Having an online store means constantly fighting for more traffic, higher positions, and an exchange rate. SEO experts covered up topics related to search engine optimization of online stores to death, but you will be surprised to find out how many store owners neglect tips and continue to lose potential traffic. and sales. Knowing the most common shortcomings of Magento SEO stores and the tips in this article will help you get on your feet above the competition in the complex world of e-commerce.
Magento and SEO
When it comes to SEO, Magento cannot boast of good optimization out of the box. In fact, each CMS has its own SEO flaws that will not allow you to win the competition without expanding the functionality or at least changing the default settings. So let’s dig deeper.
Default meta tags
Have you ever visited the homepage of an online store with “Homepage” as a title tag? I have. I am sure that the people behind these stores are not targeted at this keyword and should not evaluate it. They just forgot to change the default name. So make sure you change the title to something more appropriate and descriptive .
Many store owners also ignore meta descriptions and end up with hundreds, if not thousands of duplicate descriptions. This harms SEO and can lower your CTR in search results. So visit System -> Configuration -> General -> Design -> HTML Header -> Default Description and make sure the field is blank .
Restrict indexing of important pages
Sometimes webmasters simply forget to change the robots.txt and meta-robots directives to enable site indexing after the stage. As a result, the site will not be indexed and cannot be ranked by Google.
Check the robots.txt file to make sure that you enable site indexing and check the meta-robot directives, which are located in the <head> section of each page. They should be set to INDEX, FOLLOW by default , you can check this in the system -> Configuration -> General -> Design -> HTML Header -> Robots by default .
Sitemap with Intermediate URLs
Usually, all important changes are made on an intermediate site to make sure everything runs smoothly. Once everything is verified, the changes will be transferred to the live site, and here complex things will begin. Many webmasters forget the differences in the URLs of intermediate and live sites and use the wrong Sitemap for XML files. For example, I saw several times that the XML sitemap for example.com contained URLs using staging.example.com. This will not work for Google.
If you want to ensure good site indexing, avoid this error and create an XML sitemap with the correct URLs .
Homepage with different URLs
Quite often, on the main page, you can access various URLs, including those with / without WWW, as well as with / without /index.php at the end. These pages are duplicated and should be redirected to the canonical, for example, to your site. Google has become pretty smart and can find the canonical page, but there is no guarantee that it will choose the one you need for the canonical.
Set up 301 redirects in the .htaccess file. to solve the problem of duplicate home pages.
You can hardly find an online store without URLs containing parameters such as? = Sortby ,? P = 5, etc. These are duplicate pages that should not be indexed by search engines. You can use rel = canonical to avoid indexing and provide only one variation of each page indexed by Google.
By the way, just creating a canonical is not enough; you have to configure them correctly . Once I worked with a large online store where a lot of sorting pages were indexed. I suggested they use rel = canonical to solve the problem. They set them on their side, and we began to wait until Google reindexed pages and indexed duplicates. A few weeks passed, but nothing happened. Then I decided to check the implementation of the canons and was very surprised to see this
<link herf = “CategoryURL” rel = “canonical” />
<link href = “CategoryURL” rel = “canonical” />
When it comes to such canonical questions, one letter matters, so double-check these changes.
In fact, there are many more types of duplicate content that you should avoid, and the main source of this content is Magento’s layered navigation. This is very complicated and requires special attention for proper configuration.
Rel = “alternate” hreflang = “x”
If you have a multilingual store, and especially if it has version 2 in one language (for example, .com in English and .ca in English) do not ignore rel = “alternate” hreflang = “x” , This code shows that all your stores in different languages are instances of the same store, so they will not be considered as duplicates.
Hreflang tags can be added either to the <head> of each page of your Magento store, or can be specified in your XML sitemap.
Each online store contains a huge number of images to display products from different angles. But many stores forget to optimize these images and lose potential traffic and sales. Here are a few things you should pay attention to:
- Image Names , Forget about 890yup.jpg and similar names and make them descriptive. If you offer a yellow umbrella, name the image yellow-umbrella.jpg. This increases your chances of ranking for this keyword in Google Image Search.
- Alt icons also add to your overall SEO optimization by describing the image content on Google. They may be similar or similar to image names.
- Website speed is an important ranking factor in search engines, and image optimization is an important step towards faster page loading.
You now have a list of SEO tips for your Magento store. It’s time to go and check if everything is correct.
Remember that an online store is a dynamic system that has many things that you cannot predict. One day, everything may be all right, and the next day, strange 404 errors will appear in the Google Search Console. This means that you have to track site optimization and errors in order to notice all important changes and quickly solve problems.
Author Bio : Kristina pays close attention to the latest digital marketing trends in developing detailed strategies for improving website performance and optimizing conversions. She is a marketing manager and SEO specialist at Amasty, a company that develops high-quality Magento extensions that make life easier for Magento store owners.
Other features to help find the best ecommerce platform for SEO
Although I did not include the following features in this study, you can also consider these factors when evaluating which platform to choose for your e-commerce.
Functional products on the main page
The ability to place popular or “best sellers” on the home page of your site not only reduces the likelihood that visitors will bounce off your home page, but can also increase the ranking of search engines.
Since the website’s homepage is often the page with the highest link authority, any pages directly linked to the homepage will in turn receive a higher proportion of any link source transmitted from the homepage.
One way to avoid duplicating content on pages displaying similar products is to include unique product reviews or some other form of custom content (UGC) on the product page. Product reviews can also be perceived by consumers when choosing a product to buy.
Internal site search
Having an internal search tool with which visitors can search your site for products matching their keywords is often perceived positively by consumers.
Using a tool such as Google Analytics, you can analyze the most popular search queries found on your site. This will help you determine how to best name your products and product categories, and even choose the type of products that you might want to stock up on in the future.
SEO features are not the only factors to consider when choosing an e-commerce platform for your business. You should also consider:
- Cost (monthly fixed platform costs, premium bonuses and transaction fees)
- Ease of use (for complex platforms, additional training costs may be required)
- Customer Service (If your site runs at 3am on Sunday before Christmas, will anyone be there to help you?)
- Selection of payment gateways (e.g. PayPal, WorldPay, etc.)
- Integration with existing EPOS and accounting programs
- Scalability (can the platform grow with your business?)
- Mobile software (an increasing number of consumers are now shopping on mobile devices)
- Security (Will the payment and contact details of your customers be safe?)
- The risk of service termination (for example, Magento, recently terminated their “Magento Go” , forcing all users to either leave or be transferred to another service)
Conclusion: The Best Ecommerce Platform for SEO
Choosing an e-commerce platform for your online business is not a solution that needs to be taken lightly. Although you may be tempted to use the best-known provider that offers you the cheapest and easiest solution, it is a solution that you might regret later after growing up.
If you later find that your inability to attract and convert visitors is limited – not by the attractiveness of your products – but because of the limited capabilities of your e-commerce, you might wish you spent more time finding the best solution before investing time and money on a second level platform.
All e-commerce platforms that scored top positions in this study ( Shopify, 3dCart, Magento & WooCommerce ) should be a fairly safe bet for most small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses. Click here if you want to explore more Shopify alternatives. If you use one of the other platforms and want to upgrade to a more modern and optimized solution, Shopify makes it easy to do this by going through the process.
My personal preference would be to use a well-supported, self-organizing, customizable, open source solution, such as WooCommerce, which offers a wide selection of free or low-cost add-ons.
While BigCartel did not get the lowest score in this study, it really stood out as a platform for which most of the SEO features included in the study were not available even for an extra charge.
This is an independent study for which I do not receive any incentives (financial or otherwise) from any trolley sellers included in this post.