Search engine optimization
Updated on Friday, August 18, 2023
First and foremost, it's important to remember that the most important element in an online store's SEO is its product catalog. Without a quality catalog, it will be very difficult (if not impossible) to lead your online store to success on search engines, especially Google.
The advantage of PrestaShop is that it gives you a multitude of tools to improve the natural referencing of your catalog, and a large part of this involves using the tools available in your Back-office (the administration area of your PrestaShop). To introduce you to these tools, we'll use the example of a boutique product catalog to give you a better understanding of these concepts.
Local referencing on an online store
This aspect is important for reaching people who use your online store as a catalog and then come to your store to buy. This 'e-local' vision of SEO is very important for many e-tailers who also own points of sale. This is known as click and mortar, which translates as "clicks and mortar" for companies with two sales channels: the web and physical store(s).
Nevertheless, this vision of natural referencing must be independent of the catalog, meaning that it's not necessary to add local mentions multiple times on all your product sheets:
"Crème De Nuit Sublime Jeunesse 77", "Crème De Nuit Sublime Jeunesse Achères la Forêt", "Crème De Nuit Sublime Jeunesse Seine-et-Marne", "Pur Cacao Maigre 77", "Pur Cacao Maigre Achères la Forêt", "Pur Cacao Maigre Seine-et-Marne", etc.
Opt more for the presentation of your store(s) and your brand in the CMS pages of PrestaShop (Design Menu and then Pages) or in your blog.
These tools will enable you to establish your local legitimacy by promoting your point(s) of sale, while retaining national legitimacy for online sales!
N.B: if you have points of sale, consider marketing tools such as click-and-collect (order online, then collect your products in-store).
Please note that this is not an absolute truth. If you use your PrestaShop to sell products/services only in a well-defined geographical area, it might be a good idea to annotate the localities in your catalog.
Natural referencing of your PrestaShop catalog
Your catalog is made up of two distinct elements: categories and product sheets! Both are equally important elements of the SEO strategy, and both have similar tools at PrestaShop to optimize your visibility.
Here's an example of a product sheet.
As far as keywords are concerned, we're opting for a funnel-shaped strategy: categories will be positioned on keywords that are more general and representative of the products displayed (e.g. "Men's Christmas costume"), and product sheets on so-called "long tail" expressions (more precise expressions that generate less traffic than generalist expressions, but are more qualified). In our example: "Cheap Santa Claus disguise".
Optimize your catalog SEO
Let's discover the tools offered by Prestashop for the success of its catalog:
Present only the name of the product and, if possible, include a keyword presenting the intrinsic qualities of the product (take care with the presentation: the name of the product must always remain legible and comprehensible to the web user). This product name is one of the key elements of your natural referencing, as in most PrestaShop themes it corresponds to the H1 tag (for example, it corresponds to the main title of a newspaper article).
Name of a non-optimized product :
Optimized product name :
Santa Claus disguise discount
The title tag (or Title)
This is another major SEO tool. This is the clickable link that will be present in the search engine when visitors search for the page in question. Present the product in a few words, including the main features thatinternaute might be looking for (between 55 & 60 characters on average). As far as possible, avoid linking words and illogical keyword sequences.
Title product not optimized :
Santa Claus - Ref : KJ74859
Title optimized product :
Cheap Santa Claus disguise for men
The description tag
It has no impact on natural referencing, but it does have a considerable influence on search engine click-through rates. These are the two presentation lines that appear below your link in search engines. We advise you to use a marketing hook to entice visitors to your page. If it's left blank, the engine will choose the phrases it considers most relevant in your content (it's often a lottery).
Meta description not relevant :
Santa Claus - KJ74859
Relevant meta description :
The Santa Claus disguise for a successful Christmas Eve is the discount Santa Claus disguise from LLD! Order it now and receive it tomorrow!
