Ultimate Magento SEO Guide 2021
Apart from selling quality products and services, any e-commerce website’s success solely depends on how well they attract customers and gain traffic to sell their services. And this is possible by following the Magento SEO tips & best practices.
SEO equals gaining visibility, relevancy, and popularity on your website through organic means.
Although Magento SEO optimization is challenging considering millions of websites online today, it’s a salient factor responsible for online business success and staying at the top of search engines.
Staying at the search engines’ peak means huge visibility and popularity, leading to increased traffic and sales.
Visibility: Where does your website rank in search engine visibility
One of the SEO optimization goals is to increase SERP (Search Engine Results Page) visibility.
Your website won’t even show up on SERP unless your website’s contents are not visible to the search engines.
Search engines follow three primary functions: Crawling, Indexing, Ranking.
The search engine crawls through all the content or code on your website, like- titles, images, files, and headers, and stores the result in an index.
Metadata fields and URL keys are important factors used by Search engines to rank or index your products.
A few Search engines use meta keywords, and a few others ignore them, but using high-value and targeted keywords in the meta title and meta description will help your products gain more visibility.
You must implement a proper structure, semantics, and best practices to have your page displayed on the results page.
Best practices and settings to use for Magento SEO
Configuring the following Magento SEO settings will work wonders for your e-commerce website.
1. URL Optimization
URL optimization is all about providing a convenient user experience.
It is recommended that URLs do not have any codes within, as no one prefers URLs comprising numbers, random text, or letters.
Set Flat URLs:
The general SEO friendly URL structure would look like this:
Category site: domain.com/category/
Sub-category site: domain.com/category/sub-category/
Item site: domain.com/category-sub-category/item-name/
However, a flat URL structure like domain.com/item-name is used, if one has a large item catalog.
To do this, follow Stores > Configuration > Catalog > Catalog > Search Engine Optimization and set:
Use Categories Path for Product URLs: No
Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Categories: Yes
This setting prevents index bloat.
To make the URL more SEO-friendly and avoid the automatic addition of item/category codes to the URL, a clean URL must be used.
To do this, follow
Stores > Configuration > General > Web > URL Options & set, Add Store Code to URL: No
URL with Item/category id:
You can change any URL associated with a category, product, or CMS page through URL Rewrite. Any link pointing to the previous URL gets directed to the new URL address when the URL Rewrite is into effect.
Enable URL rewrites and remove the “index.php” portion from the URLs to make them much cleaner and readable.
To do this, follow Stores > Configuration > General > Web
Click on Search Engine Optimization & set:
Use Web Server Rewrites: Yes
The Automatic Magento URL redirects are enabled by default for your store. The checkbox for Create Permanent Redirect for the old URL is selected for each product under the URL key.
2. Generate XML Sitemap
A sitemap is your website’s most essential part as they show search engines which links and pages are the most important on your e-commerce website. It improves the way search engines index your store.
A sitemap can be used to configure all images and pages.
To configure a sitemap, follow Stores > Configuration > Catalog > XML Sitemap
To generate XML sitemap:
- Go to Marketing > SEO & Search > Site Map and click on the Add Sitemap button from the Admin Panel.
- Add a path and name for the new sitemap.
- Under Filename Field, set the XML file name.
- Under Path Field, enter the path where the XML file will be located.
- Select Store View.
- Press on Save and Generate button.
Once the sitemap is enabled, Magento creates a sitemap.xml file saved in your specified location of the installation.
The sitemap configuration provides you with the ability to set the priority for every content type and the frequency of the updates. You need to update the sitemap frequently, either daily, weekly, or monthly based on the changes in your content.
It is also required to ensure that there are no indexing errors in your sitemap.
Some common XML sitemap issues are:
- URLs blocked by Robots.txt files
- 301, 404 errors in sitemap or canonicalized URLs
- Key pages missing
- Orphaned URLs
- Inaccurate/missing last changed date
3. Follow a structured HTML
A proper structure and semantic are necessary for enhancing SEO for Magento.
This is achievable by modifying HTML elements like title tags, meta tags, and headings.
The clickable blue headline (meta title) on SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and the meta description impact the search engine and your website’s click-through rate.
The meta titles should ideally be between 50 to 60 characters and must also contain the targeted keyword.
The meta descriptions should be between 150 to 160 characters and with the targeted keyword avoiding any overstuffing of keywords.
The section headings serve a larger purpose than used as just-style elements.
The < h1 > tag (most important) to < h6 > tag (least important) signifies your content structure and performs as an index for Googlebots.
4. Image optimization
Hosting quality images with a compressed size is the key to image optimization.
Too high-quality images take too much time to load, slow down the website performance, and hamper the user experience.
To avoid this and still maintain the image quality, it’s required to compress the images. This can be achieved using various extensions.
We use ImageOptim to reduce the image size.
Use descriptive file names comprising the right keyword that describes exactly what your image is all about.
This helps search engines understand your image content for relevant searches.
Set relevant Alt-text to all your website images so that your users and Google knows what your image is about.
Make sure that the Alt-text is not too stuffy and is rather relevant and on point.
5. Product description
A unique product description with relevant keywords is a must for your product pages to rank and show up at the top of the search engine.
Your product descriptions should offer value to the users and contain as much detailed information as possible, keeping them crisp and on point at the same time. We recommend you create your own product description instead of using the manufacturers’ description.
