Needless to say that Magento is an incredible content management platform for eCommerce websites. With the advancement of powerful inbuilt tools, templates, and extensions, you can build an impressive and professionally appealing online store on the fly.
In fact, selling products and services become super-easy with the Magento e-store. But for that, you will need to improve the visibility of your brand and encourage people to buy something from your e-store. In order to boost the visibility of your site, you will need to implement the best SEO practices to get a higher ranking on Google and other search engine platforms.
The best part is that Magento offers some of the most amazing SEO capabilities to let you optimize your e-store for higher SERPs. But still, there are many site owners who make these common mistakes while optimizing their site for search engines. Such mistakes could negatively influence the ranking of your site on search engine platforms and affect your online sales.
If you want to avoid this scenario, you will need to know the common blunders that you are making with your existing SEO campaigns and fix them as soon as possible.
Here, in this blog post, we will discuss some of the silliest SEO mistakes that every Magento site owner should avoid while optimizing their site for better visibility and higher ROI.
Here we go!
1. Forgetting to change the default meta tags
Most of the Magento store owners, especially beginners, forget to change the default meta tags of their site and then suffer in getting better rankings on search engine result pages.
Using default title tags and meta descriptions mean they are not optimized for search engines – as there is no targeted keyword in it. If you want to improve your SEO ranking, make sure you add relevant keyword phrases within your title tags and meta descriptions.
This will not only improve your web visibility but also boost the click-through rate of your Magento store. Also, ensure that you use unique, engaging, and of course SEO friendly meta descriptions for each of your web/product pages.
2. Overlooking the importance of alt tags
Having an online store without SEO-optimized product images won’t help you get higher ranking on SERPs. There is no use of adding beautiful, relevant and high-quality images if they are not optimized for search engines.
Since search engine crawlers can’t find what your image is about without you specifically telling them, you need to write relevant descriptions for each of your images. So, if you haven’t added the alt tag on your images, then start adding them to improve the visibility of your images on Google and other search engine platforms.
Adding relevant, user-friendly, and SEO-friendly alt tags on images also help people to find your online store with ease. They can take the buying decision instantly after reading the piece of content related to your product images.
3. Using non-descriptive URLs
This is one of the biggest mistakes when it comes to optimizing online stores for search engines. This is important because it optimizes the URLs of your pages so that search engine spiders can read and index your site quickly and easily.
By adding relevant keyword phrases into the URLs, you will be able to index your web store with ease. If you want to drive more web customers towards your store, make sure you create readable, engaging and search-engine friendly URLs.
Instead of using non-descriptive URLs (such as adding a product number), you should focus more on creating relevant and user-friendly URLs like this if you sell casual trousers for men:
This will help both the search engines and web visitors know what your web page is all about, which in turn will boost your ranking and generate quality leads.
4. Ignoring the staging server after transferring the site to the live server
If you are already a Magento store owner, then you must be aware of the staging server. It is used during the development phase of an online store to test the changes you make. Since there is a risk to testing changes on the live server, it is always better to use a staging environment to detect changes and improvise before transferring it to the live server. This also helps in reducing the entire cost of deploying new code.
Add noindex/nofollow attributes by making the use of the meta tag before you begin using the staging server. This will prevent your site from getting indexed by search engine crawlers. This is a great way to limit possible mistakes that would occur in the future.
5. Forgetting to change the robots.txt file
Most of the store owners forget to tweak the robots.txt and meta robots directives after the staging phase. This restricts Google and other search engine crawlers from indexing your web store for better SEO rankings.
To avoid this mistake, you should check your robots.txt file and meta robots directives that can be found in the <head> section of each web page. Make sure to set them to INDEX, FOLLOW by default. You can also check the same by:
Accessing your System → Configuration → General → Design → HTML Head → Default robots.
6. Ignoring rel=canonical
Using canonical meta tags can solve issues related to duplicate content, especially if you have an eCommerce site with hundreds and thousands of product pages and categories. In fact, most of the online stores have URLs containing non-descriptive elements such as ?=, p=7.
These are basically duplicate pages that shouldn’t be crawled and indexed by Google. To combat this situation, you should make a use of rel=canonical. This will limit the indexing of the duplicate pages and let Google index only the fresh web page.
Well, setting up the canonicals won’t be enough. To get the best results, you will need to set them correctly. A one-word mistake can drastically reduce the ranking of your Magento web store.
7. Using duplicate content
Since Google and other search engines love fresh, unique, and quality content, make sure you don’t use duplicate content in the form of product descriptions or meta descriptions.
There are many store owners who use the same content or manufacturer’s information in their product descriptions. This is something that won’t help you get visibility on search engine platforms. Search engine spiders find difficulties in displaying the URLs if you have duplicate content – they wouldn’t understand which URL to show first in the search results.
To get a higher ranking on SERPs, you will need to ensure the quality and uniqueness of your content. No matter how big or small your eCommerce site is, make sure you contain engaging and fresh information related to your products and services.
In fact, you should write fresh, relevant and engaging content about your products and services to let people make buying decisions instantly.
Making silly mistakes while creating a web store on Magento won’t help you get better ranking on Google and other search engine platforms. To get the most of the eCommerce SEO campaign, you will need to address such mistakes and fix them as soon as possible.
Let us know in the comments how you set up your website and what hardships you faced with SEO!
Emily Benson is a CMS developer, currently employed at a Magento Development Company, HireMagentoGeeks. She is also an experienced blogger and loves to write technical content. You can follow her on Twitter.