Google is a major source of eCommerce traffic, both on the desktop and on mobile. eCommerce store owners can’t afford to ignore search engine optimization, but I come across many sites that would fail even the most basic of SEO audits. Smaller eCommerce stores may not have the resources to hire an SEO specialist, but most don’t need to. Implementing some of the WooCommerce SEO best practices doesn’t take deep expertise, and WooCommerce makes it even easier.

In this article, I’m going to talk about the low-hanging fruit that every eCommerce store should have in order, but which, in my experience, are often left to chance.

Where is the content?

The number one WooCommerce SEO mistake I see in stores is a lack of content. Without content, there is nothing for Google to index. Product pages with an image and a gnomic SKU identifier don’t cut it.

Write unique descriptions for each product. You don’t have to write 500-word essays for every product, but a hundred words of descriptive content can make a big difference.

Don’t neglect title and meta description tags: they give important clues to Google and are used in search results. Yoast WooCommerce SEO provides a more friendly interface for creating rich SEO-friendly product pages.

Finally, consider blogging. It’s a great way to get more content on your site than a product description affords and provides assets that can be shared on social media.

Keywords matter

When the web first got started, you would inject your keyword hundreds of times on your page. This allowed search engines to find your page and deliver it to those searching for it. Times have changed though and that practice doesn’t make sense. There is a happy medium between going keyword-crazy and ignoring them altogether. They are less important than they once were because search engines are more sophisticated about user intent and natural language processing, but ignoring keywords is a mistake.

Use keyword research tools like the AdWords Keyword Planner to discover relevant keywords for your products, including long-tail keywords, and incorporate them in on-page content and metadata.

Slow and steady doesn’t win the race

Site performance is vitally important to eCommerce search engine optimization and is a WooCommerce SEO mistake I see quite often. Slow eCommerce stores will not perform as well as faster competitors, all else being equal. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix to assess the performance of your WooCommerce store. Both will advise you of changes you can make to improve performance.

Hosting is the most important contributor to performance. As your store grows, the low-cost shared hosting plan you started out on might not cut it anymore.

Consider upgrading your hosting account.

Mobile-friendliness isn’t optional

For several years now mobile searches have outgrown desktop searches. So it’s no wonder that eCommerce merchants have to provide a positive experience for their mobile shoppers. If they don’t, Google will send its mobile users elsewhere.

Today’s best solution from a design trend is to build a mobile-first responsive design. You have thousands of responsive WooCommerce and WordPress themes to choose from, so there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to offer an outstanding experience to mobile shoppers. The top two contenders I really like are Astra Pro and GeneratePress.

Structured data makes eCommerce stores machine-friendly

Finally, give Google and other crawlers a hand with structured data. Structured data helps machines to understand your site and can result in better-looking search results and social media shares. I’ve already mentioned Yoast WooCommerce SEO, which can help out here too by providing configuration options and an interface for adding rich and OpenGraph data to your eCommerce store.

Want to Learn More?

These five suggestions are just the beginning of eCommerce search engine optimization, but they provide WooCommerce retailers with a solid foundation for future optimization. Here are some helpful links to other Nexcess blogs on similar topics:

8 eCommerce Terms Non-Technical People Need to Know

The Only eCommerce KPI Metrics Glossary You’ll Ever Need

Todd Terwillegar
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