What Do You Think of SEO for Magento?

As you may know, SEO stands for “Search engine optimization”. It is the process of getting traffic from “free, organic, editorial or natural” listings on search engines. Enhancing SEO is the best way to improve your website and increase its visibility in search engines.

What Do You Think of SEO for Magento?

According to a statistic of 2009, there were 1,733,993,741 (1.73 billion) internet users in the world. More importantly though, is the fact that approximately 85%, or 1,473,894,680 of them use search engines to find products, services and information. This is one of the reasons SEO Services are strongly impacted on an online store. Besides, search has unrivaled reach amongst internet users. Users are turning up to use the service by choice, a much better option of lead generation than sending unwanted emails. In addition, websites on top of the search engines are given a great deal of credibility and trusted by those finding them, your potential customers. Not only that though, the traffic is unlimited because you aren’t paying for every visitor that clicks your listing.

Another benefit of SEO is the lasting effect that comes with organic search engine rankings. Should you stop using an SEO Service your listing will not immediately vanish as it would should your pay per click budget run out? Implemented correctly an SEO Campaign can maximize the amount of traffic and qualified leads being delivered to your website. An SEO campaign should also be affordable for the results achieved.

We have recently adhered to Magento for a large number of reasons like: full-featured solutions, great effects on sales… for e-commerce. In the transition, however we realized one of challenges of Magento must be Search Engine Optimization. Through some research, experimentation, a few small changes and redesigning, we were able to improve Magento’s out of the box SEO and get back on Google’s good side.

According to our recent report, SEO plays the most important to boost traffic of a Magento store. You will be surprised by the following facts:

  • There are nearly 5 billion Internet searches per month and over 130 million unique searchers.
  • 85% of all Internet traffic is generated through search engines.
  • 90% of Internet users do not go past the top 30 search engine results. They will type something else in the search box if they can’t find a relevant site.

And more important:

  • 75% of Internet users have the intention of purchasing a product or service when using search engines.
  • There are around 130 extensions released to improve Magento stores. They are listed on magento extension marketplace. It can be seen that, the number of SEO tool makes up nearly 50% of Marketing tools in Magento.

SEO IN MAGENTO?

Magento is one of the most search engine friendly e-commerce applications. It is so easy to the Search Engine Optimization for Magento. You just need to log in backend and go to System > Configuration > Web > Search Engines Optimization:

instantShift - SEO in Magento

In the URL Options it is recommended to turn off the Add Store Code to Urls function (it is set to No by default).

Additionally, the Magento installation set the default page title to Magento Commerce. Pick a more descriptive one and change it from the script admin area >System > Configuration > Design > HTML Head. Enter the new one in the Default Title field. It will be used for pages without custom title. If you want your store name to appear in all page titles put it in the Title Suffix field.

instantShift - SEO in Magento

Read the source article here.

BEST SOLUTION TO OPTIMIZE SEO IN MAGENTO STORES?

1. Optimize The URLs

The first important thing is to optimize your URLs. Please always make sure your URLs are too long. It is necessary to keep them only as you need to make them relevant.

For example: Instead of the URL: http://www.yourstore-best-solutions.com/magento-seo-plus-extension.html, http://www.yourstore.com/magento-seo-plus-extension.html is more preferred. All steps of process could be carried out in Magento backend -> System -> Configuration and set the corresponding values for Web, Catalog including Categories Path and Canonical Ling Meta Tag for Categories.

2. Tweak The CMS

You need to tweak your CMS, Product and Category Pay Titles. Page tittles are heavily weighted in a search engines’ view. If you could make it relevant, less than 70 characters and put your most important key words in the beginning of the title, there are about 50% of SEO to your website. Then, how to change the page titles:

  • CMS Pages: your “Page Title” is the Meta Title. The CMS is a great management tool for your business which also allows you to make content revisions. It is important for SEO to especially update content on landing pages with call to actions. Optimizing your content and engaging the customer can sometimes make or break the sale. Now that up optimized the content you can pick a SEF URL Identifier and page title (keep in mind the points under 1.2). Go to the Meta Data tab to write a description for each CMS page that you actually want to rank with. The keywords are not that important so you can keep the keywords empty. The description is all about relevance. The more relevant the more people will not only click on the page but also stay within the website. It is important to state what’s in the page they’re clicking on and that the information grabs their attention. If you don’t use the Meta description, the search engine will find the keyword searched for in your document, and automatically pick a string around that, which gives you a bolded word or two in the results page.
  • Products: Go to Catalog > Manage Products. Click the product you want to edit, click “Meta Information” on the left and edit the “Meta Title” field. You can set the Meta Information for the “Default Values” and for each “Store View”. Note that for the “Meta Title”, this will overwrite the complete page title, including categories but except title prefix/suffix, and not just the product name.

