It’s rather easy to get a Magento website up and running with the wide range of tools available these days on the Internet. You can set up your own, nicely designed Magento website in a relatively short time. A more important question is how to optimize it for the search engines?
Before people find your product, they usually type something into Google Search. They type in the problem they want to solve, and your product can be the solution. But this is only possible if your Magento website is properly optimized and generates decent organic traffic. On the other hand, establishing a powerful online presence with lots of traffic is only one part of SEO.
It is not just about attracting a significant number of visitors to your website. You should also make sure that people stay, convert, and come back for more. By implementing the SEO practices we are going to show you, you will be able to turn visitors into one-time buyers, and one-time buyers into customers that regularly come back.
The reason why it is so important to optimize your Magento site for organic search is because more than half of the people, who browse online, search for websites through Google. Additionally, these people also account for 40% of the total revenue generated by online stores.
With these stats in mind, let’s see the 10 best SEO practices that can help your website appear on top of the first page in search engines, generating visitors that are truly interested in your product.
1. Start Using SEO Audit Tools
First of all, don’t start to work on the SEO of your Magento website until you have a clear plan. There are several different SEO problems that can earn your website a bad place on the search engine rankings. Locating them will be the first part of your work, because working on SEO is usually about fixing tiny problems one at a time until you slowly crawl your site up the rankings.
When it comes to a Magento online shop, it is important to fix all the product pages, but definitely not enough. Your website will only be fully optimized if you audit the other types of pages as well. It might require an enormous amount of time and effort to go through all the pages and ensure that every part of them is properly done; however, there is no need to do that manually anymore.
There are numerous SEO audit tools available on the Web that you can download and apply to your website. The most popular tools right now are Moz and Seomator. With these, you can locate all the redirects, missing meta elements, errors, and duplicate content, and much more on your web pages.
2. In-Depth Keyword Research
Professionals don’t just pick a keyword that feels the most appropriate for a given page. People should find your Magento website more easily, which requires in-depth keyword research before you put any content on the page. Depending on the trends and the millions of Google searches day-by-day, there are always highly popular keywords that can be used to attract your target audience.
If you find those long-tail keywords that have the most potential, you can guarantee your website an abundance of organic traffic. People who are actually searching for the type of product you offer will arrive to your website and then it’s only up to you to convince them into buying it.
Many businesses on the Web use the wrong keywords on their web pages, which results in a lot of unwanted traffic. Of those non-targeted visitors, very few will decide to buy the product. The keywords you use should be relevant, but the ranking difficulty and search volume are also important factors you should take into account.
3. Analyze Your Competitors
Researching keywords is one thing, but there is another SEO practice you should implement in the same time. Every business has its own competitors, especially on the Internet where you can surely find a similar company to yours from all around the World. Their websites can help a lot in improving your own SEO strategies.
All you need to do is to start analyzing the web pages of your competitors and collect the keywords they use on their most popular pages. You can also do a research on their marketing strategies, social media marketing, blog posts, the links they use on their web pages, and how frequently they upload new posts or announce discounts. These are all valuable information that can contribute to the success of your business.
Finding competitors with a better website design or structure can give you a few ideas on how to improve your Magento web shop. When people find a website where they can seamlessly navigate and easily find the information they are searching for, they tend to stay longer and might also come back later. If people spend more time on your website, Google will consider it as more helpful and you will start to climb up the rankings.
4. Unique and Engaging Product Descriptions
The easiest method is to take the product description published by the manufacturer and add it to your product page. This requires little to no effort and you will have an extensive description of the product that visitors can read. It is basically free information and potential customers will be provided with enough information so why not take advantage of this method, right?
Well, it actually has plenty of downsides. First of all, you don’t really want duplicate content on any of your web pages because Google hates that. It will immediately penalize your website and your organic traffic will suffer a huge decline. Secondly, a surefire way to create a unique Magento website is to add only unique and engaging descriptions to all of your products.
This is a great way to get ahead of your competition and attract more potential customers that are much more likely to become your loyal customers. Of course, it requires more time and effort to produce high-quality product descriptions, but it surely pays off.
