Guide for Seo & Magento

Raphael Thiel —  August 1, 2012 — 3 Comments

Find the right keywords and become a seo expert!

Seo means nothing else than: visibility, relevance and popularity!

Your shop gets visible, relevant and popular by finding the best keywords and generate unique content.

It takes time, but it´s very important for selling your products. Perfect keywords can be found by doing research at the google keyword tool.

Optimizing your content will help to get you on top of all search engines. This goes for Google – the most used search engine – as well as other search engines, that write their code like Google. Being good at Google rankings means more customer attention, interest an sales!

Visibility: how good is your magento shop readable for search engines?

A search engine does analyze your shop by crawling it with a spider and following all links on your shop. After this, the search engine save the results in an index. Here for it´s important, that the search engine is able to read all your content like titles, links, files, headers etc. It´s good to have a semantic in your content like:

<h1>For your header</h1>
<p>for your content<strong>for an important keyword</strong></p>
<h2>for a nice subtitle</h2>

Make sure, that not three consecutive words „Body text“ of your content are copied.

Give all images a name (alt-tag). Also the image files should contain a name.

By default, magento is optimized for search engines but most shop owners do not use the full potential!

Here are some basic magento seo settings, which should be done before you start:

Set Flat URL´S

System->Configuration->Catalog->Search Engine Optimizations

Setup your magento SEO

Make sure, that all pages are well structured HTML.

For checking your magento shop on structured HTML5, we recommend to take this tool:

https://gsnedders.html5.org/outliner/

W3C Check on html issues

https://validator.w3.org/

Generate a sitemap.xml for your magento shop. 

Magento Admin panel->Catalog->Google Sitemap

Enable google Analytics at magento admin panel:

System->Configuration->(Sales)->Google API->Google Analytics

Magento Google Analytics Option

Editing the Product Page Meta Data in Magento

The Magento engine allows to setup generic rules for the page and meta data and the site prefix and suffix. This settings should be done at:

System->Configuration->Design->Html heads

Default SEO Settings for Magento

We highly recommend to setup each page title and meta data by hand to generate high seo quality.

All this can be done in the magento admin at the Product editing tab:

Catalog->Product->Meta Information

Magento Product Meta Settings

(SERP = Search Engine Results Page)

The page title is the very important, because it will be shown as a title in google SERP.

A headline should be interesting to generate clicks. You should write a meta description that gives the user a good reason for clicking.

SERP´s are structured like this:

Page title should contain the most important keyword
your-domain.com/keyword-URL
Meta description which displays the meta description. Here you should also set the keyword.

Relevance: Only exact and good selected keywords matches on customers search

Keyword relevance means that all elements of your shop or product are pointing on the same direction, the same context and keywords. Key fact is: Let the search engine understand what your shop is about. For example, if all your content ( page title, page content, links ) is talking about „ Stamps“, a search engine will understand, that your shop content is about „Stamps“.  The search engine checks the relevance of your shop and this will be done by what your shop contains. This process is called focus keyword. Of course, there are a lot more facts by what the search engine ranks your site, but the main facts are:

  • unique content
  • fast reachable content

( Sites which are slower than 1 second page load time get no good search engine ranking at all. )

  • well structured content
  • and some links which are pointing to you ( best are links, that coming from sites, which contain the same theme )

Only your content and the keywords can identify your generic proposition.

Example: „notes for jazz“ are specific and „music shop“ is generic.

Getting good rankings on generic search terms is more difficult than on specific key words. The same situation goes to popular search terms and single keywords. But here is also a big chance for long-tail-key-words, which are not so hard fighted and also very relevant like „cool jazz notes for beginners“.

Choosing the right keywords means the key to success

We suggest to use the Google Adwords keyword tool. With this tool you can get a nice overview on how much competitors use the same keyword as you. It shows several suggestions for similar or other relevant keywords.

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Magento generates the URL by default, but often these URL´s are too long or contain redundant or irrelevant words.

