Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is an evepresent term in the modern marketing world and is a focal point of almost all successful businesses online store strategy. The more effective a SEO strategy is the more conscious customers are about your product, this in turn leads to more clicks and greater brand reach. As the concept surrounding SEO sounds simple you may be asking ‘well if it’s so important how can I differentiate my business through SEO’. Truthfully SEO is a very individualised and contextual based process which is rarely simple and is even more complicated when applied to an ecommerce site with a large variety of products.
So by now if you’re asking yourself well that’s fantastic but I read this blog post to learn how to fix this problem not be told there is one, don’t worry we have the tool for you; Magento. Magento is one of the most popular and fastest growing ecommerce website platforms due to its SEO integrated features such as image optimization, URL rewriting and Google Sitemaps. Magento is somewhat of a necessity in today’s e-commerce marketplace and whether you are working in a large professional context or small entrepreneurship capacity Magento is your premier platform for growth.
Why Use Magento?
- It’s one of the few effective FREE TO DOWNLOAD open source ecommerce platforms
- It is fully equipped with A LARGE VARIETY OF FEATURES
- The platform gives users FULL CONTROL OVER ASPECTS SUCH AS FUNCTIONALITY AND DESIGN with various flexible options for your online shop
- Magento is SEARCH ENGINE AND MOBILE FRIENDLY
- Most importantly though Magento is the MARKET CHOSEN PLATFORM SUPPORTED BY THOUSANDS OF CREATORS
On To The Tips
1. Avoid Duplicate Content Problem for Many Pages
A common SEO issue that everyone magento user in e-commerce is bound to be exposed to at some point during their career is that of unwanted duplicated content. This results in the same product appearing in multiple categories in your site. As such google is more likely to see this unfavourably or as spam. To mitigate this use the canonical tag Go to the Stores >> Configuration >> Catalog >> Catalog >> on right side scroll down to Search Engine Optimization and set Canonical LINK Meta Tags for Categories and Products to Yes
In Magento duplicate content, occurs because of the followings:
- Product filtering
- Product sorting
- Same product in different categories
- Variation of the same product
If you need a bit more of an explanation as to why duplication can occur have a look at this helpful blog – Common Duplicate Content Issues in Magento.
2. Optimize Product Images
An easy step to forget when optimising your website is to optimise product images. It is important that titles and image descriptions describe the purpose and meaning of images. Additionally, much like other titles scattered throughout your website, image titles should contain relevant keywords. It is good to think of alt tags as having equal importance as titles and URLs as every little step helps to gain the best visibility in search systems. For more information on image optimisation and useful tips have a look at this Shopify blog – https://www.shopify.com.au/blog/7412852-10-must-know-image-optimization-tips
If all else fails remember these simple steps for alt tagging images:
- Never stuff irrelevant keywords in an alt-tag and always use proper image descriptions
- Make sure your images have informative file names instead of the generic IMG00001 e.g. Running-Shoes-Black-Superfly
- And most importantly all tags should be short, clear and to the point
3. Use proper keywords
While Magento will have default sample content for aspects such as a product title and description these are not standard for SEO. To edit these default samples go to Configuration => Design => HTML Head. In terms of the meta title and description there a several aspects to incorporate. Firstly, keywords should be focused near the beginning of your title as it makes them easier to read for search engines. Additionally, unnecessary words such as ‘the’, ‘and’ and similar conjoining words should be removed from the title. If you repeat these steps throughout your category titles and descriptions as well your site will become more SEO friendly. If you need tips on what constitutes a proper keyword check out this helpful guide – https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research
4. Speed up your site
Slow loading speeds can not only impact your sites ranking in the eyes of google but also in the eyes of customers. Neither party involved enjoys waiting to be able to a research, compare or purchase a product and as such loading times for e-commerce sites are key for SEO purposes.
There are various ways that you can speed up your site, most notably on Magento:
- Enable all caching features (System => Cache Management)
- Enable Flat Catalog Categories and Flat Catalog Product (System => Configuration, Catalog => Catalog,Frontend)
- Reduce the number of external files that can be downloaded from your server
5. Modify Robots.txt File
Robots.txt Files are designed to prevent search engines finding sites for various reasons. Magento automatically adds robots.txt files to your site so that search engines don’t index it. As such if you want to be ranked by search engines and want to sell products there are several key steps that you have to follow.
By default, Robot setting is “NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”, which make your site cannot appear on search results. To solve this problem, go to System => Configuration => Design => Default Robots, and then change it to “INDEX, FOLLOW”. If you want to get into the roots of Robots txt. Files and are looking for even more information on what makes them tick look at this detailed article about how they work and the ins and outs of Robots – https://moz.com/learn/seo/robotstxt
Congratulations you made it to the end, you are now equipped with all the information you need to start your SEO journey on magento and differentiate your e-commerce website from the pack.