Magento is an incredible powerhouse-platform that allows online merchants to soar to new heights. When properly implemented, Magento SEO services have long been regarded as efficient and effective solutions for eCommerce brands around the world.
So, how can you get the most out of Magento’s SEO capabilities? Read on, as we cover the ins and outs of SEO for Magento.
What is Magento?
Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform that’s designed specifically for online merchants looking for a robust yet scalable shopping cart system. The beauty of Magento is it allows shop owners to maintain impressive aesthetic control over the design, functionality and content on their site.
Used by more than a quarter million sites around the world, the Magento platform offers eCommerce brands all the flexibility they could ever need. So if you’re the brand with 10 products, or with 10,000, Magento is the one-stop-shop for a platform that can seamlessly grow with you.
The power of Magento stems from its all-encompassing functionality – with unparalleled Magento search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities, catalog management and marketing tools that make selling a snap.
Why is SEO Important?
Though the world of SEO is ever-changing and evolving, the one thing that stays constant is the power a strong SEO strategy offers. While it’s true that SEO isn’t the only thing that drives traffic to a site – of course, you still need to pay attention to efforts like email marketing, paid ads, lead generation, content production, and social media – you cannot ignore the power of search.
Having a top-notch SEO strategy in place gives you authority in the all-mighty eyes of Google and other powerful search engines. But it also earns you credit with the most important people on the web…your customers.
If a potential customer is looking for a product you carry, and your site is at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), you’ve already won half the battle. That is, you not only have what the user is looking for, but they were able to find you too. On some level, SEO can give you organic results that are more effective than any paid ad. Having a properly optimized site means your chances of being found are staggeringly increased.
Why Use Magento for SEO?
If we’re focusing on SEO, Magento is simply one of the best industry-leading platforms out there that can help. Some even argue that Magento SEO capability is unrivaled. Magento users have the advantage of more control over their online presence. This enhanced control is found both in terms of onpage optimization (creating keyword-rich, optimized content) and in the more technical offpage components that some other platforms abstract away from the user.
Magento SEO optimization lets you to directly manage, control and take advantage of some of the most important aspects of an eCommerce site, including:
- Navigation Links
- Page Titles
- Customizable Heading Tags
- Optimized Product Page URLs
- Duplicate Content Reduction/Elimination
- Integrated Content Pages
- Faster Load Times
We’ve all been on those dreaded eCommerce sites where illogical, broken or ineffective menus, navigation and links leave us frustrated, confused and wondering how a site like this stays in business!
And what happens when a user can’t navigate a site? They leave. Oftentimes, they leave without making a purchase.
Efficient and logical navigation is a must-have when it comes to Magento SEO best practices. The platform makes it simpler than ever to ensure products are accessible through easy-to-use menus and text links to complete the conversion process. After all, your number one goal is to get the customer from the homepage, to complete a transaction, within seconds.
With Magento, you’ll get more visits to your product pages, more sales, and transactions, and, best of all, happier, repeat customers!
For sites that use Magento, SEO page titles are quick and easy to assign, manage and update. Each page on your site should have a unique title that identifies what the page is about. Titles are displayed on the tab at the top of the browser, and they also auto-populate when a user saves or bookmarks a page.
Your page titles are not just helpful for users, either – they also tell search engines what users can expect to see on a page. When properly optimized, page titles can help you earn a prominent search engine ranking. This means when a user looks for a product you sell, there’s a better chance they actually find your site on page one of the SERPs after Googling their needs.
Customizable Heading Tags
Failing to properly use <h1> tags across your site is a huge missed opportunity. For skilled SEO consultants, Magento is a great platform, in part because it allows eCommerce sites to take full advantage of the power of optimized <h1> tags.
Why are <h1> tags so effective? Simple – they:
- often are the most prominent text on a page
- generally have a bigger font
- can utilize the keywords that most users will be interested in and/or are searching for
- are one of SEO aspects that are not just for the search engines
- are also beneficial for the end-users (translation: your customers)
For quite a while now, there’s been a growing importance placed on SEO being more user-focused. Quality over quantity is increasingly valuable. What does Google want? Better, more focused, more authentic content that answers users’ questions. This is what will ultimately get you on page one in the SERPs. Magento’s customized <h1> tags are part of the equation.
Optimized Product Page URLs
Magento SEO consultants agree that optimizing your URLs properly is key to launching and managing a profitable eCommerce store. An effective URL strategy, meaning how you write your URLs, can better-ensure that search engines understand and can crawl the content on the page, ranking you higher and increasing the chances of customers seeing you.
Duplicate Content Reduction/Elimination
Duplicate content is often a huge issue for eCommerce stores. The demand for a multichannel retail experience can result in multiple versions of similar pages (for example, both mobile and desktop versions). Google will often just choose which URL to use and consider the others duplicate content, crawling them less often and potentially decreasing your visibility.
Magento 2 has combated this problem through the use of its canonical URL extension, which basically tells search engines that:
A. You know you have similar content on multiple pages, and
B. You have a “preferred” version you want to be used.
In Magento stores, duplicate content can occur due to any of the following:
- Product filtering
- Product sorting
- Same product in different categories
- Variations of the same product
- Multistore presence for international sites
- Indexing methods
- Trailing slashes
Integrated Content Pages
Backlinking has always been a major factor for a ranking well in the SERPs. Both quantity and quality of backlinks to your site matter and can significantly impact your search result ranking placement. Though your eCommerce store may have a lot of content, unless you carry very well-known brands, the likelihood that your products will gain links from other reputable sources is low.
