Magento SEO: Best Practices to Optimise your Online Store | Autify Digital

In the ever-changing world of SEO, it can be hard to keep up with the latest SEO trends and features for your Magento e-commerce website.  

In this blog post, we provide you with a Magento SEO guide so that you’re equipped with the best technical, on-page, and off-page SEO practices for your Magento store.  

We will discuss these in turn, defining what they are, explaining why they are important for SEO, and how you can implement them on Magento. We will also answer the most frequently asked questions at the end of this blog post.  

 

What is Magento SEO? 

Magento SEO is a collection of optimisation features used on Magento-based e-commerce websites to increase their visibility and rankings within the result pages of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. These features include generating XML sitemaps, setting up proper redirects, and more. 

 

Is Magento SEO Friendly?  

Magento is SEO-friendly because it manages internal linking well. It is also user-friendly, has fast loading times, along with a plethora of SEO features, some of which are listed below.  

  • Sitemap.xml configuration 
  • Robots.txt configuration 
  • Redirection and canonicalisation capability  
  • Structured markup data optimisation 
  • URL customisation  
  • On-page content optimisation (title tags and meta descriptions) 
  • Blogging functionality

 

Why is SEO Important For Magento?  

SEO is important for Magento because it can improve the position of the website within the search engine results page (SERP), which helps increase the visibility to users, in turn leading to an increase in organic traffic to the website. 

SEO not only can increase website traffic but can also increase conversion rates by matching the pages present on your Magento store to the search queries that consumers are looking for on the SERP, which can increase total revenue.  

 

How To Do SEO on Magento?  

Undertaking SEO on Magento is far from a set of quick technical fixes completed on the backend of the website. It takes a long-term strategy that covers all aspects of optimising the entire Magento e-commerce website for search engines.  

This includes the technical, on-page, and off-page optimisation of landing, collection, and product pages, together with improvements to the navigation and to the call to action’s (CTAs).  

Implementing SEO on the Magento platform can be simple with the right guidance. Below we have broken down how to do SEO on Magento into three major categories: how to do technical, on-page, and off-page SEO.  

How To Do Technical SEO on Magento?  

Technical SEO on Magento is defined by the tasks completed on the backend of the website to ensure a strong technical foundation is created for the search engine bots to crawl, understand, and index the pages present on the Magento website.  

Below is a numbered list of how to do technical SEO on Magento.

1. Use “noindex” and “nofollow” Attributes

“Noindex” attributes on Magento should be used to allow search engine “spiders” to crawl a specific page but to not index it. This is beneficial because it can prevent duplicate content from penalising your site, prevent customers from finding low-stock products, and tell search engine bots to not show low-value pages within the SERP.  

Additionally, you can prevent search engine “spiders” from passing link equity and page rank from one page URL to another page URL by using “nofollow” attributes – this is especially useful for preventing “link juice” to external links.  

The HTML code must be adjusted to use “noindex” and “nofollow” attributes on Magento. This can be done by going to Systems > Configuration > Design > HTML Head.

2. Use The Robots.txt File

The robot.txt is a file that instructs search engine bots of the URLs that the bots can crawl and index on your website. 

The correct use of the robots.txt file can stop specific pages from showing up within the SERP such as duplicate or broken pages, internal search results pages, login pages, to name a few. As a result, only the most important pages adding value to the website and its rankings are shown within the SERP. 

Below are the steps required to use and configure the robots.txt file on Magento. 

  1. Go to the Admin Panel. 
  2. Manoeuvre to Content > Design > Configuration. 
  3. Go to the Search Engine Robots Section. 
  4. Pick the Default Robots you need from the following below. 
    • INDEX, FOLLOW – Your pages will be regularly indexed and checked for changes by search engine crawlers 
    • NOINDEX, FOLLOW – Your website will not be indexed but will be monitored for changes by search engine crawlers 
    • INDEX, NOFOLLOW – Your website will be indexed once but will never be checked again for changes by search engine crawlers 
    • NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW – Your website will not be crawled or indexed by search engine crawlers 
  5. Navigate to the Edit custom instruction of the robot.txt file and write the custom instructions. 
  6. Click Save Configuration. 

Example of Magento Robots.txt

 

Faceted navigation can be implemented on your Magento store allowing users to filter and sort internal results pages based on the products they are searching for on your website. This feature is incredibly useful from a user experience perspective but can negatively affect SEO if not managed correctly.  

The use of filters can create multiple duplicate versions of an existing page, which could lead to duplicate content and generate a large amount of unimportant pages, possibly ranking on the SERP. Duplicate content unnecessarily uses the crawling budget needed for more important pages on the Magento store, which is why faceted navigation must be managed correctly.  

To manage faceted navigation on Magento you must use the robots.txt file to block search engine crawlers from indexing filter pages, which can be done by navigating to the Edit custom instruction of the robot.txt file and writing the custom instruction. The most common custom instructions for preventing the indexing of filter pages are listed below. 

