12 SEO Tips for Your Magento 2 E-Commerce Website

As an immensely popular eCommerce platform geared towards growth, it’s no surprise that Magento comes with a plethora of amazing growth-related features right out of the box. These features are designed to help merchants not only run a successful store glitch-free, in terms of cart functionalities, payment and processing, shipping and so on, but also improve search engine visibility. However, the SEO features that come with your Magento version upon installation are usually not enough. In this day and age, the market is so oversaturated with online shops, big and small, and you simply have to invest additional efforts to make your shop stand out and attract customers.

That is why today we decided to offer some quick SEO tips that you can apply with ease and that are guaranteed to do wonders for your Magento 2 ecommerce website.

Note that the majority of these tips fall into the “technical SEO” category. That’s because it’s actually the most difficult part, but still something that you can try and do on your own or ask developers or SEO experts for help.

Eliminate Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is a common ailment on many websites but it is particularly frequent in eCommerce. For those unsure of what the term actually means, here’s a great definition by Google Search Console Help Center: Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.

Duplicate content is not penalized by Google, but it still has a negative effect on your site ranking, for a couple of reasons:

  • It can prevent your pages from showing up or ranking well in SERPs, because Google looks at the pages it indexed and displays the ones it believes to be the most relevant (which are often not the pages you want it to display).
  • It dilutes the link profile of your website, since it’s always better to have one strong page with plenty of quality backlinks and excellent content than having the same subject in two or more locations.
  • It makes it unclear as to which site published the content first.

One of the easiest things Magento merchants can do with this issue on their own is to use the so-called canonical tag.

Set Up and Optimize Your Sitemap

A sitemap is very important for SEO since crawlers use it to read your pages and get a proper understanding of your website’s architecture. There are two main types of sitemaps: HTML and XML. The HTML maps are used primarily to optimize user experience, as they are shown as a separate page for the visitors to consult and use for navigation, but they’re important for SEO. XML maps are not visible “from the outside,” i.e. the visitors cannot see them, but crawlers use them to pick up and index the pages. XML maps also contain other information, such as when a page is modified and what the indexing preferences for that page are.

Magento 2 does not come with the possibility of generating HTML maps automatically. If you want one on your website, you will have to use an extension. Fortunately, there are plenty of those available and they do a great job of helping you create, customize and update your HTML sitemap.

As for XML maps, that functionality is already included in Magento 2, but it needs enabling and configuration.

2buy1click has offered its client Continual SEO Content and Brand Enhancement service which helps Increase Traffic and Preserve Brand Quality.

Improve Speed and Performance

Page loading speed is one of the Google’s top ranking factors for organic search. Not to mention customers hate slow websites and will leave if your pages don’t load quickly enough. Therefore, it’s essential to make your website as fast as possible.

  • One of the basic ways to make your site run faster is to enable all caching features that come with Magento 2.
  • It can also be a good idea to enable flat categories and products.
  • Finally, in order to reduce load time, you can opt to merge your JavaScript and CSS files.

Optimize Your Product Images

Many Magento 2 merchants neglect or simply forget to take care of their product images, SEO-wise. Having a beautiful product image is great, but search engines can’t actually see them. Product images would be completely useless in terms of search engine optimization if it weren’t for alt text.

Alt text (a.k.a. alt descriptions, alt attributes) basically describes your images so the search engines can understand what they represent. Alt text is entered upon uploading the image, along with other image preferences.

Make sure your alt text contains the product keyword but don’t overstuff it – make it clear and to the point. Also, always give your images a name and make them informative: short-black-satin-dress instead of IMG_00014. jpg.

Set Your Robots.txt Files

The Robots.txt file is absolutely essential for the proper search engine optimization of any website, including Magento 2 eCommerce sites. This is the file that instructs the search engine on how to crawl and how to index your pages.

It’s important because you want to make sure your important pages get indexed (home, product pages, categories, etc.) and you want the search engine to skip some of the others. To do so, it uses specific directives like index/noindex, allow/disallow. For instance, if you set the file to noindex for a certain page, the page will be crawled but it will not be indexed. If you set it to disallow, the Google robot will not visit (crawl) the page at all.

To check your robots.txt file, just add /robots.txt at the end of your URL.

