WooCommerce: Fix Google Search Console “No global identifier provided” Error

If you registered your WooCommerce website on Google Search Console for monitoring your SEO efforts and search appearance errors, you probably got this “No global identifier provided (e.g. gtin, brand)” email notification at some stage. I got it too.

Search Console optionally requests you set a unique product GTIN structured data for all your products – I believe in case you wish to sell on Google Shopping – and therefore sends you this error notification whenever a product is missing this.

You could use a WooCommerce GTIN plugin from the WP repo, yes. Or you could be smart, and programmatically set the GTIN to the same value of the product SKU, as long as all your products have a unique SKU value. Today, we will cover the latter. Enjoy!

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WooCommerce: Redirect Product Category Pages

Maybe because you have only one product category and therefore search engines would find duplicate content (Shop page = Category page) and penalize your website.

Or maybe because you use advanced product filters and you prefer customers to see the filtered view “by category” (e.g. “example.com/shop/?_product_category=tables“) as opposed to the default category pages ( “example.com/product_category/tables” ).

Either way, it is possible to programmatically redirect all product category pages to a given page or to a relevant URL with parameters – and here’s the fix. Enjoy!

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WooCommerce: Add a Third Description @ Single Product Page

There are times when the “long description” and the “short description” are not enough on the WooCommerce Single Product page. What if you need to add another HTML content section – say – at the very bottom of the page (and maybe, because of the longer page, add another add to cart button there as well)?

In this simple snippet, we will add another “WYSIWYG” text editor in the Edit Product page, and display the output at the bottom of the single product page. Enjoy!

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WooCommerce: How to Make Your Store More Mobile-Friendly

In April 2015, Google released an algorithm update that favored mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile oriented search results. This algorithm was named “Mobilegeddon”, and it gave leverage to those sites that display perfectly on smartphones and other mobile devices. 

Clearly, having a mobile-friendly website not only makes it easier to engage and convert mobile using customers, but also paves the way for better ranking and visibility on search engines.

While it is good practice to get a WooCommerce mobile app for your store, it is also important to optimize your website and make it more mobile-friendly.

We will first discover the benefits of making your website more mobile-friendly, and then learn the tips and tricks to optimize it for small devices.

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WooCommerce: Override Product Category Page Title

This is an interesting WooCommerce customization – as you know WordPress menus and widgets read whatever product category name and display it in the frontend.

Let’s say your product category title is “Tables”. This will show up in the navigation menu if you have set it up that way, in te breadcrumbs if you have any, in the sidebar category widgets, and as a title on the single product category page.

This is great and all, but what if your product category name is “Red Round Tables By Whatever Brandname“? As you can imagine, displaying this in a sidebar or navigation menu may be a little too much, while it’s fine to use it as a H1 on the single product category page for SEO reasons and enhanced readability.

So, the question is – how do we define an “alternative” product category name, so that this can be used on the product category page as custom title, while using the default one for other smaller locations such as menus and widgets?

Well, this is how it’s done – enjoy!

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WooCommerce: Top 8 SEO Plugins to Grow Your Traffic

Having an amazing website with top-notch content that ranks on the fifth page of search results is every website owner’s worst nightmare.  

And the key to avoiding this is to optimize your website for search engines. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help you rank higher in search results, gain more visibility, and improve the quality and quantity of traffic your website gets – all of which can help your bottom line.

But here’s the catch – SEO can often be complicated and confusing for website owners, especially if you don’t have prior knowledge or a strategy in place. Analyzing content for keywords, creating a site structure, tracking rankings, and most importantly, staying on top of search engine algorithms is not an easy feat. 

The good news is there’s a wide range of WordPress SEO plugins that can simplify the job for you. With features like content analysis, keyword tracking, and SEO audits, these plugins can help you optimize every part of your website effortlessly so you can gain more visibility online. 

Like with many plugin categories, if you go looking, you can get lost in a sea of SEO plugins because there are simply so many of them. But we’ve done the legwork for you and prepared a list of the eight best plugins to supercharge your website traffic. 

Let’s dive in!

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WordPress: Growing Your Plugin (Part 2: Integrations)

If you use the word “integration” or “compatibility” with a seasoned plugin developer, chances are you might make them flinch. You can’t blame them. More often than not, these terms bring to mind an inbox laden with emails asking for compatibility with one plugin or another, day in and day out. 

