Basic SEO Tips for Your Magento 2 eCommerce StorefrontMarch 17, 2019
Magento 2 has many impressive features, however, it has made the task of website optimisation for search engines a little more challenging. If you are a Magento 2 storeowner, you must be more careful while doing your SEO. Developers working at a renowned Magento SEO agency in London share some easy but effective tips to help you get the basic SEO right for your Magento 2 webstore.
Read on to find out more.
Basic SEO tips for Magento 2 eCommerce websites
Site speed: As an e-Commerce webstore owner, you should concentrate on improving the site speed. Magento 2 offers faster loading time than its predecessor Magento 1. You can still improve it to provide your visitors with a better user experience.
By default, Magento 2 supports features like merging JS and CSS files, enabling flat category, using cache management, image optimisation, content delivery network, image optimisation and others. You can easily work on these features from the backend.
Mobile friendliness: The majority of online shoppers shop from their smartphones. Thus, having a mobile-friendly e-Commerce store will significantly boost your revenue. Moreover, Google assigns utmost priority to website responsiveness as its SERP ranking factor.
By default, Magento 2 offers extensive support to responsive websites so that they can be accessed from a variety of devices.
In order to make your Magento 2 webstore mobile-friendly, follow Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) very closely.
Google AMP: Log into Google and just search anything. The SERP that is generated will show the AMP sites with a tiny lightening symbol. Mostly, AMP sites are displayed on the first page of the Google SERP. An accelerated mobile page is 4 times faster than regular mobile pages.
By default, Magento 2 doesn’t support the creation of AMP version of your webpages.
As far as e-Commerce websites are concerned, site architecture is extremely important. It deals with how your webpages are arranged and organised.
Magento 2 websites must have simple and effective site architecture. The deeper and more complex your site architecture is, the weaker your page authority becomes. We advise that you pay maximum attention to your homepage because the page rank of your products largely depend on it. Place your product pages at a distance fewer than 3 clicks away from your home page. This helps crawlers index your site faster.
Navigation: One of the most crucial elements in the Magento 2 SEO analysis is site navigation. The easier it is for the users to browse your site, the better. Don’t forget that you also have to consider the Googlebot. It should not waste much of your crawl bandwidth unnecessarily while crawling in and out of the navigational filters that you have placed on your site.
To enhance the SEO-friendliness to your navigation for Magento 2 websites, start using AJAX. Use an extension to facilitate this as Magento 2 doesn’t support AJAX by default.
URL structure: You should make your URLs relevant to the content of your pages. Follow the URL structures given below to facilitate SEO for your e-Commerce websites:
- URL structure for Category Pages: website.com/category/
- URL structure for Sub-Category Pages: website.com/category/sub-category
- URL structure for Product Pages: website.com/category-sub-category/product-name/
Smart usage of free tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console: Set up Google Webmaster Tool (or Google Search Console) and Google Analytics to start SEO for any Magento 2 webstore. GSC allows you to monitor your e-Commerce store’s presence in the search results. On the other hand, analytics will track any data that comes from your website traffic.
WWW or no-WWW: If you’re using both WWW.domain.com and domain.com, Google will consider the WWW version as a sub domain, however, it is likely to get confused in displaying which of the two domains is to be ranked and displayed.
Magento 2 allows you the flexibility to select which of the domains is to be displayed and ranked in the SERP through the Google Search Console. At the same time, you also need to make sure that you redirect users to the main domain.
HTTPS or HTTP: Obviously the HTTPS version is more secured than HTTP and Google assigns unparalleled priority to the aspect of website security. In other words, the search engine prefers the https version over http when it comes to website ranking.
If you’re already using the HTTP version and planning to migrate to HTTPS, make sure to track your migration in the Google Webmaster Tool and Analytics.
Robots txt file and Magento 2: The robots.txt file is another crucial element in Magento 2 SEO checklist which is placed in your Magento 2 installation root. The file is read by the search engine crawlers. It instructs them how you want your website to be crawled. Here are some typical instructions that you should follow:
- INDEX, FOLLOW – This instructs the crawlers to index the site and check back in the future for any changes.
- NOINDEX, FOLLOW – Instruction for crawlers to avoid indexing the site at present, but they can check back later.
- INDEX, NOFOLLOW – Crawlers will index the website once and not come back to index any new changes.
- NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW – Crawlers are instructed to avoid indexing the site as a whole.
Magento 2 allows Site Admins to edit custom instructions in the robots.txt file from backend.
Magento 2 XML Sitemap: The XML Sitemap is basically a sitemap, which shows the paths to the pages in your site to the crawlers. Magento 2 websites need to submit their XML Sitemaps to the Google Search Console. Once the submission is done, the Googlebot will crawl the links provided in it and index the site.
Generate a basic XML Sitemap: Stores => Configuration => Catalog => XML Sitemap
HTML Sitemap in Magento 2: The HTML sitemap is another crucial element in Magento 2. Just like the XML sitemap, this one too is crawled by search engine bots. If you don’t have an HTML sitemap for your Magento 2 storefront, then your site misses the chance of being indexed for a second time by Google. An HTML sitemap is more helpful for the users to browse your site. Magento 2 doesn’t support auto generation of HTML Sitemaps unlike Magento 1.
Third-party extensions like Magento 2 HTML Sitemap are helpful tools in generating HTML Sitemaps for Magento 2 webstores.
Rich Snippets in Magento 2: The term Rich Snippet describes a type of structured data mark-up. You can add that data mark-up to the Current HTML of your Magento 2 e-Commerce site. It helps search engines understand your site’s content better.
By default, Magento 2 allows only the rating and review of product pages to be visible in the SERP.
Rich Snippets is a great tool to boost CTR by providing extensive product details. It also includes elements like store name, logo, social links, contact address in a separate mark-up to boost your brand’s credibility. You can make use of these helpful features in Magento 2 only through extensions.
Open Graph and Twitter Cards: When a user shares the link to a webpage, the URL appears as text. If your Magento 2 storefront supports tags like Twitter Cards (for Twitter) and Open Graph (for Facebook), a preview of title, description and images will also be displayed along with the link.
As of now, Magento 2 doesn’t support any of these tags by default.
You need to hire a magento web developer to help you implement the tags on your website. Ready to use extensions are also available on the market.
The topics discussed above cover the basic SEO for any Magento 2 website. We have not covered everything in this article. There is a lot more about Magento 2 than you think. We’re yet to cover many relevant topics. Keep coming back because in our next blog post, we’ll discuss “how to do on-page SEO for Magento 2 websites.”