Magento is no exception.
Magento SEO: What’s It?
Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform written in PHP.
Magento SEO is how you can get your Magento store to rank higher in the search engine results pages.
What Does it Take to Make Your Magento Store SEO-Friendly?
In other words, you must give search engines a reason to rank you.
Generally, we can break all this into three categories, called “the Three Pillars of SEO.”
Technology: The technical aspects of your website must be set up correctly for search engines to access, crawl, and index your content. Search engines must find your site and understand its structure and hierarchy to index and rank it accordingly.
The technical side of SEO is about setting yourself up for success.
Relevancy: Your site might rank, but is the searcher finding what they’re looking for?
Your site must be relevant to the searcher’s query to rank.
The easiest way to ensure relevancy is to populate it with keyword-rich content relevant to what searchers are looking for.
Good technology and on-page optimization will help, but if your site doesn’t have the right content, you won’t rank.
Authority: Once you’ve sorted technology and relevancy, you must focus on building your website’s authority.
Search engines want to rank websites that are respected and trusted by their users.
You’ll need to generate high-quality inbound links (links from other websites) to your site.
A Magento SEO Checklist for a Strong Technical SEO Foundation
The following Magento SEO checklist will help you ensure your website is technically sound and set up for success.
- URL structure: Create short, keyword-rich, and easy-to-understand URLs. Avoid long, complicated URLs with a lot of characters and numbers.
- Use a simple directory structure that is easy for search engines to understand.
- Place the most important pages higher up in your site’s hierarchy.
- If you have a lot of products on your site, consider using faceted navigation to help search engines index all of your content.
- Faceted navigation allows users to filter products by different criteria (e.g., colour, size, price, etc.), which can help reduce the number of pages on your site.
- Headings and Titles: Use descriptive and keyword-rich titles and headings (H1, H2, H3 tags) to help search engines understand your page’s topic.
- Meta Tags: Use meta tags, such as the title tag and meta description, to help search engines understand what your page is about.
- Rich Media: If you have images, videos, or other forms of rich media on your site, include relevant keywords in the file names and descriptions.
- Site speed: Optimize your website’s load time to ensure a positive user experience and improve your site’s ranking.
- Mobile-friendliness: Make sure your site is mobile-friendly to cater to the growing number of mobile searchers.
- Indexation: Use Google Search Console to submit your sitemap and check if all of your pages are being indexed.
- HTTPs: Use a secure HTTPS connection to ensure your site is safe and secure. You must install an SSL Certificate on your server and change your site’s address from HTTP to HTTPS.
13 Must-so Magento SEO Tips to Boost Your Sales
1. You Can Start by Updating to the Latest Version of Magento
Start by updating to the latest version of Magento.
Every new release comes with security patches and performance improvements to help your site rank higher in search results.
To update your site, log into the Magento admin panel and go to System > Tools > Web Setup Wizard.
From there, you can select the component you want to update and follow the instructions on the screen.
Magento recommends upgrading to the newest version of the platform as soon as it’s released. Not only will this help improve your site’s security, but it can also help you take advantage of the latest features and performance improvements.
All these contribute to a better ranking in SERP.
2. Optimize Your Magento Site URL to Something More SEO-friendly
If you search online, you’ll see a lot of advice on how to optimize your website’s URL structure.
But what does that actually mean?
It means making sure your URL is short, descriptive, and keyword-rich.
Here’s an example of a well-optimized URL:
And here’s an example of a poorly-optimized URL:
As you can see, the first URL is much shorter and easier to read. It’s also keyword-rich, which makes it easier for search engines to understand your web pages.
If you’re not sure how to optimize your URL structure, don’t worry. Magento has a built-in tool that can help.
To access it, log into the Magento admin panel and go to Store > Configuration > Web > URL Options, and then set “Add Store Code to URL” to “No.”
Next, click on the Search Engine Optimization tab, then under the “Search Engine Optimization” select “Yes.”
Once done, click “Save Config” to save your changes.
You can further optimize your URL structure by doing the following:
- Go to the “Stores” => “Configuration” => Catalog => Search Engine Optimization
- Change “Use Categories Path for Product URLs” to “Yes.”
- Change “Create Permanent Redirect for URLs if URL Key Changed” to “Yes.”
- Change “Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Categories” to “Yes” (This should eliminate duplicate content problems for many of your website’s pages).
- Change “Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Products” to Yes. (This should help eliminate duplicate content problems for many of your website’s pages).
Doing this will help make your URLs more SEO-friendly and improve your site’s ranking in search results.
3. Radically Clean Your URLs
If you want to take your URL optimization one step further, you can radically clean it up in the search engine optimization menu.
