SEO on Prestashop: how to optimize the SEO of your Prestashop store?
For several years, the Prestashop CMS has been the CMS of choice for thousands of e-commerce sites. Configuring your CMS is crucial, and in this guide, we will focus particularly on Prestashop SEO optimization, in order to get your site to rank well on search engines. We understand that this is a key issue to make your products known to Internet users.
You are launching your Prestashop store. But which theme to choose? Although many factors come into play, the most important being to choose a theme that will be adapted to the size of your catalog, some Prestashop SEO considerations are also to be taken into account.
Theme loading time
The goal is to choose a theme that loads quickly, in order to meet the criteria of speed of loading on Google because a slow site will be downgraded compared to a fast site in the search results.
Most of the themes offer sample stores to visualize the functionality of the theme. Thanks to these test sites, it is possible to check the loading speed of the theme by testing the test site in the
free tool from Google.
Theme responsive design
It is essential to choose a theme that is responsive. Google favors mobile pages with Mobile First Index algorithme. It is therefore necessary to offer a user experience adapted to the navigation on mobile and tablets.
This criterion of Google goes hand in hand with the loading speed, because indeed, mobile pages must load very fast in order to keep the mobile user interested. Otherwise, he might close the page before it loads or go to another Google results link.
Target the right keywords
When creating your pages and content, always think about the user's search query. Of course you have an offer to highlight, however, you must contextualize it with content the way it is searched by Internet users on Google.
For example, your product "Miranda sandal" has little chance of being searched as such on Google. On the other hand, "evening shoe with heel", much more. It is in this sense that you need to think about your list of target keywords and the content you will create to help you rank on these keywords.
There are 4 types of keywords:
Commercial keywords: Internet users are ready to buy and are looking for the product you are selling. In these requests we find action verbs or price arguments: buy, discount, cheap, free delivery...
Transactional keywords: Internet users prepare a future purchase and compare different offers. In these queries we find expressions like "top 10...", "best...", product categories like "women's shoes", a brand or a product in particular...
Informational keywords: Internet users seek information on a product, service, and other related information. These requests do not lead directly to a purchase but indirectly they do. They are often in the form of a question, for example, "Which transport to choose for a trip to Croatia?"
Navigational keywords: Haven't you noticed our annoying habit of getting lazy with the internet? Instead of trying to remember the internet address of a website, we often prefer to go to Google and type in the most remarkable characteristics of what we are looking for. Thus it is necessary that your website presents these navigational keywords on the homepage as well as on the contact page so that the Internet user can find you easily.
To use this module, make sure you have a version of Prestashop 1.7 or higher. The download is done directly from your admin account, by going to "Modules" > "Add a new module". Select the zip file of the module "SmartKeyword SEO" and click "Install".
You will find the module in "Customize" > "SmartKeyword SEO". The module is also available on each page of your site, that you want to create or edit.
SEO optimizations for all pages
The targeted keyword
As we have seen above, each page is used to rank on a particular keyword.
The SmartKeyword SEO module works on this principle and proposes to fill in the "SEO Keyword" field before starting any page optimization work.
The "Title" and "Meta-description" tags
These two tags are very important for your SEO and will always appear first on your pages.
The SmartKeyword SEO module provides you with a preview of the Google result for your page with a real-time quality assessment of the tags. Thus, you can test the changes you make on these tags "live".
The H1 tag is also a very important tag in your SEO. By default in the SEO configuration of Prestashop, it includes the name of the product, the category, and the name of the page itself.
The SmartKeyword SEO module allows you to modify it, without changing the "Name" field, so important in your store. For example, the "Name" of the page remains unchanged (here "Men") but the H1 tag can be modified to match the targeted keyword (here "Cheap Men's Clothing").
The SmartKeyword SEO module also allows you, as for the "Title" and "Meta-description" tags, to test your H1 tag in real time.
The SmartKeyword SEO module allows you to optimize the "Description" field(s) (depending on the type of pages) according to :
The size of the content, ideally at least 300 words
The presence of the targeted keyword in the content, ideally in the first 100 words
The presence of at least one H2 tag
Be careful, unlike the "Title tag", "Meta-description" or "H1" fields, the analysis of the field is not done in real time but once the modifications have been saved (button "Save" at the bottom of the page).
Considerations for the homepage
The homepage is the window of your online store. As for a physical store, you will put forward your best products and the best brands from your catalog. If possible, these products should contain a targeted keyword in their title.
