Stay in the blog for a detailed Magento SEO checklist, Magento SEO Guide, and Magento 2 SEO optimization solution.
SEO has always been a thing that every Magento store owner puts in a lot of effort. An SEO performance without any mistake can improve the rank of a site significantly. As a result, it can reach more users who search for products or services that the website concerns.
However, it’s never been easy to perform perfect SEO. Here we bring you a detailed Magento SEO Guide, which notes 20 SEO rules you should follow.
Technical Magento SEO Guide
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that search engines can easily crawl and index it. Even if you have the best content, a bad SEO performance still harms your rankings seriously.
For that reason, reinspecting technical elements on your website can help you ensure they meet SEO standards in the Magento SEO Checklist. Please note that this is not a complete Magento SEO Guide, but it will press important rules.
1. URL structure
A URL is a key to a website. So, make sure every page on your website has relevantly titled URLs. It not only helps users easily find out the information they need but also reduces the bounce rate of a page.
SEO Tip: You can apply this logic but straightforward URL structure on your website:
- For category Page: website.com/category/
- For sub-category page: website.com/category/sub-category/
- For product page: website.com/category-sub-category/product-name/
2. HTTP vs HTTPS
For short, websites with HTTPS feature better security than those with HTTP thanks to the use SSL (secure sockets layer) to create a secure encrypted connection between the server and the browser. The extra security can be very critical to websites which collect sensitive data from their users.
Thus, Google has officially announced since 2014 that the HTTPS is preferred than HTTP in ranking websites.
SEO Tip: If possible, switch your website to HTTPS to be more highly appreciated by Google.
3. XML Sitemap
XML sitemap plays the role of listing all important pages in your website to ensure search engines can easily crawl and index them.
In Magento 2, the XML sitemap is submitted to Google Search Console; then Google will follow it to index your webpages. To configure XML sitemap, navigate Stores => Configuration => Catalog => XML Sitemap to open the basic sitemap. For a detailed guide to set up, check the Magento SEO Guide for XML sitemap here.
- Categorize your content appropriately
- Never include “noindex” URLs in your sitemap.
- If your website has too many links to add into just one sitemap, you can create a separate sitemap for each category.
- Give Magento 2 XML Sitemap a shot to support search engines to crawl better.
4. HTML Sitemap
HTML sitemap is a necessary element for an e-commerce website so that users can easily navigate it. Though an HTML sitemap has no impact on how search engines appreciate your website, it is good for user experience. An HTML sitemap, hence, is an element your site should have.
SEO Tip: You can get support from Magento 2 HTML Sitemap to have an advanced HTML sitemap.
5. Canonical Tags and Hreflang Tags
If you have one more URL with the same content, Canonical Tags will help your site stay away from bad duplicate content problems. Then, you no longer worry about being banned by Google.
On the other hand, Hreflang Tags solve that issue for multi-store view Magento sites which have very small differences between store views.
Tips for Magento 2 SEO Optimization: Here are cases in which you should use those tags. Remember that Hreflang Tags and Canonical Tags are not antagonistic that can be used simultaneously.
6. Rich snippets
Snippets display extra information between the URL and the description of a webpage on SERPs. For example:
In default Magento 2, only rating and review of pages are configured to be visible in the SERPs. Rich snippets will allow a Magento store to show more details of a product page such as Price, Availability, Custom properties to stimulate users to click to it, increase CTR.
SEO Tip: By adding Rich snippets, you will make your webpages more noticeable and reliable on SERPs. Magento 2 Rich Snippets is a tool for it.
Breadcrumbs show navigation paths to let users easily navigate a website. They are visible not only on product or category pages but also on SERPs. Those elements are extremely vital for e-commerce websites with a deep and complicated structure.
SEO tip: No matter how your website is structured, it’s always better to show breadcrumbs so that your site will look more professional.
8. Robot txt file
The robots.txt file is located in the root of your Magento 2 installation. Search engine crawlers will read this file for the instruction on how to crawl pages of your website. For that reason, it plays an integral part in the Magento SEO Checklist.
Remember these options in default Magento 2 to define how crawlers should read your pages correctly.
- INDEX, FOLLOW: Tells crawlers to index the site and to check for changes later.
- NOINDEX, FOLLOW: Tells crawlers to avoid indexing the site but still check for changes later.
- INDEX, NOFOLLOW: Tells crawlers to index the page once, but do not check for changes later.
- NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW: Tells web crawlers do not index the page and do not check for changes later.
Additionally, admins are able to customize instruction for robot.txt file from the backend.
SEO Tip: The tip of the Magento SEO Checklist is to exclude from indexing some private pages or pages with internal use. Do the same with cart and login pages or checkout and thank-you page.
No user stayed long on a website with poor navigation because it’s hard for them to browse it. The Googlebot can consume a lot of your crawl bandwidth crawling in and out of navigation filters in many cases.
