Magento SEO: Optimising Magento Websites
Magento has become a leading eCommerce platform. To get the best out of your Magento website you will have to apply the SEO best practices rather than use the default settings.
You should keep your Magento store in top shape that is all set to give the maximum SEO performance.
To optimise your Magento store you can consult Magento SEO agency. These are the points to consider while building a strong technical foundation for your Magento website:
1. Use SEO-friendly URLs as they are easy to understand for the users as well as the search engines. URLs should be descriptive, easy to read, brief, consistent and use lowercase. For this, you can go to the ‘Use Web Server Rewrites’ section, by default it is set to ‘Yes’. Keep it that way to create readable URLs.
2. By default, Magento adds the ‘.html’ extension to all the URLs. It is important to remove these because they can cause an issue if you want to switch to another eCommerce platform.
3. If you have categories and subcategories then URLs will become long. In Magento, the category paths for URLs are set to ‘No’. This will ensure that the URLs are short.
4. The page titles and the meta descriptions can impact your ranking in the SERPs and click-through rate. If you cannot define them for every page manually then you should use smart defaults. The title should be easy to read and contain the target keyword. The same goes for meta descriptions.
For meta descriptions, you can use extensions such as Meta Tags Templates by Amasty or SEO Meta Templates by MageWorx.
5. The heading structure should be used correctly. It should help the search engine understand the structure and the topic and the readers should be able to quickly scan a page.
The H1 heading should include meaningful text and you should use only one H1 heading per page. The heading structure should be built using a logical hierarchy.
Magento website: Crawling and Indexing
You should configure your Magento website to make it easy for the search engines to crawl and index it. These are the points to consider:
Magento does not add canonical tags for the homepage and CMS pages. This leaves you at risk of having duplicate content. For this, you can either adjust the template to always include the canonical URLs in the homepages and the CMS pages or manually define them for both.
For the product and category pages, you should set the default option to ‘Yes’ for use of canonical tags. When the setting is turned off the product will be available through the product URL as well as the category URL. This will lead to the individual pages competing.
In Magento, all the paginated URLs in a series have a canonical tag that points to the root category page. This is not right from an SEO standpoint and the canonical tags should be used for duplicate content only. Paginated content is not a duplicate of the root content so they should not have any canonical tags. Instead, they should have self-referential canonical tags because they contain unique content that needs to be crawled.
The ‘Robots.txt’ file is used to tell the search engine how many pages of your Magento website have to be crawled. You can use this file to block the crawling of low-value pages and allow the crawling of high-value pages. You should block all the internal search result pages, login pages and user’s shopping carts.
In Magento by default the internal search result pages and the URLs with query parameters are indexable. This is bad from the SEO standpoint so you should block these from being indexed.
Faceted navigation allows the users to search through the products. If your Magento store uses this then you need to take steps to control the crawl as the number of pages the faceted navigation can create can be huge. For this, you will have to block all low-value pages from being indexed and allow only pages with a high search potential to be indexed.
An XML sitemap is used to tell the search engine which pages have to be crawled and indexed. You should keep your sitemap up-to-date with your website’s content and include only indexable pages. Magento has the ability to create the XML sitemap. Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console so that Google can discover it.
You should not list more than 50,000 URLs in a single sitemap. The size of the XML sitemap file should not be more than 50 MB. You should refer to your XML sitemap in your ’Robots.txt’ file.
An HTML sitemap helps search engines and users to find important pages. For Magento stores, you can set up HTML sitemaps for the most important categories, subcategories and most popular products.
Unlike Magento 1, Magento 2 does not have the feature to create HTML sitemaps. You can create one using a plugin or build one yourself. You can use Amasty’s SEO Toolkit extension to generate HTML sitemaps.
Magento website: Speed
1. One of the most important requirements to run your Magento store successfully is a Magento-optimised hosting platform. You will have to configure your Magento platform as well as the hosting correctly.
The hosting platform should be optimised for Magento, support Redis and Varnish, run on Nginx and be CDN compatible.
2. You should optimise all your images using image compression tools and web image formats and apply lazy-loading to images.
Magento website: Security
Magento supports secure connections which are required for the store’s success. Using HTTPS is essential to keep your visitor’s trust.
Magento website: Other features
If your Magento store uses ‘www’ or ‘HTTPS’ attributes and the user does not enter these even then Magento will redirect them to the right destination pages. Magento applies global redirects to your website.
Magento also supports custom redirects which you can apply to individual pages. This helps you to apply redirects to your old pages. To implement redirects the page has to be completely deleted from Magento as you cannot apply redirects to active pages.
The Magento platform automatically creates redirects when you change URLs. This feature makes it easy to handle redirects.
Magento support blogging functionality. Blogs can also be useful for eCommerce websites. Google ranks content like ‘Guide’, ‘Affiliate sites’ and ‘How to’ content above category and product pages. You should place informational content for your Magento store’s success.
Structured data gives a better understanding of what your individual page is about. For example, you can use the Collection schema to tell Google that your category pages contain a collection of different products. Product schema can be used to tell Google that the page contains information about a particular SKU.