Magento SEO: Optimization, Tips, And Best Practices

Aug 29, 2023Ecommerce, SEO

Magento – also known as Adobe Commerce – is a “flexible and scalable commerce platform that lets you create uniquely personalized B2B and B2C experiences, no matter how many brands you have.” Magento is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms we encounter every day. This article explores the crucial strategies, techniques, and insights that can elevate your Magento-based online store’s visibility, ranking, and overall performance in search engine results. From technical optimizations to content strategies, join us on a journey to unravel the key ingredients for maximizing your Magento store’s SEO potential.

Magento SEO - Tips and Tricks guide

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Crawling & Indexing for Magento

Self-referencing Canonicals

A self-referencing canonical is used to show a particular page is the main source of information. This is typically used as a form of validation for bots to know that a page is accurate and should be crawled and indexed. To learn more about canonical tags, you can check out this MOZ resource.

Magento doesn’t add self-referencing canonicals by default.

To turn on canonicals, follow these steps:

  1. Stores > Configuration
  2. Catalog > Catalog
  3. Select the correct store view at the top of the page.
  4. Scroll down to search engine optimization.
  5. Find the fields labeled Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Categories and Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Products. Change selection to Yes.

Internal Search Result Pages

Internal search results pages are indexable by default. This means that low value pages can be crawled and indexed. To prevent this from happening, you can disallow internal search result pages from being crawled in the Robots.txt file. See more info in the Robots.txt section.

Robots.txt

The robots.txt file is a simple text file on a website that instructs search engine bots which pages or sections of the site should not be crawled or indexed. It helps control what content search engines can access and display in search results. To understand more about how robots.txt works and how to create one, you can refer to this Google resource.

Magento stores generally have multiple URLs that you don’t want search engines to crawl and index.

The following are pages that you may want to consider disallowing in the Robots.txt file:

  1. Login pages
  2. Internal search result pages
  3. SID and PHPSESSID parameter URLs
  4. Filtered URLs that include things like price and color

An example Robots.txt file might look something like this:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /customer/account/login/
Disallow: /catalogsearch/
Disallow: /search/
Disallow: /*?SID=
Disallow: /*?PHPSESSID=
Disallow: /*?price=
Disallow: /*&?price=
Disallow: /*?color=
Disallow: /*&?color=

To edit the robots.txt file, follow these steps:

  1. Content > Configuration
  2. Under Design Configuration, find the Main Website Store and click Edit.
  3. Scroll down to Search Engine Robots.
  4. Find the Edit custom instruction of robots.txt File field.
  5. Enter your edits.
  6. Save

XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the important pages of a website to help search engines understand its structure and content. It provides a roadmap for search engine crawlers to navigate and index the site more effectively. To learn more about XML sitemaps and how to create one, you can visit this Google resource.

Magento has XML sitemap functionality built-in. By default, categories, products and CMS pages should be configured correctly.

To view XML sitemap settings, follow these steps:

  1. Stores > Configuration
  2. Catalog > XML Sitemap
  3. Select the correct store view at the top of the page.

You will want to make sure that the XML sitemap generation settings are configured to regenerate automatically.

To update the XML sitemap generation settings, follow the steps above. Scroll down to Generation Settings. Make sure that this feature is enabled. Then set the Frequency field to Daily (or however often changes are being made to the site). It’s also best to set the start time when the site is not busy, like 3 am for example, because sitemap generation can temporarily slow down site speed.

URL Structure in Magento

.html URLs

Magento adds .html to the end of all URLs by default. You can remove this by updating the settings. Only do this if this is a new site that hasn’t been published yet. Otherwise, redirects will be necessary for all URLs.

To remove .html, follow these steps:

  1. Stores > Configuration
  2. Catalog > Catalog
  3. Select the correct store view at the top of the page that you want to adjust the settings for.
  4. Scroll down to the Search Engine Optimization section.
  5. Remove .html from the Product URL Suffix and Category URL suffix. You can replace it with / if the preferred URL structure includes a trailing slash at the end of URLs.
  6. When done, Save Config
  7. You may be prompted at the top of the page with a warning to refresh the cache. Click the link in the message to refresh the invalid cache.

Category URLs

Magento includes the category path in all category and product pages by default. You can update the settings to either include or exclude the category path. Remember if you update this on an existing site, redirects will need to be implemented.

Duplicate Content with Category URLs

If you include categories in product URLs, you are likely to experience duplicate content because multiple paths can lead to the same products.

For example, if a t-shirt called Cool T-shirt was listed under a category called T-Shirts and a category called Basics, it could be found at website.com/t-shirts/cool-t-shirt and website.com/basics/cool-t-shirt. This is duplicate content because the same product lives at two different URLs.
To prevent search engines from indexing duplicate products, you can choose to exclude the category path from the URL. If we use our t-shirt example, the t-shirt could still be listed under both categories, but the product URL would be website.com/cool-t-shirt.

To remove the category path from product URLs, follow these steps:

  1. Stores > Configuration
  2. Catalog > Catalog
  3. Select the correct store view at the top of the page that you want to adjust the settings for.
  4. Scroll down to the Search Engine Optimization section.
  5. Find the field that is labeled Use Categories Path for Product URLs to set your preference.

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Metadata in Magento 

Metadata is description information on a webpage that provides context and details about a page. It helps categorize, organize, and understand the content, making it easier for search engines and users to interpret and locate. Metadata can include attributes like title, description, author, and more.

You can update metadata individually for each product on a Magento site.

To update metadata, follow these steps:

  1. Catalog > Products
  2. Select the product you want to update.
  3. Scroll down to Search Engine Optimization
  4. Update the Meta Title and Meta Description
  5. Save

You can also follow the same steps to update Category metadata.

If you are dealing with large ecommerce sites and don’t want to manually set metadata for every product, you can use Product Fields Auto-Generation. This allows you to create a metadata template for product pages and lets you add custom metadata in bulk.

To use Product Fields Auto-Generation, follow these steps:

  1. Stores > Configuration
  2. Catalog > Catalog
  3. Find the Product Fields Auto-Generation section.
  4. Set how to form product meta tags.
    a. You can choose from 3 placeholders – {{name}}, {{description}}, or {{sku}}.

There are a few limitations to note with setting metadata this way:

  • The template is only applied to new products.
  • It only supports 3 placeholders – name, description, and SKU.
  • The metadata gets optimized globally and can’t be customized by category, store views, etc.

There are extensions available for Magento that make optimizing metadata easier. Mageworx is an example of one of them that our clients have used.

Headings

Product-category, product, and page names will be used as H1 headings by default. Don’t use H1s in the body content because that will create multiple H1s on the page.

HTTPS

Magento supports HTTPS.

To enable HTTPS, follow these steps:

  1. Stores > Configuration
  2. General > Web
  3. Find the Base URLs (Secure) section
  4. Change the values of the Secure Base URL and Secure Base Link URL to start with https
  5. Change the value of the Use Secure URLs on Storefront, USe Secure URLs in Admin, Enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) and Upgrade Insecure Requests to Yes.

As the digital marketplace continues to expand, mastering the art of Magento SEO becomes paramount for online store owners. By implementing the optimization techniques, best practices, and tips explored in this article, you’re poised to unlock the true potential of your Magento-based e-commerce venture. From technical fine-tuning to content strategy refinement, every step you take towards enhancing your store’s SEO presence can translate into increased visibility, higher organic traffic, and ultimately, better business outcomes. Embrace these insights to not only elevate your store’s search engine rankings but also to provide your customers with a seamless, engaging, and discoverable shopping experience.

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