In eCommerce, the flow or organic traffic you have coming into your website can play a substantial role in the overall success of your business. If you manage a WordPress store, you likely already know how important it is to keep up a steady flow of new users that are looking for your products.
Without this traffic, sales can become stagnant and your eCommerce business efforts may seem like a constant uphill battle. The truth is, without the proper search engine optimizations in place on your website, there is a high likelihood that your online business will not get to the level that you want it to. The field is too competitive now to leave your organic traffic to chance, which is likely why you have stumbled upon this guide.
Here we will go over why SEO is so important for the health of any online store, as well as crucial SEO tips that you can implement to potentially boost your position in the SERPs and get more organic traffic coming into your website. Right now, this is one of the goals of any online business that is serious about succeeding, because as effective as advertising and social media marketing can be, there is no substitute for continuous organic traffic.
Why Your WordPress Store Needs SEO
You may have found success in the past without investing in SEO, or perhaps you aren’t quite sure what SEO even is to begin with and are looking for some clarification. Let’s clear the air a little and lay out exactly what SEO is and why it can benefit your online store.
What is WordPress SEO?
- SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and encompasses a range of strategies that involve improving user experience and the quality of your website so that it may rank higher in Google.
- While WordPress and WooCommerce are “SEO friendly,” they don’t automagically get your content or products seen in Google (no service or platform does this).
- In order to rank, you need to pay attention to your WordPress theme, your use of keywords on your pages, products, and blogs, your text to code ratio, how fast your website is, the quality of your product photos, which plugins you are using, and a host of other factors.
- SEO becomes more technical and user-focused every year, increasing the need for helpful advice and professional assistance.
- WordPress is considered a great platform for SEO because you have a great deal of control over the layout and functionality of your website, and important factors like URL structure, caching, navigation, and category hierarchy.
- Like any platform, your SEO efforts on WordPress must be driven by content and user experience, so while there are certain plugins and themes that can help you create a better website, you still need to put in the work in to create content that encourages engagement, sells your brand and products, and connects with the users in some way.
Google and the other search engines are looking for certain ranking signals. These days, the search engines track all of the minute behaviors of users visiting your website, such as how long they stay on a particular page or whether or not they make a sale. These metrics are considered in the overall usability of your website and will influence its ability to rank high.
This means that you need to take certain steps in order to ensure that you are providing an optimal experience for your users. No matter how great your products are, if your website is unoptimized and comes across as amateurish, your users are not going to stick around long, and Google will notice this.
Sometimes store owners get lucky and a few of their products rank respectively enough to bring in a bit of traffic that can keep the business afloat, at least in the interim. However, this approach to SEO isn’t sustainable, and if you are serious about making sure your WordPress store prospers, you need to take a more proactive approach to how you optimize your content and reach out to your users.
Important SEO Tips to Improve Your Store
If you are trying to get more traffic to your WordPress website, there are several measures you can take to potentially boost your rankings. Some of the following tips may seem like only small adjustments, but when it comes to SEO and what the search engines are looking for, something as tiny as a meta title can have a big impact on the perceived quality of a page.
Before diving into the tips, take a moment to consider the context of your content and how it addresses certain user needs. This is the true end-goal for Google and they have made this clear over the last few years, that all of the techniques and “SEO hacks” in the world aren’t a substitute for simply providing a great user experience, and this will continue to be reflected in the algorithm changes. Your first concern should be, “how can I provide usable information to my users or help them in some way.”
Here are important WordPress SEO Tips to consider:
- Prioritize easy reading and helpful information over flashy designs.
- Decrease page load times by compressing images and reducing unnecessary plugin usage.
- Your navigation should be clear and understandable, and should act as a guide for your users to help them find what they are looking for.
- Meta titles should not be full of useless information. They should accurate describe the primary content of the page in question, and should ideally contain the focus keyword.
- Your product descriptions should be fleshed out and should contain relevant keywords. Think of each product page as its own sales page, and you will have a basic idea of the level of quality Google and your users are looking for.
- Social proof goes a long way. Whenever possible, include reviews, links to your social media profiles, and other signals of authority that the search engines can pick up to understand that you are a real business and not just another random digital entity.