Faster Load Times
The latest version of Magento has put more importance than ever on site speed. It’s a well-known fact that if a site takes longer than three seconds to load, you might lose anywhere from 40 to 53 percent of potential customers. Magento 2’s core integration has the leading HTTP accelerator technology on the market. Varnish Cache offers full-page caching, which means your pages load wildly fast.
Magento Vs Magento 2: Top SEO Improvements
Magento migration became essentially imperative in the summer of 2020, when Magento 1 reached End of Life. Sites that do not upgrade risk a lack of support and security issues, as the platform will no longer update any features or security.
Need even more incentive to migrate? Check out these significant SEO improvements Magento 2 offers.
Rich Snippets Integration
Magento 2 makes it easy for you to include structured data snippets (also known as “rich snippets”). This code that you can add to your current metadata gives Google and other search engines structured information about the content on a page. Ultimately, rich snippets help search engines understand your site’s content and they can enable special features when showing your store in the search result pages.
Magento 2 offers an extension that allows you to add rich snippets to meta descriptions to offer the most relevant search results, improving your customers’ experiences on your site – all of this is something Google will reward with a higher ranking. And not only can rich snippets offer you higher rankings, they generally result in higher click through rates (CTR), as well.
A sitemap is an XML file that you can (and should!) submit to Google. The file has links to every page you have on your website, and it allows search engines to crawl your site more effectively and efficiently. The Magento 2 XML sitemap extension lets online stores seamlessly and dynamically generate and submit a sitemap for optimal results.
Quickly, Easily Add/Update Product Metadata
Meta tags are the short snippet of information you create to explain the content on your page in search results. Meta is important for both Google and for your customers. First, it lets search engines know how relevant your content is to a user’s search. It also simultaneously allows a user to know, at-a-glance, if what’s on the page is what he or she is looking for. The better optimized your meta, products and pages are, the more likely a match will be made between a user’s search query and your site. Magento 2 makes it simple to create and update unique, custom meta descriptions for every product and page on your site.
Quickly Edit Robots.txt
The robots.txt file informs search engine robots which pages on your site they should and should not crawl. Magento 2 has simplified the process so you can quickly modify the robots.txt file as you need to.
Google Tag Manager & Google AdWords Integration
While in the past, Magento 1 store owners needed to ask a developer to add tags to their order confirmation page, Magento 2 now offers Google AdWords conversion tracking pre-integrated. Google Tag Manager is also available for Magento 2 Enterprise Edition customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Magento a Good eCommerce Platform?
Magento 2 is widely regarded as one of the best eCommerce platforms on the market. Its secure, flexible, powerful capabilities give online merchants what they need to be both competitive and successful. Magento offers the customization, scalability and SEO potential to build and grow a brand.
What is the Difference Between Magento 1 and Magento 2?
Magento SEO consultants agree that some of the most significant differences between Magento 1 and Magento 2 are the SEO-friendliness and increased site speed capabilities Magento 2 offers.
Why Should I Upgrade to Magento 2?
Of equal importance to the improved speed and powerful SEO Magento 2 offers, it also provides frequently updated patches to keep your store secure. Post End of Life, Magento 1 users will no longer have any of the support they once had.
Other Magento 2 improvements include enhanced checkout, a simplified admin navigation, easier product upload capability and much more.
How Long Does it Take to Migrate My eCommerce Website From Magento 1 to Magento 2?
How long it’ll take to move to Magento 2 depends on multiple factors, including complexity and the number of extensions and customizations you have and/or need. The term “Magento migration” is common, but you’re essentially rebuilding the site. It’s estimated it can take anywhere from two to five months to fully complete the migration without data loss.
Will There Be Downtime During a Magento Migration?
No, there will not be significant downtime during a Magento migration. Magento notes that most sites will experience a very short downtime, generally no more than a few minutes, before a store is re-indexed and DNS settings are changed and you can go live again. Note that due to how DNS servers work, there could be a 24 to 48-hour “lag” period before changes are reflected on servers worldwide.
Will My Current Hosting Environment Support Magento 2?
Most often, your current hosting environment will seamlessly support Magento 2. If your server doesn’t have the most recent versions of MySQL and PHP, Magento states that the stack is still compatible.
What Happens to Magento 1 Extensions?
Almost all of the Magento 1 extensions that you might be using right now will be available in Magento 2. In the event you’re using an extension that’s not available, a development team extension specialist can build one from scratch.
Can NextLeft Create a Migration Plan to Migrate My eCommerce Site to Magento 2?
We can create, implement and manage a Magento migration that will successfully and seamlessly move your eCommerce site to the latest, most powerful, most robust version Magento has ever offered.
Will I Lose Organic Traffic and Keyword Ranking When I Migrate to Magento 2?
With the right Magento SEO consultants, you can drastically reduce the risk of losing the significant traffic and keyword rankings you’ve worked so hard to earn. Because of this potential, SEO consultants who are skilled and knowledgeable in Magento migration are recommended.
Contact NextLeft for Magento SEO Consulting Services
Magento – it’s an impressive, impactful and empowering platform for eCommerce sites. If you’re ready to launch your online store using Magento, or if you’re ready to migrate to Magento 2, find out how NextLeft’s Magento SEO experts can help you plan, execute and manage a site that will take your brand to the next level.
Contact NextLeft today about migrating your eCommerce website to Magento 2.