You can edit every URL in magento´s admin panel on product details.

Product->General->URL key

To get more and relevant content, you should build Static Pages ( CMS ) with additional informations of your products like articles, lifestyle content, “how to” or guides.

A search engine likes unique content and stores it in the search index.

For getting faster in the search engine index, it´s good to tell the search engine your content by a sitemap.xml.

A sitemap can be set up in the Magento Admin Panel at:

System->Configuration->Google Sitemap->Generation Settings

Now you only need to setup the xml file at:

Catalog->Google Sitemap

and click on create a new sitemap.

This sitemap will be stored on your server in the base directory. Of course, you have the option to save the xml file in another path like magento/sitemap.

Please note, that your sitemap will be automatically renewed by the magento default crownjob.

Now you have to login your google webmaster tool and add the sitemap.xml. For this please log in at:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en

Please note, that google indexes all pages, but if you copy content or just take the content of a competitor, you get low search engine ranks!

If something went wrong by crawling your site, you can see this in your google webmaster account.

Be creative, be unique!

And please generate content for your customers and not for the search engine. This means: Create texts, that are interesting and good to consume. Do not overload the text with keywords.

Popularity: get links to your products, categories and sites

It´s difficult to give a clear answer on how google generates the page rank in search results. But a good tip is to get some links from other websites, even if you have a lot competitors which take the same keywords like you.

We recommend to get only links from sites which are in the same thematic like yours. Building links by a script or on sites in a bad neighborhood or spam in forums / blog comments will have a negative effect to your page rank.

In general please note „Content is King“ and if your content and your shop is well done, you automatically get good links by people which like your shop.

Google and all other search engines change there page ranking system every month and all kinds of manipulating like link building ( buy links ) or other black seo technics will be punished.

Out of a long experience in e-commerce we recommend to work only on your content, meta description and titles.

In the google webmaster tool you will find the popularity score of your sites and see all pages, which are shown in google. Besides that, you get an overview of all sites, which set a link to you!

Another aspect is the CTR Click Through Rate. This is a measure, which shows how good a search result is clicked. If you get a CTR of 10% or more, your SERP´s get high places in search engine. If you have a lower CTR, you can try better or chance your meta descriptions and meta title.

It´s a main fact, that only very fast shops with unique content get good search engine rankings! A shop with a page load time over 1 second could never get a perfect ranking.

New is, that a search engine (google) measures the time how long a visitor stays on the site. If your Bounce rate is too high ( this means the visitor leaves your site under 10 seconds or less ), you get no good search ranking, as well.

Measurement

The most important point is a good analytic about your traffic. There are hundreds of different tools for analytics (there is also a magento extension for it). But we only recommend google analytics and webmaster tool. If you understand how to use these tools, you get a perfect overview where the referrals come from and which search terms bring new customers.

A good „how to“ for the google webmaster tool can be found at:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=checklist.cs&tab=1095580

For google analytics please take a look at:

https://www.mahalo.com/how-to-use-google-analytics-for-beginners/

( Here you see also a nice example on a well done URL )

Conclusion

If you work on the visibility, relevance and popularity of your magento shop, the number of visitors increase exponentially. Of course, this takes a lot of time and hard work. But after a while, you become the player and your sales increase. A nice side effect is, that Adwords get cheaper by a higher Adwords Keyword score!

3 responses to Guide for Seo & Magento

  1. Also, you should build categories and name products based on good keywords. Your main category names will help Google determine which keywords you want to be relevant for. So obviously, make sure they are good keywords.

    Like Raphael mentioned, use the Google Adwords keyword tool to see the traffic levels for different keywords. Check the traffic levels for different keywords. You might find that simply having a slightly different name for a category or splitting a main category into 2 might be beneficial when it comes to ranking.

    Good keywords are not always the keywords with the most traffic. If your site is new, don’t try to target keywords that have a lot of traffic. Find keywords that are in the middle as far as traffic. Those will be the best keywords to go after at first.

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