Woocommerce Product Category Taxonomy with the Yoast Plugin

By: Mae Demdam
It’s no surprise that our team is enamored by WordPress. We love the plethora of features, plugins and eCommerce extensions like WooCommerce and when building a recent client’s eCommerce WordPress website, check it out here, we wanted to deliver a cohesive design and search engine optimization strategy that increased their business and visibility. So, we planned to optimize all their products and categories to maximize all targeted keywords and phrases for their site, but the task wasn’t as easy as we thought. Faced with a road block we scoured the web for shortcuts and now we share that with you, “How To Optimize Categories in WooCommerce” through Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin.

How Did We Do It?

We recommend the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. Not only is the plugin completely FREE, but it also makes dynamic optimization of categories and products so much easier! The WordPress SEO plugin gives you full control of SEO Titles and Metas, you’ll see the “fill-in-the-blank” forms available on each static page as soon as you install and activate the plugin. You can easily create SEO Titles, Meta Keywords, Meta Descriptions for all your site’s pages and the plugin kindly gives you a score of optimization, Green meaning great, Yellow meaning you can improve and Red meaning you may want to take another look at your usage of keywords. The plugin also gives you options to optimize categories, it just hasn’t been explained as clearly as it should’ve been until now.

Step 1 Title and Metas

Find the SEO Menu on the left side of your Dashboard
Select Titles & Metas

Step 2 Select Post Types

A list of “Types of Post” will display
Locate the “Products” section

Step 3 Category Optimization

Customize the template for your products by inserting %%ct_product_cat%% which includes the category of the product into the Meta Title. Make sure you are still accounting for the proper character length and best practices and in case you forgot read our SEO Checklist.

The WordPress SEO Page Title Template Dissected:

Title Template: %%title%% | %%ct_product_cat%% | %%sitedesc%%
The SEO title will display in Search Engines with the “Name of Product” (%%title%%) the “Category of Product” (%%ct_product_cat%%) and Your Call to Action, Marketing Slogan, Name of Site or Additional Text (%%sitedesc%%).
See the example here:
Title: Calm Wind Teapills | Digestive Health | Buy Chinese Herbs Online

The Meta Description Template Dissected:
Meta Description Template:%%sitedesc%% the highest quality herbal supplements and products in the industry %%title%%
The SEO description will display in the Search Engines with Your Call to Action, Marketing Slogan, Name of Site or Additional Text (%%sitedesc%%) + Additional text and the “Name of Product” (%%title%% )
Same example above:
Buy Chinese Herbs Online The highest quality herbal supplements and products in the industry Calm Wind Teapills.

Through our research we’ve seen the common mistake of using %%category%% for the category/tag which will not display correctly in the fields. Be sure to use to correct category shortcode, %%ct_product_cat%%

Remember keep your “additional text” generic and relatable to all products so your meta titles and description read properly in Search Engines. WordPress offers a variety of plugins to make managing and optimizing your website easy. Our team recommends WordPress SEO by Yoast for optimizing a large number of products and categories, but if you’re looking for more extensive assistance with your Search Engine Optimization Strategy contact our team, we’d be glad to help!