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Written by Laura Jean Holton
on March 13, 2017

No matter where you publish content on the web, referring to a list of SEO best practices ensures maximum exposure and visibility to your target audience. For eCommerce site success on platforms like Magento or Shopify, it is essential to optimize not just your product descriptions but your entire website. Unfortunately, this is even more complex than for a regular site.

INSIDER SEO TIPS FOR MAGENTO

Magento is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms, in part for its SEO capabilities. Magento marketing tools allow you to optimize your search engine ranking and otherwise maintain your website. By adhering to the following SEO best practices, you may be able to reach the coveted top three rankings in Google results and see a significant increase to your page visitors. 

Audit, Keyword Research, and Competitor Analysis

Audit Your Website

Before you do anything else, you need to determine where the problems with SEO lie on your website. Audit your entire website, but pay particular attention to the product pages. Not only are they the most important for performance, they also tend to contain the most errors. Use a tool like Moz or Seomator to crawl all your pages.

Keyword Research

Choosing keywords should involve no guesswork. The wrong keywords will lead to low-quality traffic and few sales, whereas relevant keywords, and particularly long-tail keywords, will drive highly-targeted users to your site. Follow through with a great experience and you will increase sales. When deciding which keywords to use, turn to search volume (you want a high exact-match) and ranking difficulty (this should be low compared to your competition).

Competitor Research

Knowing what your competitors are doing will help you stay one step ahead. Find out what keywords they are using, how they are utilizing social media, what paid marketing techniques they are incorporating into their strategies, and where they are receiving high-quality inbound links from.

A great tool to achieve this SEMrush. You can receive extensive lists of keywords (which you can sort into manageable groups), use the Domain Overview feature for a better idea of overall performance, compare backlinks, and more.

Other SEO for Magento Best Practices

Set up Search Consolemagento-logo.png

By syncing Google Analytics with Google Search Console (previously Webmaster Tools), you can view data from the two sources at the same time. You will have access to four types of reports: Landing Pages, Countries, Devices, and Queries.

Linking Search Console to Analytics is simple. Before you begin, ensure both services are set up correctly. Then, find the “Admin” tab in your Analytics account and choose the account and property you want. Under “Property Settings,” click the button at the bottom of the page that says “Adjust Search Console.” Choose the primary version of your Magento site and click “Save” and then “OK” to confirm the association.

Include a robot.txt File

A robot.txt file shows search engines what pages to index. You can tell search engines what to read and what to ignore. If your site has no robot.txt file, search engines will simply crawl the entire site.

The most important thing to do with a robot.txt file is to add a sitemap. This will allow search engines to find new pages, will enable product images to appear in search results, and will allow improvements to immediately impact your rankings. The simplest way to build a sitemap is to use a Magento SEO plugin to generate an XML file. Once you have added “http://www.example.com/sitemap/sitemap.xml" to the end of your robot.txt file, the plugin will generate and submit an updated sitemap every time you make a change to your site.

Optimize Your Product Descriptions

Never copy the manufacturer descriptions for the products on your Magento site. Each one of your products needs to be unique to prevent Google from penalizing your site for duplicate content. Creating original content also gives you the opportunity to explain to users how your products will fulfill their needs. Use many long-tail keywords to help attract consumers who know exactly what they want to buy to your ecommerce site.

Magento allows you to include metadata in your product descriptions. Make sure you include meta titles, meta keywords, alt text for images, and meta descriptions. All these provide search engines, rather than users, with information about your products.

Finally, you should create short URLs for each of your products, removing stop words like “and,” “the,” and “for.”

This has several benefits:

  • Users will see the entire URL in their address bars, even on mobile devices, reaffirming where they are on your website.
  • You will see an increase in click-through rates.
  • Links to your products will shared more often on social media.
  • Google prefers short URLs.

Use the Right Headings

Heading tags (H1 to H6) enable you to structure your content. Used correctly, they also allow search engines to determine what are the main topics in your content.

In your product descriptions, you should use H1 for the category or product name and H2 for a subheading. If you need more subheadings within the description, use H3. You are unlikely to need to go much smaller, but you can incorporate a few H4 headings if your description is more than 1,000 words and you want to add another layer to the structure.

Add Rich Snippets

Search results feature the name of the page above the URL and a short description created using the meta description of the page. To add more information to your pages in search results, include rich snippets.

Rich snippets are a type of structured data. They give users a reason to click results and allow search engines to better present pages (see below image). For example, when you tell search engines that your pages are product pages, the results will include price, related products, ratings (along with how many reviewed the item), and availability.

Rich Snippet Example SEO Best Practices Magento eCommerce

Feature Customer Reviews

Magento allows you to include customer reviews within your product pages. By demonstrating credibility and social proof, you can expect to convert 58 percent more visitors and increase the revenue of each visit by 62 percent, according to Internet Retailer. Plus, customer reviews are something Google likes to see, as they mean pages are regularly updated with fresh content.

Strive for Intuitive Navigation

Once they’ve reached your site, you want visitors to stick around and browse your other products. To achieve this, you need to create a logical layout for your products and ensure it is easy for users to navigate around your site. Create categories that make sense to users — you can use A/B testing to check and tweak aspects of your navigation.

Promote on Social Media

Google sees engagement of content as an indication of authority and relevance. Encourage others to share your product pages by adding social sharing buttons.

Optimize Page-Load Speed

It is essential that you you improve Magento load time to ensure all your pages are loading as fast as possible. In just three seconds, you will lose 40 percent of visitors, and 79 percent of customers never return to a website where they had a poor experience due to slow-loading pages, according to Kissmetrics. Analyze your speed and receive suggestions on how to improve pages by using a tool like PageSpeed Insights.

Read: 7 Amazing Tips to Increase Website Coversion Rates

Use Search-Friendly URLs

By optimizing URLs, you ensure that both Google and your visitors know what to expect from each page. Use this structure: www.example.com/category/sub-category/product-name/

Allow Internal Searches

Take advantage of the fact that Magento allows you to include an internal search function. To make the most of this feature, you will need to optimize categories and product names, add misspellings of products, and enable predictive searches.

Include Images and Videos

Words are often insufficient to demonstrate why consumers purchase a product. Include high-resolution photos to show off products at every angle or even a video showing the product in action. To ensure these contribute to SEO, add alt text.

Read: Online Video: The Future of Content Marketing

Magento Template Optimization

To optimize Magento templates and improve your SEO, you need to clean up your code. Move all the JavaScript and CSS code out of template files and into external files. The Magento Marketplace also features high quality extensions and themes that help expand the reach of your store’s functionality and design.

Optimize for Mobile

Now, more consumers shop on mobile devices than on desktop computers. You need to cater to these users to optimize the experience on your site and encourage repeat visits.

As a starting point, use a responsive design to ensure your site fits any screen size. Go a step further by ensuring the fastest possible load speeds (even more important than for desktop computers), condensing descriptions to only necessary words, removing pop ups and sidebars (these are annoying and difficult to remove on a small screen), and ensuring the most important buttons are above the fold, paying particular attention to your CTA buttons.

Magento offers your ecommerce store a wealth of features. To optimize SEO, gain better-targeted traffic, and increase your sales, create a Magento ecommerce site and follow all the above tips.

Next Up:  10 Best Lead Nurturing Strategies to Increase Sales Revenue

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