Magento SEO Expert: Optimization Secrets of eCommerce Companies That Win

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According to Statista data on eCommerce traffic sources, 43 percent of traffic to retail websites is organically driven through Google.

Consider that for a moment: Nearly half of all eCommerce traffic comes from Google.

This percentage clearly shows the necessity of optimizing a store for search engine success.

When a store is capable of ranking at the top (or even near the top) of the Google SERPs, it is far more likely to cultivate clicks and conversions.

For merchants who are employing Magento as their platform of choice, the optimization options are practically boundless. However, those running on the default settings are far from optimized and likely require a Magento SEO expert to help turn the platform into the SEO powerhouse that it is capable of becoming.

The fact is that Magento is a top eCommerce platform, particularly when it comes to search engine optimization. Because of the open-source nature of the system, retailers can implement nearly any extension they wish and optimize the platform to the fullest.

No matter if merchants are looking for SEO tips for migrating to Magento or are just looking to enhance their existing store’s performance in the SERPs, Visiture has you covered.

Here are seven Magento optimization tips that will help retailers develop a more effective SEO strategy.

Create a Documented SEO Strategy

Create a Documented SEO Strategy

The fact is that a documented SEO strategy is critical to success. As the famous quote from Benjamin Franklin goes:

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

As it stands, a whopping 63 percent of businesses don’t have a documented content strategy. Given that content is a critical component to SEO, it wouldn’t be surprising if a similar number surfaced regarding search engine optimization blueprints.

Alongside content, other critical components to an SEO strategy include:

  • Keyword analysis
  • Link building
  • Competitive analysis
  • On-page optimization

Let’s go ahead and explore these elements a bit more in-depth.

Keyword Analysis

Conducting keyword research is obviously a massive consideration for SEO strategies, as the terms and queries searchers use are directly related to the keywords that merchants have optimized specific pages to surface for.

However, those who have never actually conducted keyword research in the past might find the task to be a bit confusing. That said, it doesn’t require a brain surgeon to figure out how to find the right terms and phrases.

There are a variety of keyword research tools online that can aid merchants in establishing which phrases are best to include on specific webpages. Some of the most popular tools include:

Ahrefs screenshot

Keywords should be utilized in important on-site locations like product titles, descriptions, blog posts and similar elements.

Link Building

Building better backlinks for ranking higher in Google is critical to positive SEO outcomes, given that backlinks are one of the most heavily weighted ranking factors.

Plainly put, the number of authoritative backlinks a site possesses helps Google to determine the site’s popularity and credibility. Websites that tout a generous backlink profile are likely to perform far better than those with only a few of these digital endorsements.

Rent com screenshot

Notice the use of the word “authoritative” in the last paragraph. The fact is that not all backlinks are created equal. Earning quality links is the name of the game. If a merchant features a variety of spammy, low-quality links, it can end up harming their site’s SEO performance.

Therefore, the types of backlinks that sellers want to earn are those that possess the following features:

  • Comes from a relevant website or blog
  • Comes from a site that has a high domain authority
  • Is a dofollow link
  • Has a meaningful anchor text

If the backlink does not meet the criteria outlined above, then the merchant’s efforts are likely for naught.

Unfortunately, link building is often a significant challenge for many retailers. For that reason, it is wise to partner with a Magento SEO expert to help devise a strategy for earning authoritative links to a site.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive measurement of SEO for eCommerce is critical for climbing the SERPs. Again, unless sellers are working alongside a Magento SEO expert, there is a good chance that they will find this process a bit confusing and ambiguous.

That said, some of the factors that are necessary to analyze at this stage include:

  • Website and platform
  • UI/UX design
  • Information architecture
  • Page load times
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Traffic
  • Number of web pages
  • Number of blog posts
  • Backlink profile
  • Social media presence

This list is not comprehensive, but these are some of the most common elements to explore.

If your brand would like some help with this critical task, connect with Visiture’s eCommerce SEO experts, and we can establish how your brand stacks up with rival retailers.

On-Page Optimization

If retailers get a consumer to click on their site, half of the battle is over. However, if the website is not optimized correctly, merchants could end up losing visitors before they make a purchase.

Therefore, on-site optimization is vital for generating conversions.

Some of the ways that sellers can ensure that their site is up to par are through:

  • Elevating load times
  • Making navigation clear and intuitive
  • Ensuring mobile responsiveness
  • Providing top-notch security features
  • Optimizing the checkout process
Spanx Screenshot

Outside of these elements, it is necessary to include valuable keywords in important technical destinations, as well as on product pages and throughout the site’s copy.

Improve Magento 2 Metadata

Firstly, it is essential to note that metadata does not directly impact SEO outcomes.

That said, metadata does influence consumer clicks, which does affect SEO.

For those not in the know, a meta description is the blurb about a page that appears below the page title in the Google SERPs. Meanwhile, the title tags are the blue-linked title users click.