But what’s the big deal?- you ask. You, the proud developer of a newly released plugin, would kill to have an inbox full of customers. You would gladly trade places. 

Well, the fact of the matter is that the prospect of an integration can be daunting. It means a plugin developer may have to become familiarized with a codebase that falls far short of their own standards (we all know what open-source, at its worst, can lead to). After that, resolving the compatibility issue in question ranges from cakewalk to descent into the underworld. Usually, it’s somewhere in between. The last step, of course, is to get back to the customer in question. Imagine the battle-tested plugin developer’s remorse when, on occasion, they never hear so much as a peep from that customer again. Sure, the resolution to this issue may pay dividends in the long-run, but as the veteran developer knows full-well, there is no guarantee of that. 

In a word, ensuring your plugin plays well with others is no joke. That’s why you don’t hear many old-timers advising folks to make integrations and compatibility a focus, or at least that’s my hypothesis. But regardless of whether my suspicion is true or not, the fact that this is a neglected growth lever is beyond dispute. You don’t need to take my word for it either. Just ask Chris Lema, who recently stated as much in one of his blogposts (which I briefly covered in WooWeekly).

The message is simple: it pays well to ensure your plugin plays well with others. Even if that sounds like bad poetry to you, it’s true. 

Continue reading WordPress: Growing Your Plugin (Part 2: Integrations)

WordPress: Growing Your Plugin (Part 1: Website + SEO)

If you build it, they may come – but not in as great a number as they would otherwise. 

I have seen WordPress developers reach as many as 10,000 active installations without spending a single minute on dime marketing. However, on every occasion that I hear such a story, I pause to wonder: how big would this theme or plugin be if the developer behind it thought about distribution?

Maybe their product spawns a company and they become the next YITH or Yoast, toasting after a major acquisition not thought possible in their wildest dreams

The first hurdle to overcome as a developer is the fallacy that your product is tainted by even the slightest speck of marketing, as if it was a glass of unadulterated, pure spring water sourced from the streams of Mount Olympus.

The WordPress ecosystem is not the plains of Dion – it’s more like the dregs of Romulus. More and more, it is guaranteed that you will face competition from the optimates, the big guys who come in the form of hosting providers, prolific WordPress development companies, super plugins, site builders, etc. 

The best themes and plugins don’t always win in the face of superior brands and warchests. In fact, the more disillusioned among us would say that they rarely do these days.

The good news is that the best themes and plugins can win, even if their developers are unknown and resource-constrained. But it all begins by bringing the horse to water. After that, if the product is good enough, the horse will drink. If it does not drink, there is more development to do. 

Continue reading WordPress: Growing Your Plugin (Part 1: Website + SEO)

WooCommerce: How To Change The Permalink Structure

WooCommerce permalink structure may appear unusual for newcomers. Those /product/ and /product-category/ parts of the URL are well-known distinctive features, but some experts don’t agree that this is the most convenient way to handle permalinks SEO-wise. 

A popular thought is to always keep URL structure as simple as possible and remove any unnecessary parts of it. You don’t have to take the word of those experts or me since the official guideline from Google suggest to avoid lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters. 

So, what does that exactly mean for WooCommerce store builders? 

First of all, URL bases like /shop/, /product-category/ and /product/ can be considered unnecessary as Google knows how to define shop and product pages without the need of specifying that inside the URL. 

And probably you don’t want to create a false perception of site depth for crawlers so they don’t rate those pages lower than they should be. Again, a well-known precept – pages closer to the main folder (domain) are more meaningful for search engines. 

If you agree with such statements, it would be helpful to understand how to redesign the permalink structure in WooCommerce. So read ahead to find out about that. 

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WooCommerce: Hide Product Price & Stock From Google

The WooCommerce Plugin is also developed with SEO in mind and provides your website with the schema markup for products (as well as other microdata useful for search engines).

This means by default your products are going to show on Google together with other data such as review stars, stock status, number of reviews and – you saw that coming – the product price.

In certain case scenario, however, you may want to hide WooCommerce product prices from Google search results (and all the other search engines of course). For example, because your prices are only visible to logged in users; or maybe because you don’t want to display your prices until potential customers go to your website and read all the product benefits as opposed to having them make a price-only decision.

Either way, let’s see how it’s done. And once again, it’s one line of code. Enjoy!