The simplified URL
Much more pleasant to read than an encrypted URL, the simplified URL at PrestaShop has the advantage of being able to include keywords representative of the product, thus accentuating your relevance in terms of natural referencing.
Non-optimized URL :
Simplified product URL :
In the Associations tab of your PrestaShopproduct sheet, you can add accessories. This is PrestaShop's cross-selling module, enabling you to sell products in addition to the one you're offering your customer. In addition to increasing your average shopping basket, this tool will also enable you to improve your internal links (connections within your website), another key factor in natural referencing.
Suggested accessories for :
Santa's hood, Santa's beard, Santa's shoes, etc.
Images are important from a marketing point of view. They enable web users to visualize the product they are about to buy. This is not the only advantage of the images. They will also enable you to appear in image engines such as Google Images. It's important to know that there are a certain number of people (not insignificant, depending on the field of activity) who use this tool to carry out their research. It is therefore essential to offer as many visuals of the product as possible, and to fill in the legend available in your back-office. It will be used to rewrite the image URL, but also in the alternative text, an element currently taken into account by search engines for image positioning. As with Titles tags, be clear and precise about the content of the proposed image.
Having lots of product sheets is a plus for SEO, if and only if you have unique, rich and interesting content for the search engine and, consequently, forinternaute. You really need to offer added value that will enable you to stand out from the competition on all your product pages (we'll come back to this in the next point) and therefore, as far as possible, avoid duplicate content, which is forbidden by search engines. Product variations enable you to create selectors for products with the same intrinsic qualities, but a different characteristic.
For example, instead of creating a Santa Claus disguise card in L, then a second card for a Santa Claus disguise in XL, it's wiser to create two product variations of L and XL , which will vary the price. This will avoid having two forms with the same content, and thus reduce duplicate content in your online store.
N.B.: Duplicate content is a problem both when copying and pasting from another site, and within your own site. If two of your pages have the same content, they will also be considered as duplicate content and will devalue your e-commerce site.
This is surely one of the most important points on your product page. Textual content is to engines what water is to humans: an absolute necessity! It will be impossible for the search engines to position your site correctly if the textual content doesn't live up to the expectations of web users and the product you're selling. On the Internet, the presentation of your product must play the role of packaging, sales pitch and highlighting the advantages of your product! It's easy to see why you need to be innovative, interesting and unique, and why you should avoid at all costs doing exactly what the competition is doing (e.g. duplicate content)!
To succeed in selling on the Internet, you need to assume thatinternaute has made the effort to enter your store from among the hundreds of online stores available, and that you need to do everything you can to reassure them of the quality of the product and service you are able to offer.
To do this, do what you know how to do, in other words: a unique presentation of the product you sell, add your know-how, place your sales arguments, dare to answer your customers' questions, arouse your visitors' curiosity and, above all, remove any doubts a customer might have about your product!
Managing unavailable or out-of-stock products
PrestaShop offers the possibility of managing unavailable products. When a product is no longer available, there's no need to leave it online. For SEO, it's no good simply removing the product. In your product page, when you deactivate a product, you have three options in the "Redirect when inactive" box:
No redirection (404): to be avoided
Permanent redirection (301): redirects a product when it is no longer available.
Permanent redirection (302): allows you to redirect a product when it will be unavailable for a certain period of time (e.g. stock problems).
When a product is no longer available, we recommend redirecting 301 to a similar product. This will enableinternaute and the search engine to come back to an available product, so as not to lose the referencing worked and acquired on the unavailable listing.
If your product is temporarily unavailable, we advise you to redirect 302 to a similar product. This will enable the web surfer to come back to an available product and tell the search engine that the product is temporarily unavailable, so as not to lose referencing on the temporarily unavailable product.
Brands and suppliers
When editing your product sheet, you can add a brand and suppliers. In addition to making your products accessible on pages dedicated to brands and suppliers, this will increase your internal mesh and your presence on queries related to these brands and suppliers.