Top tips for WooCommerce Ecommerce Optimisation

Ecommerce WooCommerce sites are ubiquitous these days but what is key to a successful one. Competitive prices? Range of products? Brands on offer? Quality and design? Whist the above are all important elements, it actually all comes down to one thing – volume of conversion prone traffic and how well your WooCommerce site converts. SEO helps immensely with this. The major difference between an ecommerce store with great traction and one that is barely making any sales is the way qualified traffic is attracted at scale and the propensity for said traffic to convert over competitor sites. There is a multitude of marketing channels that ecommerce/WooCommerce site owners can choose from, however importance needs to be placed on the power and legitimacy of a robust SEO strategic framework. It can literally be the make or break factor when starting a WooCommerce platform or any ecommerce platform for that matter. 

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WooCommerce is an open-source, fully customisable ecommerce platform built for WordPress. If you want to know more about just WordPress, we recommend reading our blog post on Content Management Systems – WordPress and SEO Integrations. The free WooCommerce plugin allows businesses around the globe to easily create an online store with an assortment of nifty features that surpass the scope of traditional ecommerce solutions.  Some of these features consist of an ecommerce backend that assists you to build and organise product pages, and configures a shopping cart and checkout process. Check out the video below to gain a bit more of an insight into WooCommerce features.

Although WooCommerce provides you with the tools to develop a functioning ecommerce site it’s knowing how to utilise these tools to their fullest extent that will be the difference between achieving sustainable growth and failure. For example, Allbarks (a brand selling different types of dog treats), boosted their conversion rate to 18.6% and retained 1891 orders in 4 months through implementing a range of conversion and SEO optimisation tactics. The brand was able to convert browsers into buying customers by using exit-intent popups to target those who were about to abandon their carts, offering free gifts, and displaying a real-time countdown timer to create a sense of urgency for the offer.

all barks case study woocommerce seo sydney

Another example is the Official All Blacks Shop for the New Zealand Rugby Union which went from an unresponsive site to a fully-functioning site with improved payments, order management, and shipping for eCommerce in New Zealand. A number of WooCommerce extensions were integrated, including;

MailChimp is the largest marketing automation platform in the world, assisting a whopping 16 million customers with their ecommerce marketing and email strategy development. Integrating the free MailChimp for WooCommerce extension for your WordPress ecommerce store means data about your customers and their purchases is synched to your MailChimp account automatically. This makes it super easy to send targeted campaigns, recover abandoned carts, give product recommendations, follow up with customers purchase and measure the ROI of these marketing activities. Although email marketing is most often used for engagement purposes, harnessing the power of email marketing can really complement or enhance an seo strategy. Obviously Google doesn’t crawl and rank individual emails sent to your customers but there are some ways your email marketing campaign can directly impact factors that have a substantial influence on your search engine rankings. One of these is inbound links – the more that are present and direct to your ecommerce site the better your domain authority will be. Domain authority is a search engine ranking score (from 1-100) developed by Moz that determines how well your website is likely to rank in SERPs. The higher your DA score the more credibility your site has and greater ability to rank. Content promotion is another way email can help with seo. For instance, sending out a regular newsletter that provides a snippet of your most popular blog posts increases not only the visibility of these posts and chance of gaining more inbound links, but also the amount of traffic to your site.

allblacks woocommerce mailchimp seo sydney

This extension allows you to create packages precisely to your needs through the powerful conditional logic setting. It’s main features include unlimited shipping packages,  full control over which products are added and when a package is created, the ability to setup custom package names, and exclude shipping methods from certain packages. Using this plug-in allows you to easily control the factors that affect shipping cost in order to optimise shipping rates for customers depending on what products they purchase and where they require them to be shipped. Customising shipping according to your customer’s scenario can help increase brand loyalty.

plugins woocommerce seo sydney

If you want to create a seamless electronic payment experience this extension allows you to accept payments from multiple access points via payment express PXPost which is a Visa and MasterCard certified solution. The key benefit for users is that they are able to instantly pay onsite instead of being redirected to an external page for payment. Optimising your WooCommerce checkout ultimately means providing your customers with a safe and reliable payment gateway. Throughout the entire checkout process your customers remain on your site which provides store owners with more control of the process. For example, you have the ability to design a more customised user experience and grow your customer base by removing any doubts visitors may have about your reliability and authenticity. A genuine payment gateway system can garner the trust of your customers and lead to an increase in the saleability of your products.

seo sydney extension payment woocommerce

Quality Ecommerce WooCommerce Hosting

seo sydney hosting woocommerce

There is a range of hosting options available, such as shared, VPS, dedicated, free and managed hosting. It pays to select the best WordPress host for your business needs in order to improve SEO, boost sales and ensure better load times and speed. You can become more informed about how delivery speed of a website affects your SEO ranking by reading our detailed blog post on the topic. Server response time is a measure of the time it takes a server to respond to a request before content is delivered to the users’ screen.Google’s recommended server response time is less than 200ms as people will notice lagging if it is any slower.  The speed of your site can quickly and easily be tested using free tools such as Pingdom which will provide an insight into current performance. When using WooCommerce it makes sense to use hosting providers trusted and endorsed  by WordPress as it ensures easy installation and that the host is supported. These include: Pressable, DreamHost, Bluehost, SiteGround and Flywheel. Using any of the above hosting providers will mean your site won’t be sluggish and you therefore won’t experience diminishing conversions, increasing bounce rates and poor search rankings. For example, Bluehost runs on advanced NGINX architecture designed to provide extreme speed and offers custom PHP-FPM configuration.  

