For many eCommerce sites, understanding the in’s and out’s of SEO is something serious to consider & the same goes for websites built in Magento 1 and Magento 2.
Unlike other online stores, those built on the Magento platform tend to find practising SEO a lot easier (and faster!), but why? Magento has some great features that can be optimised in a few simple clicks that’ll help your site rank higher on SERP results. In this article, we’ll take you through some of the simple SEO practices suited to Magento, ones that you should be using!
First things first: Extensions. Many Magento sites are built using individual extensions to create one fully-functioning eCommerce site. So choosing the right extension for your business is imperative for generating success. The right extension will help you increase performance, usability and decrease time and cost for development.
The right extension for SEO will help you remain productive, give you a competitive advantage and ensure you ensure a continuous return on investment. Listed below are our top 3 Magento SEO extensions, both paid and unpaid.
This is a unique Magento extension, built to make writing optimised content easy. Here’s what you get:
The find out about the pricing and other features of this extension, click here.
It’s common knowledge among the Magento Community that is one of the best free Magento SEO extensions out there. Benefits include:
For in-depth information about the Creare SEO extension, click here.
Deemed to be one of the most useful Magento modules, it provides you with multi-store support, support for your blogging feed and allows you to intelligently crawl and index your eCommerce store.
Most would agree that the key to SEO success is hidden within your metadata. The practice of optimising metadata starts with keyword research. Once you have chosen 1 or 2 keywords to target for each page, it’s important to insert them wisely into your metadata.
The meta title is the backend text known as the HTML code in the header of the web page. For the purpose of this article, we’re ultimately looking at 2 components of metadata: the meta title (or the page title) and the meta description.
The meta title is probably the most important SEO element. For generic sites, optimising your page title is best done when written within 50-60 characters, containing keywords that have been researched and proven to add the right value and relevance to the brand.
Tip: Assuming you receive most traffic from mobile devices, it’s best practice to opt for a shorter meta title. This will keep it to a viewable limit for both users and a search engine’s benefit.
For Magento sites, optimising the title can be simplified, making the whole process a lot shorter. In some cases, leaving the page title empty will actually help it optimise itself. Magento automatically pulls through the category name and parent categories, which assuming they include relevant keywords, will generate an optimised meta title.
Previously, a meta description has been used to help search engines inform the user about the page. However, Google has improved it’s crawlability to be able to ‘read’ the entire page. This means that the meta description is now recognised to be a mere suggestion for the text displayed.
Even still, that doesn’t mean you should give it any less attention. It’s an invitation to users to view your page. For best practice, your Magento meta description should include your target keyword(s) to reinforce the fact that your page holds the answer to the user’s search query. This works to urge them to navigate through to your content, driving traffic to your products.
Alt tags are quite frankly the metadata for images. Simple. The alt tag is used to tell those who may not be able to see the image, what it is. Therefore, it’s crucial to include alt text not just for SEO purposes, but to ensure the elements on your site are fully accessible by all.
Consequently, search engines like Google place relatively high value on alt texts. For Magento users especially, it also helps to improve website search as Google can better determine the topic of the text, as well as driving more traffic through to your products. That’s assuming the image alt tags and product descriptions are related.
Tip: If you find your image relates to your keyword, it’s good practice to include this in the alt tag where you can. This will help alot with optimising your content for SEO purposes. (Although, that doesn’t mean to start spamming your alt text with keywords!)
The standard Magento menu navigation is pretty well designed. Although basic, it includes many fundamental features that make using an eCommerce site simple and easy for users.
The typical main menu contains categories, subcategories and sub-subcategories – as many as the retailer wishes. Creating and managing them is just as simple as it is using them. This is done in the backend of the site.
Although, eCommerce stores that have a wide range of products may find it difficult to keep the menu categories concise and manageable by the user. Hence, Magento has created 2 ways to solve the problem:
Tip: When optimising you menu nvaigation you should always keep 3 things in mind: be easy to understand, search and follow.
Perhaps a user knows what product they are looking for, or maybe they at least have an idea. Trailing through even a simple menu tab, can seem like a lot of effort. Hallelujah for search bars!
Searching using a search bar can seem like a great idea up until the product you are looking for is slightly misspelt and hence it reads “The product you are searching for is not available.” Great. That’s where optimising internal search comes into play.
By building an internal search functionality that scans over your site, you can return the most relevant results to users and even suggested products that may be related, though not the product itself.
It’s best practice to ensure that every URL on your site is optimised for the main keyword on the page. As every URL has to be different, this makes it a lot easier for implementing your targeted keywords.
For many eCommerce sites, it’s important to ensure each category, subcategory and product page is created in a way that makes knowing where on the site a user is, super easy. This relates to simplifying user navigation which in turn, can improve search friendliness.
As a general tip, Magento sites should abide by creating search-friendly URLs using the following formats:
Category Page: yourdomain/category/
Sub-category Page: yourdomain/category/sub-category/
Product Page: yourdomain/category/sub-category/product-name/
Integrating social media into your product pages can help increase brand awareness through encouraging your happy customers to share their favourite products with their friends and followers.
This can be done by including automatic share buttons from popular sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and even sites like Amazon, Microsoft Windows and Reddit. The more social groups you allow users to share with, assuming they are relevant places to be for your brand, will give users more options to repost your products.
Not only should you integrate social share buttons, but through using social login buttons, a user is given a potentially more convenient way to sign in and make a purchase. This is because they aren’t required to create a new account and enter duplicate information such as name, address and so on even as a guest login. These details can be taken from their favourite social account leaving them to enter only their payment details.
Although not social-related, by also integrating secure payment providers such as PayPal, ApplePay or Amazon Pay, a user can then further simplify their checkout process by using an “automatic” payment option. This again makes the purchase possible without having to enter details by using previous payment information that is stored and protected externally.
With billions of mobile phone users worldwide, the mobile shopping ratio is said to increase every day. So make everything mobile friendly! That includes your menu navigation, product images, search URLs and buttons. If your site doesn’t support mobile, you’re putting yourself in a losing situation.
To optimise your Magento site for mobile you can:
Statistics show that 40% of visitors to your website visitors will leave if the page doesn’t load within 3 seconds and 80% of customers will not return if website speed doesn’t match their standards. Hence loading speed is a huge factor in the success of any website.
You can optimise your website’s speed with the following tips:
To enable Flat Categories and Products, go to backend, STORES => Configuration => CATALOG => Catalog => Use Flat Catalog Category and choose “Yes”.
Image credit: Magento Development Weebly
This feature can be found via visiting SYSTEM=> Cache Management and then selecting which cache types you want to optimise. Select the Enable option and click “Submit” to save changes.
Having taken a look at some of the ways you can optimise your Magento site using our 7 Magento SEO tips it’s time to put your findings into practice.
Good To Know: Don’t expect to see results immediately! Once you have implemented the SEO practices, it can take Google a while to show that all your hard work has paid off. Don’t lose faith, just keep chipping away at optimising your Magento site and the results will come.