To do that, turn “Server URL Rewrites” to “Yes.” That will remove the “index.php.” from your URLs and make them even shorter.
Once you’ve done that, click “Save Config” to save your changes.
Generally, URLs don’t significantly impact your site’s ranking.
But if you’re trying to rank for highly competitive keywords, every little bit helps.
Plus, no one wants to see an ugly URL, so it makes sense from a usability standpoint to clean them up.
4. Use Proper Keywords
Magento has default sample content for every category and product.
That’s fine when setting up your site, but if you want to rank well in search results, you need to optimize your category and product pages for the right keywords.
Simply log into the Magento admin panel and go to Content => Design => Configuration.
The dashboard will show you a Design Configuration table, where you can choose the store view to edit. Next, click on “Other Setting = > HTML head.
Meta title and description should be unique and keyword-rich.
That helps search engines understand your page and rank it accordingly.
With the title, keep it under 60 characters and put the most important keywords first.
As for the description, keep it under 160 characters and include your target keywords.
But don’t stuff them in there just for the sake of it. Write for humans first, and then worry about search engines second.
5. Optimize Your Images
SEOs tend to overlook images, but they can significantly impact your site’s ranking.
That’s because search engines can’t read images the way humans can. So they rely on the text around the image to understand what it’s about.
You can begin by naming all the image files descriptively. Include your target keyword, but don’t stuff it in there.
Then add a title and alt tag to each image. Since the title and alt tag describe your images, you want to ensure they’re short, easy to read, and straight to the point.
Doing this will help search engines understand your images and index them accordingly.
Additionally, jpg files tend to be smaller than png files, so they load faster.
And since website speed is a ranking factor for SEO, you want to ensure your images are as optimized as possible.
To optimize alt tags on Magento, go to Products => Catalog => in Configuration => Products Double Click on Thumbnail => Go to the “Detail Page” => Scroll down to “images” and “Videos” => Double click in “Images” => add alt text in the “Alt” section for each of your images.so be sure to include your target keyword here.
6. Add Titles and Meta Descriptions for Your Product Categories and Pages
Like many other e-commerce platforms, Magento will auto-generate titles and descriptions for your pages based on your product names and other factors.
Unfortunately, these auto-generated titles and descriptions are often not very SEO-friendly.
So, it’s a good idea to write your own custom titles and descriptions for each of your product categories and pages.
Also, by not optimizing your product categories and pages, you’re missing out on an opportunity to optimize your web pages for long-tail keywords.
First, you should avoid using the manufacturer’s description, as it’s likely already being used by many other online stores.
Ideally, you want your product pages to be unique and informative.
You can add a custom title and description by going to Content => Configuration => Design => HTML Head => Default Description.
7. Make Sure You Utilize H2 and H3 Tags
H2 and H3 tags structure your content and make it easy for visitors to read.
For example, if you have a blog post with several sections, you would use H2 tags to title each section.
And if one of those sections has several subsections, you would use H3 tags to title each subsection.
If you don’t use the three (H1, H2, and H3 tags), search engines won’t know how to index your content correctly.
That can actually make a huge difference in your SEO.
SEMrush conducted a study on this.
They would ask Twitter followers to vote on what they thought would happen. 36.4% said it increased. 25% said there would be no difference, while only 3.6% foretold a dip.
After running the study, they found that adding the H3 tags increased their pages’ organic clicks by 4.3%.
9. Incorporate a Blog into Your Website
A blog is a great way to regularly add fresh content to your website.
And since Google loves fresh content, this can help you rank higher in search results.
Not only that, but a blog can also help you attract more visitors to your website.
You can use your blog to write informative articles that target long-tail keywords.
And if people like your content, they may share it on social media or link to it from their own websites.
Don’t just publish any old thing on your blog, though.
Your content needs to be high quality and relevant to your niche.
It also needs to be well-written and engaging. Otherwise, people won’t stick around.
To set up a blog on Magento, go to Content => Blog => Posts and press the “Add New Post” button.
10. Structured Data
Structured data is a code you can add to your website to help search engines understand your content better.
It’s sometimes also called “schema markup” or “microdata.”
As a Magento site can be pretty complex, structured data can be a great way to give search engines a “map” of your website.
You can use structured data to add information about products, reviews, ratings, prices, and more.
For an eCommerce site, here’s an ideal way to map out your structured data:
- Home Page: For organization markup, you can include information such as the name of your website, logo, contact information, etc.
- Product Page: On each product page, you can add information such as the product’s name, price, image, ratings, reviews, etc.
- Category Page: For category pages, you can include information about the products in that category, the category’s name, image, etc.
