#1 Selecting the Appropriate Theme
At the core of your WooCommerce store is the WordPress theme you select, for it defines the appeal of your website. Whether yours is a general shop or a niche collection, a theme that is attractive, functional, logical, and suitable to your requirements is the way to go.
There are literally hundreds of themes for WooCommerce, free and paid. To select one from amongst that madding crowd, you will need to ask yourself a few questions, such as:
- What is the type of my current and potential store? Is it an all-purpose store, or am I focusing on a particular area?
- What do I want to highlight on the product pages? Are the images a priority or would I rather work with a cool product description that tells everything about my product?
- What templates shall I need to build my product pages? Shall it be an Image Gallery, or a multiple-product display, or perhaps a Timeline format? Does the theme have those templates?
- Are all my product pages following a clear, logical flow? Will I be able to leave breadcrumb links to my page? Can I create a Sitemap for my website with the theme?
If the theme you have selected answers all of these questions satisfactorily, go for it. If not, keep the search on! Considering the vast number of themes that are available, you are sure to find one that is perfect for your site, or at least very, very close your criteria.
Checkout the different features and reviews for popular WooCommerce themes, to make a sanguine decision.
Once the theme is selected, we move on to customizing and optimizing it.
#2 Using Page Templates
Every theme has some inbuilt page templates that can be used to create various pages on your website. Specifically, for product pages, using various layouts and modifying them so that each product page has a unique identity can help capture and retain customer interest.
All of these templates have several hooks and filters attached, so that you can create shop-specific additions, without disturbing the core template files. This is very important in the long run, because when you update WooCommerce or WordPress in the future all of the original plugin and theme templates will be overwritten. Adding functionalities via hooks and filters makes your theme override-safe. You can alternatively opt for creating a child theme for WordPress to achieve the same.
#3 Creating Unique URLs
A URL is the address by which the search engine (or anybody, for that matter) identifies your product page. Always create a short but clear URL for your page. Search engines rank pages according to the relevancy of the search. Creating something like ‘shoes’ can be too generic, and your page might not rank well in that case. You can use something more specific like ‘adidas-men’s-running-shoes’. Not only is it concise, but it also tells the search engine and the visitor exactly what the page offers.
You can add keywords to the URL, but do not stuff too many or make the URL too long. Too much information can be as detrimental as too less. The point is, do not script URLs just from the search engine’s point of view, but make sure that it is not very ambiguous either. A good idea is to add the category of the product or the product brand number or manufacturer number to the URL for serious shoppers who search for particular products via catalogs or such.
#4 Bones of ‘Content’ion
A WooCommerce product page should essentially be clutter-free and clean, so that the visitor can glean all the required information at a glance. Which is why, you need to carefully monitor the content that you add here, as the content is what ultimately converts potential buyers into customers. Keep it minimalistic, to the point, yet make sure that none of the important aspects are left out.
For e-commerce pages, content generally boils down to three parts, viz. the Product Heading, the Product Description and the Customer Reviews.
The product heading is what induces potential visitors to pick your Page from a dozen similar ones. It follows that the heading needs to be catchy, self-explanatory, and precise. The maximum limit according to SEO for Headings is 65 characters; but it is good if you can keep it short and sweet.
We are often tempted to add flowery descriptions of the products we sell, but keep in mind, if you beat around the bush too much, the customer might simply jump out of the page and a high bounce rate is a big no-no. So rein in those literary tendencies, add a substantial description that contains the keyword you are targeting and use them naturally.
Do not add keywords keeping the search engines in mind; ultimately it is the customers who will be determining how useful your page has been, hence it helps to create keywords according to the end-user’s point of view. You can also use a tool like the Serps Keyword Research tool to decide the appropriate keywords for your page.
Using search specific phrases can help, so long as they seem coherent. Avoid copying content or duplicating it even from your own website; when Google sees the same four sentences repeated on your (or the others’) pages, it tries to detect the original source and relegates all the other pages to a lower rank. Creating unique content is a must for every product page!
Customer Reviews are not a part of the content you control, nevertheless, positive reviews are known to have increased conversion rates to a great extent. Reviews are essentially confidence-generators, about your product and your company. If you are apprehensive about negative reviews showing up on your page, you can always tweak your WooCommerce theme/plugin settings to decide which reviews and testimonials can be displayed.
A similar offshoot are other credentials that will lend authority to your claims. Any certifications that attest to your expertise in the said field ought to be mentioned and linked to, so that visitors can check their authenticity, if they want to. Adding our contact address and information is another way of increasing visitor trust.
