Can your WooCommerce website use an inflow of traffic to boost sales? Investing in SEO for WooCommerce to boost organic traffic may be the right answer for you.
Statistically speaking, around a third of e-commerce traffic comes from organic search. So, if your numbers are lower than that, it means you’re missing out on an amazing source of traffic with a great ROI. That’s right, in terms of ROI, only email marketing beats SEO because it works with customers who are already engaged.
With SEO for WooCommerce, you won’t have to pay for every conversion like in paid ads or compete in creating the most eye-catching content like on organic social media.
To succeed with SEO for WooCommerce, all you need is to do a bit of research, optimize your site, and build your website authority. If you’re interested in learning how to improve your e-commerce SEO, follow this comprehensive guide on WooCommerce SEO tips!
#1 WooCommerce SEO: Keyword Research (main stage)
The first step in any WooCommerce SEO guide is keyword research. Doing keyword research allows you to be discovered on the search engine results pages because both people and search engines use keywords to understand what the pages of your website are about.
Researching keywords might be one of the most demanding steps of SEO for WooCommerce because it defines which pages you’re going to prioritize. Here’s where to start:
The first step of the keyword research process is brainstorming keyword ideas. Gather your team and compile a list of keywords that are closely associated with your company — products, industry, etc.
Note: You don’t have to come up with thousands of keywords, make the list generic and improve it with keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner.
With a list of keyword ideas, you can use a keyword research tool to find more similar and related keywords. Such tools also let you take a peek at what keywords your competitors rank for and add them to your list. Another option is to see what keywords Amazon would suggest for your products.
Once you expand the list, you can start looking for keywords that align with your current goals.
In terms of search intent, you’re looking for keywords with transactional or commercial intent for your product pages and keywords with informational intent if you’re starting a product blog on WooCommerce.
The next two major factors that you have to consider are keyword difficulty and search volume. You want to prioritize keywords that have a lower difficulty and higher search volume — this will allow you to get the maximum amount of potential traffic with a minimum amount of effort.
Once you’ve found all the relevant keywords and decided what you’re going to prioritize, group them into clusters that each can be attributed to a single page, and start optimizing pages for them. Focus your attention on creating high-quality and captivating content that addresses users’ problems, provides valuable insights, and engages them on a deeper level.
#2 WooCommerce SEO: On-page Optimization
Optimizing your website pages starts with keyword optimization. Take keywords from your list and add them to the corresponding pages. You want to add the main keyword, that is, the most generic one and the one that has the most search volume, to the title tag, meta description, and H1. Add supporting keywords to H2’s and to the body of the text.
Note: Both the title tag and meta description should be as descriptive as possible. Essentially, they are your pitch to the users viewing the search engine results pages, and you have to try and convince them to click on your website.
An important step in the optimization process for WooCommerce SEO is adding quality images of your products. They have to be shot well and optimized for the web. You can either compress them as is or convert them to WEBP — this format allows higher quality with lower image size. The file size of the images influences the loading speed of the website and its overall quality.
Pro-tip: Add alt tags to all images, as this gives you another opportunity to use keywords on every page and may help image search SEO.
Images also play a role in optimizing your website on the SERP, as they can be displayed next to your site like this.
Notice that the second site in this screenshot doesn’t just have the image of its product added but also has the price and availability marker. You can have those displayed on the SERP next to your WooCommerce website by adding structured data. It can be done either manually or with the help of WooCommerce SEO plugins.
This is mostly useful for product pages and category pages. If you run a corporate blog, you can add the author’s name through structured data, but overall, you should focus on filling the blog pages with the right keywords and interlinking them with each other and with product pages.
Apart from implementing these best practices, it is important to analyze your website to find and fix any optimization issues. The best way to do this is with a specialized tool like SE Ranking’s on-page SEO checker. The tool will crawl your website and help you understand how well your website pages are optimized for search engines. It will first show an overview like this.
Source: SE Ranking
Then, you can view a checklist of optimization tasks sorted by priority from high to low. This makes it easier to improve the website and get higher rankings as a result.
Source: SE Ranking
The SE Ranking tool can also analyze your top SERP competitors and show you information on them, like what keywords they rank for and what their on-page optimization looks like.
#3 WooCommerce SEO: User Experience
User experience as a whole may not be a factor that directly influences ranking, but some of its components are ranking factors and greatly help SEO for WooCommerce. Here’s how your site can be improved for SEO apart from fixing technical issues.
The first step is making the structure of your website SEO-friendly. The main idea here is that you want every page of your website to be reachable from the home page in four clicks or less. This might mean adding links to category pages to the main page or making your blog more reachable from it.
Pro-tip: Look for pages that aren’t linked anywhere on the website and link to them.
