SEO checklist for your PrestaShop store
A website might miss a good number of customers without a planned and well-thought out SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. I believe that you have to consider SEO while you are developing the store, not after.
Every website owner wants to get as much traffic as possible. Search engine optimization is a set of measures directed at improving the site to get more organic traffic from search engines. Each online store uses different methods to attract traffic. What methods and what proportions are used all depends on the product niche. Today, we will talk about PrestaShop SEO optimization tips to attract and convert targeted traffic.
What PrestaShop SEO tools are available for PrestaShop? How do you use them? What are their advantages and disadvantages? How can you make SEO even better? We’ll cover some SEO tips and hints in this guide.
Things to check:
- Valid Coding
- Responsive Design
- Page Load Time
- URLs Settings
- Category, Product and CMS Pages SEO Settings
- Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
- Social Media Integration
- Increase Loyalty to Your Brand with Proper Link Building
- Visual Content Optimization
- Review of 10 SEO-Friendly Themes for Your PrestaShop Store
1. Valid Coding
Never give up on this specific point. The theme you use should have valid coding - HTML5, CSS3, JS/JQuery, Bootstrap. Make sure to check all of these aspects using free validator tools like:
2. Responsive Design
Responsiveness of the template plays one of the key roles when users search for something using their mobile devices. That is why your store MUST be responsive. Otherwise you’ll be missing a huge part of potential traffic; therefore, you’ll be missing sales.
Today, ready-made templates are responsive by default, but you can also check the responsive website templates by TemplateMonster.
3. Page Load Time
Page load time is one of the search engine ranking factors.
The search engine ranking factors are the signals that search engines use to rank pages and sites.
The faster the page loads, the higher it is ranked. PrestaShop itself is pretty quick, but there is always room for improvement. Moreover, PrestaShop has additional settings to boost the speed of your website. Here are some of them:
- Go to Preferences > Performance, Smarty section, set Force compile to "No", and Cache to "Yes".
- Go to Preferences > Performance, CCC section, enable all points except "High risk HTML compression".
You can also use speed optimization plugins like:
Never Ignore the Website Speed
There was a time when website speed did not affect the ranking of the site. Ten years ago, all sites loaded equally slowly, the speed of the internet was slow, and users patiently waited until their favorite site loaded. Today no one likes to wait, so if the pages take more than 3-5 seconds to load, that the user will choose another site. It is simple — you are looking for an online store, find two suitable options, and open two pages at once. One gets loaded in 3 seconds, the second one in 10. What page will you stay on? Of course, you will close the second page. Your potential customers will behave the same way. They will choose a site that is loaded quickly and leave their money there. And you should decide whether this fast-loading site will be yours or your competitor’s store.
Search engines know the users’ desires and also do not like the websites which are loading for a long time, mainly because of their low conversion.
Periodically check the speed of your website to solve problems in a timely manner. If the page takes more than 3 seconds to load, some changes should be implemented. Many tools have been developed to measure and diagnose website speed: Pingdom, YSlow by Yahoo, and PageSpeed Insights by Google.
4. URL Settings
Search engine friendly URLs help search engines to identify products and to match the search result with the search request.
Let’s compare an SEO-friendly URL with a non-friendly one:
Friendly URL (let’s say, you are selling t-shirts):
How can you enable Friendly URLs in PrestaShop? Follow the steps below:
- Go to Preferences > SEO and URLs
- Set Friendly URLs to "yes". Please note that your server should allow URLs rewriting
Accented URLs - you can use them in case your URLs are using non-latin characters.
Redirect to Canonical URL - Canonical URL in a nutshell is an original URL, the only one true, the only one that can be there. This option disables duplicated URLs and removes duplicated content.
Duplicated content can drastically bring your search engine ranking down as it can be perceived as spamming, therefore you need to use Redirect to Canonical URL feature, so that all duplicated pages will be redirected to the original one.
Schema URLs - here you can see the list of various pages of URL structures that you can change. For instance, you can change how product link is generated. Let’s say it looks like:
It means that the URL will have category name and product name in it. You can add extra elements like supplier or manufacturer to change the URL structure.
Robots File Generation - this section allows you to edit the robots.txt file that defines what pages of your website can be crawled by search engine bots. Search engines have bots a.k.a Web-spiders, spydies (not you Peter Parker), which go to a website, analyze its content, then send this info to the search engine server to the proper section. So you should really let those bots index the pages that you want to be found.
Each PrestaShop page type can also have its own SEO settings. To edit them, navigate to Preferences > SEO and URLs, and you will see the table of all the page types.
