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The Ultimate Magento 2 SEO Handbook: Strategies, Recommendations & Top Practices

Non Agency May 29. 2024
Magento 2 e-commerce store
Are you in the market for some Magento 2 SEO tips? We can't blame you.

Approximately 120,000 live websites use the Magento platform for their business operations. Yet, only a small percentage of website owners know how to make the most out of it.

Running Magento 2 on default settings might seem convenient, but it won't get you far. Instead, you should optimize your Magento website for SEO to make it stand out.

Are you prepared to tap into the potential of your e-commerce platform and see where these proven techniques can take your business?

Key Takeaways



  • Optimize Magento 2 URL structures and metadata for clarity and SEO-friendly keywords.

  • Improve site speed and secure it with HTTPS to boost SEO rankings and user trust.

  • Conduct keyword research focusing on high buyer intent and long-tail keywords for targeted traffic.

  • Develop content that addresses customer pain points, integrates target keywords, and encourages user interaction.

  • Implement robust link-building strategies, securing backlinks from high-authority domains and engaging in guest blogging.


Getting Started With Magento SEO


If you're just getting into Magento SEO, you might be eager to rush things. After all, the sooner you get things going, the sooner you'll see the results, right?

Wrong.

Magento search engine optimization involves more than just tweaking a few settings. You need a comprehensive strategy that encompasses every facet of your business.

Begin with a thorough SEO audit of your current Magento setup.

This detailed evaluation should cover:

  • performing thorough keyword research

  • carefully building your site structure

  • optimizing on-page elements

  • establishing a content plan

  • developing a tailored link-building strategy


Let's take a closer look at the best Magento 2 SEO practices for each step.

Keyword Research and Optimization


Keyword research is the backbone of SEO.

So, if you're doing search engine optimization for your Magento store, it only makes sense to start by addressing this aspect.

You'll need to focus on keywords with high buyer intent to make sure that the traffic driven to your product and category pages is likely to convert.

Here's a brief overview to help you balance between competition, search volume, and buyer's intent:























Dimension Ideal Characteristic Reason
Competition Moderately Low Easier to rank, less crowded
Search Volume High Ensures sufficient user interest
Buyer's Intent High Converts visits into sales

As a rule of thumb, it's best to target long-tail keywords as they are specific and indicate high buyer intent. It makes them more likely to convert even though their search volume might be lower.

It's always better to capture a smaller, more targeted audience that converts than chase high volumes of uninterested traffic.

Technical SEO for Magento 2


A solid technical foundation is essential for search engines to find and understand your content.

Simply put, you cannot expect excellent results if your website has no technical structure to speak of.

The technical foundation of a site is much like the foundation of a building.

Like a solid foundation supports and stabilizes a building, a well-built technical foundation keeps the website running smoothly and efficiently.

On the other hand, if the technical foundation is weak, it can compromise the entire structure.

This part of our Magento 2 SEO Guide is the most important since it deals with platform-specific aspects.

Without further ado, here's what you can do as a Magento store owner to give your site a much-needed boost.

Optimizing URL Structure


You should approach optimizing your Magento 2 URL structure with one goal in mind — to make URLs more search-engine friendly and user-centric.

  • The first element will help search engines find your site and understand its contents.

  • The second element will help you provide a better customer experience.


Don't forget that while you dabble in technical work, it's all done in an effort to make the user feel comfortable visiting your site.

Because of that, when creating your URLs, focus on clarity and simplicity.

Here are some key guidelines to follow:

  1. Make them descriptive and easy to read: A URL should give a clear idea of what the webpage is about.

  2. Keep them brief: Shorter URLs are easier to remember and share.

  3. Ensure consistency: Use a uniform structure in all your URLs to help users navigate your site more easily.

  4. Use lowercase letters: Use lowercase letters to avoid confusion, as URLs are case-sensitive.


In your SEO checklist, include a review of meta information for keyword optimization. You can also analyze your competitors' meta tags to understand better what might work for you.

Your URLs should be, first and foremost, easily readable. Remember, user experience is a critical factor in SEO optimization.

URL Rewrite and Redirect


When updating URLs to make them more keyword-rich, the old URLs often lead to a "404 error" page. It is important to set up redirects to avoid this issue.

Here's how to configure your system to handle these changes:

  1. Navigate to "Store."

  2. Go to "Configuration."

  3. Click on the "Catalog" tab.

  4. Select "Search Engine Optimization."


In the section labeled "Create Permanent Redirect for URLs if URL Key Changed," you should select "Yes." This action will enable automatic redirection when you replace an old URL with a new one.

Enhancing Meta Information


Improving your Magento 2 store's meta information is a straightforward way to enhance its visibility and ranking on search engines.

You have two options here.

  1. First, you can choose a manual method, which involves handling each product individually.

  2. Alternatively, you can opt for an automatic approach designed for large-scale operations.


Each method has its own advantages and drawbacks. The choice largely depends on the specific needs and scale of your business.