In addition to making pages reachable within four clicks or less, you have to have a decent interlinking strategy. The more internal links point to a page, the more prominent it is from the point of view of a search engine. So you have to figure out what pages on your site you want to have the highest priority and link to them often.
As WooCommerce websites typically have hundreds of pages, many of which are category and product pages, you can achieve a large amount of internal links by simply using standard navigation.
Linking to the home page and category pages from the header or footer provides the bulk of internal linking. The same goes for breadcrumb navigation links.
Source: Red Diamond Online
Linking to select product pages can be done from blog pages that have a decent amount of traffic. It’s best to also introduce a similar products section on product pages that automatically links to other product pages.
Source: Bergdorf Goodman
Pro-tip: You can personalize this section to only show products that are relevant for a specific user.
Another important component of SEO for WooCommerce is URL structure. You want your URLs to be simple and descriptive. It’s not uncommon to see WooCommerce sites with URLs that look like this: “yoursite.com/a-23412/productid-22334/”.
If your links look like that, change the wording to reflect what’s on the page. It’s better for both users and the search engine.
The last part of user experience optimization for WooCommerce SEO is improving Core Web Vitals. These are basic measures of web experience developed by Google that mostly revolve around the pages of your site loading fast and properly.
You can improve these by doing a website audit on SE Ranking and following the suggestions given by the tool.
#4 WooCommerce SEO: Off-page SEO Checklist
Optimizing your website content isn’t the only way to do SEO for WooCommerce. The other important part of SEO is off-page optimization or link building.
Links that point to your website are interpreted by Google as signals of authority and improve the odds of the site ranking higher for all keywords. So, no matter what keywords you’re trying to optimize for, you will need to build links as a part of your SEO efforts.
These are the best ways to do this.
- List your business on local and national directories with the correct name, phone, and address
- Submit your business on review platforms
- Take part in online discussions on sites like Quora or Reddit and leave a link to your products
- Write guest posts for industry blogs and link to your website
- Create a piece of content that other blogs will gladly link to, like a trend report or product use guide
- Send out a press release
- Get quoted by local news media by using a website like HARO or reaching out to reporters
- Collaborate with influencers who can link to your site or products from their social media or blogs
- Leave links to your site from your social media pages
Doing all of this at once may be too challenging and take precious time away from other activities. So try each suggestion independently, see what works best for you, and work on building links that seem to boost ranking continuously.
Pro-tip: Start with building directory links as they are the easiest ones, it just takes a bit of time to fill out forms on multiple sites.
Future Trends in WooCommerce SEO
This concludes the list of best practices for SEO for WooCommerce. But search engine optimization is a sphere that is constantly evolving, with Google releasing two core updates and eight lesser updates.
You can never know for sure how SEO for WooCommerce will change in the next five years, but here are a few educated guesses.
Wider adoption of AR/VR
In product SEO, we might see more Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) incorporated into the product pages as a standard. AR is a handy way to showcase your products online because it bridges the gap between a picture and real life. Introducing an AR viewer to your product page can give your users a better idea of how your products look like and improve engagement.
Google has recently rolled out AR features for furniture, shoes, and makeup in Google Shopping, and it’s likely going to become the standard in product search in the coming years.
The overall user experience will probably become more personalized in the near future. Businesses will be expected to suggest products, communicate with customers, and offer experiences like AR based on previous interactions with users.
Half of the US population uses voice search every day, and e-commerce SEO has to accommodate that. You’ll have to focus on getting as many featured snippets as possible, as they are the ones that are typically read back to the user. You might also have to use long keyword phrases instead of regular keywords to match voice searches of longer wording.
Pro tip: Consider adding a voice search option to your website as users who like voice search will come to expect the web to be browsable with their voice.
Visual search changes
Visual search is also gaining more traction in 2023. This doesn’t just mean adding an alt tag to your images so they can be found on Google Images. Users can now use Google Lens to take or upload a photo and search for a similar product online.
You can’t optimize for that type of search with keywords, you need to have high-quality images of your products if you want to succeed. If you have a VR version of your products, it might even be better for these kinds of searches.
Note: The odds are there will be multiple startups that can create 3D versions of your products based on photos, so you won’t have to worry about shooting all of your products in a studio.
AI as an SEO tool
One recent trend that is likely to shape SEO for WooCommerce is AI, which has become widespread and affordable. AIs like ChatGPT are a great way to simplify the process of creating hundreds of pages of product and category descriptions.
This concludes the list of things to do when creating a strategy for WooCommerce SEO. Analyze the keywords that are best for your website and optimize for them, fix technical issues, and build links to the site.
This will help your WooCommerce site climb the SERP and bring you more traffic and sales.
If you need any help in verifying whether your WooCommerce site is optimized for SEO you can try our free audit and get an overview of your site’s technical SEO.