Basic tips for making your Magento store SEO friendly
When dealing with to Magento store’s SEO, some of the common mistakes are inherited from the point your project was in development stage. To avoid such mistakes here’s a Checklist with Basic tips for making your Magento store SEO friendly. You can also get some tips and practices for mistakes during designing and development from the article Common Mistakes you should avoid while building a Magento store.
Change the title of the home page to something else than just “home”
Home Page is considered as landing page for your online store. Users will come to this page when they vist your site. Let us not just have a common name like “home” and go for some name relevant to your site content like “Agile Beauty Store” or “Agile baby product Store” etc.
Change the logo title and the alt tag to something else than “Magento Commerce”
Logo is usually on the top left of your website. Make sure it does not say “Magento Commerce”. Also make sure alt tag for the same is change.
Change the “default description” field
On the Magento Admin navigate to System > Configuration > General > Design > HTML Head > Default description. It is a good practice to leave his blank. Because when you are doing the basic SEO of the site you will be filling in description of each page/product. Filling this in will have duplicate descriptions for lot of the URLs on your site. It is worth noting that usage of keywords like “Magento” or “Magento store” is also not advisable.
Keep your hosting/server location in the country of your targeted market
Most of the Store owners ignore this, but it is important if you want to rank well for the keyword you want. Make sure to host your Magento site in the country of your targeted market. For example, you want to rank well for the keyword: “ICC Cricket” and your targeted market is India, then remember to host your Magento site on a hosting in India. This not only improves the keyword ranking but also user experience in a lot of ways.
Turn on rel=canonical to deal with duplicate content
Duplicate content is very bad from SEO point of view. So it is good to have canoncials for products and categories both. This can be done by navigating through System > Configuration > Catalog and then clicking on the option labelled “Search Engine Optimizations”.
Changing robots settings
Make sure you turn meta robots to “index, follow” and also remove the robots.txt disallow after you move your site from staging/dev environment to live. This can be done by System > Configuration > General > Design > HTML Head > Default robots “INDEX, FOLLOW”. It is very common mistake to leave it as it is on LIVE server which means your site will not be crawled or indexed by Google or any other search engines.
Get rid of sample products and categories while building sitemap
We’ve come across this as well. Make sure you are double checking what’s in your sitemap.xml before it is submitted it to Google.
I hope this post helps a few of the Magento Developers out there. It is worth noting that, this post will not help you rank your Magento store higher in search engines like Google, Bing etc. This post is just a checklist to avoid common SEO mistakes that can happen while you deploy your Magento Store to LIVE. Please feel free to comment if you like this post or if you think something is missing from the above list.