Woocommerce SEO

Installation

The main zip that you download contain two folders, Plugin and Documentation.

The Plugin folder contains an unzipped version of the plugin (woocommerce-seo folder) and a zipped version (woocommerce-seo.zip). The Documentation folder contains this documentation.

There are two ways to install the plugin: through the Worpress admin panel or upload using FTP.

Remember...

Woocommerce must be installed before you install the Woocommerce SEO Plugin

Note...

The Woocommerce SEO Plugin requires Woocommerce 1.5 or greater to function correctly. If you are using an older version, please consider upgrading.

1. Install using Wordpress Admin Panel

To install the plugin, log into your WordPress admin panel and navigate to: Plugins > Add New.

There will be a sub-menu across the top of the page, click upload

Browse to the plugin folder and select the woocommerce-seo.zip file. Click install now.

After a few seconds, Wordpress should notify you that the plugin was installed successfully and give you the option of activating the plugin.

Clicking Activate Plugin wil activate the plugin immediatley. Alternativley, you can activate the plugin from the Plugins page.

2. Install using FTP

If you have no idea what FTP is or how to log into your hosting using FTP then do not attempt this. Instead install the plugin using the Wordpress Admin Panel as explain above.

Watch out!!!...

Be careful of permissions and file ownership when uploading through FTP. The plugin implements an autmatic update feature which may fail if the file permissions/owernership are not correct resulting in Wordpress being unable to make changes to the files. Uploading the plugin though the Wordpress dashboard (as outlined in the previous section) will ensure all permissions/ownership are correct.

Login into your hosting using your chosen FTP client and browse to your wordpress installation and go to your plugins folder (usually wp-content/plugins). Upload the whole of the Woocommerce-seo folder from within the Plugin folder that you downloaded.

Once uploaded, login to your wordpres admin and go to Plugins > Installed Plugins and activate the plugin.


Note...

If you try to activate the plugin when Woocommerce is inactive or deactivate Woocommerce, the plugin will automatically deactivate itself.

Features

The Woocommerce SEO Plugin adds several extra pieces of functionality that will make your Woocommerce shop more optimised for the search engines. These features include:

  • Remove Woocommerce default product category base
  • SEO Freindly URLs when using Filters (Layered Navigation)
  • Automatically generated page title and meta description for categories
  • Automatically generated page title and meta description for products
  • Custom page title and meta description for categories
  • Custom page title and meta description for products
  • Noindex/Nofollow individual categories
  • Noindex/Nofollow individual products
  • New SEO layered navigation widget
  • Improved Breadcrumbs

Features in detail

What Woocommerce Does What the Woocommerce SEO Plugin Does
Product Category Base When browsing a category page in Woocommerce, the URL will be www.mysite.com/product-category/category-name. Gives you the option of removing the product-category part of the URL, giving you a shorter and cleaner looking URL.
SEO Freindly URLs When browsing product using the layered navigation widget, Woocommerce adds the attribute ID to the URL as a parameter, e.g. www.mysite.com/product-category/category-name/?filter_name1=12,13&filter_name2=78 Using the new layered navigation widget, the plugin removes all parameters from the URL and replaces them with the actual name of the attribute. e.g. www.mysite.com/product-category/category-name/filter1/filter2/filter3
Note - You must you the new layered navigation widget for this to work correctly.
Automatically generated meta info for categories The page title for categories will always be the category name. This will stay the same even after selecting filters from the layered navigation widget. There is no meta description. The plugin allows you to set a template for both the page title and the meta description. As the user browses the category page using the filters, the template will be used to generate both the page title and meta description giving you a different page title and meta description for each combination of filter selected.
Automatically generated meta info for products The page title for products will always be the product name. There is no meta description. The plugin allows you to set a template for the page title and meta description for each product which will be used to generate this information when the page is being viewed.
Custom meta info for categories The page title for categories will always be the category name. There is no meta description. In addition to setting a template, you can define a custom static page title and meta description that will be used instead of the generating one.
Custom meta info for products The page title for products will always be the product name. There is no meta description. In addition to setting a template, you can define a custom static page title and meta description that will be used instead of the generating one.
Noindex/Nofollow individual categories There is no option for this in Woocommerce. Set whether the searh engines will index this category page and/or folow the links on this page.
Noindex/Nofollow individual products There is no option for this in Woocommerce. Set whether the searh engines will index this product page and/or folow the links on this page.
New SEO layered nav widget The default layered navigation widget gives unfreindly SEO URLs when filtering products. The new layered navigation widget will output SEO friendly URLs as mentioned above. (see SEO Freindly URLs)
Improved breadcrumbs On category pages, the breadcrumb will only show categories and not filter selected. Breadcrumbs will now show what filters were selected and the order in which they were selected as well as giving the option travelling back up the breadcrumb trail.

