In today’s competitive market, numerous stores employ the Magento framework to attract customers through compelling content, appealing design, and high-quality products. However, amidst this fierce competition, site owners encounter a common obstacle, which is, achieving a superior search engine ranking. Consequently, businesses have begun engaging top-tier Magento developers, adept at adhering to Magento SEO guidelines and leveraging the platform’s inherent SEO features, to deliver highly-ranked websites.
For further insights into the optimal Magento SEO strategies for boosting your store’s position in search engine results pages (SERPs), skim through our blog.
What is Magento SEO and why do eCommerce Sites Need It?
Search engine optimisation, abbreviated as SEO, involves the process of implementing a range of optimisation techniques to enhance a website’s visibility on search engines such as Google or Bing. Magento SEO best practices are designed specifically to boost the rankings of eCommerce stores built on the Magento platform, thereby driving increased traffic and generating more leads from prospective customers.
SEO is an incredibly potent concept, allowing eCommerce websites to enhance their search rankings, leading to a significant upsurge in traffic. This outcome proves advantageous for businesses.
Some of the numerous advantages that eCommerce sites with SEO offer are:
- Enhanced User Experience: SEO enhances the overall user experience of eCommerce websites.
- Attracting Qualified Organic Traffic: By implementing SEO techniques, eCommerce stores can attract highly targeted organic customers.
- Boosting Brand Awareness and Lead Generation: SEO for eCommerce sites plays a vital role in increasing brand visibility and increasing the number of leads generated.
Magento SEO: Essential Factors to Consider
Optimising search engine performance on the Magento platform has shown remarkable results. Popularly known as one of the top eCommerce platforms for implementing SEO strategies, Magento offers a range of powerful features for seamless webpage optimisation.
Embracing Magento SEO offers long-term benefits for your online store. Listed below are the key factors of Magento SEO:
- Authority: Establishing authority is one of the immensely significant factors in SEO. It signifies that search engines perceive a certain eCommerce store as secure, trustworthy, and valuable to its audience, resulting in higher rankings. To enhance your store’s credibility, certain tips and tricks need to be implemented. Additionally, websites equipped with HTTPS encryption get SEO advantages in terms of ranking.
- Relevancy: Relevancy ensures that search engines have a clear understanding of a website’s niche. When search engines understand the nature of a business and its true essence, they display the website to users when they enter relevant keywords in search queries. For example, for a fashion-related eCommerce store, the content needs to focus on fashion-related topics, including Meta descriptions, title tags, and blog posts dedicated entirely to fashion. Optimising content with appropriate keywords within the same niche and providing relevant image tags can significantly enhance a website’s visibility on search engines, ultimately leading to higher rankings.
- User-friendliness: Creating a user-friendly website is extremely crucial as the primary objective of creating a website is to ensure that visitors can effortlessly navigate through the entire site and find what they are looking for, easily. To achieve this, the website’s structure needs to be well-organised and easily indexed. Search engine crawlers specifically seek out websites with a well-structured design that offers fast and smooth performance. Providing a seamless user experience has become increasingly crucial, particularly with the introduction of Google’s core web vitals, which emphasises factors such as UX effects and site speed. At the same time, websites must deliver an optimal user experience to align with these evolving concepts and requirements.
Magento SEO: Best Practices
Listed below are some of the factors that Magento developers must adhere to while developing an eCommerce site:
- Magento XML Sitemap Generation: XML and HTML sitemaps play a vital role in optimising a Magento website for search engines and enhancing user experience. An XML sitemap gives search engines an overview of the website’s URL structure, indicating which pages, products, and category URLs should be indexed. On the other hand, an HTML sitemap serves as a user-friendly resource that allows eCommerce users to easily navigate and access important web pages, such as the product page, homepage, and best-selling products.
Although Magento 2 does not support HTML sitemaps inherently, Magento SEO extensions help developers in generating both HTML and XML sitemaps effortlessly. This means that even non-technical individuals can create these sitemaps without difficulty.
To generate an XML sitemap, follow these simple steps:
- Navigate to Marketing >> SEO and Search option >> Site Map.
- Click on the “Add Sitemap” option.
- Fill in the necessary fields, including the sitemap’s name and path.
- Save the settings and click on “Save & Generate.”
- This will allow you to submit the sitemap to search engines. If you wish to submit the sitemap to Google, select the option to submit it to Google Search Console.
- Avoids Duplicate Content: Preventing duplicate content is a crucial practice for Magento websites. Duplicate content refers to instances where your website’s content is similar to that of another website or to other pages within your own site that are already indexed by search engines.
Several factors contribute to this issue, such as:
- Faceted Navigation: Faceted navigation allows users to filter products based on specific criteria such as size, colour, or brand, making it easier for them to find desired items. This feature is commonly found on major eCommerce sites. However, when different filter combinations are applied, numerous duplicate pages can be generated.
- Internal Search: Internal search functionality is popular among users on eCommerce websites. However, this search feature can also result in the creation of duplicate pages that you do not want to be indexed by search engines.
Using canonical tags helps address these issues. Canonical tags are a preventive measure, ensuring that search engines understand which version of a page is the preferred and authoritative one. By implementing canonical tags appropriately, you can mitigate the impact of duplicate content issues and maintain better control over your website’s search engine indexing.
- Optimising URL: Optimising URLs is another essential aspect of Magento SEO practices. In Magento, the option to customise the category path for product URLs allows site owners to strategically select and optimise the paths of their product URLs. This process of URL optimisation is essential to ensure that appropriate SEO-friendly URLs are assigned to their respective pages, maximising the website’s search engine visibility and user-friendliness. By carefully crafting and optimising URLs, Magento site owners can enhance their SEO efforts and create a more impactful online presence.
