Magento has evolved into one of the best content management platforms for e-commerce. The capabilities, features, templates, and extensions make this platform the perfect choice for e-commerce merchants and business owners looking to create a professional-looking e-commerce store from scratch.
Even world-famous brands take advantage of the extensive features and capabilities of the Magento platform. So, once you’ve launched your Magento online store, be sure to optimize it for search engines and your potential customers.
Although Magento is one of the most SEO-friendly e-commerce solutions on the market, you have to make an extra effort if you want to improve your e-commerce store rankings.
There are many aspects of good SEO practices that you need to consider when improving positions of your e-commerce site in search results. Improved SEO will dramatically increase the conversions and sales of your online store.
So, we suggest utilizing proven SEO techniques that will make your Magento store more optimized. Some SEO tactics can only be made with the help of a reliable Magento development company, which guarantees success and a trouble-free result.
Set proper redirects
By default, Magento implements global redirects within the system. This means that if a visitor simply enters yourdomainname.com without “https” or “www” in the web browser, Magento automatically will redirect them to https://www.yourdomainname.com. This is done via 302 redirects and not 301 which are better for SEO.
First, we recommend changing this exact set in the Magento back-end:
- Log in to the admin panel of your store.
- Go to Stores → Configuration.
- In the General dropdown choose Web.
- Select the URL Options.
- Tweak Auto-redirect to Base URL to “Yes (301 Moved Permanently)”.
When running an e-commerce store, most probably you will need to create redirects to individual pages. This can be done this way:
1. Go to Marketing → SEO & Search → URL Rewrites.
2. Choose Add URL Rewrite.
3. In the Request Path paste the URL you want to redirect.
4. In the Target Path enter the destination URL.
5. Select the Redirect Type (suggested is Permanent (301)).
6. Click Save.
Note: Implementation of such global changes in Magento requires experience and knowledge. Make sure it is done by the experts.
Write SEO-friendly page titles to boost your CTR
Page titles play a crucial role when it comes to higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERP). Most of the popular e-commerce stores use descriptive, SEO-optimized, and user-centric page titles to increase customers’ engagement with their website. Well, there are two main reasons to create descriptive page titles:
- Improve your site’s click-through rate (CTR).
- Get higher rankings on Google and other search engines.
So be sure to add relevant keywords to your page titles so they show up higher in Google search results. Try creating a product page that mentions the product name along with a short description to drive more web traffic to your e-commerce store.
Optimize your metadata
Make sure to optimize your store’s metadata (meta title, meta description, meta keywords, etc.) to improve your search engine rankings. You can add keywords to the meta title and description of your page. This will help your site to get more attention from both search engine spiders and web audiences.
Google and other search engines use metadata to determine whether your product page or online store, in general, are relevant to the user search terms. Therefore, you must write relevant, SEO-optimized, and compelling metadata for every page of your website. This not only improves the CTR of your online store but also helps you attract more potential customers.
Keep the following tips in mind when writing descriptive and SEO-friendly metadata for each page of your store:
- Since your meta description appears in SERP, it has to encourage people to click on your site. Make sure you create a unique description and a keyword-friendly page that is relevant to a customer query.
- Keep the meta title between 40 and 60 characters long.
- The meta description must be between 150 and 180 characters.
Configure the Robots.txt file
Magento store owners usually skip this step when optimizing their store for search engines. A website’s robots.txt file points to the web pages, publications, database files, media files, etc. of your site that you want or don’t want search engine crawlers to index.
If your Magento store uses faceted navigation, it is especially important to specify which pages to index. This means that you need to modify the robots.txt file to align with your requirements. This approach will greatly improve your website SEO.
Create a sitemap.xml for your Magento store to make it very easy for search engines to find, read, index, and browse your site. To do this, you need to follow these steps to generate sitemap.xml for your Magento store:
1. Log in to the Magento admin panel.
2. Go to Marketing → SEO & Search → Site Map.
3. Click Add Sitemap.
4. Enter the Filename for your sitemap.
5. Under the path, the field specifies the directory on the server where to save the sitemap file.
6. Click Save & Generate.
Note: Update your existing sitemap, if you add a new product or category to your online store.
Avoid content duplication
One of the main SEO issues in Magento is faceted navigation which creates large crawling and indexing issues. When filtering products with faceted navigation, it creates numerous pages with similar content called “duplicate content”. Search engines consider such pages not unique. This directly or indirectly affects your site’s SERP, which is obviously not good for your e-commerce business.
Another case is when your products are assigned to a few different categories. In such a way the same product can have different URL paths.
To fix this problem, you should avoid content duplication in your store. To do this, you need to set canonical links in Magento:
- Go to the admin panel.
- Select Stores → Configuration.
- Choose Catalog in the Catalog dropdown.
- Select the Search Engine Optimization dropdown.
- Choose “Yes” for “Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Categories” and “Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Products”.
Canonical links will help you match the pages that search engine crawlers need to index and help you minimize duplicate content on your product pages.
Follow a consistent headings structure for website pages
If you’re a Magento online store owner looking for simple yet amazing ways to improve your SEO rankings, you should focus on creating a consistent tag structure for every product page.
You can use H1 tags for catalog names and H3 tags for product names on product pages. This will help your store gain higher positions in search results. These two tags will help search engine crawlers understand the importance of your content on every product page.
Add Alt tags to your images
You can’t imagine an online store without product images. High-quality images play a vital role in reaching the success of an e-commerce website. Since every product in an online store has 3-4 images on average, make sure you add Alt tags to make them more SEO friendly. Search engines crawlers will better understand what your images are about.
If you want to use Alt tags effectively, you need to customize the way of tagging. Better to create a script that automatically generates Alt tags to display the filename. Make sure your Alt tags align with the best practices – they are descriptive and properly formatted, so the person with closed eyes can understand what is shown in the picture.
Optimize your store speed
Magento speed is a very important factor used by search engine bots to determine the search rankings of your store. According to the statistics – visitors usually leave a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
This is especially serious for an e-commerce site. If the website takes longer to load than expected, it negatively affects conversions, increases bounce rate, so your store can lose potential clients
As we already mentioned, Google prefers fast-loading sites over slow ones. This means that you need to optimize the speed of your Magento store if you want to see it at the top of the SERPs. The following tips will help you optimize Magento store speed:
- Use the latest Magento version
- Make sure you cooperate with a suitable hosting provider
- Implement content delivery network (CDN)
- Enable caching
- Optimize images
- Audit 3rd party extensions integrated with your Magento store
Integrate Google Analytics
Don’t forget to set up Google Analytics for your e-commerce website. This will help you track the performance of your online store and let you know more about customer’s behavior when they visit your website.
Google Analytics also allows you to test the effectiveness of the chosen SEO strategy and adjust it to make your site more friendly for search engines and potential customers.
To do this, you need to add a Google Analytics tracking code to Magento. Simply follow these steps:
- In the admin panel go to Stores → Configuration.
- In the left panel named Sales choose Google API.
- Expand the Google Analytics section and:
- Set Enable to Yes.
- Fill in your Google Analytics Account Number.
- If you want to conduct A/B testing or other tests, set Content Experiments to Yes.
- Click Save Config.
The modern market provides a lot of amazing and effective SEO tactics to improve your Magento store rankings on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. Following the tips offered in this article, you can increase the visibility of your online e-commerce site in SERP. Qualified Magento and SEO specialists can offer you an even more efficient strategy of SEO improvement tailored exactly to your store size, architecture, and business specifics.