Setup

Once installed, the plugin will add a few extra options to various parts of Woocommerce. The global settings for the plguin can be seen within the Woocommerce settings page.

The plugin will add a new tab called 'SEO' which will hold all global settings for the plugin.

The SEO tab is split into three sections: Woocommerce SEO Settings, Global Category Meta Settings and Global Product Meta Settings. Each section goes into more details below.

Woocommerce SEO Settings

The Woocommerce SEO Settings section holds general settings that arn't specific to categories or products. A description of each setting within this section is given below.

Product Category Base

The product category base is used in the url when browsing a category page. By default, Woocommerce shows product-category. E.g. www.mysite.com/product-category/category-name

Selecting this option will remove the product category base from the URL. E.g. www.mysite.com/category-name

Enable Woocommerce SEO Breadcrumbs

The Woocommerce SEO Breadcrumbs are different to the built in breadcrumbs that Woocommerce uses. The Woocommerce SEO breadcrumbs add the filters selected from the layered navigation widget into the breadcrumb trail so the user knows exactly how the got to the current page.

If enabled, the Woocommerce SEO breadcrumbs will be shown instead of the default breadcrumbs. Note however, that the Woocommerce SEO breadcrumbs will only output on category pages instead of the default breadcrumbs. On all other pages, the default breadcrumbs will be shown.

More information about breadcrumbs can be found in the Breadcrumbs section of this documentation.

Global Category Meta Settings

The Global Category Settings govern what and how the plugin will handle meta data for categories only. These setting wil apply to all categories but can be changed/disabled within the individual category edit page. Each setting is explained below.

Note...

'Meta Data' refers to data that is output in the < head > section of the page and include the page title (the title seen in the browsers bar, or tab), the meta description (which is used in search engines results page) and meta robots tag (which tells search engine robot how to handle that page).

Enable Category Meta Data

Set whether the plugin will handle meta data for categories.The plugin will only handle the outputting of page titles and meta description for categories if this is set to 'Yes'. Setting this to 'No' will disable this for all categories regardless of what is set in each individual categorys settings.

Warning...

Using the Woocommerce SEO plugin in conjuction with an SEO plugin for Wordpress may cause a conflict since both plugin will try to manipulate the output for product categories. Its best to only allow the Woocommerce SEO plugin to handle this by disabling the Wordpress SEO plugin your are using from handling the taxonomy product cat.

Category Meta Setting

Here you determine how the plugin will output pages titles and meta descriptions for categories.
Settings this to 'Template' will make the plugin generate the page title and meta description for categories using the template provided in the 'Category Page title template' and 'Category Meta Description Template' settings.
Setting this to custom will make the plugin use whatever you have set the page title and meta description to be in each category.

Note...

This setting will be overriden by whatever is set in each individual category. Only if the individual category option is set to 'Global' will this setting be used.

Category Page Title Template

The template that will be used when generating category page titles. Any combination of tags and text can be used to make up the title. Available tags are shown below the 'Category Meta Description Template' field.

Category Meta Description Template

The template that will be used when generating category meta description. Any combination of tags and text can be used to make up the description. Available tags are shown below this field.

More information about the template sturcture and how to construct the template can be found in the Template Format section of this documentation.

