Wordpress And Woocommerce Seo

Whether you’re launching a simple blog site or managing a complex WooCommerce online shopping website, your business success mostly depends on traffic – a constant stream of new and returning visitors that engage with the content you’re publishing.

To make that possible, Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a SEO), is crucial for attracting visitors and turn them into customers to your site, but making a WooCommerce shop as searchable as possible can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with website development and SEO strategies.

Fortunately, with simple options from the Settings menu on your website’s Admin dashboard, to free and premium plugins that handle all essential SEO functions, there are various ways of improving your WooCommerce shop search rankings. WooCommerce is not much different than any WordPress based website as far as Search optimization is concerned. There is a vast array of easy to use tools for improving site’s discoverability.

Before we continue, please note that SEO is almost a science by itself. Not a rocket science, of course, but still there are hundreds (if not thousands) of aspects to be learned in order to achieve professional results. For highly competitive niches it’s highly recommended to hire a professional SEO agency with good reputation.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot by yourself!

Below are some of our favorite tips for improving the SEO of your WooCommerce shop.

 

What WordPress SEO Actually Means & Why It is Important to you?

SEO is an abbreviation and it stands for Search Engine Optimization. Google and other Search Engines are using a complex algorithms to assess your site content, page elements, tags, categories etc. and site availability + dozens of other factors and elements, to decide which websites are most relevant to a particular searche query.

Wordpress Seo GoogleIf you want people to find your site, you have to make sure that the bots crawling the web not only finds your site but also like what they found and consider it helpful for the users.

SEO is commonly divided in two main branches – ONsite SEO and OFFsite SEO. These represent the two main aspects of the optimization:

  • ON your own website which includes content, keywords, code structure and quality, image optimizations etc.
  • Your OFF-site efforts, or lets name this your website’s reputation on the Internet. This will include how often is your brand mentioned on the internet, how many links to your site can be found, where are those links published, the linking site relevancy and reputation and so on.

In this article we focusing mostly on the ON-site SEO, as this is where you hold the “steering wheel” and have full control / responsibility.

 

First and Foremost: Content is King!

Unique, valuable and relevant content is the foundation of your Search ranking! Not only it’s the greatest SEO signal to search engines like Google, but is the most valuable part of your website.

What content you ask? Unique content we say! Your content needs to be unique, valuable and relevant to your site’s main subject. What does this mean? First off, your content should be unique because search engines, especially Google, do not like plagiarism in any form – or duplicate content. Your content should bring something fresh to the table – it should be unique if you want it to rank well. Do not try to game the system – copying other website’s content is the worse thing you can do for your website. Do not play smart and just rephrase existing content. Be smart and create your own.

Wordpress Seo ContentWhen we say duplicate content – that would also include same portions of your own texts in different pages and even page URLs.

 

TIP 1: One of the best options to avoid duplicate content (besides the content itself) would be redirecting all possible ways to reach your site to a single web address. For example: http://yoursite.com, http://www.yoursite.com or https://yoursite.com are NOT the same! There is simple way to redirect all requests to an unified URL format, no matter what the user typed in the browser. A simple rule in .htaccess file can fix this. Just search Google for “redirect non www to www URLs”.

 

Let’s face the bitter truth – today’s search engine algorithms are too smart to fool. So, how to create a good content that ranks higher is SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages)? The answer is simple – Do not create content for the search engines! Always aim at creating a content that’s informative, valuable and helpful to your human site visitors!

 

TIP 2: A page content is considered rich and valuable if it exceeds 300 words. Use this is an absolute minimum for information pages meant to boost your ranking.

 

Keyword Rich Site Titles and Taglines

Every part of your website plays a significant role in boosting your search ranking, and that starts with the site’s name / brand. When you install a new WordPress theme, its Appearance tab offers the option to set the title and tagline, both of which are searchable and very important. Adding keywords wherever possible in these two lines (avoid “keyword stuffing”, though) can help make your site more SEO friendly – especially if your domain name itself doesn’t actually contain keywords or a descriptive information about what your site is about.

 

TIP 3: Do your keywords research carefully! For every keyword you look to rank well for, find at least 6-7 alternative keywords or synonyms to use in your content.

 

Internal Link Management & SEO Friendly URLs

Wordpress Seo LinksEvery page and post on your site has its own unique URL. By default WordPress displays posts and pages by simply assigning a set of numbers (it’s actually the post ID) to your content URLs (a.k.a permalinks). Adding keywords to these permalinks can greatly help to make specific pages easily discoverable.

From the Settings tab in your WordPress Admin dashboard, select Permalinks and set a structure from the available options that include elements of your post and page titles – which should also contain keywords relevant for your niche. We’d suggest as best option for most cases the “Post Name” format.

 

TIP 4: The best time to set your permalinks format is immediately after creating your site, even before adding any content to avoid broken links.

