SEO provides the traffic that is the lifeblood of any online store. Without the technical knowhow of an SEO expert, you may miss some of the hints and tips that will ensure that your store does well.
We get a number of businesses who approach us who are struggling to lift themselves off page four or five of Google. They do okay to a point, finding the right keywords and creating interesting product descriptions with attractive photos, but still struggle to get themselves above 50th on the search engine results page.
These people often have similar issues in their Magento SEO settings that will cause poor results in page ranking. While individually they might not look important, together they can add up to traffic from the search engine giant.
To overcome this, we’ve compiled a list of SEO tips for you to try with your Magento store.
Common SEO Mistakes on Magento
Using default descriptions
In System > Configuration > Design > HTML Head > Default Description, you’ll find a description that Magento adds to all pages that don’t have a custom description. You should set this so none are empty but it’s also very important to try and make each of your pages unique.
Using default Magento XML sitemap
The default XML sitemap that Magento is too simplistic, only listing products categories and not including images. Instead, make sure that all of the pages in your store are indexed properly with an upgraded XML sitemap that has been checked thoroughly before being submitted to Google Webmaster Tools.
Not implementing 301 redirects
Without implementing redirects, you will end up with 404 issues on your website. 404 pages may have a negative impact on your customers – scaring them off. Make sure that you get rid of them on a regular basis. System > Configuration > Catalog > Create Permanent Redirect for old URLs will help you with this.
Poor image optimisation
Magento doesn’t change the name of your image and doesn’t add alt tags – you have to do this yourself. Alt tags and image titles help bring passive traffic from Google so make sure that you use your keywords and product names properly.
Not utilising rich snippets
Rich snippets allow you to get more attention without needing to be at the top of Google. Implementing this is easy and will help generate more traffic by giving customers more information before they even click on your store.
Slow site loading speed
Caching is an important part of your Magento site speed strategy. Without it, you will find your site suffers as it is slower to load on user’s computer which impacts both SEO scores and customer satisfaction. Click here for more on improving Magento site speed.
Remove duplicate content
Google hates duplicate content. You must ensure that you don’t have it on your site, whether through variations of the same product, through product sorting, or by including the same product in different categories, giving one product multiple URLs. Use the canonical urls setting – but check with your SEO or SEO tool that it isn’t causing more duplication rather than less.
Layered navigation optimisation
Make sure that you tune your SEO settings for layered navigation so that you don’t end up with messy URLs and duplicate content, or you may end up with irrelevant pages which will impact your SEO.
Need any more help with your SEO issues? Get in touch with us today.