With the holidays around the corner, it’s time for you to start prepping your WordPress eCommerce site for maximum SEO potential. First off, you’ve done a great job of setting yourself up for success by going the route of WordPress.
WordPress is the king of all eCommerce platforms, in fact, nearly 40% of sites are powered on the CMS platform. Millions of online stores are powered by WooCommerce, WP eCommerce, Jigoshop, or other WordPress eCommerce plugins, and the number is only rising higher.
As great as it is to have your WordPress website turned into an eCommerce portal to sell your own products, setting up the website and putting your products on display is just the beginning. You have to learn and work on marketing your website as a brand to bring organic traffic to your multitude of product pages and actually convert and sell to make a killer earning.
Thankfully, WordPress has you covered when it comes to marketing tools. SEO suites, social sharing buttons and managers, product advertising, and affiliate marketing are some of the awesome resources offered thanks to the multitude of options available in the WordPress Plugin Directory. But it’s not enough to just install those plugins and wait for something to happen. WordPress gives you complete control, which means that you have to configure and tweak the settings yourself and then let the plugins do the rest.
Here are some simple tips for WordPress sites that will help you take your eCommerce website to the top of search engine results page (SERP) rankings:
Create high-performance site designs
In this day and age, the only websites that ever get to the top are the websites that load fast; in less than 2 seconds, to be specific. Is your site loading much slower than that? Here are 7 tips to make your website load in two seconds or less!
Almost every major search engine has made page load speed (performance) a critical piece of the puzzle (along with responsiveness) for determining site and page rank on search results, without exception. That means clunky, slow-loading pages are doomed to spend their lives in obscurity and in the shadows of fast loading websites and their pages.
Make sure your SEO efforts count by creating high-performance site designs and using quality plugins for your online storefront. To optimize your site, you can use an online tool like Google PageSpeed Insight to check your page load times. Use P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) to get rid of heavy plugins from your WordPress install or get or create lightweight themes. Finally, use W3 Total Cache to cache web assets. On the same note, be sure to use a good quality web host for your eCommerce website.
Site still slow? Download this free ebook for seven easy ways to improve your site’s performance.
Turn posts into pages
Generally speaking, an active comment section on an eCommerce site’s blog means better engagement and a chance to show your audience and buyers that you are open to receiving criticism and feedback from them. The problem is that the keyword density will be reduced gradually as more comments pour in, making it less relevant in the eyes of search bots.
If you have some truly viral-worthy posts that you know are going to drive all traffic to your yard, make sure to turn them into WordPress pages before publication. This will keep your keyword density intact and relevant in the future.
Customize your permalink structure
You may already know that an incomprehensible URL will drive visitors away. Your URL also matters in terms beyond usability – search bots attribute more relevance to a page if its slug is closer to the domain. For instance,
www.website.com/category1/category2/Page-Slug is going to be less relevant to search bots than
WordPress gives you a built in feature to let you customize your permalink structure for all pages. Simply go to your Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks and either pick the setting that works best for you or create a custom structure. For the best SEO results, optimal permalink structure will be your friend!
Optimize product page titles and images
These are two major areas of optimization opportunity! With SEO, it’s all about the little details — including how you name and arrange your page titles and images.
Perfect those page titles
Page titles are significant for your WordPress eCommerce website’s success. Titles, meta tags, and descriptions, and corresponding URLs determine what a search listing looks like on SERPs, so make sure you leave a good impression.
Use the power of core WordPress features to optimize your titles and tags. Stay on point by using brand, model numbers, precise spelling, and no helping verbs because you want to appear on relevant results.
You can also automate this process using Yoast SEO’s titles and metas settings. This will pull all relevant details from the content and choose the most appropriate keyword as the page title (generally the product’s exact name). Check out our full overview of Yoast SEO here!
Enhance your product images
High-resolution product images have the capacity to take your sales to the roof, but those image files will also bog your site down and make your performance plummet. In order to prevent that, make sure to optimize your product images.
Use WordPress core features (like ALT tags and image titles) to create relevance for search bots and keep everything accessible. Then optimize the images for performance using plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer Cloud or Smush. This will help you squeeze your file sizes (without losing viewing quality) to up to 1/10 of the original image file size.
Another plugin worth noting is Lazy load XT plugin, which will improve time-to-first-byte and perceived performance. Also, make sure you show image thumbnails properly for products and blog posts toake your website a haven of visual goodness.
These simple SEO tweaks for WordPress eCommerce websites are sure to help your search engine ranks soar through the roof. Use these tips properly, and see your ranks, conversion rate, and subsequent profits level up like never before!
Remember, SEO isn’t a one-time task! It’ll require consistency to achieve the results you’re looking for. Here’s why we recommend SEO audits be part of your ongoing maintenance!
The ultimate WordPress eCommerce performance guide
Whether your WordPress site is expecting an increase in traffic or just needs a quick performance boost, it’s best to plan ahead and do some research to see what works best. This free guide will give you tips to create a stellar user experience, tricks for boosting performance, and advice on how to take your site to the next level!