Magento accounts for 31.4% of top 100,000 eCommerce sites, so you simply can’t afford to overlook Magento SEO. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to optimise your Magento 2 eCommerce site to improve your brand’s visibility.
What is Magento SEO?
Magento SEO is a set of SEO adjustments, specific to the Magento platform. Magento has many great SEO features that you can optimise to gain better results, so let’s dive in!
Why SEO is important for your Magento 2 Store?
Whilst we can all agree that every businesses goal is to generate conversions, if your website isn’t generating traffic, you simply won’t meet your goals.
This is where Magento SEO comes in handy. Below we have compiled a list of some of the benefits of SEO for Magento 2 stores:
You can improve your Magento 2 store positions in the SERPs.
A boost in website traffic and visibility.
You can increase the authority of your product, category and other web pages.
It makes your store discoverable and linkable by websites of authoritative sources.
Your conversion rate is increased by matching customer intent.
Magento 2 Basic SEO Tips and Best Practices
SEO is an extensive subject with a lot of scope that you can implement to improve your site’s rankings in the SERPs.
Important: Before you delve into all the advanced SEO techniques, be sure to get the basic on-page and off-page SEO right first.
Magento 2 On-Page Optimisation
On-page SEO involves optimising your website’s internal pages to rank higher in the SERPs. On-page SEO consists of several factors, including the quality of your content, your pages hierarchy, the navigation of your site, the overall user experience and much more. These are all aspects that can be controlled by you and below, we will show you how:
Optimise Title Tags and Headings in Magento
The quality of both your page title and meta description directly impact your rankings and your click-through-rate (CTR). As a result, this means that it is important to write page titles that satisfy both crawlers and visitors alike.
As Google only displays the first 50–60 characters of title tags, you should keep your titles below 60 characters so they aren’t cut off in the results page. It is also best practice to include your main keyword in the beginning of the title to ensure that visitors see it first.
It is also extremely important that you only have one H1 tag per page. Use subheadings H2, H3, and so on in a proper hierarchy, for example:
To edit the default title and description of the homepage of your store:
Go to Content → Design → Configuration and look for Default Store View
Click the Edit link to adjust the Default Store View homepage’s meta information
To edit titles for product pages:
Go to Admin → Products → Catalog
Click on Edit Product and go down to Search Engine Optimisation
Here, you can fill in the Meta Title and Meta Description (more on this in the next section)
Meta descriptions are the short text that is displayed below the title and the URL in the SERPs. Much like your title tag, your meta description needs to please crawlers with the help of keywords, as well as being compelling for visitors. Otherwise, they are less likely to click through to your store.
Consider your value propositions when creating meta descriptions to encourage more click-throughs to your store. If you provide free shipping, include it in your meta description so that it is clear to visitors before having to click on your site.
Again, keep your meta descriptions short and under 155 characters, to avoid being cut off in the SERPs.
To edit the default meta description on your Magento store’s home, product, category and content pages, follow the same process as described in the previous section.
Create SEO-Friendly URL Structure in Magento
Magento SEO friendly URLs are an important factor used to rank websites by search engines.
A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organizing your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans.
Posting long-form content that is keyword-optimised, such as how to guides, on a regular basis will really help you to rank highly on the SERPs.
As a result of posting regular content, you can target various forms of keywords (longtail and short tail) to suit different user intent. For example, you can use your blog pages to target informational searches, whilst product pages will encourage purchase intent by using phrases like ‘buy mens shoes.
Important: Remember to use internal linking in every piece of your content to build internal links to your product and category pages.
Setting up HTTPS in Magento
Displaying an SSL certificate is extremely important. This is particularly important for online businesses because potential customers will have to enter their sensitive card information to complete the purchase. Using HTTPS will ensure a secure environment for customers, thus building trust.
To set up HTTPS:
Stores → Configuration → General → Web
Expand Base URLs and change the values of Secure Base URL and Secure Base Link URL so that they start with https
Finally, change the value of the Use Secure URLs on Storefront, Use Secure URLs in Admin, Enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) and Upgrade Insecure Requests fields to ‘Yes’
Magento 2 Off-Page Optimisation
Off-page optimisation involves everything that you can do, outside of your website, to improve your SERP rankings.
Let’s take a look at the the most important off-page SEO factor that you must focus on.
Create a Backlink Strategy
Backlinks are links on other websites that are directed back to your site. Google considers relevance, quality and the amount of backlinks as the most influential ranking factors.
Without a proper backlink strategy, your website won’t appear on the first page of the SERPs because Google views links as signs of trustworthiness and authority.
So, in order to build high-quality backlinks to your Magento store, you need to ensure that you do the following on a regular basis:
Involves creating quality content, such as blog posts, to authoritative websites and publications.
As well as boosting your rankings, guest posting also helps to capture new audiences, helping to gain their trust. Overall, guest posting is a well-established way to earn quality backlinks and improve your online brand visibility.
