Starting your own store is not as far-fetched as it used to be just decades ago. Thanks to the Internet and platforms such as WordPress, anyone can set up a website with the help of an experienced digital marketing agency. And thanks to the incredible WooCommerce plugin, you can easily convert your website into a functional online shop and the source of steady income.
However, setting up shop online has become easy and accessible to almost anyone, which is why you have to make sure you and your shop stand out from the competition. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of essential WooCommerce tips that will help you improve your online store and get more customers.
1. Improve Your Navigation
The first tip refers to the navigation of your store. Make sure you use a flat website architecture to ensure that your users don’t have to click too much until they get to the product or service they are interested in. This is a very popular architecture model used by leading online stores.
A flat navigation will ensure that the number of clicks a user has to make between the furthest layer of your website (or their destination) and the homepage is significantly decreased. This will ensure your customers will easily be able to reach their intended page. Furthermore, this is a great way to improve your SEO efforts, because it makes it easier for Google’s bots to crawl your website.
Imagine that your ideal customer must click 8 times before they reach their intended page. That’s a lot of clicking and a lot of opportunities for them to lose interest and leave your website completely. Instead, they might look to an easier alternative elsewhere. The same goes for Google bots, who are notorious for spending a limited time crawling each website. Since it’s in your interest for them to stay as long as possible and crawl all your pages, you want to make navigation easier.
2. Use Categories And Subcategories To Help Shoppers Discover Products
This tip might seem obvious, but it is a very useful one and one that not everyone adheres to. You’d be surprised how often this simple thing sabotages online stores. A lot of store owners never bother to add categories and subcategories to their online store. This is a huge missed opportunity, because there’s a big chance customers will want to look into other similar products under the same category. Using categories on your website ensures they can easily find products similar to the one they were viewing.
Having categories and subcategories is also very important for SEO. The more you use long-tail keywords for your pages, the better they will rank in search engines such as Google. So while having a page for dresses is good, having a subcategory page for little black dresses or easy summer dresses will greatly improve your chances of being discovered organically.
Then of course, there’s your customers. If you run a WooCommerce store that sells dresses, there’s a chance your clients will want to look into other similar dresses, compare prices and designs. Maybe they’ll even want to buy two different ones. However, if you do not add a category, they will have to scroll through all your items to find a particular thing they need.
3. Use Live Search
If you want to make it easier for your customers to find the products they need, consider adding live search to your store. This way, your customers will be able to find and view the most popular and relevant results on your store.
A lot of themes already come with a live search, but if your website is outdated you should consider hiring a digital marketing agency to give your shop an overhaul and add useful features such as live search and more. This will allow the algorithm to display relevant results after your customer adds only a letter or two.
4. Write Your Own Product Descriptions
What many online store owners do is just copy the product descriptions from their supplier or the products’ official website. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it presents a huge missed opportunity. First of all, Google and other search engines will read this as plagiarism which means they won’t rank your page for any of the keywords you’ve used for the product. This is the main reason you should avoid doing this, no matter how easy it might seem at first.
It’s much better to write your own product descriptions. Not only will you be able to optimize them for better search results, but you’ll also give your store a unique angle your customers will fall in love with. Even a shorter description is far more effective than a copied one.
5. Add Lots Of Internal Links
Internal linking is the staple of any good website navigation and SEO. The idea behind this is that your visitors will want to learn more and click the links you’ve placed throughout your content. But, when it comes to online stores, it is an important part of navigation between products.
WooCommerce has an option to add Cross-sells and Upsells to your product pages. These are related products shown on the checkout page and products that show up as related, respectively. These are great opportunities to make an extra sale and offer clients something they might need.
There are also great plugins that allow for compare shopping, meaning your customers will be able to compare different products and their features. This improves the chances that a visitor you got from a social media campaign will leave your website buying at least something.
Apart from increasing your conversion ratio, internal links can really help improve your website’s SEO. This makes it easier for Google’s bots to crawl the website and connect the pages in their map. The better your website is mapped out, the better it will rank.
6. Display Real Reviews
We’re halfway through, and have reached maybe the most important WooCommerce tip on this list. Social proof has become incredibly important in this era when scamming has never been easier. When customers look for a specific item, their first instinct will be to look at its reviews and see what others had to say. Did it ship on time, was it as described, is it worth the money? These and other questions are usually answered in reviews, which is why you need to make sure your clients are leaving reviews and that these reviews are authentic. If a visitor sees negative reviews on a product, they are likely to leave and never come back.
The same goes for fake reviews. These are very easy to spot, especially if they are left by bots. These can seriously harm your reputation and trust. This is why you need to find a way to encourage your clients to leave authentic, real reviews. Perhaps you’ll offer them a discount on their next purchase or find other ways to encourage them to leave a few lines about their shopping experience.
7. Tend To Unavailable Products
Any online store is dynamic and the availability status of each product is subject to change. This means that you can have a lot of unavailable products on your website for a while, even months, before you restock your inventory. There are several things you can do with the product pages for unavailable products.
Your first instinct is probably to delete the product page until you’ve restocked your inventory. However, if your page ranked well for that particular product you’d be losing a lot of leads. And when you restock your inventory, you’ll have to go through adding all the product information again.
A much more elegant solution is to place a redirect on the page, leading visitors to a similar product you have available. This will let you keep your old page and activate it once you’ve restocked. Moreover, it will continue bringing new leads and possible conversions.
8. Speed Up Your Website
No matter how good your online store looks, if it doesn’t load fast enough you are guaranteed to lose a lot of customers to your competitors. Improving your website speed is critical for a few reasons. The first one is that it greatly contributes to better search results. Search engines love fast websites and penalize those that take too much to load.
More importantly, if your website doesn’t load in 2 seconds you are likely to lose your visitors due to the increasingly lowered attention span online. This is why you need to test your website speed with Google PageSpeed Insights or other tool. Optimizing your website is as easy as following the tips you’ll get from these websites. Perhaps you’ll just need to upload smaller pictures or maybe you’ll need to change your hosting provider.
9. Use Plugins To Add New Features
Plugins are useful features you can easily add to your online store that can improve user experience on your website. However, while it might be tempting to add all the plugins you find attractive or useful, some of them might not work well with each other.
This is where your digital marketing agency comes in. With years of experience, we can help you find the plugins that can benefit your website and not slow it down or interfere with any other functionalities it has. If you need a feature added to your website, chances are there is a plugin for that. A professional web designer will help you find what you are looking for.