- Internal Linking: When it comes to website crawling, Google bots establish connections between web pages. These search engine robots rely on internal links to navigate and explore the entire website, gaining insights into the products or services offered by the online store. Hypothetically, there is an eCommerce store that specialises in cosmetics and a crawler lands on a page showcasing skin lotion. If the lotion product page contains a hyperlink to a lipstick page, the Google bot will follow the link and discern that the website encompasses a range of cosmetic products. Hence, the practice of internal link building holds the utmost significance in establishing a website structure and enabling efficient exploration by search engine bots.
- Revise Product Pages: To maintain an updated eCommerce website, it is essential to regularly review and enhance the product pages to ensure their relevance. Depending on the previous SEO efforts, web developers can assist site owners in making necessary revisions to a few older pages or even revamping the entire product line-up. Magento comes with the flexibility to configure product pages according to specific requirements, allowing site owners to optimise their content and presentation effectively. By leveraging the capabilities of Magento, website administrators can adapt and refine product pages to align with evolving business needs and maximise their SEO potential.
- Enhance Magento Metadata: Metadata is embedded in the website’s source code and plays a vital role in optimising eCommerce pages. It allows you to define and optimise vital elements like the title, description, and robot directives for each page. Although metadata is not visible to website visitors, it is accessible to search engine crawlers. Having relevant and well-crafted metadata is highly beneficial for achieving higher rankings on search engines. Metadata also contributes to improving the click-through-rate (CTR) metrics of the site and provides search engine crawlers with a clear understanding of the website’s purpose and content. Therefore, enhancing metadata is considered one of the fundamental Magento SEO best practices. By optimising metadata effectively, you can enhance the visibility, relevance, and overall performance of your Magento-based eCommerce website.
- Use Robots.txt to Avoid Unnecessary Links from Getting Indexed: Robots.txt plays a crucial role in controlling which URLs are crawled by search engines. It serves as a communication tool that indicates search engines about specific URLs that should not be crawled.
There are certain types of links that websites often prefer to block using robots.txt:
- Login Pages: Websites commonly prevent search engine crawlers from accessing login pages to maintain the privacy and security of user accounts.
- Faceted Navigation: Faceted navigation allows users to filter products based on attributes like size, colour, or price. However, to prevent the creation of duplicate content, websites often block facet navigation URLs from being crawled.
- Internal Search Pages: Search functionality within a website can generate numerous search result pages. To avoid these pages being indexed and causing duplicate content issues, internal search pages are often excluded from search engine crawlers.
- User’s Shopping Cart: The contents of a user’s shopping cart are typically not relevant to search engine indexing, so blocking access to these URLs helps maintain a cleaner index.
Magento offers convenient control over the robots.txt file through the following steps:
- Go to Content >> Design >> Configuration.
- Select the appropriate Store View and click Edit.
- In the Search Engine Robots dropdown, you can make modifications by adding your desired robots.txt commands in the “Edit custom instruction of robots.txt File” field.
- Rewrite and Redirect URL: Implementing proper URL redirection is a crucial SEO best practice that should not be overlooked. This practice becomes particularly important when making changes to existing page URLs or addressing the issue of 404 error pages. By utilising effective redirection methods, you can ensure that both customers and search engine crawlers are directed to the appropriate web pages.
Magento is perfect for handling URL rewrites and redirects and offers site owners and developers the ability to create automatic and customised redirects. This feature enables seamless navigation for users and ensures that search engines can properly index and rank your website’s content. By leveraging the capabilities of Magento, you can efficiently manage URL redirects, enhancing user experience and maintaining search engine visibility. Implementing robust URL redirection strategies is an integral part of optimizing your Magento-based website for improved SEO performance.
- Homepage SEO Setting: The homepage holds significant importance as it receives the highest number of visits compared to product and category pages on your website. Therefore, enhancing Magento SEO starts with optimising the homepage title, as it often defaults to a generic “Homepage” label.
To enhance the SEO performance of your Magento 2 store, it is crucial to select a compelling title that accurately represents your brand.
To do so, Go to Content > Elements > Pages > Home Page in the Magento dashboard.
In this section, customise the homepage title to align with your store’s objectives.
While making this update, it is essential to incorporate relevant metadata and keywords that resonate with your store’s offerings and target audience. By optimising the homepage title and utilising appropriate metadata, you can enhance the visibility and search engine ranking of your Magento 2 store, attracting more visitors and driving organic traffic to your website.
- Optimise for Page Speed: Ensuring optimal page speed for your eCommerce store is a critical aspect of website optimization. A fast-loading website can extend user sessions by up to 70%. To achieve this, you need to optimise all pages across your website. Fortunately, Google provides a helpful tool called Page Speed Insights, which allows you to conduct a free audit of your website’s speed-related issues.
Prioritising page speed optimisation not only enhances user engagement but also positively impacts your website’s search engine rankings. By delivering a fast and seamless browsing experience, you can enhance user satisfaction, increase conversions, and ultimately drive the success of your eCommerce store.
Adhering to the above-listed best Magento SEO practices and following them can help you rank better on SERP and increase the number of customers. Competition in eCommerce is increasing across various industries and niches. Consequently, digital marketing has emerged as an essential requirement.
For more personalised assistance regarding Magento SEO best practices, contact us at 18th DigiTech, an award-winning digital development agency, specialising in end-to-end eCommerce solutions for small, medium, and enterprise businesses.