However, if you have a large product catalog, you might want to opt for a flat URL structure where product page URLs look like this: website.com/product-name/
You can do this by going to Stores > Configuration > Catalog > Search Engine Optimization and setting Use Categories Path for Product URLs to No and Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Categories to Yes.
This will help prevent index bloat by making sure each product page can only be accessed through a single URL.
While you’re still in the Search Engine Optimization section of your Magento backend, ensure you’re using the optimal URL structure by using the following settings:
Popular Search Terms: Enable
Product URL Suffix: Remove the .html
Category URL Suffix: Remove the .html
Create Permanent Redirect for URLs if URL Key Changed: Yes
Page Title Separator: -
Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Products: Yes
You’ll also want to enable URL rewrites by going to Stores > Configuration > General > Web, clicking the Search Engine Optimization tab, and then setting Use Web Server Rewrites to Yes.
This will remove the “index.php” part from your URLs, creating cleaner, more readable URLs. It will make it easier for you to potentially migrate your website to a different ecommerce platform if you choose to do so later, too. You’ll also want to modify the Auto-redirect to Base URL option to Yes to make sure you’re correctly redirecting visitors without losing any link juice.
Finally, make sure to remove the default store code from your URLs by going to Admin > Stores > Configuration > General > Web > URL options > Add Store Code to URLs and then selecting No.
2. Optimize Meta Tags
Meta tags, such as title and meta description tags, have an impact on both your search engine rankings and the click-through rate you’re going to get on search engine results pages (SERPs). Therefore, it’s crucial you optimize meta tags to ensure you have the best chance of ranking high in search engine results.
When it comes to creating SEO-friendly page titles, you should strive to keep them between 50 to 60 characters in length while making sure they include the main keyword you’re targeting with a particular page. As for meta descriptions, these should be between 50 to 160 characters in length, include your main keyword and, if possible, a secondary keyword you’d like to target as well.
It’s important to note that if you include one or more secondary keywords, you should do so in a way that makes the meta description sound like something a person would actually write or say. It shouldn’t seem forced — i.e. stuffed with keywords you'd like to rank for — or unnatural.
3. Create Unique Product Descriptions
A lot of ecommerce businesses sell products they don’t manufacture themselves. Since these products are purchased from wholesalers and manufacturers, they often come with the product descriptions created by the manufacturer. Most businesses don’t bother creating their own product descriptions and stick with the ones already supplied to them.
As a result, product pages contain very little (if any) valuable content that can’t be found anywhere else. Since they don’t offer anything of significant value to users, Google usually doesn’t rank these websites very well.
If you want your product pages to start ranking high in SERPs, you need to create unique product descriptions.
4. Improve Your Internal Linking Structure
Internal links point to other pages on your website. Having a good internal linking structure ensures that search engines will have an easier time crawling your website and understanding its hierarchical structure. It also improves the overall user experience by simplifying navigation.
You can set up internal links in Magento by going to Catalog > Products, selecting a product and then going to Related Products, Up-Sells and Cross-Sells > Related Products > Add related products.
Schema markup is a type of microdata that makes it easier for search engines to organize information. By implementing it on your website, you’ll be able to display more information about your products in the SERPs, including availability, pricing, reviews and images.
Doing this will help you increase your website’s visibility in search engine results and improve your SERP click-through rates. You can implement schema markup by using SEO extensions such as ReloadSEO, SEO Toolkit or SEO Suite Ultimate.
6. Optimize Images
Perhaps surprisingly, Google Images accounts for 26.79% of all online searches. With so many people discovering new websites and products using image search, it’s crucial you optimize your images for search engines to help drive more organic traffic to your website.
Here are some ways you can improve image SEO:
Hosting and displaying a lot of high-quality images on your pages can significantly slow down your website. That’s why it’s important to compress them and improve the browsing experience for visitors.
You can use extensions such as Image Optimizer or services such as Kraken.io to reduce the size of your images without losing image quality.