Let’s take a look at the home page - index. Click "Edit" icon next to it.There you will see the following settings:
- Page title - here you can give the page a title. The page title is an important ranking factor and is often used as a title of the search result in Google.
- Meta description - short description of what this page is about. Meta description is often used by Google as a short description (so called snippet) in the search results
- Meta Keywords - here you can add keywords that best describe your page. Meta keywords is somewhat outdated meta data and is not currently used by search engines as a ranking factor. In case you still want to use this setting, be careful not to overload it and only use the keywords that can be found in the visible content of your page, as such practices might turn out to be perceived as spammy by search engines.
- Rewritten URL - shows how the Friendly URL will look like, so that you can customize it as needed
5. Category, Product and CMS Pages SEO Settings
Products, categories they belong to, and CMS pages have their own SEO settings and you should use them. Let’s take a look at the categories settings. Navigate to Catalog > Categories, choose a category and click "Edit".
Here you will see the next SEO settings:
- Description - always add description to categories and next level (sub) categories as it is also indexed by search bots
- Meta title - the title of your category (should not be longer than 70 characters)
- Meta description - description of the category (should not be longer than 160 characters)
- Meta keywords - here you can add keywords for the specific category
- Friendly URL - customize the friendly URL for this category page
Once you’re done with categories, you might start adding products to your PrestaShop store. Product pages have the following SEO settings:
- Meta title
- Meta description
- Friendly URL (can be generated - the generator uses the product name)
CMS Pages are service pages with the content like "About us", "Delivery" and any other pages that you can create via Preferences > CMS. These pages have the following SEO settings:
- Meta title
- Meta description
- Meta keywords
- Friendly URL
Sitemap is a page that shows the structure of your website. It helps search bots to navigate and index your website better. The recommended way is to use Google Sitemap.
Just go to Modules and Services > Modules and Services and type "Google Sitemap" in the search box. Install it. After that you will be able to set up sitemap settings (e.g. what pages should be displayed, how often it is updated, etc). This way your sitemap will be generated as an XML file that is visible to bots only and it tells these bots where they can find this or that page. It’s like a GPS for search bots: “take the next link to get to About Us Page.”
Sitemap. Why Is It So Important?
For any online store, a well-designed structure is a must. You should think about it first - even before you start drawing the first design elements.
The sitemap is important not only for successful optimization for search engines but also for the convenience of visitors. A person, going to the site, must find the necessary information or goods, making no more than 3-4 mouse clicks.
Quite often, website owners wonder why two similar sites are so different in terms of traffic and positions in different search engines. The answer is quite simple. One site is built with a thought-out structure and navigation system, while the other one is far from ideal.
Webmasters know perfectly well, the more attractive and convenient the site is, the better it is perceived by search engines. If the site has low traffic, a low number of clicks, then it also has a negative ranking by search engines. If a person likes the site, it means that it has a convenient structure and navigation system. The well-designed sitemap will help to increase the time spent by visitors on the site, reduce the level of failures and, accordingly, increase its rating in search engines.
7. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a tool that will show you various statistics regarding your website visitors (number of visitors, countries they are from, most visited pages, number of unique visits and much more). Once you register at https://www.google.com/analytics/ you will get a tracing code that you can add to your website to start getting these statistics.
First of all you will need to install the Google Analytics module, so go to Modules and Services > Modules and Services and find Google Analytics via the search box, then install it. After that you will be able to add your tracking code.
8. Social Media Integration
Never forget about this one. Your store has to be connected to your business accounts on FaceBook, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, etc. Make sure it has social Icons. Moreover, each of your products MUST have social share icons, so that visitors could share your products. Believe it or not, this feature might drastically improve your SEO, as pages that are liked and shared via social networks improve the chances of getting a higher rank on the search engine result page.
One more useful tip is that you can actually allow your customers/visitors to log into/or create an account within your store using social networks like FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, etc. It is not a standard functionality feature, but it can also be added as a module, just navigate to Modules and Services > Modules and Services.
No matter how brilliant PrestaShop can be in terms of SEO, you can always add SEO modules to your store for some extra functionality. Here are a few examples:
- More can be found at http://addons.prestashop.com/en/38-seo-prestashop-modules
Social Media Presence as an Essential Part of PrestaShop SEO Process
Today, social networks are not just a platform for communication, but also an effective "provider" of traffic to the site. Social media presence will be the first point of our search engine optimization checklist for a PrestaShop website. And this is quite evident since the promotion of an online store in social networks can give better results than all the usual promotion methods. Social networks provide great opportunities to find and attract potential customers, so the integration of PrestaShop with social networks can significantly increase your sales.
