Magento SEO

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Magento is an ecommerce platform that offers merchants online an impressive degree of control over the presentation of their online store. In addition to this, its tools for catalogue management, marketing, and search engine optimisation are well-implemented and highly effective. It’s the chosen platform of around one in four online retailers at present, servicing upwards of two hundred thousand stores. Magento has emerged as a major factor in modern ecommerce, and as such it becomes a key consideration for many though not all SEO strategies.


The Basics Of Magento SEO

For the most part, Magento is designed to work with Google’s analytics, but its customisable nature belies how much optimisation of this process is not set by default. This makes SEO for your storefront relatively simple at a basic level.


Magento SEO Configuration Steps

  • Ensure Default Title, and Default Description are set
  • Once your store is out of development, set Default Robots to index.follow
  • Use Server Rewrites to remove index.php from your default URL
  • Force Magento to choose between a URL with or without a www. prefix
  • Enable canonical URLs
  • Reindex your website
  • Configure a Google sitemap
  • Add the code to enable Google Analytics tracking

However, Magento continues to develop, the search engines continue to hone their algorithms, and what has worked before may begin to work less well as time passes. It’s worth making sure that your SEO team is ready to attend to the aspects that Magento doesn’t provide inbuilt support for.


Things To Cover With Magento

  • Structured data markup optimization; the more detail attached to your store for each transaction, the better your analytics and, therefore, the better your fine-tuning will be.
  • Efficient internal linking; Magento’s own linking system requires some adjustments from the default for your store’s internal linking to be easily indexed by search engines, and if your indexing is incomplete, customers won’t reliably be able to find you via search.
  • Optimise the descriptions and titles of all of your pages for clearer indexing and higher search engine ranking

While there are plugins and extensions now which handle all of the above tasks – and more – it’s important to stay abreast of the latest developments and keep up with changes as they come. You never know when a new software update might conflict with a plugin you’re using or when search engine algorithms will shift, so whoever runs your SEO should be watching all the appropriate SEO blogs for advance warning, monitoring your analytics data and, of course, fine-tuning your descriptions, keywords, and meta data according to the results of your analytics. It’s also important to remember that any portions of your site not run on Magento also have their part to play, and should be considered as part of your strategy.

Ready to take your Magento website to the next level? Here are some more advanced techniques

In a previous post, we looked at the more basic techniques for improving SEO on your Magento storefront. While that’s a good foundation to build on, if you know what you’re doing it may be worth going the extra mile with your preparations. With that in mind, here are a few other things you can do to tweak your site and draw in those precious last few extra visitors.


Page Load Speed

It may sound like a complete change of topic, but now that high-speed internet is available for all even on mobile devices, it only takes a delay of around two seconds in loading a website for customers to lose interest, which will see a massive spike in your bounce rate.


Once the search engines take note of a high bounce rate, their immediate assumption will be that your site isn’t of interest to the majority of visitors, and this will lead to you slipping down the rankings. Conversely, a site which becomes noted for its fast, smooth load under any circumstances receives heavy word of mouth, bringing more traffic to its door – which will tell those search engines that your site is very interesting to web users.

  • Reindex your database frequently. This isn’t a bad idea for other reasons, but it will also improve page load times, and it’s well worth doing just for that.
  • Check your image files. How well are they compressed? If you don’t feel comfortable compressing images yourself, there are a number of websites out there which offer services like that for you. Nowadays almost any internet-capable device can decompress files faster than it can download a less compressed file, so the only limit on compression should be the point at which it affects picture quality.
  • Configure Magento to combine Javascript and CSS files. This will shave a little bit more time off for you.
  • Various websites and apps allow you to check load times on computer and on mobile. Use them frequently, and use extensively while fine-tuning this.


Turn Category Pages Into Landing Pages

Your store should, by now, be indexed thoroughly, and search engines will recognise queries for individual product pages, brand pages, and the like as well as searches for shops in your market sector. However, there’s another point where you can step up your game here, and that involves making sure that the general page for a given category in your store also functions as an inviting landing page to draw more customers in.


Extend Structured Data Snippets

Google a product and one of the first things you’ll see on the top page is a list of places you can buy that product or products like it and the prices for each of those places. When someone’s looking that specifically for a particular item, they’ll often stop there – and you should be taking your slice of that market. By marking up the appropriate sections of your product pages, you can be in pole position with the other savvy storefronts.