If you are unsure how to do this and need help, check 2buy1click SEO Content and Brand enhancement page for a list of items we can help with to boost your rankings and traffic.

Optimize Your Titles, Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions for Pages, Products and Categories

Being a user-friendly eCommerce platform, Magento 2 tends to do a lot of the work for you, setting certain values by default. The same goes for your store title and meta descriptions. The problem is, these defaults are not SEO-friendly, so you need to tweak them a bit.

In your Magento 2 admin, go to Content>Design>Configuration. Find where it says Default store view and click on Edit. Scroll down to HTML Head and set your title, description and keywords. The title tag should be about 50-60 characters while the meta description should ideally be between 150 and 160 characters. As for the default keywords, you can leave this blank since Google no longer pays attention to these.

Now, it’s time to take care of your product meta title and description. In your admin, navigate to Products>Catalog>Edit Product. Scroll down to Search Engine Optimization and fill in the meta title and description for your product. For categories, go to Products>Categories and do the same.
Don’t forget to do the same for your content pages. Go to Content>Pages, find the page you want and click on Edit. Scroll down to Search Engine Optimization and enter your meta title and meta description.

Optimize Your URLs

The URL structure is extremely important for search engine optimization. Magento 2 generates the URLs by default, but those URLs are not always SEO-friendly.

Ideally, your URLs should be unique and static and have the following structure:

  • For category pages: mymagentosite.com/category/
  • For sub-category pages: mymagentosite.com/category/sub-category/
  • For product pages: mymagentosite.com/category-subcategory/product-name

Avoid using stop words such as and, or, of, but, a, the, etc. You can use Magento 2’s built-in functionalities for optimizing your URLs.

Use Schema Markup

Schema markup is essentially code or semantic vocabulary that consists of a number of tags. These are inserted into your website’s HTML in order to help search engines read and show your pages better (higher up) in SERPs. Thanks to Schema, Google can display your results as rich snippets, with additional information, such as product rating, price, availability and so on.

To add Schema markup, you will need some coding knowledge in order to wrap certain items in code, so unless you’re skillful in that department, you should probably have your Magento developer do it.

2buy1click has offered its client Continual SEO Content and Brand Enhancement service which helps Increase Traffic and Preserve Brand Quality.

Set Up a Blog

When it comes to eCommerce websites and SEO, product pages simply aren’t enough, even if you have the highest quality products and the best prices. You need to have content, as well, which basically means a blog section.

If you don’t want to use a third-party framework like WordPress, you can opt for one of the extensions and ask your Magento developer to install and configure it.

After you’re all set up, start creating quality content that will help you boost your ranking. Write long-form posts about topics related to your industry or niche, try to answer some of the common questions you’re getting from your customers or, if it makes sense for your business, offer concise, authoritative how-to articles and tutorials for your products.

Get Backlinks

A blog is also important for getting inbound links. This means having other websites link to your site, hopefully bringing customers along. Getting backlinks is not an easy job, but if you’re persistent and if you keep your content quality high, over time you can get a decent amount of traffic this way. Guest posting and linking to authoritative websites from your niche are a good starting point.

Add Customer Reviews

Customer reviews offer multiple benefits to any site, including online shops. One of the major benefits is the fact they’re great for SEO.

Customer reviews represent just the kind of unique, fresh and updated content search engines simply adore. User-generated content is always a great signal for Google, which awards the websites with customer reviews with better ranking.

Therefore, you should try to engage your customers to leave reviews, possibly even by offering a little something in return, such as discount codes for their next purchase. Also, don’t worry about negative reviews. Consider them a necessary evil that are still beneficial, if not so much for your sales, then definitely for your ranking.

Optimize for Mobile

“Mobile-first indexing” is a practice that Google has been using since 2018. As the search engine giant puts it, mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.

As of July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing has become default for all new domains. It’s clear that having a mobile-friendly website is not only important in terms of traffic (people are accessing ecommerce websites using mobile devices more than ever, and the trend keeps growing) but also for good search engine rankings.

Magento 2 merchants can use a free Google tool to check if their shop is properly optimized for mobile according to Google standards. The tool will also make suggestions as to what you can improve.

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