Clean URLs

woocommerce url optimisation seo sydney

Simple URL structures, also known as permalinks positively impact how content is recognised by search engines. This is due to the informative signals they send, increasing search engines understanding of the content of a page, it’s target audience and purpose. A URL that features the focal keyword from your product content will produce better results. Here is an example of an unfavourable product URL structure:  yourshop.com/?product=some-product. This URL is too general so it makes it hard for search engines that read the URL to connect their users with relevant content and users aren’t able to get a good idea of what to expect on the page. If the user is unable to, then you can bet Google knows this too.

There are two choices with WordPress – creating your own URL or using a permalink generated from an ID number. To optimise your product pages it is recommended to activate WordPress friendly permalinks in the settings tab. The default URL base Woocommerce sets  (“/product-category/” and “/product/”) basically adds junk to your URL address but luckily this can be easily removed using a free plugin like WooCommerce Permalink Manager  or Remove taxomy base slug. A cleaner and more readable URL is good for SEO as it improves the user experience, site rankings and the chance that your link will be clicked when shared in blogs, social media networks or other websites.

SEO Sydney Woocommerce clean URLs

 

Titles and Meta Description

seo sydney title meta description woocommerce

On a search results page two significant attributes that appear are the title of the product page and meta description. It goes without saying that you need to include keywords in titles and the meta description to help increase the ranking of the page for that keyword/s by making it obvious what the page is about. However it is equally as important to create a headline that is catchy and stands out to prompt potential customers to click on it within the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages). Watch our video below explaining why SEO focuses most on Google rankings and not Yahoo, MSN or Bing. 

For our client One Stop Adventures SEO Sydney instead of simply using “Whitsundays Boat Tour” as a title we created this more memorable one below:

One Stop Adventures SEO Sydney Woocommerce Meta Titles

You can use tools such as CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to help you craft titles that drive traffic, search results and shares. Both these elements should be kept clear and concise because it is most advantageous for your site if they appear in full on search engine results pages, sans ellipses at the end. For titles, between 50-60 characters is recommended and for meta, between 150-160 characters is SEO optimal.

Optimise Product Images

It’s surprising just how often ecommerce sites overlook the importance of posting good product images. Instead items are photographed at a bad angle, in unflattering light or appear blurry. Most people when shopping online would have experienced this problem at some point. Customers are more hesitant to make a purchase when they’ve clicked on a product and are unable to get a proper idea of what it is actually like. The main image for a product is featured in multiple sizes throughout your ecommerce store, with all additional images displayed in a product gallery. Check out this YouTube video which explains all about how to add multiple product images and manage product images gallery:

High quality images of products from alternate angles and the ability to zoom and see all available colours will increase the time spent on a page and improve your site’s search ranking and usability. Images can slow down your ecommerce site due to being greater in size than plain text and hence taking more time to load. Compressing images is recommended for enhanced website speed and performance. This can be done by using image editing software such as Photoshop before uploading the image or use Tinypng to compress your image before uploading. Otherwise a variety of plugins are available that optimise images by compressing files automatically and providing you with a version that is much smaller in size. ALT tags should also not be forgotten for product images. Search engines extract context from these descriptions (ALT tags) in regards to what the image is related to. This is a way to boost SEO by including a distinct text for each image that contains the keywords for that particular product page. ALT tags also add to the accessibility of your ecommerce site as they are used by screen-readers to verbalise images for users with visual impairments. 

Mobile Compatibility

The Inside Australian Online Shopping: 2018 eCommerce Industry Paper is a comprehensive study into Australian consumers online shopping behaviours and trends that highlights the importance on making your ecommerce site mobile friendly. In Australia, purchases made from a mobile device have increased by 58% in 2017, so that 1 in 5 online purchases are now made through this channel. This means in order to reflect consumer behaviour trends it’s super important to optimise your content for mobile so you can engage with your customers where they spend the most time and your ecommerce site won’t experience a high bounce rate.

Mobile matters a lot in Google’s eyes. Recently, Google introduced mobile-first indexing which  basically means websites that are optimised for mobile devices will rank more highly than those that are not. Since the mobile version of your site will be assessed as the primary version of your site designing your site with mobile users in mind first is fundamental for SEO. A businesses overall rankings on desktop search, in addition to mobile search results may be negatively affected if their desktop site is not mobile friendly or a mobile version doesn’t exist. Google will continue to index your content however, in comparison to mobile-friendly websites your site will be viewed as providing an inferior user experience. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) can also be integrated to your site to improve the performance of your mobile pages. Two AMP plugins suitable for WooCommerce stores are WP AMP and AMP for WordPress Plugins. AMP works by restricting the usage of HTML tags, limiting the amount of CSS and JS and blocking external stylesheets. For example, AMP can be used for category and product pages. There are two main benefits of AMP for SEO. The first is that on search label results pages it will have a “fast” label designation and the second is ranking factor.

 

 

 

 

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