Meta Tags for Categories


Magento allows you to customize how each category appears in search engines. Here's a simple breakdown of how you can do these edits:

  • Global Settings: Start by setting up general defaults for your online store.

    • Go to "Stores"

    • Select "Configuration"

    • Choose "General"

    • Navigate to "Design"

    • Click on "HTML Head"




These settings apply universally across your website but can be overridden for individual categories.

  • Category-Specific Settings: To tailor the search engine optimization (SEO) settings for a particular category:

    • Click on "Products"

    • Go to "Categories"

    • Choose "Search Engine Optimization"




Here, you can adjust meta descriptions and other metadata for each category without altering the global settings.

Meta Tags for Home Page


Magento 2, like its predecessor Magento 1, initially sets the default title of the main page to "Home Page."

It's a good practice to customize this title because it impacts how users and search engines view your site.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how to change the page title in Magento 2:

  1. Navigate to Content > Pages.

  2. Open the Home Page for editing.

  3. Enter your desired custom title in the "Page Title" field.

  4. Save your changes by clicking the save option.


Streamlining Site Indexing


You can guarantee your Magento 2 store is easily discoverable by streamlining the indexing process through technical SEO adjustments.

Implementing Magento 2 SEO extensions is an excellent starting point. You can choose from many options to bolster your Magento 2 search engine optimization efforts.

However, you shouldn't rely on extensions to do the heavy lifting. In fact, the default Magento 2 options provide more SEO features than you might think.

Here are a few effective SEO strategies you can use to give your site a much-needed boost.

Setting Up Canonical Tags


A canonical tag, or "canonical URL," is an important tool for website management. It tells search engines which URL is the main one you prefer to be shown in search results.

In other words, setting up a canonical tag prevent problems with duplicate content appearing in searches.

When a canonical tag isn't utilized, search engines like Google might display any page from your website, possibly even those you prefer not to show.

Plus, if a search engine indexes multiple versions of the same content, it will be a waste of your crawl budget, which is a limited resource.

You can set up canonical tags for categories in your store in Stores > Configuration > Catalog > Search Engine Optimization.

Configuring Your XML Sitemap


You'll be glad to hear that Magento 2 offers a variety of settings for creating XML sitemaps. They are accessible through a specific path in the admin panel.

You can access these settings by following these steps:

  1. Start on the main dashboard of Magento 2.

  2. Click on "Stores" from the sidebar menu.

  3. Go to "Configuration" under the Stores tab.

  4. Select "Catalog" from the options available.

  5. Finally, click on "XML Sitemap."


This section allows you to adjust different aspects of your sitemap generation.

  • You can automatically include all images in the sitemap.

  • You can submit the XML sitemap URL directly through robots.txt.

  • You can control the number of pages per file and set maximum file sizes.


However, some limitations remain.

One notable issue is the inability to select specific product types for inclusion in the XML sitemap.

Another drawback is related to content types. While adding images has been streamlined, other types of files, like PDFs and Microsoft Word documents, still require manual addition.

Finally, no feature allows the exclusion or inclusion of specific pages on demand. This lack of flexibility is a significant inconvenience.

Setting Robots.txt


One of the best ways to help search engine crawlers find your site and understand its structure is to edit the robots.txt file.

Luckily, Magento 2 gives you an option to edit the robots.txt file directly from its admin panel.

Here's how you can generate and edit the robots.txt file in Magento 2:

  1. Navigate to the admin panel.

  2. Click on "Content," then "Design," and select "Configuration."

  3. Look for the "Global" line and click on the "Edit" link next to it.

  4. Open the "Search Engine Robots" tab.

  5. Here, you can add or modify custom instructions for your robots.txt file.


After making your changes, click "Save Configuration" to apply the adjustments.

Improving Site Speed


Another way to enhance your Magento 2 site's performance is to reduce load times, which directly influences both user experience and SEO rankings.

Here are a few ways you can go about it:

  • Choosing optimized Magento 2 hosting will ensure server configurations are tailored to Magento's requirements, giving your site a notable speed boost.

  • Implementing caching strategies such as Varnish or full-page caching can reduce server response times substantially.

  • Minimizing and bundling JavaScript and CSS files is also a good idea. It will reduce the number of requests that a browser needs to make.


All these methods can make your site load much faster. However, the most popular practice to decrease page load times is optimizing images and using lazy loading.

Let's examine it in more detail below.

Image Optimization


Image optimization is crucial for improving website speed, which in turn can boost your site's rankings.

Faster websites are ranked higher by search engines. However, Magento 2 does not provide built-in tools for image compression.

Instead, you can add alternative text (alt attributes) to product images.

To do this, go to Product, then Edit, followed by Images And Videos, select Image, and finally enter your Alt Text.

Personalizing the alt text for your logo is also a good idea. Instead of the default "Magento Commerce," change it to something that reflects your brand.

You can make this adjustment under Stores, then Configuration, go to General, then Design, and navigate to HTML Head, where you'll find Header.

