5 ways to improve the SEO of your Magento webshop
A webshop without visitors is of no use to you. To sell, you first need visitors to your website.
One of the ways to get more visitors to your webshop is through search engines such as Google. Visitors who come through Google (and don’t click on an ad) are called organic visitors.
To get more organic visitors you will have to optimize your webshop in terms of SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, or optimizing for search engines.
Basically, all SEO principles apply to any type of website. Whether you have a blog, a local company, a small webshop or a large multinational: the basic principles of SEO apply to everyone.
Yet for web shops there are elements that are more important than for a company that mainly wants to be found locally. And with web shops you also have to deal with different e-commerce software that all work slightly differently.
In this article we zoom in on SEO, specifically aimed for web shops that run Magento 2.
Tip 1: Make use of https
A secure website is of course a must in itself. Especially if you are a webshop and you collect private data from visitors such as name, address, place of residence and perhaps even payment details.
But https is also recommended for SEO. By https we mean that your webshop runs over a secure connection.
If your webshop cannot be reached via a secure connection and that of your competitors can, then you have the chance that this will have a disadvantageous effect in the search results. Having https is one of the ranking factors that Google looks at.
When you buy an SSL certificate or set up a free Let’s Encrypt certificate correctly, your website should run over a secure https connection.
In addition, make sure that all internal URLs, images and other elements that you load also run over https and no longer over http when you make the switch to https.
In the backend of Magento you can set whether your "base url" is over http or https. Have a look and check what your current settings are. You do this at Stores ➡ Configuration ➡ General ➡ Web.
Tip 2: improve the speed of your website
Speed is also an important ranking factor for Google. The speed of a page is an important element when it comes to user experience. The faster the page, the better the visitor's experience.
You probably recognize it yourself. Browsing on a slow website can be frustrating and make you leave the website faster.
Google sees the importance of good user experience. Google recently even introduced the so-called Google Core Web Vitals. It becomes clear that Google is giving UX an increasingly prominent place as a ranking factor.
Well, as said, speed is very important. And in practice it turns out that Magento web shops have trouble achieving really good speeds.
We have extensively described how you can improve the speed of your Magento website in this article: Improve Magento 2 speed.
What you should in any case look at critically is:
Tip 3: Provide SEO-friendly URLs
There is a lot to write in the area of URLs. In terms of SEO, a lot can go wrong here, even when you consider that UX is again an important part of SEO.
SEO friendly URLs are URLs that are not too long, preferably descriptive, do not contain capital letters and also follow a logical structure.
For example, Magento adds .html at the end of every url by default. This doesn't necessarily have to be a problem, but if you want to migrate to another e-commerce platform, such as Shopware, you get a lot of extra work with this. You will then have to redirect all URLs with a 301 code.
Optimizing your URL structure is mainly done in the backend of Magento under Stores ➡ Configuration ➡ Catalog ➡ Catalog ➡ Search Engine Optimization. It is advisable to take a good look at this in advance and possibly discuss this with your developer and maybe even an SEO specialist.
Ideally, you will no longer change this and a good URL structure is the foundation of a well-found webshop.
Also, think carefully about what you want with your URLs. Make sure you don't make them too long so that visitors are able to type important categories in the address bar. Also don't play around with the use of capital letters in your URLs, keep them lowercase.
Tip 4: Write promotional meta titles & descriptions
If someone comes across your webshop in the search results, you obviously want them to click on your result and not pick the one below or above you.
This is where the Title Tag and Meta Description come into play. These look like this in Google:
For this example we use one of our dutch search results from our products page Magento hosting.
The search result consists of a Title Tag (blue title) and the Meta Description (description beneath the Title Tag).
As you can see we’ve added checkmarks in the Meta Description to stand out from our competitors. This way we have a higher chance that people click on it.
Ideally, you want to have your most important keyword in the Title tag (at the beginning), followed by a USP and possibly your company name (note: Google is increasingly automatically attaching it to it).
In the description you write a catchy text that should persuade the visitor to click through. Why click through to this page and not the competitor's page?
Make sure that you do not fill both elements with search terms. This makes no sense and only ensures that Google will potentially lower your result. Keep it natural and helpful to the user at all times.
In Magento you can manually adjust the Title Tag and Meta Description for each page. However, if your webshop contains hundreds or even thousands of products, you no longer want to do this manually. Or at least, most of it not.
Tip 5: Internal links
Internal linking, an underestimated phenomenon in the world of SEO. The focus is often on obtaining external backlinks. While external backlinks are still one of the most important ranking factors, a well-optimized internal link profile is also worth its weight in gold.
In contrast to external backlinks, you can develop and optimize an internal link structure much faster for a relatively low investment (often only takes time).
Just look up in this blog article and you'll see that where possible, we place internal links to previously written blog articles or important landing pages.
This makes the website easier to crawl, you have more influence on the anchor text distribution of your pages and you can clarify which pages are important for your webshop.
To speed up this process, plugins are available that automatically create internal links based on the keywords you specify.
However, be careful with this, because when a page only gets the same anchor text, this is unnatural in the eyes of Google, with the possible result that you will score less well on this keyword.
Internal linking of important categories can also give a huge boost to your findability. For example, take a look at the internal link structure of Amazon.com. They are a master of smart internal linking of category pages.
So make sure that visitors can easily navigate from one category to another via links. This increases the User Experience and also your SEO game.
The above 5 tips will definitely help you to become easier to find online in Google. However, it is never a guarantee that you will score. This depends on so many more factors. The Google algorithm consists of hundreds of elements that we obviously cannot cover all in this article.
If you are planning to set up a webshop or you have just started it, it is important to think carefully about essential elements such as the site structure, your web hosting, your content, etc.
This is the foundation of your webshop that you will probably continue to build on for years to come.
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