10 Tips to Improve SEO for Your PrestaShop Store
March 28, 2022
The Bolt Team
The “if you build it, they will come” mentality often doesn’t translate into more visitors and sales for online retailers. That’s why PrestaShop merchants are investing heavily in digital marketing strategies like SEO (search engine optimization) to drive traffic at lower costs.
In this in-depth SEO for PrestaShop guide, you’ll learn why SEO is valuable for ecommerce shops, how to develop a smart SEO strategy, and how to fast-track your results.
What is PrestaShop?
PrestaShop is an open-source ecommerce platform that allows you to build an online store owned by you. It includes more than 600 features that equip you to sell products and attract customers.
PrestaShop doesn’t charge you for its software, and there are no commissions on your sales. In other words, it’s “open sourced,” meaning you can use it for free.
To get started, download and install the software, choose your shop’s name, and add a theme. Then you can upload your products and set up payments and fulfillment. You’ll likely want add-ons, such as coupons, abandoned cart emails, and product recommendations. There are more than 3,000 add-ons that will help you customize your store, boost traffic, and build customer loyalty.
Sounds compelling, right? But as we mentioned, building an online shop doesn’t guarantee sales. That’s why it’s vital to understand SEO for PrestaShop.
What is SEO?
SEO is a digital strategy for attracting organic traffic from search engines. Doing SEO well ensures you rank high on any search engine, but since Google is the most popular search engine, most SEO tips focus on the tech giant. Generally, if you optimize for Google, you’ll rank well on other search engines as well.
Look at SEO as a marketing strategy as a partnership between you and Google. Don’t try to game the system or trick search engines into ranking your pages. Instead, create high-quality, trustworthy pages, and do your best to tell them what your website is about.
When you understand this partnership, it’s easy to succeed at SEO. Google needs high-quality content to serve in their search engine results pages (SERPs). Create those pages, optimize them properly, and you will stand a better chance at ranking well.
What does it mean to optimize a web page? It means that you write for people and Google’s bots. The published page answers your visitors’ question, but behind that page, you create metadata so that search engines can understand what your page is about.
This is especially important for ecommerce shops; you can reduce ad spend while boosting traffic from people actively searching for your products.
The key to SEO for PrestaShop is getting metadata right. This is the information you share with Google to help them “read” your page.
When you optimize a page, you’ll focus on two pieces of metadata: the meta title and meta description. These are the snippets that show up in search engines when someone searches for a specific product.
Google highlights words in the meta description that match a search query, so users can quickly see the relevance. That’s why you want to include your target keywords in your metadata.
Google takes that information, along with 200 other factors, to decide whether your site is trustworthy and valuable. If it is, and if it’s relevant to a user’s search query, they’re likely to rank your page at or near the top of the results.
One page/one keyword
It’s best to optimize just each page for a single keyword. Each page should have a unique title and description that differentiates it from every other page.
It may be tempting to copy and paste your product description across all products, but if you do, Google won’t know which page to serve when someone is searching for your products. One page/one keyword ensures search engines always rank the right page.
Struggling to make your pages unique? Include the brand name, colors, sizes, and other features in your metadata. That way, if someone is searching for a “light blue cotton onesie” for a friend’s baby shower and Google lists your page, the user will know you have exactly what they need before they click through.
Use relevant keywords beyond the title
Search engines and customers don’t like clicking a link and discovering it isn’t relevant to their needs. If you want to get SEO for PrestaShop right, include your keyword in more than just your title and description. Use it in the:
- Product description, ideally within the first paragraph
- URL – for example, yourstore.com/white-ceramic-color-changing-coffee-mug
- Image alt text, for search engines and people with screen readers
Be careful not to overuse your target keywords. That’s called “keyword stuffing,” and Google will penalize you for it. Create pages that are readable, interesting, and informative for your customers. Then optimize lightly for search engines.
10 tips to improve SEO for PrestaShop
Your pages must achieve two goals. They must be valuable, useful, and easy to understand for your customers. They must also be understandable to search engines. Here are ten SEO tips to achieve that on your PrestaShop site:
1. Use relevant keywords
Research the keywords your customers use to find products like yours. Ubersuggest and other keywords tools will give a keyword’s monthly search volume, so you know whether it’s worth targeting.
2. Optimize for intent
Before honing in on a keyword, make sure people are actively using it to find (and buy) products like yours. When someone wants to buy a onesie, they may search for “organic cotton onesie.” That’s the search intent you want. But when someone wants information, they type something like, “what is a onesie?” For ecommerce, choose words with a high buying intent.
3. Write better product descriptions
Your product descriptions shouldn’t exceed 300 words, but they should be detailed. Specificity sells, especially if those specifics include relevant keywords. You can use your target keyword more than once, but don’t overdo it. To optimize for other keywords, include them on the page at least once.
4. Include both internal and external links
Internal links are links from one page to other pages on your website. When Google sees a website with good internal linking, they begin to recognize it as a credible resource for that search term.
So, for example, if you sell a wide variety of onesies, and every page lists other onesie options at the bottom of the page, Google will realize you have a good inventory and rank your page higher for that keyword.
5. Make your copy clear and easy-to-read
Readability matters. Google wants your page to be useful to people searching for your product or looking for pictures of it. So it pays to craft clear, understandable copy and use lots of images.
6. Improve your page load time
Google penalizes pages that take more than two seconds to load. To ensure your pages load quickly, reduce your media file sizes.
Use a tool like TinyPNG.com to shrink image sizes without a noticeable reduction in quality. Host your videos on a third-party hosting service (YouTube or Vimeo) to ensure they load quickly.
7. Use a mobile-responsive theme
Google ranks mobile-responsive sites above mobile unfriendly sites. So make sure your shop uses a responsive theme. Responsive themes adjust to fit every screen size, whether a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop.
8. Leverage structured data
Structured data gives search engines the information they need to add rich snippets to your search engine listings. When you see a listing with ratings, reviews, prices, images, and other useful information, it’s because they’ve added structured data to the page.
9. Keep your pages updated
Search engines favor sites that keep their pages updated. You don’t need to publish new content every day, but you should keep your product pages fresh and add new ones regularly.
10. Create a sitemap
A sitemap tells search engines about the pages, videos, and files on your website and the relationship between them. Search engines use sitemaps to index your ecommerce site, so your pages show up in the SERPs in a natural way.
As you update your pages with new products, remember to submit your sitemap to Google. You can do this with an SEO tool, such as Yoast.
Next steps to improve your PrestaShop SEO
These ten tips will help you master SEO for PrestaShop, but they are by no means exhaustive. But remember what SEO is for: to get people to your site to buy.
Don’t waste the hard work of SEO by having a clunky checkout that can’t close with the deal with customers. For ecommerce, optimized checkout is essential. And no ecommerce platform supports a better experience than Bolt.
With our fully-optimized end-to-end checkout process, it’s easy to create an intuitive customer experience that converts more visitors into buyers.
Bolt tracks the customer journey across tens of millions of shoppers, providing a more personalized shopping experience to customers while optimizing the pre- and post-purchase sequence.