Essential SEO Tips to Optimize a New Magento Store after Set-up

Written by Jen on July 26, 2017

Setting up a Magento Website is not enough. You need to optimise it for the search engines as well. 

If you are missing out on the clicks, then you are also missing out on the potential number of sales. But to receive potential visitors who are going to click on your web page, you need to be visible on the top ten list of the Search Engine Results Page.

That’s where the vast pool of your potential customers rests. Check out this old list, it shows the percentage of traffic generated by different page ranks –

Google Result Page Rank Average Traffic Share
1 32.5%
2 17.6%
3 11.4%
4 8.1%
5 6.1%
6 4.4%
7 3.5%
8 3.1%
9 2.6%
10 2.4%
11 1.0%
12 0.8%
13 0.7%
14 0.6%
15 0.4%

Now that you know and realize why search engine optimisation is the next big step after your Magento store has been set up, how do you begin optimising your website? Let’s start with some basic SEO tips. But before that here is a list of SEO Jargon that every beginner needs to be familiar with when it comes to SEO optimization –

SEO Optimization after Setting up Your Magento Store

#1 – Store Configuration

  • To begin configuring, first, make sure that you have installed the latest version. You can then go to System > Configuration > Web >  Search Engine Optimization. You will find some basic fallback settings that you can configure for optimizing your website. For example: 
    • You can go to the ‘URL options’ menu and then set the ‘Add Store Code to URLs’ as ‘No.’ The store codes will not get added to the URL.
  • Go to the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ menu to set the ‘Server URL Rewrites’ to ‘Yes.’ The ‘index.php’ will be removed from the URLs and more readable and search engine friendly URLs would be generated again.
  • Next, go to System > Configuration > Design > HTML Heads
  • To make your website visible in the search results, change the ‘Default Robots’ to ‘Index, Follow.’
  • You can also add the ‘Default Title’ and ‘Default Description’ just in case if you have forgotten to add them when creating a page. It indicates that no page is left blank while indexing.
  • You also need to make sure that your store is visible to the search engine bots. For this, you need to create a ‘robots.txt’ file to help you direct which URLs should be and should not be visible in the SERP. You can refer to this link here if you want to learn how to create a ‘robots.text’ file.
  • Make sure that you include essential details in pages like – New Categories, Products, Pages so that when customers search for related items or information, they do not miss out your page. Do not forget to include relevant keywords. I’ll come to that later in the article.
  • Avoid duplications by going to – System > Configuration > Catalog > Search Engine Optimization.
  • Set the ‘Use Categories Path for Product URLs’ as ‘No.’
  • By setting the ‘Canonical Link Meta Tag’ to ‘Yes,’ you can prevent Magento from generating duplicate contents when you need to display the same product for multiple categories.
  • With SEO optimized images, you can attract new visitors directly from the search engines. You can use some of these tips to optimize the images –
  • Add meaningful names to the pictures. For example – If it is the model of a 42 inch Sony LCD black television, then write ‘Sony-lcd-television-42inch-black.jpg.’
  • Use production descriptions for the title and the alt tag.
  • Create a URL key by adding a page, product or page to make the e-store URLs more user-friendly.
  • Generate a Google Sitemap for your website to help Google identify your site pages and index them. To index your site page, click
    • System > Configuration > Google Sitemap
  • Click on the ‘Generation Settings’ to generate the sitemap for your website. Your sitemap gets updated with the addition of a new item.
  • You can also modify the sitemap settings of your website whenever you add a new product, category or page.
  • Add Google Webmaster Verification Tool by going to System > Configuration > Design > HTML Heads.
  • Put the Google Webmaster Verification Tool in the Miscellaneous Script box.
  • Enable Google Analytics by going to System > Configuration > Google API. You will need to add your Account Number after you have enabled it.

 

#2 – Keyword Optimization

After configuring the backend, it’s time to pay attention to the front-end. Let’s start with keyword optimization.

