Magento Search Engine Optimization Guide

I have reviewed several eCommerce. I found Magento as a best search engine optimized eCommerce system. If you will take care of the few point Magento Search Engine Optimization happen automatically. In this article we will discuss what you need to take care in Magento to get better visibility of your store in search engine. I will provide some tips to optimize your estore for search engine. Before going further I would like to clear that SEO is a practice so it never garuentee that your website will be on top in google. However if you will optimize your website as per seo optimization technique your changes to get in the search engine increased. Also effect of your magento seo can not be visible quickly. So while doing seo of your magento store Patience is the key factor. Following are the point which I am going to elaborate in this article about SEO in magento:

Table of contents for Magento SEO

  1. Basic SEO of Magento store
    1. Store URL setup
    2. CMS SEO optimization
    3. Header and Footer of Magento
  2. Catalog Optimization
    1. Category Page optimization
    2. Product Page Optimization
  3. Template SEO optimization
    1. Structure Optimization
    2. HTML Tag hierarchy
    3. Use of JavaScript analysis
    4. Performance optimization
  4. Tips and Tricks of Magento Search engine Optimization

Basic SEO of Magento Store

In this section we will cover few basic element SEO you should consider while setting up your magento store. Also I will explain about some structure information like header and footer setting in the magneto.

Store URL setup

URL of your store play vital role in the SEO. If you are setting URL then just think before it. If you are adding http://yourwebsite.com as primary URL in then always redirect 301 of your traffic from www.yourwebsite.com to http://yourwebsite.com. Also think for the same secnariao when you are changing your primary URL. You can change your primary URL by going System ->Configuration -> Web . Following is the screenshot.

Magento Search Engine Optimization URL Option

SEO URL option

 CMS SEO optimization

Magento does not have any huge CMS system. But I would like to remind you that magento main focus is eCommerce tool. They
always think to give better facility for eCommerce. They have provided very small CSM. But CMS is OK if your store does not need lots of complex informative pages. Magento has some blog extension which you can use for content and blog management. But if your site is huge and need some good content pages then I will suggest you to use any professional CMS tool. I will go for wordpress.  But still here I will discuss how you can make your Magento website SEO optimized with using magento inbuilt CMS. First rule for CMS seo of magento store is that add as much informative page(cms page) as possible. Because if you have good information around your product then chances of user engagement will be high. All search engine is information hungry. So in every case just as much information as you can. While adding your CMS page keep following point in your mind for the SEO of your magento store:


  1.  Make your Page Title relevant to your article. Just think before writing your CMS page about user. Think what he will put in search engine for search about your subject. So make title relevent but it should not be more than 70 character.
  2.  Make your URL key also relevent to your content, but always think for small URL. Search engines always prefer small url. If your CMS page title is “Top 10 Baby food” then your url key should be like “top-10-baby-food”
  3. In Content Heading section always try to put heading most simillar to your title page. In my case I always prefer to use the same word and heading which is in title. But it depends upon your suitability.
  4. Always put meta description in your CMS page. Meta description should always content your target keyword. But make genuine sentence using your meta keyword.

Your header and footer design and HTML is very important for your Magento store search engine optimization (SEO). Following is some tips for your header and Footer SEO optimization

  1. Please create some good and explanatory title of your magento Store.
  2. I will suggest you to show the category navigation at top of your page. I means in header section.
  3. Make sure that NOFOLLOW NOINDEX  is not appearing in your page. If it is appearing  you may change it by going System -> Configuration -> Design and Change “Default Robots” to index follow. 
  4. Always put default meta description so that in the page where you do not have the good description, it will display the description.

Magento SEO Robots setting

Catalog Optimization

Heart of your eCommerce store is your catalog. If your online catalog is good, chances of your business is good. What people make common mistake while managing catalog in magento is they do not think for the SEO and they only think for design, alwys try to create some fly effect  and use lots of javascript and AJAX in their catalog to make it fancy. But before going further I would like to remind you that search engine are not good in case of javascript. I know that the design of your catalog is very important, but that should be SEO optimized to get better rank for your product and category pages in google. Before going in much detail about configuration of catalog I would like to recommend following things while your catalog design and HTM conversion :

  1. Always make your catalog simple and lighwait in terms of use of image and other things. Just refer ebay or amazon store.
  2. Try to avoid JavaScript as maximum as possible in your design

Now let us discuss the Category and product section configuration for Magento catalog SEO.

Category Page optimization

Magento category page is first look of your catalog. As normal practice store owners always try to make it very fancy looking. But your category page must look fancy as well as it should be search engine optimized. Make sure about the following point in the SEO of your magento category:

1) Informative things are not in JavaScript : Search engine only understand HTML. If you will create any thing on fly using JavaScript then search engine can not understand your information displayed on the page. So while setting up category please make sure that the information you want to crawl on search engine is not dynamically generated using JavaScript. For example some people always want their category page to display product without paging, it loaded the next set of product using javascript. So here your relative URL for the product is getting rendered using JavaScript. So your product linking information to the category will not be crawled. Always use JavaScript intelligently to get better ranking of your website in search engine.

2) Relevant Meta Description : Do not forget to put meta description of our category. Also make sure that your meta description is having your keyword. Your meta description should always reflect your category listing keyword. Also make sure meta description is not more than 140 character. And of course it must be grammatically  correct.