#5 Product Categories and Tags
You are probably already familiar with Product Categories and Tags that we add while drafting the Product Page. A category is the major classification your product is sorted into while the tags are more product-specific. Quite a lot of us do not bother adding tags at all to the product page, engrossed as we are amid the other aspects.
However, these seemingly unimportant little guys can make a significant difference to your SEO rankings. It is statistically observed that product pages with relevant tags rank a lot higher that pages without. Note: relevant tags. Adding a bunch of unrelated tags is not going to help here. Instead, it is a good idea to target phrases that generally turn up in searches related to the product you are selling.
#6 The all-knowing alt-text
Alt-text is to be added to the product image or any other images on your Page, for that matter. It includes a single-line description of what the picture is about. It need not always be a drab statement; in fact, you can add some catchy title that will be still be relevant. Alt-text is generally added in HTML, that is what helps search engines understand what the image speaks of (they do not detect images unless they have alt-text, as a rule).
For WooCommerce Product Pages, you can simply add the alt-text while inserting the image, as you add the image title and tags.
#7 Custom Meta-Data
During Page creation in WordPress, meta-data is the information you add about the author, the product, or the category the product is assigned to, in brief. This is the data displayed below the product title in the search results. It can be used to give a clear idea of what the page is about to your customers. Ensure that keywords are definitely used here; it will strengthen your ranking in the customer search.
#8 Make it Responsive
Search engines set store a lot by the responsiveness of the Product Page. A Page is said to be responsive when it resizes and adapts flawlessly to any device. Fortunately, most of the WooCommerce themes are responsive, which means that you do not have to take separate efforts to make it so. However, it is a good idea to check your Page across different devices, like tablets or cellphones, to make sure that it is functioning properly and all the data is being displayed in a logical sequence.
#9 The Color Conundrum
Human psychology is influenced a lot by color schemes. Some colors can instantly seem appealing, while some others might have a negative impact; though all of this happens at a subconscious level. Often, colors are industry specific (the cosmetics sector favors pink, the industrial sector yellow, and so on), or trigger certain moods (vibrant greens and reds and blues are casual and trendy, while subdued colors like black and grey have a more formal feel).
Of course, this won’t always hold true for 100% of the population as every person has their individual way of perception, but it is applicable to a fair percentage nevertheless. Optimizing the color scheme of your Product page helps in fixing it better into your customers’ minds and is hence an important part of product page optimization. WooCommerce themes are all completely customizable and can be easily altered with respect to color, font, styling, and display.
#10 Page Links
No man is an island; your Product Page ought not to be either! Linking your page to other websites helps Google discover it and realize that it is genuine. You can also link to relevant pages within your website, but only and only if you think it is absolutely imperative. Too many intra-links can irritate visitors, especially if the trail keeps going back and forth or leads to pages that only slightly related.
Page linking also helps to develop business relations between similar stores, which might lead to your pages being linked by external websites in the future; a very strong indication of authenticity and quality.
Google actually includes page linking under its SEO considerations, but it is unadvisable to try fooling it by adding spammy ones. Also note that links to Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platforms are ‘NoFollow’ links and are hence not considered by search engines.
#11 Too Much Information?
One of the last, but most important aspects of WooCommerce Product Page optimization is the Call to Action. All through your Page you are working towards converting your visitor into a customer. At this stage, when the customer is about to make the purchase, do not drop the ball by asking for too much information. Nobody will like having to trawl through long registration and contact forms, so keep them brief, ask only what is absolutely necessary, and wrap it up.
You can highlight the CTA by placing it prominently on your product page and keeping that particular area clutter-free and easily accessible. This can result in a marked increase in conversion rates, another indicator of a professional website.
#12 The Final Test
You have done everything; optimized the content, added the images and their HTML identifiers, selected the perfect color scheme, and linked all relevant pages. Before you enter the battlefield though, you need to do one last thing, check how well your Product page has been optimized.
UsabilityHub and Google Analytics are the two most popular tools for checking page (and site) optimization, using which you can determine where your Page stands in terms of SEO and user response.
Implementing these tactics is bound to increase SEO optimization for your WooCommerce Product Page. However, SEO rankings are based on a wide spectrum of criteria, hence you cannot expect your page to receive stellar ranks immediately. You will need to maintain the page, update it regularly, and go through several trial and error runs that will help you use the page to its maximum potential. It might take some time, but you can definitely build a strong foundation using these techniques, to create the quintessential, optimized WooCommerce Product Page!