    An important aspect of SEO is optimizing your images. Speed is a very important part of SEO. The faster you page loads the better the experience for the user and the more likely they will stick around to buy your products. In the end, optimizing your images is both good for your sales as well as your customers. It is also important to write relevant alt tags for images and properly name your image files. This can also help increase traffic from the Image search queries such as “Google Images.” This is also important proper alt descriptions for the users that are unable to view your image. By default the images will be renamed to the product title, the same for titles and alt tags. With some extra effort you can set the titles and alt tags for each product image. To change the default you can set the titles and alt tags for each individual product by going to “Images” of the Product Information where you can then set the label for each product image. This will allow you to update the alt and title tag and you can do this for each specified Store View as well.

  • Categories: Go to Catalog > Categories. Click the category you want to edit, and edit the “Page Title” field. It is important to disable the “use categories path for product URL’s” as No! Although Magento grants you the ability to add the name of categories to the path for each product URL it often creates duplicate content which is not good for SEO. To disable this go to System— Configuration—Catalog —Search Engine Optimization— and set “Use categories path for product URL’s to “no”. Now you can change the details for each category by going to Catalog—Manage Categories. The most important fields to complete are Meta Description, Page Title, and URL Key. With Meta Description it is important to put an attractive description here; Keep in mind that people will see the description in the result listings of search engines. With Page Title it is important keep this empty to use the category name including parents’ categories. When you customize it, the title will be exactly like your input, without the parent category. Last but not least, with the URL Key you should try to keep a short but keyword rich URL. Removing stop words like “the”, “and”, “for” etc. is usually a good idea. Also note that you can set this only for all store views, for a multi-language store you should keep it language independent. For each store view you can specify the Name, Description, Page Title and Meta data. This is a great feature for multi- language stores.

3. Straightforward Navigation Menu

The third way is design a straightforward Navigation Menu. Big data-rich dropdown menus and footers are in style but they bring a drawback. Too much information makes the rest of your pages look like duplicate content. If your navigation menu makes up 70% of the content on most pages, search engines think all of your pages only have 30% of original content, which hurts your ranking.

Moreover, too many links in the header or footer can skyrocket your link count on every page, breaking the general accepted 100 links per page limit and your site will look like a link farm to a crawler. You’re also spreading link juice too thin, passing too little to each link instead of a concentrated amount to a few links. Take some hints from Apple.com, who has one of the most simple navigation menus around.

4. Optimize The Page Load Speed

Get it to Run Fast Without Switching Hosts: it is undeniable that Magento is unbearably slow, and that is no good for SEO. Luckily, speeding it up is a 1 step solution. Bring your pages load time from 2, 3 and 4 seconds down to less than 100 milliseconds will bring more search and bargain accordingly.

Also, there are additional ways to better optimize your Magento SEO as the following:

  • Magento default Meta tags optimization: Go to Configuration > Design > HTML Head and fill in the Default Title and Default Description fields. This will ensure that new pages have a generic but at least well optimized title and description in case you forget to enter the specific page title and description.
  • Create Google Sitemap (sitemap.xml) in Magento. Magento has a great Google XML sitemap generation tool (System > Configuration > Google Sitemap) which allows you to customize prettily much anything including different frequency and priority value for different types of pages. For example, you may want to assign to category pages frequency ‘daily’ and priority of 0.8, but you may want to set those to ‘weekly’ and ’0.5′ on all content pages.

The tool also lets you configure sitemap generation settings, including how often the sitemap.xml should be updated, at what time during the day and who’s the main point of contact if something goes wrong. Once configured, all you need to do is go to Catalog > Google Sitemap and generate a new sitemap.xml file.

  • Add Google Webmaster Tools verification tag to Magento. You need to add Google Webmaster Tools verification Meta tag to Magento website without having to involve developers in such smak and easy task? No problem. Go to System > Configuration > Design > HTML Head and paste your Webmaster Tools verification code in Miscellaneous scripts section. Complete!
  • Site maps allow an easier understanding of where your content is for both search engines as well as users. To create sitemap in Magento Simply go to Catalog—Google Sitemap—Add Sitemap—Chose a File Name—Chose Path and Store View—Press Save and Generate. Put Sitemap:http://domain.com/sitemap.xml in your robots.txt file. Make sure you update your site map as you update your inventory.
  • Set up Magento Google Base feed: this is definitely one of the optional Magento SEO tips but you may as well as set up the Magento Google. Base feed straight way as the feed’s history to be one of the ranking factors for Google Shopping listings. I created a detailed step by step guide on How to successfully Set UpMagento Google Base Feed.
  • Aim for speed: Speed is the most noteworthy factor that directly contributes to visitor’s traffic. The two notable things that can be done to enhance your Magento install’s speed are:
  • Facilitate caching. Go to System=> Cache Management and enable the caching features.
  • You can significantly increase Magento’s speed by using PHPopcode cache and MySQL.

5. Optimize The Template

One thing improving SEO of your Magento store must be Magento Template Optimization. The guide below will show you the effective ways to optimize Magento template.