Use Descriptive File Names
All your website images should have descriptive file names that clearly state what’s in your image. Each image’s file name should also include the main keyword you’re looking to rank for using that particular image.
Apart from enabling you to organize your images more easily, descriptive file names help Google understand your image contents for relevant searches.
Set Alt Tags for All Images
Alt tags contain text that will be displayed to visitors when their browser doesn’t display a particular image for one reason or another. This might happen if users turn off image loading in their browser settings or when they’re using a screen reader.
You should set alt tags for all your images to ensure that both search engines and people will know what your images contain. As with file names, you should strive to include the main keyword in your alt tags.
You can use extensions such as SEO Images Alt Tags to automate the process of adding alt tags to your images.
7. Speed Up Your Website
People expect modern websites to load very quickly. In fact, it’s been shown that 47% of consumers expect a website to load in two seconds or less, while as many as 40% will abandon a website if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
If you’re not getting satisfactory page load speeds with your current web host, you might want to look into different hosting providers that could offer better performance.
A number of web hosts offer Magento hosting packages that are optimized for Magento’s infrastructure and needs. Opting for this type of hosting will almost certainly provide you with better performance compared to a generic hosting package.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN can improve your website’s speed by serving website content from servers that are closest to a visitor’s physical location.
Using a CDN to serve your website content can significantly boost load speeds. There are plenty of free and paid CDN options available.
Utilize Browser Caching
Browser caching enables you to store static website content on the user’s device. By doing this, you eliminate the need for visitors to keep downloading the same files every time they visit one of your pages. Caching helps improve load speeds by reducing the total amount of data visitors need to download when browsing your website.
Magento supports caching out of the box. You can start using it by going to System > Cache Management and enabling every type of cache listed.
If you force visitors’ browsers to make a lot of file requests before they’re able to fully load your website, your website will most likely suffer from poor load speed.
In Magento, go to Stores >> Configuration > Advanced > Developer and make sure your settings are as follows:
Merge CSS Files: Yes
Minify CSS Files: Yes
8. Use Magento SEO Extensions
There are a number of high-quality Magento extensions you can use to improve your website’s SEO:
ReloadSEO is a popular Magento extension. It allows you to see the keywords you’re ranking for, track their SERP positions and discover new keywords you should be targeting. It can also check your website for a number of SEO issues, including broken links, duplicate pages and missing metadata. You can use ReloadSEO to analyze your backlink profile and discover new link opportunities, too.
ReloadSEO features a helpful SEO dashboard that provides you with a quick overview of all your most important SEO KPIs.
ReloadSEO’s pricing starts at $59/month. There’s also a free 14-day trial you can use to test out the app.
SEO Toolkit is a Magento extension designed to help you improve your website’s visibility in search engine results. You can use it to create a user-friendly sitemap, eliminate duplicate content, implement rich snippets, detect broken links and create meta tag templates.
SEO Toolkit also enables you to improve your URL structure by allowing you to customize breadcrumbs based on category or URL, as well as set URL length. The app can generate internal links automatically, helping you spread link juice more easily across your website.
SEO Toolkit’s pricing starts at $249 for the Community plan. You can also purchase priority support service for $99.
SEO Suite Ultimate
SEO Suite Ultimate is another highly popular SEO extension for Magento. It can help you fix duplicate content issues, build internal links, and create SEO templates for product and category pages. You can use the app to detect and fix broken link issues, as well as implement advanced breadcrumbs. It also supports rich snippets, allowing you to display product price, reviews and availability in search engine results.
SEO Suite Ultimate’s pricing starts at $299 for the Community Edition.
While Magento is fairly SEO-friendly out of the box, there are a number of things you can do to further improve your search engine visibility and increase your chances of ranking.
Go ahead and take advantage of these tips to start boosting your search engine rankings.
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Boris Mustapic is a writer and content marketing specialist with a decade of experience in the digital marketing industry. Having built his own successful ecommerce business, he likes to share his knowledge with ecommerce enthusiasts. Apart from writing about marketing and ecommerce, Boris also enjoys a good book and a glass of red wine.