4 SEO best practice and helpful hints from Magento

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is known as the use of on and off page content and copywriting strategies to maximise your online visibility in search engines like Google or Yahoo. These strategies help towards higher search rankings when a prospective customer uses your keywords or search terms; the increased visibility ultimately channels more organic traffic to your site through natural search without the need for additional advertising. Unlike PPC (Pay Per Click adverts); not only are these content marketing strategies for your entire website and overall online presence - they cost you nothing!

For an ecommerce site, product descriptions and on page content will play an integral role to SEO success; using Magento as your ecommerce platform you can not only manage and grow your online store, but the Magento Community Edition includes helpful advice and tips on improving your website's SEO and overall search rankings. We've chosen 4 of the important ones for you;

1) Meta Information

Meta tags are pieces of text that describe a page’s content; a blurb like you would see under a search result in Google. Meta tags are more or less little content descriptions that help tell search engines what your web page is all about. 

Your online store will have a lot of places for you to enter keyworded meta content, which will greatly alter the way search engines rank the site. While setting up your store with the Magento platform, you can enter basic content with the aim to to grow the meta data as you need -  you can ultimately target the buying patterns and preferences of your customers that you see as your store grows. 

meta

Metal titleThe meta title appears in the title bar and tab of your browser, and search results listings. The meta title should be unique to the page, and less than 70 characters in length.

Meta descriptionIdeally, a meta description should be between 150-160 characters in length, although the field will accept up to 255 characters.

meta descriptions

2) Sitemap

The default Magento sitemap has links to every product and category in your store, and can help improve the way your products are indexed by search engines. Like a table of contents, the sitemap also gives visitors a quick overview of the organisation of your catalog. 

The sitemap can be formatted as a tree-like structure, or as a simple list. The number of lines included per page, and the use of indentation is set in your system configuration. In addition to the default sitemap, you may want to look at generating a Google sitemap that can be used for when your site is indexed by Google.

To set up the sitemap:

1. On the admin menu, select System > Configuration. Then in the panel on the left under Catalog, select Catalog.
2. Click to expand the Sitemap section. Then, set the following options according to your preference.

  • Use Tree Like Category Sitemap
  • Minimum Lines per Page

3. Scroll down the page and click to expand the Search Engine Optimisations section. Then, set Auto generated Site Map to "enable". 
4. When complete, click the Save Config button. 

sitemap

3) Catalog URLs

The URLs you assign to your products and  store categories will be a major factor in how well your site ranks in natural search.  There are several types of URL you should consider below;

Dynamic URL 

A dynamic URL is created “on the fly” and might include a query string with variables for the product ID, sort order, and the page where the request was made. When a customer searches for a product in your store, the resulting URL might look something like this:

http://mystore.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=tee+shirt

Static URL

A static URL is a fixed address for a specific page. A static URL can be displayed in a search-engine friendly format, or one that references products and categories by ID to make it easier for your store to manage and search. SEO URLs include words that people might use to look for a product, and are created by enabling Web Server Rewrites.

http://mystore.com/accessories/eyewear.html

http://mystore.com/catalog/product/view/id/409/s/chelsea-tee- 409/category/16/

SEO

4) Managing Search Terms

Magento gives you access to all the different search terms your customers are using to find products in your store. This allows you to meet demands and redirect any queries to products you don't sell. Here are a few ways you can make customer search terms work for you:

Landing Page

The landing page will be the page the visitor gets taken to upon searching for a word, and this can be any page you like - whether that's a content page, category page, product detail page or even a page on a different site.

Synonyms

Try to think of all the different terms visitors to your site will use to describe one item; for example some may search for "sofa" and others "couch".  You can enter all the words you need for searches and direct them all to the same landing page. 

Misspelled words

Along with adding in extra words, perhaps consider that customers may misspell common words or phrases. For example, if you sell wrought iron patio furniture, you know that many people misspell the term as “rod iron,” or even “rot iron.” You can enter each misspelled word as a search term, and make them synonyms for “wrought iron.” Even though the word is misspelled, the search will be directed to the page for “wrought iron.”

To add a new search term:

1. On the admin menu, select Catalog > Search Terms

2. Click the Add New Search Term button. 

3. In the General Information section, in the search query box, type the word or phrase that you want to add as a new search term.

  

We can help your business with ecommerce success with our experts in SEO and digital marketing - get in touch with us today to find if we can help  you. 

 

 

Rosy Barraclough

Rosy Barraclough

Digital Marketing Copywriter at Netmatter, Rosy Barraclough graduated in Illustration from Southampton Solent and has since gone on to work in creative advertising and digital agencies; developing her skills in copywriting and design.

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