PrestaShop’s best SEO modules can make your store more convenient, primarily for customers - no need to fill in long forms during the initial registration or enter the login password when logging in to your personal account. You can click just one button to enter your account. Among such PrestaShop SEO modules are Social Login, Fan Coupon, Wall Posts, etc.
Social media modules will allow you to increase the popularity of your store — you can talk about your products on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest; improve the efficiency of the store, simplify the creation of accounts (login button), and offer discounts to community members.
9. Increase Loyalty to Your Brand with Proper Link Building
Link building is an effective way to increase the popularity and traffic of your online store. Creating links for PrestaShop stores, in particular, can help increase sales and the number of regular customers. Now it is not just about PrestaShop SEO and URLs.
The easiest way to get backlinks is to implement outreach work to get feedback on your products from bloggers and other influential experts in your niche. You can easily hire a link builder or use the services of the best PrestaShop SEO companies which promote the sites. To assess the effectiveness of your outreach work, you should set up tracking metrics and set a specific goal. For example, the goal might be to convert every blogger review about the product into a specific number of sales. Cooperation with bloggers and influential people within social networks will help to increase the level of recognition of your products that will lead to more reviews.
Review sites tend to bring huge benefits for ranking in the search engines and improving the visibility of your online store. These are the sites that publish their own reviews and the ones with users’ reviews. This is a great solution to get referral traffic and increase the level of trust and loyalty to your brand.
Pay attention to the affiliate sections on manufacturers' websites. You may sell a product to a company whose website has a section "Where to buy" or "Our partners." Getting a backlink from such a section is a matter of a single email. Do not neglect this opportunity.
10. Visual Content Optimization
It would seem that the owners of online stores should do everything possible to make their website bring maximum benefits and turn visitors into buyers, but many people still think that a product range is everything.
Content and its visual optimization is a key component of successful eCommerce user experience. Useful, interesting, correct content attracts users to the site, helps to keep the audience, and pushes them to make a purchase.
The first thing the buyer sees on the page is a photo of the product and its title. The title is an important element of visual content marketing. It should be effective enough since the customer will decide if he wants to learn more about the product and buy. Here are some SEO PrestaShop tips on how to make attractive titles:
- Titles should be short and clear. A few words will be enough.
- Specify the most important characteristics only.
- A creative title will work if the purchase is associated with emotions.
- Make all the titles the same style - your visitors will find this easy to compare and navigate throughout your product range.
The description should be complete enough to avoid any further questions and concerns from the visitor. They are more likely to move on to another site than to ask a question and wait for a response. Some products may only have a couple of characteristics, while others will have to be described in much more detail. To make the product even more attractive, remind the customer what problem it solves or what advantages it has. Also, you can add some elements that will help the client see the store owner's personality, feel the care, and get more emotional connection from the purchase. Keywords should be organically inscribed in the text to improve organic search rankings.
Show customers’ reviews. As a customer yourself, you know that seeing positive feedback from other customers is a good reason to buy the product. Use real testimonials and don’t worry if they are a bit clumsy or not too laudable. They will be genuine and your visitors will know the difference. Do not forget that honesty is important, and false emotions may damage your reputation.
Media materials. Visual information about the product is what the visitor will pay attention to in the first place when they arrive at your site. Therefore, illustrations and videos should be of high quality and be directly related to the products being offered.
11. Review of 10 SEO-Friendly Themes for Your PrestaShop Store
High-quality content and SEO-friendly themes are extremely important for your successful PrestaShop store. Below I have made a list of 10 SEO-friendly themes which will help you bring more clients to your store.
Prestige - Fashion 1.7 PrestaShop Theme
This theme is one of the best examples of SEO PrestaShop ready-made solutions. Prestige is crafted for an apparel store using the latest web design trends. Being SEO optimized, this option will help you increase conversions with no additional marketing campaigns involved. The package includes 100% responsive design, Quick View Product, Parallax scrolling, 6 full customizable small banners, and many other features.
Real Estate Business PrestaShop Theme
If you are looking for a professional-looking theme with powerful built-in functionality, this PrestaShop theme is your choice. Create a daily deal for any product and display it on your site with a countdown timer. Moreover, thanks to JX advanced filter, you can filter products according to multiple parameters which include cost, color, size, etc.
