It’s very important for any online shop to reach a high level of visibility, as this will increase its chances of making sales. Techniques to optimise a website for search engines are a fundamental exercise in order to ensure that an e-commerce shop appears in the top rankings of Google results pages, therefore resulting in a greater number of users viewing its product pages.
If you choose an e-commerce platform like Magento, SEO should be your fundamental tool to optimise the shop and successfully offer the best user experience in order to achieve greater web rankings and increase conversions.
What is Magento?
Magento is an electronic sales platform that offers all the necessary elements to build a professional e-commerce site, such a product pages, a category system, online payment gateways, a shopping-basket system, a user-comment and rating system, stock management and a host of other features inherent to this type of business.
Magneto's design and development has taken into account the key factors that affect SEO positioning, such as load speed, usability or responsive design to adapt to mobile devices. For this reason, Magento is said to be SEO friendly, allowing users to optimise their shop for search engines.
Magento shops are based on three key factors: their flexibility and scalability to adapt and grow with any e-commerce project, their ability to be updated to stay current at all times, and their high level of security – a fundamental aspect for this type of business with users making online payments.
How to optimise a Magento online shop
Optimising a Magento shop for Google is a priority process for any online shop, as there’s no point creating the best shop in the world, with the best products and the best features, if users don’t visit.
Next, we’ll offer a series of recommendations to optimise an online shop built on Magento and ensure the best results.
Indexing new products faster
When new products are added to a Magento shop, Google can take a while to detect, review and add them to its index. You can accelerate this process on Magento by using a sitemap with the shop’s URLs. This type of file can be uploaded through Google Search Console to let Google know about new content so it can locate it faster.
On Magento, it’s very easy to generate a sitemap file in XML format to upload to Google Search Console. The process can be automatically completed by selecting the XML Sitemap option from the Magento control panel (Shops/Settings/General).
You can get to know a Magento shop much better by using Google Search Console together with Google Analytics. This way, you can apply different SEO actions and techniques to optimise its performance.
Shortening product URLs
In your Magento settings, you can prevent the URLs of new products from including categories and subcategories, thereby creating shorter URLs that encourage better web positioning.
Using headings correctly
In Magento 2, you can optimise meta keyword – although Google has confirmed that it does not take these into consideration for web positioning, making the inclusion of keywords inefficient. However, using these keywords appropriately in the headings of your e-commerce site’s content (H1, H2 and H3) can have a great effect when it comes to improving web positioning, as these are elements that help to structure content and ensure that both users and Google spiders understand the subject matter and content.
Meta descriptions and meta titles are different because these are hugely valuable for Magento, as their content will be that shown by Google on its search-engine results pages when it recommends the shop. Optimising both the title and description is important in order to attract the attention of users and increase click rates.
In a Magento shop, it’s crucial that you add appropriate meta tags to category pages and product pages, adapting these to your SEO strategy. To edit these, all you need to do is head to Catalogues/Categories and enter the optimised title and description under the Search Engine Optimisation option.
Optimising internal and external links
A key aspect of SEO is the management of the site’s links, both internally and externally. A site’s links have a direct impact on its usability, offering a greater user experience. What’s more, they’re vital in order to achieve greater domain authority and obtain better rankings on Google SERPs.
The robots.txt file should also be configured correctly so that Google can index the pages of most interest to the e-commerce site. On Magento, this file is automatically generated when you create your virtual shop, and so you’ll need to edit and properly configure it (in the Magento control panel, select the Content/Design/Configuration/Edit/Search Engine Robots option).
With Magento, you can group and compress these types of files to reduce their size and accelerate the site’s speed. To do so, you’ll need to head to the Magento control panel and select the Developer options (Shops/Settings/Configuration/Advanced).
Avoiding duplicated content
Google may think that the Magento shop contains duplicated content and penalise its web positioning as a result. In Magento, you’ll need to use ‘canonical tags’ correctly to ensure that Google thinks the site is a master copy of another and therefore avoid penalisation in its web positioning (by adding the code rel="canonical").
To avoid many of the problems of duplicated content in a Magento shop, we recommend activating the Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Categories and Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Items options (in Shops/Configuration/Catalogue/Search Engine Optimisation).
Adding alt text to images
An image’s alt text lets Google know what the image is about and is key to ensuring better positioning for images on Google. For a Magento shop, it’s important to position your images in order to attract users who search for products by images or photos.
Not removing out-of-stock products
When a product on a Magento shop runs out, and even if it won’t be sold again, we don’t recommend deleting the page, as you can take advantage of its web positioning to redirect users to other related and recommended products.
Deleting a product page can also cause other problems, such as generating error messages for users.
By opting for Magento to create your e-commerce shop, you’ll enjoy a powerful and flexible tool that will allow you to create any type of online business. Magento is designed to promote the web positioning of shops created on the platform, and as such it includes options in its control panel that help to optimise various key SEO factors – key to good positioning.