Magento search engine optimization (Magento SEO): Best practices for Magento store owners

Magento is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the world. In 2020, there are over 250,000 active sites using Magento. Then, if you’re running an online store with Magento, how can you compete with 250,000 Magento sites, and millions of online stores out there? One effective way to do this is Magento Search engine optimization, or Magento SEO. In this blog, we will deliver the best practices for Magento SEO for shop owners

What is Search Engine Optimization

In recent years, you might be familiar with Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Simply speaking, SEO will help your website appear on the first pages of search engines like Google or Firefox whenever a keyword is entered. Thanks to that, you can drive a lot more traffic into your website without spending too much money.

Overall, Search Engine Optimization is an effective, and affordable marketing strategy.

Magento search engine optimization tips

Magento itself is already SEO – friendly. First, it has extremely fast loading speed. Moreover thanks to clean code, Magento is more SEO – friendly compared to other platforms. However, if store owners want to remain competitive, and gain more traffic to their site, they need to optimize SEO even more. As that said, here are some tips for Magento search engine optimization

Duplicate Content Problem for Many Pages – Magento search engine optimization

When a content appears on your website in more than one web address, you get duplicate content. In fact, there are many factors that can lead to Duplicate Content on online stores. For example, Product filtering, Product sorting and so on

Although this is not a big issue, it still affects your web ranking. Therefore, to better boost your SEO ranking, you should get rid of Duplicate content. To do this, first go to Store >> Configuration >> Catalogue >> Catalogue. Then, scroll down to the Search Engine Optimization box. Next, set “ Link Meta Tags for Categories” and “ Link Meta Tags for Products” to YES.

Optimize HTML Sitemap

By default, Magento 2 doesn’t support the auto – creation of HTML Sitemap. Therefore, this can easily lead to HTML site map issues in Magento 2. Then, to better optimize Magento Search Engine Optimization, you need to solve this issue. One common solution to optimize HTML Sitemap is implementing some helpful extensions to cope with this issue. For example, you can consider using Dynamic HTML Sitemap for Magento 2

Set up an XML Sitemap in Magento 2

XML Sitemap is a file that contains all the pages of the website. Then, you can enable XML Sitemap functionality to boost Magento search engine optimization. Here’s how to do this

  • First, go to Stores >> Settings >> Configuration >> Catalog >> XML Sitemap
Magento search engine optimization
  • You can set Categories Option, Product Options and CMS Option according to your needs. 
  • Moving to Generation Settings. In this category, you need to change the following
    • Firstly, set Enable to Yes
    • Then, in the Start time, enter the time as you like. However, don’t enter exactly 00:00:00
    • Next, in the Frequency box, choose Daily
    • Leave “ Error Email Recipient” box blank
    • After that, set “ Error Email Sender” to General Contact
    • Choose “ Sitemap Generation Warnings ( Default)” for Error Email Template
Magento search engine optimization
  • And finally, set Yes for “ Enable Submission to Robots.txt” box. Once you finish, click Save Config

Optimize Product Images

One tip for Magento Search Engine Optimization is optimizing images. In particular, make sure you add suitable alt – tags that suit your images. Also, you can include your keyword in the alt-tag as well. Search Engine can’t read images, that’s why we add alt-tag to improve SEO rankings

Here are some things to remember when it comes to alt – tag

  • Use proper alt-tag. It’s great to include keywords in your alt-tag, but don’t over stuff them. Your alt – tags should proper describe your images
  • Name your images with proper names. For example, use tips-for-SEO.jpg instead of IMG00039.jpg
  • Moreover, keep your alt-tag short, clean and informative

To optimize your image in Magento 2, firstly log in to admin. Then, go to Products >> Catalog. Next, in Configurable Products, double click on the thumbnail and go to the detail page. After that, scroll down to Images and Videos and double click on the images. This will allow you to add alt text in the given field

Optimize the loading time of your Magento site – Magento search engine optimization

One factor that can greatly affect your SEO ranking is page loading speed. For a fast website, it can bring higher customer satisfaction. Therefore, Search Engine will recommend these websites for users rather than slow ones. 

There are many ways to boost the loading speed of your website. For example, you can ask Magento developers to help you with this, or you can improve the speed yourself. Here are some simple way to do that

Enable all caching features

Go to System >> Cache Management >> Flush Magento Cache

Enable Flat Categories and Products

Go to Stores >> Catalog >> Catalog. Then, set Yes for both Use Flat Catalog Category and Use Flat Catalog Products. Once finish, choose Save Config

Merge JavaScript and CSS files

If you want to greatly reduce the loading time and improve the loading page, you should merge your JavaScript and CSS files. Go to Store >> Configuration >> Advanced >> Developer. On the right side of this tab, you need to change the followings

  • In JavaScript Settings, set all Merge JavaScript Files, Enable JavaScript Bundling and Minify JavaScript Files to Yes
  • In CSS settings, Choose Yes for both Merge CSS files and Minify CSS files

Modify Robots.txt File

Robots.txt file will instruct search engines robots which pages on the site to crawl and which one not to. Therefore, modifying this file can greatly improve Magento Search Engine Optimization. 

To do this, first you need to find your Robots.txt. Simply add /robots.txt onto the end of your site URL, and enter it into your browse. For example, your URL will look like this  http://www.xyz.com/robots.txt

Now, it’s time to modify your Robots.txt file. In Magento 2, go to Stores >> General >> Design >> Edit custom instruction of robots.txt file 

Magento search engine optimization

Optimize SEO title and Meta Description

Needless to say, title and Meta Description are some important factors when it comes to Magento Search Engine Optimization. By default, Magento will pick Title and Meta Description for you. However, to get better SEO rankings, you should edit them. 

