Magento 2 is a popular e-commerce platform available for business owners and claims to have over 250,000 merchants. The platform is fully integrated for analytics, advertising, content creation, and commerce, and it offers unprecedented scalability and flexibility. Companies like Ford and Nike use Magento. Out of the box, Magento 2 is known for being fairly SEO-friendly, however, there are a few quick tweaks you can make to improve your Magento 2 SEO even more. Let’s get started!
1. Use Canonical Tags
Magento 2 offers great features to improve the user experience of your website, however, some of these features can lead to duplicate content. If you are using layered navigation, simple and configurable products, or pagination features, you will have duplicate content with unique URLs on your site. Duplicate content can harm your Magento 2 SEO efforts, especially after the Google Panda update. To help ensure that your duplicate content isn’t hurting your rankings, use canonical tags.
Implementing canonical tags will let Google know that duplicate pages are related to the main page you want Google to index. It will tell search engines which page you want to appear on the search engine results page (SERP) and relates value from duplicate pages back to the master page. Keep in mind that if your pages are too different, Google may ignore the tag, but for small differences in product or category pages, canonical tags are definitely recommended. Also, for Magento 2 site optimization, don’t forget to add a canonical tag to your homepage.
2. Create Meta Tags and Descriptions
Out of the box, Magento 2 automatically picks default titles and descriptions for your store. To improve your Magento 2 SEO, you will want to go in and update these titles and descriptions instead of using the default ones. Titles and meta descriptions don’t show up on your actual site but will show up on results pages. They should help inform searchers of the content and purpose of the page, leading them to click on your site if they believe it is relevant to their search. You will want to optimize your titles and descriptions with keywords and unique information.
Keywords won’t directly affect your rankings, but they can help users identify if your site and content are what they are looking for. Don’t overuse keywords, however. The titles and descriptions need to feel natural, informative, and relevant. Keep your titles under 50-60 characters and descriptions under 120-150 characters. If they are too long, search engines will cut off the content, especially on mobile. Since mobile screens are smaller, content must be adjusted to fit on their screens too.
3. Optimize Images
Image optimization is a major aspect of Magento 2 SEO (and just SEO in general). Title and alt tags help inform Google of the purpose and topic of the page because Google can’t read images. In Magento 2, image titles and alt tags are automatically renamed to the product title when uploaded. It is a good idea to go in and rewrite titles and alt attributes to be more specific.
Writing your own titles and alt tags will allow you to add in some keywords and relevant descriptions to help Google better recognize the images’ purpose and rank it in Google Images. Also, users with vision impairments using screen readers use the title and alt tags to understand more about the page since they can’t see the images. Use descriptive and relevant titles and alt tags to help explain the page and product. And, don’t forget to rename your image files too. You don’t want your image file name to be IMG2543. Instead, change the file name to describe the image.
4. Generate XML Sitemaps
Sitemaps are an important way to show users and Google the navigation of your site. With Magento 2, they have greatly improved their XML sitemap generation, which is great for Magento SEO. Specifically, the XML sitemap generator in Magento 2 can directly and automatically send search engines updated sitemaps. You can even customize the priority and frequency for any product, category, or other pages. This is a great addition, so make sure you are adjusting the settings for your preferences and utilizing this feature.
5. Manage URL Structure
When creating URLs for products, Magento 2 will automatically include the category path in the URL. For SEO purposes, URLs should intuitively guide the user. An optimal URL format for SEO purposes would be domain/category/sub-category/product. However, with Magento SEO, including the category path in the URL creates some duplicate content issues. We recommend using top-level URLs and setting the “Use categories path for products URL’s” to “no”.
This Magento 2 SEO tip will help prevent duplicate content for products that are placed in multiple categories. For example, if you have a women’s dress on your site that is on sale, it would be placed in both the sale and women’s dresses categories. If you include category paths, you would then have two unique URLs for the same page. Another option is to add canonical tags, but we find it easier to just exclude the category path in product URLs.
6. Utilize Schema Markup
For your Magento 2 site optimization, we recommend utilizing schema markup. Schema markup is code that is added into the backend of your website. This code will help highlight certain aspects of your site for Google and other search engines. This could be information like your address and phone number, ratings and reviews, category pages, or other information. The schema can then be used by Google to provide this helpful information to users as rich snippets on the results page. Rich snippets can help bring in even more traffic to your site, especially for e-commerce sites because it shows users a more complete look at what it is your store offers.
Magento 2 does not provide a rich snippets feature out of the box, however, there are a few ways to add rich snippets to your store on your own, which will help improve your Magento 2 SEO. First, you can use Schema.org tags on your site and create rich snippets for things such as star rating, price, and availability. Another way to add rich snippets is through an extension. There are many options out there that will help you add rich snippets to your site.
7. Add an SEO extension
Our last Magento 2 SEO tip is to install an SEO extension. There are a ton of extensions for the platform that will help you manage and improve your Magento 2 SEO. ReloadSEO is an extension that will score your pages based on SEO, showing which pages you need to focus more effort on. Advanced SEO by Activo will help you add schema markup and is available for Magento 1 and Magento 2. Magento SEO Suite Pro gives you extended features for sitemaps and helps you create user-friendly URLs. There are many other options available, depending on what you are specifically looking for, that will help you with Magento 2 site optimization.
Magento 2 is a great platform with many unique and exciting features and capabilities. Applying these SEO techniques will help improve your Magento 2 site optimization, expand your reach, and grow your business. If you are thinking about building a store on Magento 2, we can help you! Firetoss is a Magento Solutions Partner and our team of Magento e-commerce experts can help you create a custom online store from the ground up. Contact us today for more information!