- Blog Page: On your blog page, you can add information such as the author, date published, title, etc.
Below is a little more information about Collection Page and how to map your structured data.
Here are some of the properties you can include in your structured data:
- Name – The name of the item
- URL – The URL of the item
- Page Position – The position of the item on the page
Here’s an example of what a Collection Page of structured data might look like:
Product structured data is a staple for any ecommerce website as it allows you to give search engines critical information about each product on your site.
It tells Google everything from the name and price of your product to what images to show in search results.
Here are some of the properties you can include in your structured data:
- Name – The name of the product
- Description – A brief description of the product
- Image – An image of the product
- Price – The price of the product
- RatingValue – The average customer rating for the product
- RatingCount – The number of ratings for the product
- Review: If you want to include customer reviews in your structured data, you can do that too.
You’re also allowed to have customer reviews in your structured data.
One of our favorite properties to include is the “SKU” property. It’s popular on Magento sites as it allows you to see queries for the SKU numbers appearing in the Google Search Console’s Performance report.
11. Speed Up Your Site
A fast website is a good user experience.
It’s also a ranking factor for Google.
One lower second is enough to drop your site’s ranking.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to check your website’s speed and get recommendations on how to improve it.
There are a few Magento SEO tips you can use to speed up your website:
Enable All Caching Features: Caching can speed up your website by storing certain pieces of information so they don’t have to be re-loaded each time a page is loaded.
Go to “Store => Configuration => Advanced =>System => Full Page Cache” and make sure all caching features are turned on.
Magento already has some caching features enabled by default, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
Set “Caching Application” to “Varnish Caching”: Varnish is a powerful caching tool that can speed up your website even more.
Next, do a few Varnish configurations, like Access list, Backend Port, and more.
This setup can make your website load even faster.
Enable Flat Catalog Categories and Flat Catalog Product (Store => Configuration => Catalog + Storefront).
A flat catalog updates automatically. All the necessary product and category data are stored in a single database table.
That will make your website load faster because it doesn’t have to retrieve data from multiple tables.
Merging these files can help speed up your website.
Reduce the Number of External Files: External files are files that are not hosted on your website’s server.
The fewer external files you have, the faster your website will load.
12. Generate a Sitemap
A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website.
It’s a helpful way for search engines to discover and crawl your website’s content.
Search engine crawlers use sitemaps to explore websites. They use it to scan every content page on your website and find new pages to crawl.
Unfortunately, Magento only offers two XML sitemap settings.
To generate a sitemap for your Magento website, you must install a third-party extension such as Dynamic HTML Sitemap for Magento 2 by Mageplaza.
Once you’ve installed the extension, you can configure it by going to “Store” => “Configuration” => “Catalog” => “XML Sitemap.”
To generate XML sitemaps for your Magento website, go “Marketing” => Sitemap.
Next, add the sitemap and the path for the new sitemap.
Lastly, choose “Save and Generate.”
13. Modify Robots.txt File
Robots.txt is a text file that gives instructions to search engine bots on what pages they can and can’t crawl.
It’s a helpful way to control which pages get indexed by search engines.
For example, if one of your website’s pages has no actual product, you can use robots.txt to tell search engines not to index that page.
Or, if your site is real, you can use it to tell search engines to index your whole website.
Don’t let Magento’s default robots.txt file control your website’s crawling and indexing.
Modify it to fit your website’s needs.
You can find Magento’s robots.txt file at the root of your website.
To edit it, go to “Content => Design => Configuration => and choose the store you want to view. Next, please scroll down to the search engine robot and configure it.
14. Build an Internal Link Network
Internal links are links that point to other pages on your website.
They help search engines understand the relationship between your website’s pages.
And they help visitors navigate your website.
Building an internal link network is a helpful way to improve your website’s SEO.
It tells search engines which pages are important and helps visitors find the information they’re looking for.
You need to add links to your website’s pages to build an internal link network.
You can easily link your products with other related items by following this configuration: Catalog => Product.
Next, choose the product to edit.
After that, you want to go to “Related Products,” “Up-sells,” and “Cross-sells” => Related Products => Add Related Products.
You can also link your blog posts by adding links to your website’s other blog posts.
To do this, edit a blog post and add a link to another blog post in the “Content” section.
15. Add Social Sharing Buttons
Social media is a powerful way to promote your website.
You can reach a whole new audience by just sharing your content on social media.
And when people share your content, it helps improve your website’s SEO.
Adding social sharing buttons to your website is a helpful way to encourage social sharing.
It makes it easy for visitors to share your content on their favourite social media platforms.