But beware, the homepage is not the only "SEO" page of your site, and you will surely have to make compromises in order to satisfy the commercial objectives of your e-commerce site. These "flagship" products are often sorted by category: best sellers, special offers, best ratings, most popular, exclusive, new collection, etc. To assign a product to the homepage, go to the product page > "Associations" and check the "Home" category.
The homepage has multiple roles and therefore can not meet only SEO criteria. However, you should always take care of your main tags: Title, Meta-description and H1.
As for the text content, provide at least 300 words of text containing the targeted keyword and its synonyms above the waterline. This content must be added in the "Description" field of the SmartKeyword SEO module.
Considerations for category, brand, supplier and product pages
For each of these pages, the SmartKeyword SEO module offers 2 text fields: "Description" and "Description 2".
The "Description" field is located above the waterline, just below the H1: keep it short with a minimum of 300 words.
While the "Description 2" field is located at the bottom of the page, after the product listing, and will allow you to enrich the content of the page.
Optimize URLs structures
Default URLs on Prestashop are not necessarily designed for SEO. That's why we recommend you to activate the option "Simplified URL" in the menu "Preferences" > "SEO & URLs" > "URL configuration".
Then, for each page, the SmartKeyword SEO module allows you to modify the URL of the page and verify in real time that it is correctly optimized for the targeted keyword.
The module automatically modifies the canonical URL, and does not allow you to edit it, to avoid any potential indexing problem.
Be careful, this is a feature to be used sparingly. Modifying a "live" URL is not trivial because you have to set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one. It is preferable to edit the URL of a page before publishing it on your site.
Your e-commerce site is full of images that showcase your products from every angle, as well as images that illustrate the product categories to inspire your visitors.
There are several factors to consider when optimizing your images:
The size of the images: images that are too heavy will slow down the loading of your pages. You risk seeing the Internet user leaving your site and being penalized by Google.
The ALT attribute of images: this is a tag intended to describe your image to Google (which does not see images). This tag reinforces your position on a targeted keyword, and also allows you to rank on Google Images.
In order to reduce the size of the images as much as possible without compromising their quality, you can compress them (using a free tool like Optimzilla) and prefer the JPEG format. The PGN format, although more flexible (you can add them by transparency to the background images) is often too heavy.
Warning: It is not possible to change the name of an image once it is uploaded in Prestashop!
Then, once the image is uploaded, add a description of the image including the targeted keyword in the "ALT" field.
Optimize the breadcrumb trail
A breadcrumb is a small text path, usually located at the top of a page. It tells the user and Google's robots where they are based on the site map. It is possible to click on each element of the breadcrumb trail to return to the previous level or to the homepage. The breadcrumb trail is very important in SEO on Prestashop because robots rely on this little piece of code to find their way around the site.
In the SmartKeyword SEO module, when you are on a page of your site, click on the "SEO" button to display the analysis of the page, which will tell you among other things if the page has a breadcrumb trail.
Optimize Open Graph tags
The protocol that will allow you to share content from a web page on social networks is called "Open Graph". The Open Graph data is a set of tags that structure the page data when it is shared on social networks. This allows you to control the information that is shared, otherwise, Google "chooses" the information that seems relevant, but not always.
In the SmartKeyword SEO module, you can edit these tags directly, or pre-populate them by default using the information already present in the "Title" and "Meta-description" tags of the page. The default image is the main image of the page.
Optimize Rich Snippets
The term "Rich Snippetscomes up a lot in the SEO world. These are classic Google search results but enriched with additional data. This data comes from structured data present in the HTML code of the page.
For an e-commerce site, Rich Snippets allow you to display a product's rating, customer review stars, price, etc. in the search results.
In the SmartKeyword SEO module, click on "Rich Snippets" to test its presence and proper implementation on your page (this feature connects directly to the Google testing tool).
Optimize faceted navigation
Facets are the filters available on a category page. By default, each filter permutation will generate a dynamic URL (often made of random numbers and letters). These URLs are of little use in SEO on Prestashop. It is therefore recommended not to have them indexed by Google.
In the settings, you can simply block the indexing of URLs generated by the filters.
There is one exception however, on filtered pages that correspond to target queries. For example: "140×190 dunlopillo mattress". Your initial keyword research will show you the queries for which to keep some of these filtered pages "hard coded", with a simplified URL and optimized SEO content.
In the SEO configuration of Prestashop, you can define these URLs so that they can be indexed.
Manage out of stock for SEO
You have products that are no longer in stock or expired and you want to remove the product file from the site without affecting your SEO on Prestashop? It depends on whether the product will be back in stock or not.
