overly long or complex URLs if possible.
Set Up a Separate Product Category Base
Give your product pages their own canonical URL structure using /product/ or /shop/:
This separates products from other site content for better crawling.
Eliminate Duplicate Content
Avoid duplicate versions of product pages on your site. Use 301 redirects to point multiple URLs to one canonical product URL.
Structure Product URLs by Category
Organize product URLs hierarchically by product type, subcategories, etc.
Create a Sitemap
Add an XML sitemap that lists all product pages to improve indexing. Include categories, tags, and other dynamic URLs.
Optimizing Your WooCommerce SEO Plugin Settings
WooCommerce SEO plugins like Yoast SEO add key functionality for optimizing product pages. Configure these properly:
Enable Session Tracking
This allows the plugin to pull dynamic product data like price and inventory. Needed for up-to-date SEO meta data.
Product Title & Description Templates
Define title and meta description templates using crucial ecommerce elements like %product_name%, %price%, etc.
Add Schema Markup
Enhance product pages with schema like Product, Offer, Reviews, Breadcrumbs. This helps search engines understand the content.
There are also settings for sitemaps, trailing slashes, redirects and more. Tweak as needed.
Optimizing Individual Product Pages
Each product page also needs dedicated SEO optimization for maximum visibility and sales.
Include Target Keywords
Do research to find relevant long tail product keywords. Include these organically in titles, descriptions, alt text, and page content.
Optimize Page Titles
Keep product titles under 60 characters. Include key information like brand, product name, and descriptor:
[Brand] [Product Name] - [3-5 Word Descriptor]
Write Detailed Descriptions
The meta description summarizes the product, key benefits, and incentivizes clicking.
Aim for 150-160 characters. Use compelling sales copy and power words.
Add Useful Content
Include deeper product information, buyer’s guides, visuals, etc. This provides a richer experience.
Include High Quality Images
Optimize images file names and alt text for keywords. Compress for faster loading.
Technical WooCommerce SEO Optimizations
Dialing in your WooCommerce site’s technical SEO will further boost organic visibility and conversions.
Enhance Site Speed
Optimize images, enable caching, minimize plugins and third party scripts for faster load times. Slow sites get penalized.
Fix Indexing Issues
Use indexing tools in Search Console to identify and resolve any crawl errors, invalid pages, etc.
Configure proper 301 redirects for any changed or removed product URLs. Retain link authority.
Fix any duplicate content issues like outdated product descriptions on category pages. Go through XML Sitemap for any duplicates.
Set up SSL across the entire site, not just checkout. Enable HTTPS versions of resources like CSS and JS files.
With the technical site health optimized as well, now we can look at building links and tracking site analytics.
Building Backlinks to WooCommerce Sites
Quality backlinks remain one of the top ranking factors. Ethical link building strategies like:
Create Linkworthy Content
Target informational keywords like reviews and “best of” articles. Promote on social media, outreach, etc.
Guest Post Outreach
Contact webmasters in your industry to contribute content with a link back to your site. Focus on getting placements on quality, relevant sites versus spammy directories.
Earn Press Mentions
Pitch your product to journalists at major publications for possible reviews and mentions. Brand authority builders.
Foster User Generated Content
Encourage customers to post reviews, product photos, etc. Likes and engagement help SEO.
Slowly earn authoritative backlinks from trusted sources. Avoid shady tactics that can get your site penalized.
Analyzing WooCommerce SEO with Google Analytics
Finally, connect Google Analytics to track key SEO data:
Monitor organic search growth. Set up channels for email, social, referral traffic.
See the keywords driving traffic to analyze opportunities. Look for buyer keywords.
Find your best entry pages. Optimize pages getting high traffic but low engagement.
High bounce rates indicate content problems. Improve pages with subpar engagement.
Google Analytics connects SEO efforts to tangible results. Configure it from the start.
Get Your WooCommerce SEO Right from the Start
As you can see, meticulous SEO is required for WooCommerce stores to reach their highest potential.
But get it right from the initial build, and your ecommerce site will be positioned for organic growth and sales success.
So keep this comprehensive SEO guide handy as you develop and launch your online store. With the strategies above, your WooCommerce site will be able to capitalize on rich organic traffic sources.
Now get out there, set up an SEO-optimized WooCommerce store, and start driving targeted customers to boost those sales!