A Beginner’s Guide to Magento SEO

A Beginner’s Guide to Magento SEO

It’s one of the most the most powerful ecommerce platforms available, but Magento isn’t beginner-friendly. Compared with other platforms, it relies heavily on dynamic content and its rewrite engine could confuse most tech wizards. That said, it’s a challenging platform and there are plenty of complex hurdles to overcome before realising its true potential.

For the fresh-faced Magento user, we’ve put together this handy guide with some of the most common problems faced and their solution.

Product configuration

Often overlooked, the creation of product pages can be tricky due to the factor of configurable and simple products. While the former is a ‘main’ product page, the latter may be utilised for a different colour of an existing product, or a slightly different version. These simple products can then be displayed on stand-alone product list pages.

In order to allow these two pages to work together, it’s essential to avoid the duplicate variants being indexed. For all simple products, always change the canonical tag to show that these simple pages are different from that ‘main’ configurable page.

URL rewriting

URL rewriting is another stumbling block for many, and can result in a category URL (or product page URL) to switch back to the original URL which do not configure based on the title of the page.

For these URLs, it’s best to block them and watch out for potential issues in the future. In some cases, these rewritten URL’s can revert back to the older format without the 301 redirects applied.

URLs and meta titles

Magento newbies can be quick to make a common error when changing the dynamic convention which an URL or meta title is based on. Many simply change a title tag to be more targeting, and the URL to be more simplistic.

Avoid this rookie mistake as it could be ruining all of your SEO efforts. As Google Panda scours a website for indexable pages or those with very little unique content, it can leave an ecommerce susceptible due to the sheer volume of low-quality pages being indexed. Instead, use a noindex, follow tag to prevent search engines from indexing these pages.

Sessions ID’s

Although Session ID pages are a great way to track the movement of a user – recording all info of a visitors’ session – they can be a major source of duplicate content problems if they’re indexed.

For those encountering this issue, it’s important to utilise a meta robots tag or robots.txt file which should stop these pages being indexed. If they do become indexed, you can also request a removal demand.

Slow performance

Compared with other platforms, Magento can be slow which impacts everything from organic search rankings to usability and navigation. To give yourself a fighting chance and optimise performance, always enable log cleaning and disable logs in the back end. Here you should also enable merging of CSS as well as Javascript.

Finally, it’s important to make use of an optimised server and be sure to use a CDN for all image uploads. These little tweaks can make all the difference and shouldn’t be ignored.

Author Gyles Seward

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