  • Disallow: /*?dir* 
  • Disallow: /*?dir=desc 
  • Disallow: /*?dir=asc 
  • Disallow: /*?limit=all 
  • Disallow: /*?mode* 

You must also de-index filter pages that have already been indexed on Google by submitting their URLs to the removals section of Google Search Console.

4. Generate a Sitemap

A sitemap is a file that search engines use to obtain information about the pages, images, videos, and other files on your website, and to understand the relationships between them.  

A sitemap helps search engine bots find all the pages on your Magento store regardless of the site architecture, which can enhance the crawlability, indexability, and rankability of your web pages to help increase organic traffic.  

To generate a sitemap on Magento, configure the XML sitemap settings in Magento’s “Catalog” menu. You can then publish the sitemap.xml file by going to Marketing > SEO & Search > Sitemap 

Below is a list of 9 requirements needed for your sitemap to aid technical SEO. 

  • There should only be pages with a 200 Ok response not error pages in the sitemap to prevent search engines from ignoring it 
  • The sitemap file should not be bigger than 10mb unzipped 
  • The sitemap should be broken into multiple sitemap categories to ensure all pages are crawled and indexed by search engines 
  • There should be a sitemap index file that has links to the individual XML sitemap files to ensure search engines can easily crawl them 
  • There should not be more than 50,000 URLs in 1 XML sitemap file  
  • There should not be duplicate pages in the sitemap 
  • There should not be internal search result pages in the sitemap 
  • There should not be pages that are blocked from the robots.txt file in the sitemap 
  • The XML sitemap(s) should continually be updated to ensure they remain clean

5. Use Product and Category Page Canonical URLs

A canonical URL is an HTML link element that makes it easier for search engine crawlers to understand which webpage version should be indexed and shown in the SERP.   

All product and category pages on Magento should have a self-referential canonical tag, which is a HTML element that ensures the page with this element is recognised by search engine crawlers as the main version of the page. This makes sure that Google doesn’t choose a different URL as the canonical, which could affect the indexing of an important product or category page that needs to be indexed.  

Conversely, duplicate pages do not need a self-referential canonical tag but rather a canonical tag that points to the URL of the best representative page from the duplicate pages. This is useful because it helps prevent duplicate content that would otherwise affect rankings and visibility in the SERP.  

Below are the steps required to add canonical URLs in Magento. 

  1. Login into your Magento account. 
  2. Click Stores > Settings > Configuration. 
  3. Navigate to Catalog > Catalog > Search Engine Optimization. 
  4. Clear Use system value and click Yes for Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Categories. 
  5. Clear Use system value and click Yes for Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Products. 
  6. Click Save. 

Example of Canonical Tag Setup on Magento

6. Use Structured Data

Structured data, also known as schema markup or rich snippet, is a type of code placed on a web page to provide contextual information about the page to search engines. For a Magento e-commerce website, information about the price, ratings, and much more can be provided depending on the type of structured data used, which can then be displayed on the SERP by search engines.  

This helps increase the chances of a user clicking and staying on the page as it is relevant to their search query, which can improve the rankings within the SERP.  

Example of Structured data on the serp of Google

For more information about the different types of structured data, their importance, and the implementation process for each one, check out our blog post.

7. Fix Indexable Internal Search Results Pages

An internal search results page is a page that is generated when a user utilises the internal search function on your website, which helps improve user experience by allowing users to efficiently navigate, and easily find content or products on the site. 

However, internal search results pages should not be crawled and indexed by search engine crawlers because they can be random pages that are not important, which unnecessarily uses up the crawling budget of your website. As a result, the important pages do not get crawled, indexed, and ranked.  

Additionally, having these random pages on the SERP is not helpful content for the user, which can affect the visibility and ranking of the entire website.  

Therefore, it is important to block search engine bots from crawling and indexing these internal search results pages by using the robots.txt file. Furthermore, if you have internal search pages indexed, you must de-index them by submitting their URLs to the removals section of Google Search Console. 

8. Use 301 Redirects

A 301 redirect ensures that when a page is permanently moved or returns a 4xx error, the users and search engines are automatically sent to the corresponding new page.  

This ensures that users and search engines are directed to the correct page and that the link equity (level of value or authority) is passed on from the old page to the new page. 

Below is a step-by-step list of how to do 301 redirects on Magento. 

  1. Log into Magento Admin 
  2. Go to Marketing, SEO & Search, then URL Rewrites 
  3. Click on Add URL Rewrite  
  4. Select custom  
  5. Choose Store-View 
  6. Go to Request Path field and set old URL path 
  7. Go to Target Path field and set new URL path 
  8. Set Redirect Type to 301 (Permanent) 

How To Do On-Page SEO on Magento? 

On-page SEO on Magento is defined by the tasks completed on the Magento website to optimise the web pages to rank high in the SERP for specific search queries. These tasks include content, meta tags, image, and URL optimisation.  