This small change can make a difference in how your brand is perceived online.

Adding Prefixes and Suffixes for Title Tags


Adding your company or organization's name to all store pages is a good practice. It helps link your company name with your store, reinforcing brand recognition.

To do this in Magento 2, start by accessing the backend.

  1. Navigate through the menu by clicking on "Content," then "Design," and finally "Configuration."

  2. Select the specific website you wish to update.


In the HTML Head section, there is an option to customize the Page Title Prefix and Suffix. Here, you can add your company name.

Adding Rich Snippets for Product Pages


The introduction of Rich Snippets in Magento 2 marked a significant upgrade from Magento 1. Now, thanks to this feature, every product page automatically includes a short description.

Still, this function has one notable limitation — the "Availability" feature. Unlike other automatic attributes, users need to configure availability manually.

To address this, you can add an "Availability" attribute to each product page. This customization ensures your potential customers receive accurate and timely information about product availability.

Securing With HTTPS


While optimizing your site speed is crucial, securing your Magento 2 store with HTTPS is equally important.

Implementing HTTPS is a cornerstone of Magento SEO best practices.

In truth, no website these days should use HTTP. It's just not worth it.

Search engines like Google prioritize secure sites in their rankings, recognizing HTTPS as a factor that improves user trust and site credibility.

To effectively leverage this for your SEO in Magento 2, ensure your SSL certificate is correctly installed and all site content is served over HTTPS. It will prevent mixed content issues and indicate to search engines that your Magento 2 store is trustworthy.

Content Marketing Strategies


No Magento SEO guide is complete without mentioning content.

As you develop your Magento 2 site, you'll also want to dip into content marketing.

Yet, crafting engaging blog posts that resonate with your audience can be challenging.

To overcome this challenge, start by identifying the keywords that your target customers are using and integrate them into your posts. Effective on-page SEO for Magento involves placing your primary keywords in titles, headers, and meta descriptions to enhance visibility.

Visual content can also be highly effective. If used correctly, it increase user engagement, making your content more memorable and shareable. For instance, high-quality visual content can greatly enhance your store's appeal.

Every piece of content should address specific customer pain points, offer solutions, or share insights that add value.

If your content doesn't fulfill any of these roles, you most likely don't need it.

Link Building and Authority


Finally, you need to focus on building a robust link profile.

Link building is essential in off-page SEO and has a substantial impact on your site's ranking and visibility.

While Google might say that links are "not that important," the track record shows that backlinks always were — and still are — incredibly impactful.

By securing high-quality backlinks from relevant, authoritative, and trustworthy domains, you boost your SEO and establish your store as a credible source in your industry.

Consider these strategic approaches:

  1. Get as Many Natural Links as Possible: Aim for high-quality content that organically attracts links. When other sites find your content indispensable and link to your articles, you're on the right track.

  2. Manually Built Links: Engage in guest blogging and influencer collaborations to earn additional backlinks.

  3. Avoid Self-Created Links: Steer clear of black hat SEO tactics that can damage your reputation and search rankings.


Work With Magento Experts to Improve Your SEO


Magento is a powerful e-commerce platform, but optimizing it for search engines can be complex.

Our Magento experts know how to tweak your site to improve visibility and drive more traffic.

By collaborating with knowledgeable SEO professionals who specialize in Magento, you can enhance your site's structure, speed, and content.

Don't miss out on potential customers because your site isn't optimized.

Contact us to ensure your e-commerce store stands out in the digital marketplace!

FAQ


1. What are the best practices for Magento 2 SEO?


Some best practices for Magento 2 SEO include optimizing product pages, creating an SEO checklist, and implementing SEO strategies specific to Magento websites.

2. How to improve SEO for Magento websites?


You can improve SEO for Magento websites by following SEO best practices, conducting SEO efforts consistently, and using SEO plug-ins or extensions to enhance SEO performance.

3. Is Magento good for SEO?


Magento is widely recognized for its built-in SEO features. The platform provides various tools that help enhance your website's visibility and ranking on search engines like Google.

For example, you can manage SEO elements such as meta tags, URLs, and sitemaps. These features make it simpler for search engines to crawl and index the pages of your e-commerce site.

4. Does Magento support plug-ins and extensions?


Yes, it does! Magento supports many plug-ins and extensions that can further boost SEO efforts.

The platform is known for its flexibility and customization options. With these tools, users can implement advanced strategies, including optimizing site speed and enhancing mobile responsiveness — both crucial factors in Google's ranking algorithms.

5. Why is SEO important for my Magento website?


SEO helps increase the visibility of your online store in search engine results. Thus, it is crucial for any Magento website.

When potential customers search for products you sell, a well-optimized site appears higher in the results, helping you draw more visitors. More visitors often mean an increase in sales.

Additionally, good SEO practices improve user experience, making your website easier to navigate. It can lead to more customer satisfaction and potentially higher retention rates.

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