 

When creating your content make sure you cross link different pages and posts by including relevant links (e.g. – we link to this article from other SEO related content on our blog).

 

Optimizing Your Media Files

Wordpress Seo MediaImages and media can also offer opportunities for SEO and must be optimized by adding keyword rich file names,  titles, captions, and “alt” text from your site’s media management tools. Customizing these settings whenever an image is added, or video or audio is embedded on the site can add more opportunities for increasing a site’s discoverability by search engines.

 

Choose a Decent Hosting Provider

How is this even related you ask? Well, when it comes to search ranking, loading speed is critical for your position. When two (or more websites) have similar ranking in terms of content, faster sites rank higher in SERPs. It’s not only about higher ranking. Recent researches proved that web page loading for than 3 seconds or more have 200% bigger chance to be abandoned by the user. With numbers above 5 seconds, the chances are even worse.

This is where a decent WordPress hosting takes advantage over low quality hosts. If your business website is not available, Google can’t find you, and if it can’t find you, it can’t index your pages. Investing in a reliable WordPress hosting service with guaranteed uptime is a critical part of boosting organic search traffic.

 

Recommended WordPress Hosting Providers:

SiteGround – This is what we use for our sites

BlueHost – Affordable WordPress Hosting

Kinsta – Premium WordPress Hosting

 

Invest in Speed Optimization to Increase your WordPress SEO Ranking

Slow pages lead to higher bounce rates, loss of traffic and customer trust, so decreasing your page load time is crucial. We will discuss the specific steps to improve the speed of your WordPress site in a separate article. You can do a quick speed check on your web site to see how fast it is with a range of free tools like GTMetrix, Pingdom or Google Page Insights tool and see what sort of optimizations you can perform to increase your site speed.

Wordpress Seo LoadingKeep in mind that page speed checking tools are sometimes focused on many micro-details that don’t always make sense for your specific case or it won’t affect your site as much as you think. Getting a better hosting plan, which is the most important factor for your actual loading time is probably the best you can do. Take the time to compare your loading time with your top competitors and make sure your site is faster. That should be enough as the actual loading time is the most important factor.

Enable SSL for Your WooCommerce Shop

SSL certificates improve your website security and trust level. Not only it helps building confidence in your users, especially where financial transactions takes place, but recent research on Google search algorithms shows that SSL enabled sites rank better in SERPs. It’s not a key factor (yet), but in a competitive game like SEO every drop counts.

 

Choose a SEO Optimized and Mobile Ready WordPress / WooCommerce Theme

The truth is not all WordPress themes are equally build, especially in terms of SEO ready code base. Always do your research on theme providers and choose wisely. A theme with poor code base can ruin all your SEO efforts.

There are certain coding standards for SEO friendly WordPress themes. They must have the right HTML structure, suitable content blocks, title tags hierarchy and what not. Choosing a theme from reputable provider is a huge step into the right direction.

Recent improvements in Google search algorithms added “mobile ready” labels to sites in search results. Make sure you’re using a theme utilizing RWD (Responsive Web Design) and test your site on different devices. One of the easiest way to beat the competition is by offering decent mobile experience. Not only it boosts your ranking, but also makes your customers happier. The moment where mobile traffic outranked the desktop traffic was few years ago.

 

Utilize a Good SEO Plugin

Wordpress Seo PluginWordPress itself offers many ways to optimize a site for search, but that can be a time-consuming process. There is a number of specialized SEO plugins that offer comprehensive, advanced SEO management for every part of your site, with both free and premium versions, like SEOPress, All in One SEO Pack, JetPack, and Yoast, available from the WordPress plugin directory and third-party developers from all over the world.

All those plugins include tools for setting keyword rich meta description on posts and pages, and analyzes each piece of content for the keywords you list. Well-optimized content gets a green light, poor content gets red, and a yellow light means that the piece needs improvement. SEOPress, Yoast and similar plugins also offer premium versions with more features that relate to specific needs, such as Local SEO, which tracks your site’s visibility in local area searches, and Video SEO, which specifically optimizes video content. With extensions like these, SEO plugins can save you time and effort, and ensure that all parts of your site are optimized.

 

Conclusion

WordPress SEO is not an easy job. As we mentioned earlier in this article, it’s a bit of science and there are specialists which make a living (and a good one) with it. It’s neither cheap, nor fast!

After implementing all of the recommended WordPress SEO best practices, you need to allow enough time to see the results and keep in mind that even if you do everything possible, it still takes months to see the results. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts and fast SEO solutions yet. Additionally, you have to keep updating your WordPress SEO strategy according to the ever-changing algorithms.

Also, not that trying to “cheat the system” may lead to severe penalties, including blacklisting on Google. To sum it up finally, create high quality content, promote your site, make people talk about it and be patient. The results will come.

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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