Cheap - Electronic PrestaShop Theme
While thinking about SEO and PrestaShop, do not skip Cheap, a 100% responsive and highly functional theme for your online store. Whether you are selling electronics, computers, furniture or apparel, your search ends here with Cheap. The theme comes with valid HTML5 and CSS3 coding, language and currency integration, easy page layout settings, and much more.
Fast Food PrestaShop Theme
The next PrestaShop theme is designed specifically for a food-related business. Feature-rich Fast Food includes custom fonts, SEO-optimized code, multilingual support, attractive graphics, and 100% responsive layout. Numerous customization features and tools will allow you to set up a fully unique online store and get your business to the next level.
Gloriea Spa & Beauty PrestaShop Theme
Promote your spa and beauty products with Gloriea, a fully responsive and cross-browser compatible PrestaShop theme. Advertising banners, videos, and sliders can be added to the main page of the store to attract the attention of customers to the target sections, promotions, special offers, and new collections of goods. You will get a few variants of PrestaShop homepages SEO-oriented, and much more.
Naomi - Book Store PrestaShop Theme
If you are running an education-related store, you should pay attention to Naomi. Is PrestaShop good for SEO? It is! This PrestaShop theme is fully customizable and easy to install and set up. The package includes multiple language setup, SEO-friendly code, simple quick view, numerous Google fonts, etc. Detailed documentation is available to get the most of the theme.
3Store - Multipurpose PrestaShop Theme
The next bestselling multipurpose theme 3Store can boast of a huge number of functions and has a quality design. It is one of the best SEO ready PrestaShop themes. Moreover, its design is responsive, which will allow you to significantly increase the number of potential buyers, as up to 50% of them make purchases from mobile devices. This theme has everything you need for effective sales.
Auto Moto Parts PrestaShop Theme
Auto Moto Parts theme is designed for auto and tuning goods. The theme supports CSS3, HTML5, RTL language layout, and Bootstrap 3 Framework that help to create a highly functional website. It also comes with a lot of built-in features that will provide convenient management of your website. With this theme, there is no need for a PrestaShop SEO manager.
Crystal Jewellery Store PrestaShop Theme
Modern and elegant, 100% responsive and functional, this theme is an excellent solution to dress up your jewelry store in a competitive business. Crystal Jewellery Store comes with a product slider tab, SEO PrestaShop home pages, blog module, quick start package, newsletter, grid list, and much more. Professional 24/7 support is available in case any questions occur.
Home Design PrestaShop Theme
Choose this PrestaShop theme for your furniture and decoration store. Being SEO-friendly and attractive, the theme will help you to increase conversions of your store. Moreover, you will find Parallax scrolling, multiple product carousels, color picker, blog module, lazy load effect, and other features inside.
When creating a new site or analyzing a current one for its optimization, it is good to have an eCommerce SEO checklist to pay attention to each item and make sure nothing is missed. The fulfillment of all the recommendations of the ultimate SEO checklist is guaranteed to lead to an increase in positions and search traffic. Remember that each business project is different and you do not need to be limited only by those promotion methods described in the article. Test any available sources for increased traffic and make your own conclusions about their effectiveness.
|Theme Name||Theme Provider||Theme Category||Price|
|Prestige - Fashion 1.7 PrestaShop Theme||WebBay||Men’s fashion||$118|
|Real Estate Business PrestaShop Theme||ZEMEZ||Real Estate Agency Templates||$139|
|Cheap - Electronic PrestaShop Theme||Thementic||Fashion Templates||$129|
|Fast Food PrestaShop Theme||TemplateTrip||Fast Food Restaurant Templates||$118|
|Gloriea Spa & Beauty PrestaShop Theme||HE||Spa Accessories Templates||$118|
|Naomi - Book Store PrestaShop Theme||HE||Books||$125|
|3Store - Multipurpose PrestaShop Theme||Aeipix||Decor||$118|
|Auto Moto Parts PrestaShop SEO Theme||WebBay||Auto Parts Templates||$118|
|Crystal Jewellery Store PrestaShop Theme||Aeipix||Beauty Templates||$118|
|Home Design PrestaShop Theme||WebBay||Furniture Templates||$118|
Isn’t it tremendous to have such a variety of multi-flexible settings to make your website run faster and rank better? No wonder PrestaShop is one of the leaders in eCommerce. If you have got some useful advice regarding PrestaShop search engine optimization, feel free to share it with us in the comments below!
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Simon is a TemplateMonster sales operator who helps small businesses and startups by day and passionately rocking on the stage with his bass guitar by night. Simon is a truly creative spirit and idea generator who can draw almost everything he imagines.