Essential Woocommerce Seo Plugins

WooCommerce made it extremely easy for anyone to create an eCommerce website. It’s easy to setup and manage, it’s fast on good hosting, it require little to none technical knowledge etc.

You don’t need to be a webdesign guru or a developer to do things like SEO and modify your store with ease.

Today we are going to cover the perfect SEO setup for your WooCommerce shop – a curated list of 6 essential plugins to boost your store search ranking and traffic.

Key SEO Ranking Factors

There are numerous key factors that Google takes into account when ranking your website. The complete list consists of more than 250 and no one really know them all, but here are some of the most important ones:

  • Overall User Experience
  • On-Page SEO & Content Quality
  • Site Loading Speed
  • Mobile-Friendly Design and Functionality
  • Internal Linking Structure
  • Using Structured Markups

 

Caching Plugins

Let’s face the truth – loading speed is crucial for your website ranking, especially today that over 70% of the users browse the Internet on mobile devices. Forget about “Content is King” and all other cliches. If your site is slow – you won’t get good position SERPs. Not only that, but also web pages loading for more than 3 seconds have 90% chance to be abandoned.

Even on 5G, 4G, LTE and the like enabled devices, if the user is in a spot with bad coverage, your site is not going to load fast without the right optimization. We have already discussed the importance of quality WordPress hosting when it comes to loading speed, so let’s take a look at what else can be done for your website.

Caching plugins in general helps to make your site faster by storing their content in static format, so the browser don’t need to load it from your database over and over again. Less requests to your server, less CPU usage, compressed data – all this helps tremendously.

So, without further ado, here is the first recommended plugin:

WP Super Cache and Autoptimize

Wait! What? These are 2 plugins!

Yes, you’re right. We are huge fans of this duo. WP Super Cache handles the caching of your content, while Autoptimize would minify, combine and compress your HTML, CSS and JavaScript files.

Of course, there are number of plugins that can do both (e.g. – W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket etc.), but they are over-complicated for the average user and it’s pretty easy to do more hard to diagnose harm than good with such universal solutions.

Why WP Super Cache?

Well… It’s definitely not the best caching plugin, that’s for sure. However, it offers everything you really need until you reach “expert” level. Given the fact you end up reading this article, you are most probably not at that level yet.

WP Super Cache

Moreover, the WP Super Cache Plugin is built by Automatic – the company behind both WordPress and WooCommerce, so it’s perfectly balanced and 100% compatible with the core system features.

Why Autoptimize?

While WP Super Cache is a great plugin, it certainly lack some features you can find in more professionally oriented tools, like CSS and JS minifying, and combining. That’s exactly the gap Autoptimize covers. It would minify and compress your generated HTML, combine and compress your CSS and JS files, and what’s even more important – it’d help eliminate render-blocking resources on your website.  Loading render-blocking resources like JavaScript files is one of the major loading speed problems.

Additionally, both plugins can benefit from CDN integration, so you can load static resources from different locations and improve the overal loading speed.

Autoptimize

Caching also helps a lot reducing your hosting server load, which is another huge benefit for your site (and pocket).

 

Image Optimization

Images are usually the heaviest resource to load on any website and WooCommerce shops are no different. When you save an image on your computer or download it from the internet the file contains a lot of data that’s actually useless on your website, but adds to the overall file size. Using image compression tools help reduce the file size and also optimize the image quality to a point where it’s small enough without compromising it’s visual appeal.

With all that said, it’s time for our number 2:

Smush

Smush is an Image Compression Tool that can be used to optimize all the images across your website or entire multi-site network!

It’s super easy to use – no complicated settings. You can smush images in your library one by one or bulk smush up to 50 images at a time. You can also configure auto-smush to asynchronously scale and compress some or all of your images as they are being uploaded.

The faster your site loads, the more Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines will like it. Your site will load faster and rank higher. Additionally, with the PRO version of the plugin, you can compress your originally uploaded images and automatically resize oversized images.

Smush Image Compression and Optimization

 

A SEO Plugin

Everyone who is running a website has heard a thing or two about SEO. A good on-page SEO is crucial for your site’s search ranking and traffic. While WordPress is extremely well-coded CMS and pretty much SEO friendly out of the box, there are still a lot of things to be done if you want your site to stand out in search engines. While most of the on page SEO can be done manually, Specialized WordPress SEO plugins can add that last drop that would make the difference. Plus, such plugins perform automated checks on your website and alert you if somethings not quite right.