SEO Tip: Using Ajax has been a trendy solution for SEO-friendly navigation in e-commerce stores. Though it is not supported in default Magento 2, you can find a lot of available plugins for this feature.
10. Site speed
Site speed is obviously one of the most fundamental factors affecting SEO that is evaluated by Google. As you know, Magento 2 websites feature a faster loading speed than those built on Magento 1. However, you’re still able to improve your site speed significantly better.
- Set up flat category, merge CSS and JS files from the backend. Otherwise, using Content Delivery Network, Cache Management, and Image Optimization are also common tips.
11. Open Graph and Twitter Cards
Why do these tags matter? Whenever users share a page on social networks, that page will appear in the text form only. Open Graph and Twitter Cards make the appearance of shared pages more appealing on social networks with preview image, description, and title.
SEO Tip: Tell your developers to include Open Graph and Twitter Cards tags on your website. It’s not a difficult task, but it’s useful in the long run.
12. Support Google AMP
Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), which was launched by Google in 2016, allows you to create web pages that load almost instantly on mobile phones. With four times faster loading speed, using AMP is expected to be an SEO trend you should update.
- Though default Magento 2 does not support the AMP version of a page, you can bring it to your site by installing Magento 2 AMP.
- Keep your website structure as simple as possible because a so deep structure can weaken your page authority.
- Keep your product pages accessible with fewer than three clicks. As a result, Googlebot can index your pages with ease.
Content Magento SEO Checklist
13. SEO-friendly URL
Every URL should be short and readable with users. It’s also recommended to include the keyword that its content mainly focuses on. An effective and common way to name a URL is putting hyphens to separate every single word.
Finally, ensure there is no capital letter included in your URLs if you want them to be SEO-friendly.
The primary purpose of SEO is to boost up the ranking of a webpage whenever users search for relevant keywords. That’s why keyword research is indispensable in every SEO effort.
You’re probably familiar with Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Tool, or Moz which are commonly used for keyword research. Those available tools are very useful that helps you figure out trendy keywords and what keywords your competitors choose to optimize their products.
SEO Tip: The keywords with high search volume are not always better choices. The more people search a keyword, the more difficult it is to optimize your pages by that keyword. The wisest strategy is choosing keywords that your resources can deal with their difficulty.
15. Meta title
The Meta title is the first and most critical thing that stimulates customers to click at a product. Always include target keywords in every title and highlight them with impressive content if you expect great CTR.
- Keep the length of titles between 50 and 65 characters. Too long titles are not good for SEO.
- Learn from effective title formulas that impress readers
- Include your unique selling point at your titles if possible
16. Meta description
Along with Meta Title, Meta Description gives additional information to persuade users to go to a webpage in SERPs.
- One more time, let’s put keywords in your meta description.
- Google considers the most optimal length for a meta description is from 155 to 160 characters. So, you can keep your titles between 50 and 160 characters.
- Get the support of Magento 2 Meta Tags Template extensions
17. Product description
Once users go to a product page, it’s probably an item they are seeking. So, every product page should be optimized well to reach prospective customers easily.
- Write the description as detailed as possible.
- Use the H1, H2, H3 and try to put keywords in those.
- It’s ideal to have the keywords in the first 100 words.
- Ensure the density of the main keyword fluctuates from 3% to 5%.
- Create cross-links between internal URLs
18. Images & videos
Recommendation for the Magento SEO Checklist:
The most important factor of images you should care initially is Alt tags. You must have related Alt Tags in all images to meet SEO requirements. Inserting keywords in those tags can improve SEO, but the overuse can be realized by Google. Hence, using Alt Tags naturally is our tip.
Additionally, you should care about the size of images or videos on a page as they can slow down the loading speed. If necessary, let’s reduce image size so that your pages can load faster.
It would be a big shortage for those who do not exploit the strength of social networks. Integrating social share buttons in your pages will increase the chance to reach more users on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
SEO tip: As you know, default Magento 2 does not integrate social share buttons into it. But you can completely install plugins for this function. Magento Marketplace is a source where you may find handy but free extensions.
20. User-generated content
In addition to social share buttons, user-generated content will motivate the interaction of users to your store by Q&A, reviews, and rating. The more interaction pages get, the more Google appreciates those and boost up your content on SERPs.
Here is an example of a customer’s review on our website.
SEO tip: You know that default Magento 2 has configurations for review and rating. However, you still can find support from a Magento 2 Q&A plugin to motivate customers to interact more. As a result, this will increase the time on page and reduce the bounce rate on your pages, which really matter for SEO.
Once you follow this Magento SEO Guide, your website will get closer to the best ranks on Google.
BSS Commerce has accomplished store owners with quality Magento 2 SEO Optimization solutions and other Magento 2 extensions. If you care about any of our products and services, it’s always an honour for us to support you. Thanks for your interest in our blog.