  • For keyword optimization, look for keywords that are relevant and has a high search volume. But be careful not to choose broad keywords. Your website will end up having high bounce rate and low conversion rate since people will leave your site if they cannot find the keyword specific to their search.
  • Also, if your keywords are highly competitive, then they might take a long time to achieve the high ranking levels.

Making keyword comparison is just half of the game though. The other half is complete when you start doing competitor research.

  • Compile keywords that your competitors use in their SEO strategy. Compare your web page with theirs to see whether they have a higher Domain Authority or a higher Page Authority than yours. For this, you can use any tool bars, and these are available in plenty. For example – try Mozbar. It’s free!
  • A comparison will help you choose the strong keywords from the weak keywords. If your competitors have a higher Domain and Page Authority, then it’s better to add these keywords to your site optimization as well.
  • Following your competitors can teach you a lot about where to begin site optimization.
    • Check the source from where their links are getting generated
    • How does their site architecture appear?
    • And how can you differentiate their website from yours?
  • Make sure you do not end up doing keyword cannibalization, which becomes frequent when you use the same keyword to rank multiple pages.
  • Even the search engine bots get confused and are forced to prioritize only that page that looks more valuable out of the many web pages. In that case, what do you do?
  • To avoid cannibalization, list each of your website pages along with the keywords on a spreadsheet. Then try to sort out to avoid doubling them.
  • When writing blog posts, try to avoid using keywords that you have already used on one of the pages, on the main part of the website.

 

#3 – Product Page Optimization

Next, comes the product page. You don’t design a product page just to make it user-friendly. Here are a few tips that you can take advantage –

  • Unique product descriptions

Now you need to understand that a manufacturer’s product description is not going to work here. That’s because search engines treat it as duplicate content. Besides, Google may not even index it.

Product descriptions are a way to entice visitors into buying your product. So use compelling language styles that are one-of-a-kind.

  • Long-tail Keywords

Product pages are a good place to add long tail keywords. Customers typically use long tail keywords when they are searching for a particular product online. So a product page optimized for a long tail keyword is likely to attract customers and convert them into buyers.

  • Reliable Product Reviews

Adding product reviews will help you establish some credibility and social proof for other clients. Other than that, product pages updated with customer reviews receive higher ranks on Google Search Engine.

  • Intuitive Navigational Architecture

Organized product pages are easy to understand, follow and search. Make sure that the navigational structure of the product page user-friendly as well as SEO friendly.

  • Compelling Meta-data

The meta-data helps readers to decide whether or not to look up your web page. Enticing copy is what you need in your meta-data to make your first interaction with the customer compelling.

So make sure that your meta-data includes a relevant keyword and a strong call-to-action.

  • Rich Snippets

These are coded pieces of data included in the meta description. Rich Snippets are special because they make a user search valuable by adding relevant information on the Search Engine Results Page. These can be product prices, images, reviews, etc.

This robust HTML markup is read by search engine crawlers first before being presented to the searchers. Rich Snippets can help to channel relevant traffics who are likely to convert after clicking on your website.

  • Speedy Page Load

Here’s a thing or two that you should know about your website loading time and how it can affect the bottom line of your e-commerce business.

If your site page does not load within three seconds, then 40 percent of the visitors will leave the site. 79 percent of the customers will not come back if they are unhappy with your website’s page load time. Being mobile-friendly is also necessary for a website ensuring customers a smooth user experience. Make sure that your website loads faster even on a mobile page.

 

There are many other SEO optimization techniques. In fact, It’s an Ongoing Process

SEO optimization is a continuous process that requires a website to stay up to date with daily changes and practices.

Test your site for errors, algorithm update, keywords and many others that will optimize your site and help them rise rank wise.

 

Looking for help for optimizing your Magento site?

Get in touch with us to help optimize your e-commerce website after it has been set up! Contact us HERE.