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WooCommerce: Add Second Description @ Product Category Pages

In terms of SEO, if you’re trying to rank your product category pages, you really need to make the most of the default WooCommerce product category “description” and “thumbnail”. Most themes, if compatible with WooCommerce, will show this content right below the product category name and above products.

Nothing new so far. But what if you want to add another piece of content below the category products while also keeping the default description? Well, we’d need to customize the edit category page and display a new text editor field, save it, and finally display it where we want. So, here’s how they do it!

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WooCommerce: 27 SEO Tips (For Non-Techies)

I had the pleasure to speak at WordCamp Milano 2018, and I had a blast! I believe the topic was pretty interesting, so you all deserve a long post recap with actionable tips and screenshots to understand basic WooCommerce SEO (video of the presentation will be available soon).

The following WooCommerce Search Engine Optimization tips are mostly non technical, and are aimed at WordPress and WooCommerce users who never heard of “schema”, “long tail”, “301” and “hreflang” (although if you did, please have a read anyway, make sure to post a comment and contribute to this post with your expertise).

The thing is – SEO is never going to die. Besides, Google & co. constantly improve their website ranking algorithms. This means what you learned 5 years ago in regard to SEO might not work today, and what you learn today might not work in 2 years time… you get the point.

In this blog post, we will analyze and study 27 evergreen SEO factors for WooCommerce websites. These should be applied (or not applied, as there are many “not to do” tips as well) to your ecommerce website at all costs if you believe you deserve better ranking (who doesn’t?). And as they’re evergreen, they’re likely not to go away for a few years at least 🙂

So, let’s get started!

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WooCommerce: 4 Reasons You Should Use a .STORE Domain

This is a guest post by Suman Das of Radix – if you like the article, make sure to thank him in the comments!

Now that you’re planning to sell online, you need to create your own brand. And while WooCommerce can help you develop a slick ecommerce website, building a great brand starts with picking a great domain name.

When it comes to effective brand building and harboring customer trust, your domain name plays a crucial role. It’s the first touchpoint for your customers and helps them get an understanding of what awaits them on your website. Paid marketing campaigns and special offers can help you convert traffic quickly, but to thrive in the long run it’s essential that you build an outstanding BRAND.

Your WooCommerce website is a virtual storefront, so why not use a brand new and very relevant .STORE domain name instead of a .COM? It’s a smart way to highlight the fact that you sell something on your website… without having to explain it through your brand name.

So, here are some reasons you should consider registering a .STORE domain for your WooCommerce website.

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WooCommerce: How To Do Keyword Research?

This is a guest post by Helga Moreno of Ahrefs – if you like the article, make sure to thank her in the comments!

I’m sure all of you know that keyword research is one of the most important SEO activities that is closely related to your WooCommerce website marketing success.

I also have no doubt that you have already studied a heap of articles that include step-by-step instructions on doing expert keyword research aimed at ranking high for thousands of targeted search terms and seriously improving your traffic from Google.

But there is a strange thing about it. Every article gives a bit different instructions. I don’t argue the competence of their authors. The reason for such kind of discrepancy is hidden in the fact that there is no universal approach to doing keyword research.

So what should be taken into account when you do keyword research?

  • Your website’s authority, number of pages, quality of content, etc.
  • Your goals and objectives – branding, exposure, traffic, leads, sales
  • Your budget, resources, and deadlines
  • Your industry and competitive landscape

I guess now you understand the reason why it was so hard to follow the steps of the guides you stumbled upon before.

We will take a different route. I mean I will give you a kind of keyword research framework that you will easily adapt to the goals of your WooCommerce install.

You’ll see that the tactics and methods described below will utterly improve your traffic coming from Google. Continue reading WooCommerce: How To Do Keyword Research?

WooCommerce: Should I Noindex Product Tag Pages?

Ah, yet another million dollar question. If you have organized your WooCommerce products properly, you have “N” product categories and “M” product tags, where “M > N” (actually, if there were such a thing in algebra, it should be “M >>> N” as each product should be assigned to 1 category and multiple tags).

This means a lot of duplicate content. Even worse, if you have a product category called “Hats” and a product tag called “Hat”, what would you do if you were Google? Correct – it would probably not index either one as this is confusing in regard to user experience. Continue reading WooCommerce: Should I Noindex Product Tag Pages?