Global Product Meta Settings

Similar to the category settings, the Global Product Settings determine how the plugin will handle meta data for products only. Again, these settings will apply to all products but can be changed/disabled within each product. Each setting is explained below.

Enable Product Meta Data

The plugin will only handle the outputting of page titles and meta description for products if this is set to 'Yes'.

Warning...

Using the Woocommerce SEO plugin in conjuction with an SEO plugin for Wordpress may cause a conflict since both plugin will try to manipulate the output for products. Its best to only allow the Woocommerce SEO plugin to handle this by disabling the Wordpress SEO plugin you are using from handling the taxonomy product.

Product Meta Setting

Here you determine how the plugin will output pages titles and meta descriptions for products.
Settings this to 'Template' will make the plugin generate the page title and meta description for products using the template provided in the 'Product Page title template' and 'Product Meta Description Template' settings.
Setting this to custom will make the plugin use whatever you have set the page title and meta description to be in each product.

Remember...

This setting will be overriden by whatever is set in each individual product. Only if the individual product option is set to 'Global' will this setting be used.

Product Page Title Template

The template that will be used when generating product page titles. Any combination of tags and text can be used to make up the title. Available tags are shown below the 'Product Meta Description Template' field.

Product Meta Description Template

The template that will be used when generating product meta description. Any combination of tags and text can be used to make up the description. Available tags are shown below this field.

More information about the template sturcture and how to construct the template can be found in the Template Format section of this documentation.

Category Options

The plugin will add a few SEO settings fields to the category edit page. A description of those settings is below:

Enabled/Option

Disabled - Page titles and meta description will not be shown for this category, even if the 'Enable Category Meta Data' global setting is set to 'Yes'.
Global - Set by default. This will use whatever is set in the global 'Category Meta Setting'.
Template - This will use the templates for page title and meta description set in the global 'Category Page Title Template' and 'Category Meta Description Template' setting.
Custom - This will use whatever is input in the Page Title and Meta Description fields in the cateogry edit page.

Note...

This setting of override whatever is set in the global 'Category Meta Setting'.
Page Title

The custom page title for this category. Will only be used if the category option or the global option are set to 'Custom'

Meta Description

The custom meta description for this category. Will only be used if the category option or the global option are set to 'Custom'

Noindex this category

Set whether the search engines index this category page

Nofollow this category

Set whether the search engines follow links on this category page.

Product Options

The plugin will add a new 'SEO' tab on the product edit page. A description of its settings are below:

Enabled/Option

Disabled - Page titles and meta description will not be shown for this product, even if the 'Enable Product Meta Data' global setting is set to 'Yes'.
Global - Set by default. This will use whatever is set in the global 'Product Meta Setting'.
Template - This will use the templates for page title and meta description set in the global 'Product Page Title Template' and 'Product Meta Description Template' setting.
Custom - This will use whatever is input in the Page Title and Meta Description fields in the product edit page.

Note...

This setting of override whatever is set in the global 'Product Meta Setting'.
Page Title

The custom page title for this product. Will only be used if the product option or the global option are set to 'Custom'

Meta Description

The custom meta description for this category. Will only be used if the product option or the global option are set to 'Custom'

Noindex this product

Set whether search engines will index this product page.

Nofollow this product

Set whether search engines will follow links on this category page.

Template format

The tags used in the template have the same format as shortcodes used by Wordpress. Tag names are enclosed in square brackets e.g. [category] with any extra attributes available to the tag also enclosed within the square brackets.

Creating your template

The tags that are available to use in your template are listed below the meta description template field for categories and products. The tags available for use in the category template are [category] and all of your product attributes e.g. [color] , [size]. The tags available for use in the product template are [name] , [sku] , [price] , [excerpt] , [blogname]

Creating your template is as simple as listing the tags in the field in the order you want them to appear. When generating the page title and meta description, the plugin will replace the tag with the actual value.

When it comes to product attribute tags, a value may not be available i.e. a term may not be selected from the layered navigation widget. In this case, nothing will be output.