3) Built URL key Intelligently : While creating category in magento you will find option to enter URL key. Category URL key is the field by which magento generate path for your category. Usually people left this field empty and Magento generate URL key. But as per my assumption by adding correct URL key you are doing 20% SEO of your magento store catalog category. Try to make your URL key shorter but add your keyword in the URL key. For example if your Category Name is “Man Accessories” then make it like “man-accessories”. But if your category name is “Notebook” then make it like “notebook-laptop-portablepc” something like this. But try to keep it short :-)

Product Page Optimization

Product page the that from where you generate revenue. Or in other word by this page of your magento store people buys product. So this is the most important page your your eCommerce store. Just think that if you are getting good rank in search engine for your product page then what else required. So your 70% attention should be on product page your Magento store. Following are the point you should think for the product page of your eCommerce website.

1) Again No informative things should be in JavaScript : I am saying it again because on the product page I have seen some beginner store owner made it full of AJAX and JavaScript. Which is completely wrong because search engine never crawl AJAX like thins. Avoid tabular(Multiple tab on product page for things like Description, Review). Make it simple. Event if you are using tabular things just use show hide method of javascript, please do not load it through AJAX. Sometime Google crawl simple show hide things. But my advice would be to make it as simeple page as possible. Achieve your all designing based  on CSS. You may use JS for product image gallery. It will not effect you.

2) Use schema.org for Product and Its review. Have you ever seen listing some product in Google like below :

Schema.org_rich Snippet

Rich Snippet of Google

Google  For some of the the website product google disply the product in above format. This is called rich snippet achieved by using schema.org or microformat. While designing your theme you can ask your theme designer to make in such a manner that it would be rich snippet compatible. By using this method you can increase click from google to your website. Because if your customer will get google information like rating vote and price on the google page he will be definetyly interested in your deal. For the more detail about the schema.org and rich snippet you can go to following URL:
http://schema.org/Product
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=99170

Product URL Management : Product URL management is very important thing in Magento Store Search Engine optimization. There are two thing involve in the Product URL management:

  1. Use URL key intelligently.
  2. Do not use more than 1 URL for the same product.

For point # 1 “Use URL key intelligently you can refer to section use URL intelligently in the category section”. For point #2 you can refer to below section of Magento SEO configuration.

Template SEO optimization

If you are using magento default template then they are formally optimized template for search engine. But you can create best template to optimize your magento store. While crating template please make sure that you are not bypassing any magento complience until and unless you are having 100% knowledge about that. If you are creating your own magento template then please consider the following point for SEO perspective:

  1. Use valid HTML and always validate your HTML output in the w3 validator.
  2. Always thing about the speed and performace of the every page
  3. Use rich snippet and schema.org(but in case you have good knowledge of that)

 Structure Optimization

Magento theme development is very good and flexible if you have complete understanding of it. But if you do not have complete understaing may be some time you will achieve your PSD design but you can not make very good and performace optimized theme. So before going to create theme for your production website get complete understating of the Magento theme development. Please take care of the structure while developing the magento theme.

HTML Tag Hierarchy

Proper placement of the HTML tag in your magento generated pages are very important factor in SEO. Just think about that. Your every page should always have proper title , meta description , h1, h2 etc code in the recommended manner. All of the effort made in the catalog SEO of your magento store will be wasted if your template is not in recommended way.  On the home page your H1 is recommended for the title of your website but for inner page it is completely situational. For example on content page it should H1 should contain title of the page however on product page it should contain product name. So if you are purchasing any pre-buit theme just review it very carefully.

Use of JavaScript

From beginning to end of the post I am saying at every place about JavaScript. JavaScript biggest thing I have observed that most of the Magento eCommerce site has issue of JavaScript which is not getting rank in search engine. So please either review your JavaScript content generation carefully or seek professional review.

Performance Optimization

Any search engine always give preference to high speed site. After all they are committed to provide better site to their user. So whenever you are creating your store just think about your eCommerce performance. Do not think about the good performace. Always think about best performance of your store. You can use Google PageSpeed tool for checking your website performance. You can follow the instruction provided by google pagespeed to optimized your store. Also from magento end you can enable caching and use opcode accellarator like apc or xcache or memcache tool. Use whatever you want but make your store speedy :-).

Tips and Tricks of Magento Search engine Optimization

Bellow are some of the tips for SEO of your magento store

  • Always use caching on your production server. It will improve performance and performance improve SEO ranking.
  • Try to avoid layred nevigation as it is not good for SEO .
  • Do not forget to build site map. Both HTML and XML sitemap.
  • Always create robots.txt and use it.
  • Submit your website in Google and use webmaster tool regularly. It will alert you if it will detect any potential issue.
  • Optimization is good but over optimization is bad :-)

If you like my post please comment and vote.
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Comments

  1. Devoid Rakingson says

    Thankyou for nice post.
    Friendly URL in magento really spiked my search ingine visibility. Great

  2. kristenhannaa says

    I strongly agree with your points. This is one of the best and most recommended tips for every ecommerce stores. These kind of reviews system will make the customer visit and purchase the products. In my ecommerce store, I have tried out magento rich snippets and its working fine.

  3. says

    Hi Ankur,

    I have something that need your consultation regarding SEO for Magento.
    I am from Vietnam, having a website on toys: http://kidslandvn.com with two Store View: Vietnamese and English (switching languages). Depending on the language of the browser (or from Google Search), there are cases that a Vietnamese goes to the English site (store view) and an English goes to the Vietnamese site. Or from Google Search, the English results can appear to Vietnamese and Vietnamese results can appear to English.
    Currently, I spent most of my SEO effort for the Vietnamese version (the main one) – keyword, URL, Title, etc. and the English version use the default values from Vietnamese version. My question is should I create different URL, Title, Meta Description and so on in English so it is better optimized for English ?

    Thank you very much.

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