Now that online shoppers are searching for products on the web more than ever, it’s time to optimize your WordPress store to the fullest. With an SEO-friendly website, you’ll pave the way to an increased customer base and likely notice a boost in your sales numbers.
However, search engine rules and algorithms change all the time, so it’s hard to keep track of them and still stay focused on running your eCommerce business. That is why we have prepared this short guide on the top 5 rules to pay attention to as you’re optimizing your WordPress eCommerce site this year.
1. Pick the Right Theme
Believe it or not, the theme you choose to power your WordPress eCommerce site will have a significant impact on your SEO. It’s not just about design and UX, but the order of elements on your website that’s organized through WordPress themes can make or break your SEO score.
There’s a good reason why many WP themes flaunt their SEO-friendliness when talking about their best features. Some themes are just more mobile-friendly than others, incorporate headings and headlines in a search-engine-friendly way, and include tags that make it easier for your WordPress site to get indexed by search engines.
Create an XML Sitemap for Google
If this is your first time hearing about the term XML sitemap, you probably agree that it sounds like something from Star Trek and that you’ll need some serious quantum computing knowledge to tackle it. However, it’s very simple to create one, and it can be beneficial for the discovery of your website by search engines.
A file that contains an XML sitemap of your WordPress eCommerce site contains all the URLs on your website. Some websites have only a couple of URLs. In the case of an online store, you will likely have hundreds or thousands of URLs connected to your website, because each product, collection, and page requires its own.
Due to the high number of URLs and sub-pages, search engine crawlers find it more challenging to process eCommerce sites than blogs, for example. As a WP eCommerce website owner, you don’t want Google to miss some of your categories, products, or collections.
To easily set up an XML sitemap of your online store, you can use the WP plugin Google XML sitemaps. If you’re using SEO plugins, especially Premium versions, some of them will include this functionality automatically.
“Instead of hoping Google and other search engines will understand your store, you can single-handedly make sure they do. With the help of XML sitemaps, you can give search engines a clear map of the organization of your website”, says Dorian Martin, a writer at BestWritingAdvisor.com.
2. Create SEO Content and Update Your Existing Content
Search engine optimization might have secret formulas and hacks, but it will always come down to posting regular, consistent, and high-quality content. Every time you write a new post, publish a new page or post a unique product description, run it through SEO plugins or tools to make sure it has the best chances of being discovered and ranked by search engines.
You can use these services to achieve impeccable SEO results: SmallSEOTools (check all your existing content for plagiarism, readability and more), EssaySupply (find the best SEO and essay writers for writing supreme content for your WordPress eCommerce site), Fiverr (find affordable freelancers who can optimize your website).
If you notice that some of your products or pages are not ranking well with no apparent reason, you can either update the content on those pages or hire SEO experts to check out what’s wrong.
3. Use Plugins for Search Engine Optimization
In some of the previous chapters, we already mentioned the potential of SEO plugins when they’re used regularly as part of your WordPress toolbox. When you consistently use an SEO plugin, stick to its recommendations, and publish only after the elements have gotten a green light from the plugin, you’ll quickly start seeing an increase in organic traffic.
One of the best SEO plugins for WordPress eCommerce is Yoast SEO. It’s available for free, but you can also upgrade it to Pro to receive additional features. Yoast will analyze all your pages in real-time, so you’ll have an SEO score ready even before you hit Publish.
4. SEO-proof your Checkout Pages
Many eCommerce marketers are aware that their checkout pages might be hurting their business, but it’s often hard to know what exactly you should do about them. The average cart abandonment rate is close to a whopping 70%, and a considerable portion of this number goes to failed purchases on the checkout section. High cart abandonment rates are not only missed chances of a sale, but minus points in the SEO realm. When a search engine notices that your checkout pages have a big bounce rate, they are less likely to recommend your site in its top search results.
There is a lot you can do for your search engine optimization as an eCommerce WordPress site owner. Next to hundreds of useful plugins and tools (most of which are free), you can also benefit from the help of experts who can help you identify SEO problems and boost your organic traffic.
In eCommerce, organic traffic is considered to be one of the most valuable sources of visitors, because every shopper who finds your WordPress site in that way is a valuable prospect. If you want to scale your business by boosting your sales, you should leverage this type of traffic as much as possible.