  • Optimized Blank Template: The default Magento coats like “Modern Theme”, “Default Theme”, and “Blue Skin” do not perform well in the use of headings. From the view of SEO there is a lot of scope for development. A Blank Magento SEO Theme, depending on the core Magento Blank Theme is developed for your ease.
  • Headings: The default logo is an h1, and this should only appear on the front page, apart from this page, all other pages should be no more than an h3. The significant factor is to obtain the title of the content in an h1 tag. For example a category page should have the category name and for a product page it should have the product name. Next to this you should clean up the excess usage of headings.
  • It is recommended to eliminate the usage of header in the side columns. You can also make the text pertinent to the store (for example: include keywords). There is no basis for adding “static” and keyword less titles with an h4. For example it is good to alter all the h4 tags in div class=”head” to strong tags. This is the best time for content optimization. Place the category name in an h1 and the product names in an h3 at the category pages and set the product name in an h1 on the On product pages.

6. Code Properly

Because the templates do not contain clean optimized code, it would be beneficial to move the JavaScript and CSS to an external file. This way a user can cache the files on the first load and search engines will not waste time downloading them. Aiming for speed is very important for gaining more traffic. It is vital for the shop to load quickly. Here are a few ways in which you can increase the speed of your Magento install. First, enable caching. Go to System— Cache Management and enable all caching features. Second, it is important to have a good host and server configuration. With MySQL and PHP opcode cache you can improve the speed of Magento significantly. It is important to limit the number of external files. For each file you make people download, their browser has to create another connection to the web server. It is good for SEO to reduce the number of external files and combine several external files in to one. By default Magento already combine the majority of JavaScript files into one file except for style sheets. By the default template there are 6 style sheets. All of the content style sheets can be combined into one except for the print.css file. It is good to compress and cache both your java script and style sheet files.

7. Eliminating Duplicate Content

Once you have optimized the basic configuration and content updates for SEO you may be left with extra duplicate content. For example the following is a demonstration of duplicate content:

domain.com/product.html
domain.com/category1/product.html
domain.com/catalog/product/view/id/1/
domain.com/catalog/product/view/id/1/category/1/

One problem is that the pages are like the product review pages with almost the same content. Another problem is that the categories get a load of duplicate content with layered navigation and the sorting options. This means that a product may be available on 4 pages at least next to the page where it should be available. The key is to get rid of duplicate content pools but still allow them to be speared but not indexed by fixing the sorting options and layered navigation for categories. Now the search engine will follow all links on these pages but it won’t show those pages in the index. It is now important to “No follow” all unnecessary links. It is important to stop linking to your login, checkout, RSS feeds, Layered Navigation, or any other non-content page existing on your site.

If you want to suggest the preferred version of the URL for each page you can install the Canonical URL’s for Magento Module to help search engines understand the duplicate content of your pages.

Conclusion

In conclusion, SEO is very topical at the moment. Making these changes, along with other good SEO practices, will significantly optimize your search rankings and get you relevant, organic traffic as a result. These Magento Search Engine Optimization tips will help in optimizing your Magento website.

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11 Comments

  1. It looks a very cool apps for search engines because its very user friendly with search engines and gives us better results than searching through other ways. Impressive post i got to learn better about Magento apps. I must install it for better search.

  2. hi instanshif, now i know about SEO in magento cms after read this articles, thanks and please keep share about SEO :)

  3. SEO is very effective in modern online marketing.Magento is great content management system that is very effective for SEO works.

    • Magento is not a CMS – it is one of the best ecommerce platforms available for online retailers. I have been reading the advantages of Magento from Search perspective.

  4. you have informative article and also would like to ask is this save from google penguin?

  5. Great article! Another solution to boost SEO for a Magento site is to employ an extension that will do it all for you. I tried the extension SEO+ (from magestore.com), it’s pretty good and priced reasonably compared to some others.

  6. SEO is very important to any web-store owners. You also can find more effective function with SEO plus extension that there are many customers having great experience: http://www.magestore.com/magento-seo-plus-extension.html

  7. Hi, i dont understand your explanation of the H1 tag being for the logo and only on the first page?
    My understanding of the H1 is that it should be the most important TEXTual keyword entity on each page where neccessary?

  8. <>

    Hi, very helpful article. I don’t understand the above. Do you mean one should not make use of magento’s ability to put a different URL key for each store view / language? If so, why?

  9. “Also note that you can set this only for all store views, for a multi-language store you should keep it language independent.”

    Hi, very helpful article. I don’t understand the above. Do you mean one should not make use of magento’s ability to put a different URL key for each store view / language? If so, why?

  10. Magento has great working in ecommerce platform and among all platforms it is 100% Search engine optimization. Certain steps like Practical Hosting, Enable Magento Caching, Remove Unused Code from Home Page, Activate KeepAlive, Minimize Http Requests, Enable Magento Flat Catalog..

    These steps will be helpful to optimize your Magento store.

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