A 301 redirect allows you to replace an old page. It is particularly suitable for a product that will no longer be available on your online store. This will allow the search engine to replace the old page on its index and pass the juice to the new one.
If no substitute product exists in your catalog, set up a 301 redirect from the product page to the top category page.
If you have a similar product in the category, set up a 301 redirect to the similar product’s page. Be careful that this is not disappointing for the visitor, the choice of product must be relevant!
If you can't keep the old URL (very precise URL no longer adapted to the substitute product) you can also create a new page and set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one.
Error 410 or 404
We prefer a 410 rather than a 404. Indeed, the 410 indicates to Google that the page is permanently deleted, and will be able to deindex it quickly.
The product is temporarily out of stock
A 302 redirect will allow you to temporarily guide visitors to a new url. It tells the google robot that your product page URL is temporarily redirected to another content.
If a product is out of stock, you can redirect visitors to a very comparable product temporarily until the product is back in stock.
If the product is unavailable for a few days only, you must keep the page active in your catalog. The URL is still accessible, responds in http 200 code, and you don't lose your positions or your link juice.
The page must clearly indicate that the product is out of stock. Why not display an estimated “back in stock” date? Or set it up as expired for example or propose to the visitors to pre-order the item ?
Optimize internal linking
Internal linking is crucial in SEO on Prestashop. It allows to direct Google's robots from page to page by indicating the hierarchical orders between pages and by reinforcing the grouping by semantic cocoon of pages of the same theme. Google loves it!
Prestashop's SEO, by default, does not offer an effective linking tool. Except for the ability to link product pages with related accessories. This feature can be hijacked to make your own links, or you can use the SmartKeyword SEO module, much more convenient for that!
The SmartKeyword SEO module allows you to automatic link from any type of page to important pages on your site.
For example, this will allow you to make sure that every time a "Brand-Example" is mentioned in the site, there is a link to the corresponding brand page!
Your internal link to this page will be considerably reinforced and the SEO of this page improved!
To set it up, you choose the type of page you want to apply your optimization to.
In the example below, we are going to set up automated product page linking.
Click on the "+" to add as many rules as you want.
For each rule, you can configure:
the expression to be replaced by a link, i.e. the "Keyword",
the destination URL for the link to be created,
the possible selection of category types to which you want the modification to apply.
And that's it! Then just run the script and your changes will be applied. You will be able to see the impact in the following seconds. If your catalog is very large and you are afraid of creating too many links, you can configure a maximum number of replacements.
Create the robots.txt file
The robots.txt file tells Google which pages should not be indexed. To automatically generate it in the Prestashop SEO configuration, go to "Preferences" > "SEO & URLs" > Generate robots.txt file.
Once your pages are optimized, you can worry about generating inbound links to them. Indeed, one of the criteria taken into account by Google is the quality of links from other sites to yours.
This is the time to set up your Netlinking strategy. This consists in generating external links from websites of the same theme with a good reputation in order to improve the reputation of your site in the eyes of Google. The objective is to gain popularity, positions and audience.
What are the criteria for quality netlinking?
In netlinking, all links are not equal in the eyes of Google. It is necessary to give priority to quality links that adhere to the following criteria:
the source page a backlink must come from a web page with the same theme as your site, there must be a logical link (so to speak!) between the source and the recipient. If a bicycle salesman links to your hairdresser site, the relevance between the two is too far-fetched.
the quality of the source page : the link must come from a popular page i.e. one with a high PageRank. We consider that a link is good if it comes from a page that has a Trust Flow of at least 40 (this score varies from 0 to 100). So if a site has a high authority and mentions you, well you gain credibility in the eyes of Google and increase your authority as well.
the position of the site on Google : indeed if there is a proof of trust granted and visible by Google, it is to give you a good place in the search results. It is a criterion more and more taken into account by SEOs since it is also synonymous with traffic.
where your link is located: each page of a site does not have the same importance and therefore the same strength or weight. Thus homepages are often the strongest pages since they receive the most external links. It is also important to pay attention to the location of the link on the page. Indeed it must be contextualized, that is to say located in the editorial content of the page and preferably at the beginning of the page.
diversification of sources: this criterion corresponds to the quantity of links. The rule to follow here is very simple: it is better and more effective to have 100 links from different sources than 100 links from a single site.
the choice of the link anchor : the text of thelink anchor i.e. the clickable part on which the link is set up, must be relevant to the theme i.e. describe and correspond to the content that the Internet user will find on the destination page. It is important to avoid over-optimization of link anchors, in which case you could be penalized by Google. This means using the same anchor containing the targeted keyword on each backlink.
