Magento SEO: Guide to Better Optimisation

Magento SEO Company
Last updated: Sunday June 17th 2012
Reading time: 12 minutes

SEO Friendly e-Commerce platform

Magento is an outstanding e-Commerce platform with inbuilt SEO. Initially, during its release there were no written rules or step-by-step guide for Search Engine Optimisation in Magento. It was basically developed as a search engine friendly platform and the updated current release is 1.2.1. To implement it properly, first the most recent version should be employed followed by the enabling of Server URL rewrites, which is found under System-Configuration-Web-Search Engines Optimization. The following are the Magento SEO tips that can guide to better optimize Magento websites.

WWW vs. non-WWW version: WWW is known as the secure version and non-WWW is the unsecure version. Below the secure or unsecure options you can locate the base URL and position the preferred domain. This function will permit you to choose among WWW and non-WWW versions. At this moment you can set the favored thing without altering the redirect from WWW to non-WWW or either way. After which you can produce a 310 redirect through .htaccess with mode_rewrite. This action will also check Magneto from accumulating the SID query to your URLs. Always confirm that the Base URL matches the redirect. Put in the index.php to the root when you are editing the .htaccess file. Just about line 119 use the following code:

Use the following code if your Magento install is not found in the root, conversely in the sub-directory www.mydomain.com/magento/:

Header Settings: The default title of the Magento install is “Magento Commerce” always. Are you looking for augmenting quality traffic to your Magento platform? Then you need to remember the following steps:

  • It is advisable to keep your keywords next to your page title as Search engines lay emphasis on the early words or the words that are nearer to the page title. This will increase the chances of more likely clicks by people who search for result pages.
  • Initially you should eliminate the default title “Magento Commerce”. To get rid of the default title, go to Configuration => Design => HTML Head.
  • Choose a comprehensive & pertinent title for your site. This particular title will be employed by many non-content pages without any custom title. Few such pages are “Contact Us” page, “Popular Search Terms” and more.
  • You also have an option of using “Title Suffix” to include the name of your store to all the page titles, products and categories. It is advisable to keep the Prefix empty for the above stated reasons.
  • Following which you should keep “Default Description” and “Default Keywords” empty. For all applications ensure that “INDEX, FOLLOW” is set up and for other non-production environment set “Default Robots” to “NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW” to avoid indexing of the site.
  • This is the right time to add new canonical tag for optimizing your web-store pages. For developing your Magento SEO, you can fix the Canonical URL’s for Magento Module to adjoin them to your head.
  • It is also desirable to take away the empty Meta’s from your code by installing Yoast MetaRobots Module. At times Magento converts non-set Meta robots into a Meta tag in the following style: . This might end up in certain strange behavior in the search engines.

CMS Pages: CMS (Content Management System) is an exceptional management tool for your business and it lets you to make content alterations. CMS pages are fixed pages such as About Us page, Home Page and Customer Service pages that give information about your web store and these pages are generally managed through the backend panel. These pages are complete pages that are accessible through their own URL address.

Category optimization: Magento grants you the power to add the name of categories to path for product URL’s. As Magento do not support this functionality well, it forms duplicate content issues and it is a good thought to disable this function. For implementing this, go to System => Configuration => Catalog => Search Engine Optimisation and set up “Use categories path for product URL’s to “no”.

This is the right time to set the particulars for each category. Go to Catalog => Manage Categories. The most imperative fields are:

Meta Description: Place an eye-catching description here. Remember that your visitors will see the explanation in the result listings of the search engines.

Page Title: It is good to keep this empty for using the category name including parents’ categories. At the time of customizing it, the title will look exactly like your input, without the presence of the parent category..

URL Key: Strive to keep a small but keyword rich URL. It is good to eliminate stop words like “the”, “and”, “for” etc. Make a note that you can put this only for all store views and for a multi-language store, you are required to keep it language independent.

For each and every store view you can denote the Name, Page Title, Description, and Meta data. This is a special feature for multi-language stores.

Products optimisation: Products pages optimization is similar to Categories. You can put the Meta Information for each “Store View” and the “Default Values”. Also notice that the “Meta Title”, will overwrite the whole page title including categories except title prefix/suffix, and not only the name of the product. Generally, the images will be renamed to the product title, alt tags and titles by default. You can change the alt tags and titles for each and every product image. This can be done for every specific store view also.

Magento Template Optimisation:

Optimized Blank Template: The default Magento coats like “Modern Theme”,”Default Theme”, and “Blue Skin” do not perform well in the use of headings. From the view of SEO there is a lot of scope for development. A Blank Magento SEO Theme, depending on the core Magento Blank Theme is developed for your ease.

Headings: The default logo is an h1, and this should only appear on the front page, apart from this page, all other pages should be no more than an h3. The significant factor is to obtain the title of the content in an h1 tag. For example a category page should have the category name and for a product page it should have the product name. Next to this you should clean up the excess usage of headings.

It is recommended to eliminate the usage of header in the side columns. You can also make the text pertinent to the store (ie. include keywords). There is no basis for adding “static” and keyword less titles with an h4. For example it is good to alter all the h4 tags in div to strong tags. This is the best time for content optimization. Place the category name in an h1 and the product names in an h3 at the category pages and set the product name in an h1 on the On product pages.

Clean up your code: In general the CSS and JavaScript pages doesn’t contribute anything beneficial to Magento SEO for which the JavaScript and CSS pages located in your template files are to be shifted to external CSS files and JavaScript. This aids in keeping your templates clean and it ensures that your users can acquire those files on the first load and ease the search engines from downloading the same every time.

Aim for speed: Speed is the most noteworthy factor that directly contributes to visitor’s traffic. The two notable things that can be done to enhance your Magento install’s speed are:

Facilitate caching. Go to System=> Cache Management and enable the caching features.

You can significantly increase Magento’s speed by using PHPopcode cache and MySQL.

These Magento Search Engine Optimization tips will help in optimizing your Magento website.

About the author
Laurence

I am a 26 year old WordPress Web Designer and SEO Consultant based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK. I have designed and maintained sites with over 20,000 pages on large corporate websites, smaller small business sites, and tiny personal websies and blogs. I provide freelance WordPress web design services in my evenings and weekends and also work full time at Toast Design in Banbury. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and on Google+.