- Invest in your hosting. If you are running a serious eCommerce website, you can’t get by on shared or discount hosting. WooCommerce alone is one of the larger, more resource-intensive WordPress plugins, and needs proper dedicated hosting in order to run as smoothly as possible. A fast host that has proper caching and CDN (content-delivery-network) capabilities will improve your user experience and send all the right ranking signals to Google that your website means business.
- Take your blog seriously. You need to find the time to create useful and informative content on your website that goes into more detail than what you can supply on a typical product page, and you don’t want to clutter your homepage with a massive list of facts and tips. Your blog is not only one of the best marketing tools you have access to, it can be used to engender trust with your users and guide them to products that will help them. If optimized correctly, your WordPress blog is a powerful asset to your business that you can’t afford not to utilize.
These general tips will start you off with the right foundation but if you want to really increase your rankings, you need to develop a data-driven SEO strategy that covers everything from on-site technical adjustments, to high-quality backlinks and rich content creation.
WordPress as a platform is great for SEO because of the control it gives store owners in terms of managing their categories, product page content, and even their databases, but SEO is more than just what happens on your actual website. Ranking signals may include social media posts pointing back to your website, outbound links from authorities in your niche that point to your products, and reviews on third party websites, just as an example.
If you are wondering how you can make the most impact with as little work as possible, pay attention to the following areas of your website:
- Start with great hosting, such as Siteground, Bluehost, Namecheap, or GreenGeeks.
- Select a lightweight premium theme. The bulk of your customizations should come through your page builder, not your theme. Note, you don’t necessarily have to select an “eCommerce theme,” as most well-made themes are both WooCommerce compatible and can be outfitted as an online store with ease.
- Install a great SEO plugin such as Yoast, which will help you customize your page titles and descriptions, how your products and blogs show up on social media, will help you in matters regarding your sitemap, keyword densities, and more.
- Install a proper caching plugin that helps deliver static content to your users, increasing page speed, lowering server requests, and in general increasing performance of your online store.
- Install an SSL certificate. This is considered a ranking factor according to Google, and is necessary in terms of eCommerce. Though you technically only need a SSL certificate installed on the “storefront” area of your website for the checkout to be secure, it helps to simply cover the entire domain.
These points cover the bare minimum steps you need to take in order to help your online store to rank better. A more comprehensive SEO strategy will probably be necessary if you really want your WordPress store to rank, however, which is something we will discuss in greater detail below.
Investing in eCommerce SEO for WordPress
What does it really take to rank a WordPress site? These days, no matter what niche or industry you are in, it’s going to be quite the climb. SEO not only requires a great deal of knowledge and experience, it also requires patience.
By implementing the tips above, you can help draw in more organic traffic to your online store and potentially get more sales, but if you want to really make a difference in the way your business performs, you may want to consider high-quality WordPress SEO services. The technical skill and attention to detail needed in order to properly address most optimization tasks practically necessitates a professional touch.
Can you handle your eCommerce SEO by yourself? Sure, but you are probably not going to get the kind of rankings or results you want. SEO is in part a time investment – you get out what you put in. With that in mind, tinkering here and there with a few pages when you have the time is not the kind of strategy that is going to allow you to compete at the highest level and take traffic away from your competition.
What’s more, Google has indicated that SEO is only going to become more stringent in terms of what is required to rank effectively. This means less easy techniques and more sophisticated strategies that require diligence, time, and experience to execute properly. Already we are seeing this with Google’s newfound emphasis on user experience, which has forced many old SEO tactics to become obsolete.
You’re likely to get far better results for your business and actually increase your rankings and traffic by investing in the right SEO services. Here at Genius eCommerce®, we know what it takes to rank eCommerce websites, regardless of niche or need. With comprehensive strategies that include keyword-optimized blog content, powerful backlinks, on-site technical adjustments, and in-depth research, our mission is nothing less than the success of your business.
Want your WordPress store to start working for you and bringing in a steady stream of organic traffic that is ready to buy your products? Give our SEO team a call at 888.982.8269 and we will discuss your needs and help craft a SEO plan that will cover every aspect of your business. When it comes to eCommerce, you can’t afford to trust any agency to deliver, which is why so many businesses rely on us to get them results that translate directly into more traffic and sales. Get in touch with us today if this sounds like what you need to help guide the course of your WordPress website.