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Top 10 Magento SEO Tips for a Successful 2014

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Worried about what’s going on in SEO world? Which tips to follow to do better in SEO rankings? Whom to trust and how to draft a SEO strategy so things don’t backfire?

Well, we can’t deny what’s goes in a Magento store owners mind when it comes to SEO implementation. Proper SEO can miraculously boost sales and conversion; it can help bring customers searching for a particular product or services. Whereas shabby SEO can ruin the store’s reputation, put the entire store at jeopardy causing Panda or other Google algorithms penalties. Here comes the Golden Question “How to determine whether i have implemented proper SEO for my Magento store?”

Before we dig deeper and create our ultimate SEO Checklist which will be tested against your Magento store let’s figure out why you need it in first place.

  • Search brings almost 3-4 times more traffic on stores than Social media sites. How many time you bought something after being redirected from Social site compared to Searching?
  • A behavioral study suggested that 75% of search engine visitors do NOT scroll past the first page.
  • A decent store receives almost 40% of its customers from search engines. Perfect time to check your referral stats in Google Analytics?

Matt Cutts from Google suggest that in order to get relevant search traffic you should generate unique, relevant content useful enough that people coming to your page do not bounce in first few seconds. How to know what content your users will love?

We are listing down few Magento SEO checks you should definitely do on your Magento store and make sure you are revisiting them every quarter. These Magento SEO tips will ensure good search rankings and in long time you will notice better sales and conversion than ever.

On Page Magento SEO Factors

Before you worry too much about off page Magento SEO stuff, let’s begin with On Page SEO items (These are the lowest hanging fruits). Extensions like Magento SEOSpace can drastically enhance SEO functionalities that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions, canonical URLs and much more.

Product Names & Description

We have noticed that many Magento stores directly populate their catalog without even looking at it. Product names and description is what people are really searching for. Even if you have a very large catalog to cover, it would be wise if your customize your product names and description including the searched keywords. Just edit your product name and description and give them a more SEO friendly name (something which real human search). Do the same for category names and description. Try Google Adword or other keyword tools to know what other keywords people are searching for a given keyword.

CMS pages

We have noticed that on majority of Magento stores CMS pages are mostly used for “About Us”, “Policy”, “Terms of Use” etc. which are good but what about real keywords you want to target?

Try adding more keyword rich pages, videos, product questions, product tours/guides or any supplemental important things about products. For some cases you can even use CMS for perfect landing pages and target relevant keywords to bring more traffic.

Blog Content

Blog is a great tool to bring more targeted traffic to your store. Rather than only writing about your products or services all the time you can build reputation by writing about trending topics on twitter, news, media or anything which brings short burst of traffic. These short bursts can help you make your brand a little more known than earlier. You can use WordPress or Magento blog extension to write more content around your niche.

Product Reviews

Ever though why Amazon focuses so much on product reviews? Believe it or not product reviews are one of the best driving forces behind sales. New customers are highly influenced by user contributed reviews about the specific products. You should somehow encourage your customers to write good review about the product they bought.

Good Meta Title & Meta Description

Meta Title and Meta description is the first thing people see when they search something on Google, Bing or Yahoo. Although, Google is saying that they are now able to create their own titles from page. Still having keyword rich Title and Meta description gives your product more exposure in search results by providing better click-through.

Ideally, keep Meta Titles anywhere in the range of 40-60 characters and limit your Meta descriptions to anywhere between 100-155 characters. Don’t just go by what Magento says (255 characters) since many search engines have already decreased the character limits. We personally use SEOQuake firefox plugin to check our final page. It diagnoses and tells us if it finds any problems with on page SEO.

Get Rid of Keywords

Many SEO practitioners in the past have over abused the real purpose of keywords for a page. That has triggered search engines to disavow the use of keywords in their algorithm. Few Magento SEO shops suggest that keyword field should entirely be scrapped from a page so that search engines do not penalize a store, second, it also hides your keyword strategy from your competitor.

Use Canonical URL’s

Canonical URLs are MUST for every Magento store so the store is not penalized for duplicate content. Thankfully, Magento already has canonical system in place. Just go to System > Configuration > Catalog > Search Engine Optimizations and choose YES for Canonical Link & Meta Tag section.

Additional SEO Settings

Ensure that you are using “nofollow” for pages you do not want Google or other search engines to index. Pages like Cart, Account etc. should be nofollow’ed. Moreover, optimize your Robots.txt file, XML sitemap to direct search engines what needs to be indexed and what needs to be ignored. Submitting your sitemap to Google and Bing will help you track and see what’s going on.

Page Speed

These days when more and more customers are browsing store on mobiles or other handheld devices, having a responsive store which opens up in few seconds is an advantage. A fast loading responsive store will see more customers whereas a slow loading site will have bigger bounce rate.

Google has openly stated that they prefer fast loading sites and they penalize slow loading sites. Mere 1 second drop in loading can bring fruitful results so don’t ignore page load times. Google Analytics also provides “Site Speed” for various browsers, that tools can be used to fine tune the store and layout.

We would love to hear your opinion and experiences of Magento SEO. Please leave us a comment and share with us.