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Magento Basics – SEO Checklist

by | Mar 11, 2015 | Magento Advice | 2 comments

There are many ways to improve the SEO of your Magento store. Its easy to get caught up with complex SEO techniques and forget about the basics. Using your Magento admin panel you can increase the SEO of your website massively.

Please note, the following suggestions are what I have found to work for me. I cannot guarantee these alterations will improve your ranking. These suggestions are for new stores, changing these options on already established stores may cause unwanted results to existing URLs.

General Configuration

Store Name

This is a simple mistake that is often made by Magento beginners. The store name entered in the Mageno backend is dynamically used in a variety of places in the template & automatic emails.

System -> Configuration -> General -> Store information -> Store name

Logo Image Alt

Adding an Alt tag to your logo is extremely important for your SEO & is often overlooked by Magento store owners.

System -> Configuration -> Design -> Header -> Logo Image Alt

Homepage Meta Data

Your homepage is the most prominent page of your store. You need to ensure that the meta data is unique, relevant and includes suitable keywords. It is important to include this information on all of your CMS pages.

CMS -> Pages -> Home

Web Server Rewrites

Having SEO friendly URLs is extremely important for your store and will increase your chances of ranking higher.

System -> Configuration -> Web -> Search Engines Optimization -> Use Web Server Rewrites -> “Yes”

Sitemap Configuration

Google Sitemap

Configuring your sitemap is extremely important and allows Google to index your entire site easily.

Your sitemap can be configured:
System -> Google Sitemap

Your sitemap can be generated:
Catalog -> Google Sitemap -> Generate

Magento Sitemap

Magento has a built in sitemap feature which displays your products and catagories in a tree format.

System -> Catalog -> Sitemap -> Use Tree Like Category Sitemap -> “Yes”

System -> Catalog -> Sitemap -> Search Engine Optimizations -> Autogenerated Site Map -> Enable

Base URL Configuration

Its important to ensure that your base URL auto-directs and only one WWW or non-WWW URL is used for your store. For example http://yourstore.co.uk will re-direct to http://www.yourstore.co.uk.

System -> Configuration -> Web -> URL options -> Auto-redirect to Base URL -> “301 redirect (Moved permanently)”

Catalog, Products & Categories Configuration

Product Meta Data

When creating products in your catalog ensure that you have SEO friendly URL keys and relevant meta data.

Catalog -> Manage Products -> “Product” -> General -> URL Key

Catalog -> Manage Products -> “Product” -> Meta data

Category Meta Data

When creating categories in your store you will be required to enter relevant meta information. Make sure these are relevant.

Catalog -> Manage Categories -> “Category”

Product URL Structure

This option will lower the length of your product URL’s & reduce duplicate content.

System -> Catalog -> Search Engine Optimizations -> Use Categories Path for Product URLs -> “No”

Canonical Links For Catalog

Default SEO Values

Canonical links help reduce Google penalty for duplicate content on your site.

System -> Catalog -> Catalog -> Search Engine Optimizations -> Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Categories

System -> Catalog -> Catalog -> Search Engine Optimizations -> Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Products

Default Catalog URL Suffix

These options will edit the suffix attached to your product & category pages.

System -> Catalog -> Search Engine Optimizations -> Product URL Suffix -> “.html”

System -> Catalog -> Search Engine Optimizations -> Category URL Suffix -> “.html”

Default Values

These values are added in your catalog when information is missing. Also default information for robots directives.

System -> Configuration -> Design -> HTML head ->
Default Title

System -> Configuration -> Design -> HTML head -> Default Description

System -> Configuration -> Design -> HTML head -> Default Keywords

System -> Configuration -> Design -> HTML head -> Default Robots -> “INDEX, FOLLOW”

Advanced

Whilst editing these advanced features you should be careful as making an incorrect change can break certain functionality of your store. You should only change these options if you understand the effect that they will have on your store.

System -> Configuration -> Web -> Session Validation Settings -> Use SID on Frontend -> No

Conor Tomkins

Conor Tomkins

Senior PHP Developer

Working with PHP applications since the age of 17. I have a wide range of knowledge on most PHP open source platforms. I must admit, my favorites are Magento & Wordpress!

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