In order for these links to benefit your SEO, you must also make sure that they have a "dofollow" directive. A dofollow link on the web means that search engine spiders like Googlebot follow this link to subsequent pages and thus give reputation to pages linked from this link, in its algorithms.
Conversely, it is possible to add a "nofollow" directive to tell Google that the link should not be followed. In this case, the reputation of the source page is not transmitted to the link to which it sends traffic.
It is therefore essential to put your best backlinks in dofollow so that they are visible to Google and therefore benefit your SEO.
What are the best netlinking strategies?
Acquiring external links can be done in several ways:
Guest blogging: it is the fact of inviting experts to publish on a blog to add content, it is a free source of content for the blog editor. The guest blogger benefits most of the time from a dofollow backlink and thus gains visibility in addition to positioning himself as an expert. This practice is done by influencers or bloggers who have a similar or close theme in order to be a win-win exchange.
Content marketing and linkbaiting: This is the most natural technique to get links, which is why it is also the most difficult. This strategy is based on the production of content so that bloggers or webmasters who read your articles will want to spontaneously link to your site. So you have to write original, unique and qualitative articles, which is not an easy task!
Sponsored articles: Sponsored content is probably one of the most effective netlinking methods, but also one of the most expensive. Sponsored articles are an excellent source of monetization for bloggers. They are written by a blogger or a writer depending on the agreement.
Expired domains: The purchase of expired domain names is a very interesting option since it allows you to directly benefit from the reputation of the domain purchased. However, don't jump on the most attractive ones without checking a few conditions beforehand, you have to be vigilant. Indeed, it can be compromising to buy a domain penalized by Google.
Order your backlinks on SmartKeyword
SmartKeyword offers a complete solution for a quick and efficient handling of SEO. That's why, in addition to an intuitive tool, online training and a dedicated expert, you can use our services for your netlinking strategy.
Here is how SmartKeyword prepares clients’ netlinking strategies:
Analysis of the client's challenge and the topic on which to rank
Either the client knows which keyword / query he wants to position himself on, or we help him find it
Analysis of the Google SERP to see who the competitors are and how they do their netlinking
Pre-selection of backlinks according to TrustFlow (TF), CitationFlow (CF) and other metrics...collected on several tools
Campaign proposal for a minimum of 3 months to boost the targeted page
Launch the campaign with the purchase of sponsored articles on the pre-selected sites
Ongoing, monthly research of backlinks purchased by checking all metrics ... (TF, CF, domain referrers, theme of the site)
Recording of purchases in the SmartKeyword tool to track the impact of these backlinks on position variations
The SmartKeyword marketplace guarantees you to find the right backlink according to the netlinking strategy that we develop together. We check and optimize the sponsored articles ordered, in addition to writing the netlinking brief internally.
The SmartKeyword SEO module for Prestashop is designed to stand on its own. It includes all on-page SEO optimizations.
It differs from other competing modules in several ways:
1/ Optimization Score: each page is scored according to an optimization score for the targeted keyword ranging from 1 to 100. A well optimized page will get a score of 100.
2/ Optimization reports: export an Excel file that lists the "Title", "Meta-description" and H1 tag errors to correct for each page. The type of error is specified: missing, duplicated, too short or too long tag.
3/ SEO module directly usable on any page of your site (No need to connect to the SEO admin interface of Prestashop)
4/ Real-time tests: the module allows you to check in real time improvements on the "Title", "Meta-description", H1, breadcrumb, Rich Snippets, and Open Graph tags.
5/ Bulk actions: the module allows to pre-calibrate tags and to run bulk tasks.
6/ Redirection tool: the default SEO configuration of Prestashop does not provide a URL redirection functionality by default, so you'll have to get a module that does. And you’re in luck, the SmartKeyword SEO module does it very well!
7/ Automatic internal linking tool: a real added value of this module! You can set up rules that will automatically insert an internal link on a targeted keyword to the key pages of your site.
Google Analytics is an essential tracking and reporting tool for any website. It allows you to know where visitors come from, what they do on the website, and why they leave. With the Google Analytics Module, connect your Google Analytics account with your Prestashop website.
Multi HTML Block
Multi HTML Block allows you to insert content blocks on any page of your Prestashop site.
Among others, you can insert the following blocks:
Add social network sharing buttons
Add trusted badges (Trustedshop, Google trusted merchant...)