It’s time for our plugin number 3:

SEOPress

SEOPress

Why we prefer SEOPress over established giants? Everyone heard about Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack, why not favoring them?

SEOPress is a *simple, fast and powerful plugin to optimize your on-page SEO, boost your traffic, improve social sharing, build custom HTML and XML Sitemaps, create optimized breadcrumbs, add schemas / Google Structured data types, manage redirections and so much more.

What’s good about SEOPress is there is that there are no annoying popups and admin notifications, no advertising, no footprints, it’s completely white label, in both the back-end and the front-end. It provides great Content Analysis to help you write search-engine optimized content and it also imports your post and term meta data from other plugins in a single click.

SEOPress is way more than simply meta tag management tool. It can be used to add (and analyze) custom post titles, meta descriptions and meta keywords for your posts, pages, and taxonomies (tag, category, etc). When writing the meta information, a WordPress SEO plugin like SEOPress shows you a Google search result snippet preview, so you can see exactly how your content will look when someone found it in Google.

It also create XML sitemaps with image support. Advanced configurations such as removing a specific post, page, post type, or a taxonomy from the sitemap is also included as well as it notifies search engines automatically once your content is published.

We use it on all our sites and wholeheartedly rate it 10 out of 10.

Schema Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets is the term used to describe structured data markup that site owners can add to their existing HTML, which in turn allow search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page. While WordPress and WooCommerce are pretty well optimized, you’d need a special plugin in order to cover all the modern requirements.

Time to reveal our number 4.

Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets

Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets adds Google Rich Snippets markup according to Schema.org guidelines to structure your site for SEO. The plugin supports 8 major schema types such as:

  • Review
  • Event
  • People
  • Product
  • Recipe
  • Software Application
  • Video
  • Articles

Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets are the search results blocks that contain detailed information helping users to make the right click decisions. These snippets are pulled from specifically formatted data.
Search engines do not favor any page in SERPs. They simply add all possible information that is available. Therefore, if you wish to create a structured snippet or a rich snippet, you need to include the required information on your page.

With so many paid ads, videos and images ranking in Google SERPs, it is difficult to attract users with the plain old text block shown the normal results area. Rich snippets gives you better exposure by including all necessary details in the snippet, so users would have a brief idea about what they can expect on your landing pages.

 

SSL Plugin

Look at the URL bar at the top of your browser on this page. In the address bar, you’ll see “HTTPS”—that “S” shows that we have installed a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, meaning your connection to our site is secure. In an ideal world, you should see one on any site that asks for personal data, especially payment information or otherwise – everywhere. Unfortunately, that’s still not the case.

Every SEO expert will tell you that it’s vital for sites to have SSL installed in order to be on the first two pages of search results.  Anything (legal) you can do to stay ahead of the competition – particularly by prioritizing security – is crucial.

With an SSL Certificate on your site, not only will your users trust you more, but search engines will do too. This results in more engaged users, and the more popular your website becomes, the higher it’ll rank on Google! Moreover, best WordPress hosting companies would serve SSL enabled websites over HTTP2, which is a major (and free) loading speed boost for your website.

Reaching the end of our guide, it’s time to present plugin number 5.

Really Simple SSL

Really Simple SSL

The Really Simple SSL plugin automatically detects your settings and configures your website to run over https. To keep it lightweight, the options are kept to a minimum. No setup required! You only need an SSL certificate (even free one like LetsEncrypt) and this plugin will do the rest. With just 2 clicks your entire site will move to SSL.

The plugin handles most issues that WordPress has with SSL, like when you’re behind a reverse proxy/loadbalancer, or when no headers are passed which WordPress can use to detect SSL.

All incoming requests are redirected to https. Default with an internal WordPress redirect, but you can also enable a .htaccess redirect.

The site url and home url are changed to https.

Your insecure content is fixed by replacing all http:// urls with https://, except hyperlinks to other domains. All this don dynamically, so no database changes are made.

The plugin is also multi-site compatible. There is a dedicated network settings page where you can switch between network activated SSL and per page SSL.

About the Author:

Dimitar Koev is a graphic and web designer, front-end developer and marketing expert. CEO & founder of the Althemist team (previously known as Koev) - an independent envato market author, focused on building WordPress themes with strong e-commerce accent.

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