The content posted by top niche bloggers (fitness, travel, food etc) is trusted by a large community of people with similar interests.
Blogger outreach is the process of partnering with bloggers to create useful, authentic content to promote your brand or products. This way, you can leverage reader influence to gain more brand exposure.
To gain blogger outreach:
Find authority bloggers in your industry.
Pitch the blogger. Ensure that you take a personalised approach, let them know how they can benefit and what you want them to do for your brand.
Finally, once the content is published, promote the content on both yours and the bloggers respective channels. This will lead to next-level brand exposure to new audiences for both yourself and the blogger.
Promoting Linkable Assets
Linkable assets involve creating and publishing highly-shareable content. These can be highly descriptive how-to guides or interactive infographics which can be published on your website, then pitched to high authority blogs and media publications in the industry.
Remember: If your content is high quality, more people will be happy to promote/ republish your content.
Link Reclamation and Broken Link Building
You don’t just need to publish fresh content to build your links. In fact, your brand could be mentioned on many sites without being linked to. Using tools like MarketingMiner and Google Alerts, you can find unlinked mentions, then contact those publishers to request that they link to your site. This is known as link reclamation.
You can also look for broken links on relevant niche websites. If you find a broken link, reach out to the site owner and let them know about the broken link and request them to replace it for a valid link. Broken links negatively impact SEO, so it’s equally beneficial for both parties to fix the issue.
Note: Generally, the more backlinks, the better. But remember, keep these links relevant, natural and of high quality.
Magento 2 SEO Extensions
Below we have listed some of the best (free and paid) Magento 2 SEO extensions:
Magento 2 is undoubtedly one of the best eCommerce platforms for SEO due to their customisation and built-in features. However, there may still be some SEO issues that you may need to fix, including:
Duplication Caused by Filters for Configurable Products
In Magneto, you can create configurable products, whereby you can provide multiple options (size, colours etc) to users and on each option, you can set different prices. The options selected are separate products with a unique SKU, making it easy to track inventory for each product variation.
As a result of this, you will face the problem of duplication issues which is a high priority that often plagues eCommerce websites.
Duplication issues arise when the same or very similar content exists on different pages within the same website. This is problematic for search engine crawlers as they don’t understand which of the two pages should be considered as the preferred version.
To help Google to understand which version of the page you’d like to be indexed, use the rel=”canonical” tag.
Note: When dealing with duplication issues, canonical URLs are seen as the most authoritative URL and will be shown above other duplicate pages.
To activate the use of canonical tags in Magento 2:
Go to Stores → Settings → Configuration → Catalog → Search Engine Optimisation → Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Products → Select ‘Yes’.
Follow these steps for Categories and then click Save Configuration.
Magento does not use the prev/next pagination attributes link on paginated pages to explain the relationship among these pages. Although Google no longer needs this attribute to make sense of a series of paginated pages, ranking on other search engines may be affected.
Follow these best practices when it comes to pagination:
Do not apply noindex robots directives to paginated pages.
Apply self-referencing canonicals to paginated pages.
Do not disallow paginated pages in your robots.txt file.
/catalog/ URLs Can Get Indexed
Very often, Magento will generate product and category URLs that switch back to the original /catalog path along with duplicate URLs as per the page titles. It’s important to keep an eye out for these URL rewrites and ensure they don’t get indexed by adding them to the robots.txt file.
URLs With a Number in Them
URLs may be appended with numerical values due to the ability to filter products and the internal site search, which isn’t ideal for SEO.
In Magento 2, as standard, URLs with query parameters are indexable. For example, if you filter prices between £25 and £50 on a category page, you’ll be directed to a URL like: https://example.com/category/?price=25-50. This URL should not be indexed.
Your robots.txt file should be configured to exclude query parameters, unwanted folders and pagination.
Site Search Results Getting Indexed
Internal search result pages in Magento 2 are robot-indexable by default, which is bad for SEO. As a result, this can lead to a large number of low-quality pages being crawled and indexed which can impact crawlability.
An effective way to fix this is by adding noindex, follow meta robots tags to all internal search result pages.
A Magento SEO checklist for a strong technical foundation
There’s so much you can do to boost your store’s search engine rankings. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with all the Magento SEO tips and best practices that you should follow, then use our SEO checklist that you can tick off as you progress.
And there we have it! We have covered everything you need to know to get started with ranking your Magento store on page 1 of the SERPs.
In short, start with basic on-page optimisation techniques and be consistent with off-page optimisation. Then, step up your SEO game using structured data, AMP and other advanced Magento SEO techniques.
Get in touch
We offer in-depth SEO audits to help with your Magento stores success. In our audit, you will receive a comprehensive breakdown of factors that could be affecting your site’s visibility – with a clear prioritised breakdown of what we can do to help you fix them. To learn more about SEO, get in touch with our experts!