Many eCommerce businesses go big with their business idea at the beginning, but then fail to captivate the audience. The failure to reach customers urges them to make a change, and this time they begin tapping into the power of search engine optimization (SEO).
Honestly, you can avoid this mistake and take advantage of SEO right from the start by choosing a platform that is helpful for SEO. Isn’t the right platform one of the most critical factors for opening an eCommerce business? And if that platform is SEO-effective, it’s a double-win for you.
In this article, I’ll break down and compare two top-rated platforms in terms of SEO: Shopify vs. WooCommerce.
Let’s dive in!
The Importance of SEO
What happens when people can’t find your website and even don’t know about its existence? That’s the case every eCommerce business owners never want to experience. It’s a nightmare for them and customers either.
Most people are using search engines for research purposes. More specifically, in the online shopping context, they use search engines to find what they want to buy. If your products appear in their search results, and they can see what they’re looking for in a blink of an eye, it’s mutually beneficial.
SEO can do both of these things: increase your website’s visibility and improve great user experience on search engines.
Did you know that online searchers often click on top 5 suggestions on the search engine results pages (SERPs)? Using SEO to make your pages appear at the top of SERPs is worthy as it’s cost-effective and can enhance your website’s quality. You can drive more organic traffic to your site even with zero budget, instead of spending too much on paid advertising. Let’s me make things clearer:
- SEO is cost-effective. It has viable practices that you can follow easily. All on-site SEO techniques can be done easily on your website by yourself. Optimizing your pages around a keyword or title of your blog posts is at your fingertips.
- SEO is good for your website’s quality. SEO is the process of optimizing a website’s content to make it easier for search engines to recognize and rank it on SERPs. Additionally, search engines now focus on providing valuable content to users. Doing SEO, you’re making your site’s ranking and quality higher at the same time.
That’s some of the proved points that make SEO a must-have asset for any online store. So what Shopify and WooCommerce do and which position they hold in this SEO competition? Keep reading to get yourself covered.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce: An overview
It’s important to understand these two big eCommerce platforms before we dig deeper into the SEO battle of Shopify and WooCommerce.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a world-class eCommerce platform that enables you to build a website from scratch. This all-in-one platform provides you with useful tools and features to customize, grow, and manage your site seamlessly while setting you free from technical headaches. Whether you want to start your own website with or switch an existing store from another eCommerce platform to Shopify, you can do all with ease.
Shopify allows you to sell anywhere you want, no matter where your target customers are, such as social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or giant online marketplaces like Amazon. One of the most compelling features that make Shopify an ideal platform is its powerful app ecosystem. For each task required in an eCommerce business, Shopify offers a wide range of apps that get them done more quickly and efficiently.
What is Woocommerce?
WooCommerce is an eCommerce platform built for WordPress. It’s also known as a flexible WordPress plugin with great extensibility that enables users to start and grow their eCommerce business at any scale. With WooCommerce, you can set up a new store within minutes, and configure needed features with easy-to-use tool-sets. If you want to extend your store’s functionality, WooCommerce has a bundle of extensions helping you to do that.
WooCommerce is also famous for its simplicity and long-term maintainability. It’s friendly for both dummies and developers. You can create your own store and customize its essential features from scratch without any difficulty.
5 Key SEO factors to compare
Both Shopify and WooCommerce are leading eCommerce platforms to build an online store. However, to figure out which one is better for your SEO effort, here are some factors to consider:
1. The ability to customize page URL
URL plays a vital role in your page’s SEO ranking. That’s what makes it essential to be customized. When it comes to URL customization, Shopify has some limitations compared to WooCommerce.
With Shopify, you have no complete freedom to change URLs for your pages. Instead, for a content page, it’s using a subfolder structure like /pages/ in URL. You can only make a small change in the liquid templates.
WooCommerce makes it easier for you to configure the URL structure for any of your pages so that you can organize your website’s content. Just go to the WooCommerce setting and go through some simple steps to modify the URL of a product page.
2. Title tags, meta descriptions, headings customization
For basic SEO practices such as title, headings, or meta-information, Shopify can give you the ability to handle all of them effectively. As long as you create quality content, you can easily get a great result with Shopify SEO functionality. Just click on ‘Edit Website SEO”, and you can change your title tag along with meta descriptions and headings.
As WooCommerce is built on WordPress, which is designed for content creation, there are no difficulties in adding and editing your website’s content and meta information. WooCommerce offers you full control of every little detail in this basic SEO technique, as it’s already highly optimized in your WordPress site.
Mobile-friendliness is now one of the most important factors that affect the SEO performance of a website. It’s essential to know if the platform you’re going to choose is mobile-friendly or not.
WordPress is fairly mobile-friendly enough for you to enable people to access, navigate, and purchase from your website through mobile devices. So does WooCommerce – a WordPress plugin. However, what kind of theme you’re using will determine whether your WooCommerce website is actually working on mobile. Bear in mind that not all themes are mobile-friendly. However, WordPress is actually better for developers than normal users as it has flexible development toolsets making it win over Shopify.
Shopify is already a nature-born mobile-friendly platform. As a store admin, you can easily manage your store with apps specially designed for iPhone or Android. The platform embraces many mobile-friendly features, making it easy for users to upgrade their stores’ functionality across mobile devices. WooCommerce outperforms Shopify for one more thing about this factor is that it has tons of free and premium mobile themes. It is worth noting that mobile responsiveness is critical for web accessibility, as well. For your WooCommerce store to be fully-accessible (and not merely responsive), you will need to use a WooCommerce accessibility plugin.
4. SEO tools and plugins
Shopify has a huge collection of handy apps for SEO. These apps are specially developed to enhance your SEO efforts, such as SEO Suite or SEO Marketing. You can find both free and paid apps that can help you improve your store’s visibility, bring more traffic to your site, and finally increase sales.
Shopify SEO apps
For WooCommerce users, there are also several great SEO plugins to optimize their eCommerce website. Like Shopify WooCommerce plugins for SEO also come at both free and paid options. Yoast SEO is the most popular plugin in the house, which gives you full control of your site breadcrumbs, easily set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content, eliminate technical stuff in the background, and many more.
Yoast SEO plugin
5. Customer support
When it comes to customer support, Shopify gets more compliments than WooCommerce does because of its high-quality support. For any inquiry and the platform-related issues, customers can get access to the support center 24/7 with a fast response and solution.
As WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, it’s uncertain about getting complete support. You can create an account at WooCommerce.com to contact the support team and submit your inquiries there. However, people are familiar with getting help from WordPress forums or research online by themselves. There are many WooCommerce related topics out there.
So Shopify and WooCommerce, which is the winner in this SEO battle?
In general, suppose that you want to start an online business and have to choose between Shopify and WooCommerce. Which one is the best? The answer to this general question is – it depends on some factors, such as your business needs, scale, budget, and more. If you’re a start-up, Shopify is an ideal choice as it’s simple and easy-to-use.
Meanwhile, WooCommerce gives you more SEO specific options as the plugin is built on WordPress, which is useful for optimizing content. If you want to launch a large-scale store and take advantage of SEO, WooCommerce is a better option.