An example

Say your browsing the t-shirt category that has the color and size layered navigation widget available and you have the following template for your page title:
[category] [size] [colour]
The plugin will replace the [category] tag with the name of the category, in this case Tshirts. Since no filters have been selected from the layered navigation widgets for either attributes nothing will be output for the [size] or [colour]

Now, lets say the user selects the yellow filter. The [colour] tag would now be replaced with Yellow giving you the page title 'TShirts Yellow'

What if multiple filter are selected from the same attribute?

Following on from the previous example, with the Yellow filter already selected, lets say the user then selected the Orange filter from the colour attribute too. The plugin would replace the [colour] tag with both terms using a seperator. By default, the seperator the plugin will use when listing the terms is the pipe character '|' (The seperator can be changed, see the extra attributes below). So now, with two filters selected, the page title will be 'TShirts Orange | Yellow'. (The order in which the terms are listed is alphabetically.)

Tag attributes

Each tag has the following attributes attached to it, 'before', 'after' and in the case of filter tags 'separator'.

The before attribute specifies what will be output before the tags actual value is output.
The after attribute specifies what will be output after the tags actual value is output.
The separator attribute specifies what will be used as the separator when outputting multiple terms for a filter tag.

Template with tag attributes

Similar to the example above, if we have the template [category] [size] [colour], we can add attibutes to some of the tags to make the page title a little more descriptive i.e. [category] [size before="Size :"] [colour before="Colour: "].

Continuing from our user example previously, now when the page title is generated, the page title will be 'TShirts Colour: Orange | Yellow', and if the user selected a fiter from the Size layered bavigation widget (say, small), the page title will be 'TShirts Size: Small Colour: Orange | Yellow'.

Additionally, we can add the after and separator attributes to further customise the page title e.g.
[category] [size before="Size :" after=" and " separator=" , "] [colour before="Colour: " after=" and " separator=" , "]
When generated, the page title for this will be 'TShirts Size: Small and Colour: Orange , Yellow and'

However, notice how the page title has the word 'and' at the end of it. According to our template, the output is correct but having the page title end like that doesnt look correct. We could remove the after attribute from the colour tag but when only the size filter is selected, without any colour filters the 'and' will still appear. Thats where the next set of option come in.

Removing the before/after tag attributes

To solve the issue mentioned in the previous section, the plugin give you the option of removing the 'after' attribute from the tag that is last in the template or removing the 'before' attrbutes if the tag is the first in the template.

The reason for this is because we do not know which tag (that has a value) will actually be first in the template (what if only colour what selected and not size?). Ticking this will automatically remove the attribute depending on which tags had values.

So, for ours example, if we tick the 'Don't show after text if attribute is last in the template' option, the 'and' that was previously at the end of our page title will be removed. Similarly, if only the size filter was selected, the 'after' attribute ('and') would be removed.

Note..

The option to remove the before/after attributes only applies to product attribute tags (your filters). It will not affect the before/after attributes for any other tag e.g. [category]

Widgets

The plugin adds a new layered navigation widget which replaces the default layered navigation widget..

Woocommerce SEO Layered Navigation Widget

The Woocommerce SEO layered navigation widget is similar to the default Woocommerce layered navigation widget. However, where as the default layered navigation widget adds IDs and parameters to the URL, the Woocommerce SEO layered navigation widget will create SEO freindly urls based on the filters selected. e.g. www.mysite.com/category/filter1/filter2/filter3

Order of filters in URL

The filters will be ordered alphabetically (by attribute name) when the URL is created.

Why keep the query type as 'AND' only?

The layered navigation widget is to be used to provide the user with a way of filtering down their product selection to get to the products that they want. Each time a filter is selected, the number of products returned should decrease hence allowing the user to drill down to a specific set of products of their specification. The 'AND' query type allows this to happen where as the 'OR' query type will broaden the search and display more products.

Remember...

The Woocommerce SEO layered navigation widget is the base for SEO friendly URLS and the improved breadcrumbs (see below). For these features to work you MUST use the Woocommerce SEO layered navigation widget instead of the default Woocommerce layered nav widget.