Leonesia Search Results

Based on the information contained within the meta description, consumers will decide to either click-through or keep scrolling. Therefore, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions on Magento is necessary to generate the traffic required to increase rankings.

To optimize these elements properly, merchants should ensure that the targeted keyword is utilized and the description is both informative and enticing, while clearly reflecting the contents of the page.

While this may seem like a tall order, partnering with a Magento SEO expert can make the process significantly easier.

Implement an XML Sitemap

Implement an XML Sitemap

The importance of XML sitemaps for eCommerce stores cannot be overstated.

An XML sitemap is a file that houses all of the website’s (canonical) URLs. Thankfully, Magento 2 features a much better sitemap functionality than its predecessor. To enable the sitemap, log in to the admin and navigate to Stores > Settings > Configuration > Catalog > XML Sitemap.

From there, retailers can fine-tune the settings for Category, CMS and Product Options according to the seller’s needs. However, this task might be a bit complex for merchants who do not possess the technical acumen to make such changes. Therefore, partnering with a Magento SEO expert is in their best interest.

Avoid Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is a considerable issue for eCommerce websites. In fact, this is a massive reason as to why many Magento merchants struggle to climb the SERPs.

Since eCommerce websites enable sellers to have many product variations, show products across multiple categories and the like, duplicate content on product pages is a pervasive issue. As a result of such carbon copy pages, Google may end up demoting a site in the SERPs.

However, avoiding duplicate content is possible by properly implementing canonical tags. Canonical tags serve to inform Google about which page is the authoritative version or master copy.

Canonical tags appear as such:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://www.yoursite.com/category/product” />

Fortunately, with Magento, applying canonical tags is simple, and one task that merchants might not require a Magento SEO expert to complete.

To begin applying canonical tags with Magento, navigate to System > Configuration > Catalog > Search Engine Optimization and click “Yes” for “Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Categories” and “Use Canonical Link Meta Tag for Products.”

Just like that, sellers are in business with canonical tags.

Optimize Product Images

Product page optimization is a key element for a strong SEO strategy. More specifically, one area of this task that merchants often neglect is image optimization.

Images should feature detailed alt tags that describe the image, as search engines are not yet able to “see” pictures. Therefore, the alt text is necessary.

Additionally, some essential things to consider when crafting alt tags include:

  • Accurately describe the image
  • Never keyword stuff
  • Give images informative names
  • Keep alt tags short, clear and concise

Make Speed a Priority

Load times are one of the most influential factors for a site’s bounce and conversion rates. As Google has noted about mobile page speeds:

“For 70 percent of the mobile landing pages we analyzed, it took more than five seconds for the visual content above the fold to display on the screen, and it took more than seven seconds to fully load all visual content above and below the fold… as page load time goes from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 123 percent.”

Two second load time

Additionally, as Google’s former Developer Programs Tech Lead Maile Ohye has stated in the past:

“Two seconds is the threshold for eCommerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half-second.”

Two seconds is a mighty high bar. Therefore, retailers must do all they can to optimize eCommerce website speeds. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to enhance load times, including:

  • Enable Magento Caching features and Flush Magento cache
  • Implement Flat Categories and products
  • Compress images
  • Eliminate redirect chains
  • Employ a content delivery network
  • Choose a premium hosting service
  • Merge JavaScript and CSS files

Utilize Layered Navigation

What is often called faceted navigation goes by a slightly different name on Magento, dubbed “layered” navigation.

Layered navigation allows users to filter products in a category by a variety of different attributes. This feature is something that has become widespread on eCommerce sites. As a result, consumers expect a website to tout layered navigation.

That said, if not appropriately managed, layered navigation can cause some severe SEO headaches.

For instance, if a seller has a category page that houses 20 products that come in five different colors, five sizes and four styles. Layered navigation enables consumers to filter these products in any combination they desire, thereby turning a single category page into over 100 different URLs.

Salon chair product

Complicating matters even further, shoppers can also arrange products by price, name, place them in ascending or descending order and more. Since these options alter the URL, merchants are now looking at over 600 URLs for just one little category page.

Naturally, this can cause some massive indexing issues if not handled correctly. For that reason, it is wise for sellers to partner with a Magento SEO expert to help implement layered navigation in a way that won’t break the site’s performance in the SERPs.

Getting an eCommerce store to the top of the search results is an incredibly time-consuming and challenging endeavor. However, by implementing the tactics listed here, sellers can help to improve their rankings in the SERPs.

That said, retailers can still struggle with getting the results they desire. When a brand can’t earn the visibility it needs in various search engines, conversions suffer.

If your company would like help optimizing its Magento store, reach out to Visiture’s professional eCommerce SEO and Magento conversion rate optimization specialists. We can help pinpoint your site’s strengths and weaknesses, and improve both areas to bring about the types of results that can help a business reach the next level of retail success.

Join 150+ Leading eCommerce Brands

And see how Visiture can grow your revenue online through award-winning transactional focused marketing services.

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