5. The Power of Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords consist of more words, thus they are more specific than simpler and shorter keywords. People use them less often, but when they do, they are sure about what they want to find. This also means that long-tail keywords will generate you less traffic, yet the visitors of your Magento site will be more likely to buy something.
Also, by properly researching and using these keywords, it will be easier to reach higher rankings on search engines. If you have a clear vision about what makes your Magento web shop special, your long-tail keywords will be much more powerful than any shorter one. Once you are done with keyword research, you need to create high-quality content while cleverly inserting the keywords. The longer your keywords are the more people will visit your website strictly for shopping purposes.
6. Social Media Integration
After you get your Magento eCommerce website up and running, the first thing you should focus on is to make your business available on the most popular social media platforms. It’s nothing easier than adding Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and Twitter buttons to your website, yet it can generate you tons of new visitors.
Whenever something new happens on your website, you can post it on one of these platforms and nicely build up your brand awareness. In addition, people that liked your product or service will have the opportunity to share your content with their friends, which leads to even more conversion.
You can also make things easier for your visitors by allowing them to register with their social media account, transferring their personal information straight to your Magento site and registering a new account with a single click. Another reason why this is so important is because people usually don’t like to deal with all the registration process and most of them leave these types of websites instead.
7. The Importance of Page Load Times
Whether people check out your website through their mobile devices or PC, they always prefer websites that load under 3 seconds. Unfortunately, most eCommerce websites online have a pretty big, 4 to 8 seconds page load time thanks to the abundance of big images and plugins on their server, or perhaps a bad hosting provider.
Google measures your page load speed and how many people leave your website in the first few seconds. If your website is slow, it will definitely get penalized in the search engine rankings. There are plenty of useful methods that can help you improve your page load speed. First of all, compressing your web pages is a great idea. All you need to do is to zip your pages, which will reduce the bandwidth and the download time by up to 70%.
You also need to optimize the images on your Magento site. There are plenty of image formats that are not appropriate if you want fast loading pages. JPEG and PNG images are the most recommended, although there are older browsers that are not compatible with PNG. When it comes to image size, you should use some tools for cropping, resizing and reducing color depth.
Another great practice is to get rid of as many plugins as possible. There might be plugins on your website that are too big and keeping too many of them can lead to website crashes. You can start disabling them one-by-one while measuring how each plugin affects the performance of your site.
8. Optimize Alt Tags and Metadata
Metadata is usually the first thing that people learn about SEO, yet it’s one of the most important ones. It is all about writing a long enough meta description and meta title that contains the most relevant keywords. A Magento site with optimized metadata has a better chance to provide people the answer they are looking for via the search engine, which also means an increase in conversion.
Another essential practice is to add alt tags to all of your product images. Without alt tags, Google won’t know what the image is about and therefore won’t index it, making it impossible for people to find it. Therefore, adding alt tags makes the images of your products accessible for everyone and if visitors can’t see the image for some reason, there will be the alt text that tells them what it is about.
9. Make Your URLs Search-Friendly
We already talked about keywords and if you researched them properly, every one of your web pages should have a particular focus keyword at the end of the day. However, there is one additional step that ensures a high search engine score for each page: the page URL should also contain the focus keyword.
Google Search analyzes your whole page and the URL is one of the first things it takes into account. If the URL is search-friendly, Google will consider the page more useful than those which don’t use this method. Just take a look at some of the most popular eCommerce websites. Their URL usually looks like this: websitename/maincategory/subcategory/theproduct.
As simple as that, just divide everything into categories and make it as straightforward as you can. Of course, these categories should be easily accessible through the navigation menu of your Magento website.
10. The Benefits of a Mobile-Friendly Website
Nowadays, more and more people prefer shopping on their mobile devices (smart phones, tablets) rather than using a PC. If you choose not to optimize your Magento website for mobile devices, a significant amount of potential customers will be out of your reach. The number of people that browse the Web on smartphones grow day by day, and will completely outnumber PC users in the next few years.
To make your website mobile-friendly, you need to make sure that all the product images, website features, URLs and the page load speed of your website is fully ready for mobile devices as well. It is like creating a whole new website, but it’s definitely worth it because your revenue will increase by a huge margin.
A mobile-friendly Magento website needs a responsive design, more compact product descriptions and metadata, and buttons that look good and function well on small screens.
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