Relevance: Using unique yet relevant keywords
We cannot talk about SEO without mentioning keywords at least once.
Researching relevant Magento keywords, the latest trending or mostly used keywords, and carefully implementing them in your content is the key to SEO.
You need to perform keyword research keeping in mind the keyword relevancy, ranking difficulty, priority, and search volume.
Targeting the right keywords organically in your content will help your website rank high in SERP, attracting more valuable customers.
Consumers today know exactly what they are looking for and search for precise terms.
Upon specific keyword search by the consumer, the long-tail keywords (keywords that are three or more words long) in your content will have higher chances of your website showing up at the top of the results page, thus increasing the conversion rate attracting more potential buyers.
Getting as specific with the keywords as possible is the key.
Google AdWords keyword is an essential tool for finding relevant keywords on the web and gaining an overview of how well the keyword performs and who uses it.
Of course, do not forget to use keywords, but please do not overstuff them. Keywords must place optimally and organically to perform better and get noticed.
Popularity: What makes your e-commerce website popular on Google?
Creating valuable and unique content is indeed the key to stand out and show up. But getting links from other websites is another way to rank up in SERP.
This will be possible only if your e-commerce shop is unique and relevant.
Google keeps continuously changing its search engine algorithm and ranking system to avoid misuse. Thus relying just on getting links to perform well is neither reliable nor recommended.
Your content speaks for your website, and to get popular, all you have to focus on is the content, titles & meta description.
Internal and External linking
Internal linking, another essential component of SEO, helps get better results for Magento SEO performance.
Building a comprehensive and hierarchical internal structure on your website not only makes it convenient for users to navigate through your website’s contents fluidly but it also helps Google bots crawl through the website effectively and understand the contents better.
Implementing internal linking will probably make the users click and navigate through more pages, increasing their time spent on the website and thus boosting the conversion rate.
External linking, equally critical, lets Google know about the website’s credibility and authority. Linking relevant and trustworthy sites can enhance their SEO, though we recommend keeping irrelevant sites away.
Click-through rate (CTR)
Your website’s position at the search engine will determine its CTR ranking.
In research, we find that websites on the first page of SERP receive an average CTR of 31.7%.
Your website must have unique & relevant content and a low bounce rate to get a high search engine ranking.
General tips to enhance your website’s Search Engine rankings
It’s all about the details and little things when it comes to SEO optimization.
1. Use “NOFOLLOW” link
For certain pages like cart, profile, account, or checkout, we do not require indexing. Add “NOFOLLOW” links to such pages.
The "nofollow" links include a small piece of code, called an attribute, that lets search engine bots know not to follow the link.
It looks like this: rel=“nofollow”.
< a href ="https://www.domain.com/checkout" rel="nofollow" >
2. Use Canonical URLs
Duplicity is a prominent issue for e-commerce websites. You can use canonical tags to avoid this.
Implementing canonical tags successfully prevents multiple URLs containing the same information from showing up in SERPs.
To implement Canonical tags in Magento, go to
Stores > Configuration > Catalog > Catalog > Search Engine Optimization*
& set, Canonical LINK Meta Tags for Categories and Products: Yes
3. Magento settings to improve the pageload performance
The loading How to increase Magento website speed can affect your website’s search engine ranking, and the rank can drop by even a second.
Here are some settings to configure to tackle this issue.
Enable all caching features to make all the pages load faster with no server load. To do so, follow **Stores > Configuration > Advanced > System > Varnish Cache
- To speed up the processing and working of cart price or catalog rules, enable flat catalog products or flat catalog categories. To do so, follow Stores > Configuration > Catalog > Catalog > Storefront
4. Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDN, if used to serve your website’s content, can significantly boost the loading speeds. It is especially beneficial if your website comprises lots of varying content, content types, and users across different geographical locations.
CDN significantly improves your website’s speed providing faster performance and high search rankings. The CDN reduces the overall load from the servers by delivering all static content from a node next to the vistor.
5. Enable Google Analytics
Google Analytics provides the ability to give metrics for tracking and define custom dimensions to support mobile-app and offline interactions and access to ongoing updates.
To enable Google Analytics for Magento,
- Log in to your Magento Store Admin.
- Go to Stores > Settings > Configuration on the Admin sidebar.
- On the left panel, go to SALES > Google API > Google Analytics
- Under Google Analytics:
- Select Enable: Yes
- Enter your Google Analytics Account Number.
- Set Contents Experiments to Yes, if you wish to conduct A/B testing or other content performance tests.
- Select Save Config once completed.
While Magento offers so many SEO optimization features, making the most out of them and implementing them in your Magento Shop makes a significant difference.
Following and implementing the configurations mentioned above and working on the visibility, relevancy, and popularity of your shop will rank, attracting customers and increasing sales.
High performance page load times as base for SEO
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A MGT-Commerce high performance stack, quality services, and flexible infrastructure that we provide have led our customers to experience high conversion rates on their websites and helped them manage their stores better.
There is no denying that Magento SEO optimization requires a lot of work, but once you get your hands on it and start getting traffic and increase sales, all the hard work will pay off in the end.
We ensure that your Magento store works smoothly with an excellent performance to get better SEO results.
To experience it yourself, try out our MGT-COMMERCE free demo.
Contact us and learn more about our Magento hosting services.