Navigate to Magento 2 admin >> Content >> Design >> Configuration

Magento search engine optimization

After that, on Default Store View, choose edit

Magento search engine optimization

Now, you will see the editing window. Scroll down to the HTML Head section to edit the defaults values. 

Magento search engine optimization

Moreover, remember to keep your Title tag and Meta Description short and informative. For instance, you should use maximum 50 – 60 characters for title and 150-160 characters for meta description

Add Meta Title and Meta Description for Product and Content Pages

If you want to add meta title and Meta Description for Produce and Content Pages in Magento, here’s how to do it. 

Firstly, navigate to Magento 2 admin >> Products >> Catalog >> Edit products. After that, scroll down to Search Engine Optimization to add Meta title and Meta Description

guide
Add meta title and meta description for a category

Suppose you want to add meta description for a category to boost its ranking. Then, navigate to Magento 2 admin >> Products >> Categories. After that, choose the categories that you want to add meta description. Next, scroll down to Search Engine Optimization and enter your meta description.

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Once finish, choose Save 

Add Meta Title and Meta Description for Content Pages

Sometimes you might want to Add Meta Title and Meta Description for Content Pages to improve Magento search engine optimization. In fact, it is very simple to do this. Firstly, you need to navigate to Magento 2 admin. Then, choose Content >> Pages. Next, choose the page you want and click on Select Edit. After that, scroll down to Search Engine Optimization

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SEO

Then, you can enter your meta title and Meta description for that page

Use SEO – friendly URLs for Magento search engine optimization

Your URL not only needs to be unique, static, but also SEO – friendly. In particular, to make your URL more SEO – friendly, you should avoid using unsafe characters. For example, blank or empty space, and “, <, >, etc. Also, you don’t need to add stop words like and, or, but, etc. By eliminating unnecessary characters, your URL will be a lot shorter and more SEO – friendly. 

Here are the SEO – optimized URL structure for category and product pages

  • Category page: xyz.com/category/
  • Sub-category page: xyz.com/category/sub-category/
  • Product page: xyz.com/category-sub-category/product-name/
  • Enable SEO – friendly URLs in Magento 2

To get SEO – optimized URLs for your website, you should follow these steps below

  • Firstly, log in your admin area. Then navigate to Stores >> Configuration >> General >> Web
  • Next, in this window, choose the Search Engine Optimization tab and set Yes for Use Web Server Rewrites. This will remove “ index.php” from your URLs
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Finally, choose Save Config. 

Another way to make your URLs more SEO – friendly is Setting the Global Search Engine Optimization configuration. Firstly, go to Stores >> Configuration >> Catalog >> Search Engine Optimization. In this part, you should change the followings 

  • Choose “ Enable” for Popular Search Term
  • Enter .html for both Product URL Suffix and Category URL Suffix
  • Choose “ Yes” for both Use Categories Path for Product URLs and Create Permanent Redirect for URLs if URL Key Changed
  • Next, enter “ – “ in Page Title Separator tab
  • Finally, set both Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Categories and Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Products to Yes
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Note 

When it comes to optimizing SEO for URLs in Magento search engine optimization, there are some things you should keep in mind. In case your Magento is installed in the root of your domain ( http://xyz.com), you don’t need to edit anything in the .htacess file. On the other, if your Magento is located in a sub category, and the domain is like http://abc.com/magento/, you need to make some changes to the .htacess file. Simply change the line #RewriteBase /magento/ to RewriteBase /your-magento2-folder-here/

Remove Default Store Code From URL

Another way to optimize URL for Magento Search Engine Optimization is removing Default Store Code from it. To do this, navigate to admin >> stores >> configuration >> General >> Web >> URL option >> Add Store Code to URL  >> No

magento search engine optimization

Once finish, you should flush the cache by clicking on Cache Management link

Create a blog page on your Magento website

Blogging is one of the most effective ways to boost Magento Search Engine Optimization. First of all, blogs often hold a large amount of helpful information. Thanks to that, your website will contribute more content to the search engine. Also, you can include a lot of keywords on your blogs as well. Needless to say, by adding a blog page to your Magento site, you surely will improve SEO rankings. Download Free Magento 2 Blog extension

To make your site more SEO – friendly, you should include both inbound links and outbound links in your website. However, make sure those links are high – qualified. For instance, those websites should have SSL Certificates for better security.

Use SEO – boosting Magento 2 extensions

Finally, using Magento 2 SEO extensions can greatly drive more traffic to your website. There are many SEO – boosting extensions on Magento for you to choose. They not only help boost the SEO of your website, but also help with SEO analytics. Depending on your needs and requirements, you can choose a suitable Magento SEO extensions for your website

In conclusion

We hope to deliver you helpful methods for improving Magento search engine optimization. With these methods, surely your website will gain a lot more traffic. However, if you want to grow your online business even more, or maybe need some help with Magento website, don’t hesitate to contact Contact us here.

ArrowHitech is the leading IT outsourcing company in Vietnam. After 14 years of constant development, we have accomplished thousands of projects including Magento development. All of our developers achieve certificates approved by Magento. Therefore, working with our skillful and experienced Magento developers, you’ll surely get all your requirements met. 

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