Below is a numbered list of how to do on-page SEO on Magento. 

1. Create SEO-Friendly Titles

The title tag is an HTML element that provides the web page with a title. This title is shown as a clickable headline in the SERP, and if correctly optimised alongside the content, ensures that the page ranks for the correct search query in the SERP. 

Furthermore, it is the first thing a user sees in the SERP, which will aid their decision on whether to click the page or not. Based on the number of clicks, your rankings will either deteriorate or increase over time, highlighting the importance of SEO-friendly titles. 

Below are 5 best practices for creating SEO-friendly title tags. 

  • The title length should be between 50 and 60 characters. 
  • The title should include one primary keyword and not be stuffed with keywords. 
  • The title should accurately describe your page. 
  • The title should be unique 
  • The <title> element should be in the page’s HTML 

To change the title tag for category pages you must go to Catalog > Categories > Search Engine Optimisation then fill out the meta title field. To do SEO-friendly titles for product pages, you must also go to the Search Engine Optimisation section and fill out the meta title field. 

2. Create SEO-Friendly URLs

URLs are the first thing a search engine bot sees so if the URL is optimised for search engines where it is logical, possesses targeted keywords, does not contain special characters, reflects the main topic, and aligns with the website topicality then the bot will decide to crawl the URL, which can speed up the indexing of the web page.  

SEO-friendly URLs can also establish a good page path relationship between the URL and the website, which improves the website architecture, user experience, bounce rate, and thus rankings in the SERP. 

To change the URLs on Magento, you must use the URL rewrite manager tool, which can be found in the admin panel then go to Stores > Configuration > Web > Search Engine Optimisation.

3. Utilise Blogging

Quality content is one of the most important ranking factors for a page. A blog post with helpful and insightful content on topics related to the products and services offered in your store allows you to rank for additional keywords and showcases expertise within your niche.  

This helps increase the visibility and organic traffic of your Magento store within the SERP with the potential to improve the number of sales, therefore highlighting the potential upside of using the blogging functionality on Magento.   

To add blogs on Magento, you must use the Magento 2 blog extension from Magefan or set up a blog on WordPress and then create a subdomain for your Magento website. This is because Magento does not have default blogging functionality.  

How To Do Off-Page SEO on Magento?  

Off-page SEO is defined as the tasks completed outside your website to improve the search engine rankings. 

Link building is the process of getting hyperlinks from other websites to your website.   

Links to your Magento store from authoritative websites act as a vote of trust, which can increase the credibility of your site in the eyes of Google, thus helping your Magento store rank higher within the SERP. Therefore, increasing organic traffic and sales.  

To create a link-building strategy for your Magento e-commerce, publish ultimate guides, comparison content, and list-based content that could attract attention and useful backlinks. Guest posting can also be used.  

It is also important to note that you must check all the backlinks pointing to your Magento e-commerce site as not all backlinks pointing to your site are beneficial.  

There may be toxic backlinks, which can have a negative influence on the authoritativeness of your Magento store, thus affecting your visibility and rankings within the SERP. 

Therefore, removing these toxic backlinks is a must to effectively do off-page SEO. Below is a numbered list of how to remove toxic backlinks pointing to your Magento store. 

  1. Go to the backlink audit feature in SEMrush  
  2. Go to the For review section in the Audit section 
  3. Add the toxic backlinks to the disavow section 
  4. Go to the disavow section and export the list of toxic backlinks 
  5. Add the list of toxic backlinks to the file in the Google Disavow tool  

 

Magento Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

Below are frequently asked questions about SEO on the Magento Platform.  

What Is Magento 2 SEO? 

Magento 2 SEO is a set of SEO features that have been added or upgraded from the previous Magento 1 SEO features.  

Some of these new SEO features are listed below. 

  • Canonical tag to avoid duplicate content  
  • Alt text to product images  
  • Robots.txt file 
  • Meta tags for each product and category page 
  • Search-friendly URLs 

Additionally, the SEO settings are focused in a single place making Magento 2 SEO easier to implement than version 1. 

Can I Change a Category In Magento SEO?  

Yes, you can change a category in Magento SEO by going to the Categories section in the Catalog. Ensure that you set up a 301 redirect if you remove the category from your Magento store. 

How to Change SEO Title of A Block in Magento?  

Below is a numbered list of how to change the SEO title of a block in Magento. 

  1. Content > Elements > Blocks  
  2. Choose Block Title 
  3. Edit the Block Title as desired  

What Is the SEO URL Key In Magento 2? 

The URL key in Magento is the last part of the web address and should be optimised for search engines using the best practices highlighted in this guide. 

We hope this guide has given you the knowledge you need about Magento SEO but most importantly given you the confidence and courage to implement the SEO best practices onto your Magento e-commerce website.  

We have helped many clients increase their organic traffic through our e-commerce SEO services so be sure to check us out if you need help implementing SEO on your Magento store.  

Seun Osho
Seun Osho
SEO & Content Executive

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