Follow these best Magento SEO practices and your store can growth-hacking before you know it!
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Unless it’s a lack of SEO update. Lack of SEO updates will absolutely kill your website off the map.
As you all know, eCommerce SEO strategies are crucial. In the modern era, most consumers search for the products they are interested in on search engines like Google. The absence in SERPs will lead you to literally no sales.
Did you know that Google has a blog? And they put out an article saying they make 3200 changes regarding their ranking criteria and algorithms. And the irony is that this bit of juicy inside Google magic doesn’t appear on the SERP.
It’s almost like they’re purposely hiding it from you while constantly updating their game. That’s why SEO optimization is a must for anyone that has a Magento shop online.
That says, you must take advantage of Magento’s superior SEO features to attract new customers and boost their sales.
5 best Magento SEO practices for Ecommerce in 2020, what stands out and gets results? Let’s find out.
CHECK OUT the all-in-one Magento 2 SEO Guide for further understanding and optimizing SEO.
#1 Perfecting technical SEO – Best of best Magento SEO practices
Of 5 best Magento SEO practices in this article, this is the first one you should perfect.
Why Does Technical SEO Matter?
This is both the easiest Magento SEO and the foundation for a great ranking. Easiest because you can set it into motion and automation.
And as a foundation, SEO for Magento eCommerce (or any other platform) has its own system that needs to maintain and expand. For example, Magento 2 is known for its inclusion of Google Analytics.
For more information, READ this article about how Magento SEO affects your ranking!
Keys to the strategy
It’s all about KPIs. I highly recommend you make a KPI system for 3 reasons:
- This is best to layout a flexible measurement
- It’s wise to monitor and rate your technical SEO as it varies
- Easier to notice and fix bug along the way
And below are key performance indicator results you need to measure.
XML sitemap and craw report
Always have an XML sitemap. This is the utmost SEO for Magento website step you can take because nothing else matters if you can’t put yourself on Google Index.
Keep a close eye to the report and engage fix on any bug (duplicate content, linking issue…) along the way.
READ this if you need an overall explanation of sitemap in Magento 2
Google Search Console
Along with monitoring your Magento SEO performance, Google Search Console also provides you information about errors and issues such as data structure, AMP, index rate,…
Therefore, you can use this tool to track down the bug and address it quickly before it harms your SEO.
One more important point of impact you can have on Google’s SERP is the rich snippet.
That’s the box right here.
It tells the most essential parts of your website which is a big point in UX and also you can take up a bigger space there.
Moreover, you can feature your product page with core information about it such as: price, availability, rating.
Such a rich-featured description will boost your click-through rate significantly.
You can try out the extension here.
The faster it gets, the more efficient it is. Beyond SEO, loading speed also improves the conversion rate of your site.
This is true to a certain component on your Magento website, i.e the checkout page. Other pages don’t require that much attention in terms of speeding but they still demand it quick and smooth.
That’s why you need to prioritize the page speed to get the exposure needed for better SEO turnover.
AMP – don’t be late to the party
Mobile comes first. Best Magento SEO practices call for an AMP counterpart to capture the growing population of mobile search users.
Do this part well and it can be your new competitive strength. The benefit it can potentially bring you is impeccable:
- Great for SEO. Google will mark your content with a bolt of lightning and prioritize your page on the SERP.
- It can turn page speed insight from red to green in a blink.
- Save the bandwidth budget as the content is cached by Google.
- Boost traffic from mobile search engines.
Always set the time to update your site on this front as well as investigate the market to make the change as necessary. It’s complicated but absolutely worth any drop of effort poured into it.
#2 E-A-T to get that L-O-V-E from Google
The most delicious of all the best Magento SEO practices. And no, it’s not about food.
E-A-T as a concept
E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. There are two most important things you need to know about it:
1. E-A-T is not a ranking metric and
2. It’s (nearly) impossible to optimize
Yes, E-A-T is a concept for you and other third-party analyzers to evaluate the content you produce. To be more specific, E-A-T itself does not act as a ranking factor but its indicator (link) is doing exactly that.
For example, the trustworthiness is associated with the brand name that holds the content. The more trust it incites, the higher rank it should get.
But the SERP says otherwise.
As the graph says, less accurate content dominates the page rank and more trusted and in-depth content is buried deep in the search.
That’s a very telling example of links as a ranking factor and an indicator for trust, expert and authoritative.
Moreover, because it is a concept, a standard to hold your content. You can strive to build and focus on the excellence of it, but not find a way to hack it.
There is no checklist to determine E-A-T but you can translate it into signals that Google can understand (as link analysis, content analysis) to help your site rank much better.
Content marketing strategies
Now that you have all the golden keywords, it’s time to put them to work.
Why do you need to market your content
Here is the direct quote from a blog I wrote a while ago:
“…as anyone who has ever tried to make and seed content can tell you. If your plan is just to upload to a small or a new channel then hope for people to find and share it. Your plan is already doomed.
With how much good content there is competing for attention on the Internet. That’s why you need a distribution plan and then give your content a hard shove.”
To elaborate on this, “hard shove” isn’t always equal to paid posts.
In fact, content marketing is considered the most cost-saving Magento SEO strategy. SEO through content is the best way to build backlinks, sale potentials as well as customer lifetime values.
You just need to find the exact spot that works for your brand. And I’ll guide you to that spot.
Content’s quality is the most important
Content inherently inside of SEO systems is a product, that is not something to be denied or forgotten about.
Buying into the market’s demands is expected and natural. Authenticity is a facade.
But that doesn’t mean you get to treat content like nothing but a product; like it intrinsically has no artistic value because of its status as a product.
It’s just not a space to shovel your keywords into. It should and must contain values outside of the sellable aspects.
Without quality content, even paid posts get 91% of people back off after 1 second.
Remember these 3 adjectives when writing content:
- Rich – in keywords and in values.
- Exact – in the knowledge you’re delivering.
- Evergreen – to maintain its values through time.
Now, let’s get technical.
Categorize content (Hubspot has learned their lesson)
A good way to model E-A-T is to cluster your content. Here is how it looks like:
At this front, you want a central piece – which you want Google to rank you for, and surround it with supporting pieces all pointing toward it.
As mentioned, link plays an important role in Magento SEO strategies. And so does internal linking.
This is how you back up and build up your content’s reputation that results in a higher ranking on the SERP.
Ultimately, this approach will further organize your page structure and content tree. Now, you have a tidy and easy-to-navigate website while sending signals to Google about all the money content pieces you intended.
Craft your metadata
This Magento 2 SEO optimization step is easy to do and easy to mess up at the same time.
One of the mistakes that mostly every site has ever made is the meta keywords. Get rid of them.
They bear no SEO values according to Google and they’re actually risks of exposing your targeted keywords to competitors.
From now on, I highly suggest you only focus on title and description meta tags.
Title tags and the scheme of heading tell search engines about your priorities, what you find important about the page.
It also makes the bots crawl the site better and easier.
And meta description in SEO for Magento website in 2020 is more important than ever. It is a ranking factor as well as a tiny sell copy.
On this front, you might think, “wait, I have hundreds if not thousands of products and content, how can I optimize the metadata, one by one?”
Well, I have a wonderful solution for you. Automation!
Try out this Magento 2 Meta Tags Template to experience the luxury of auto-creating metadata with a simple set up.
Internationalize your website
Another point of impact you can target for E-A-T is to broaden your geo-demographic.
There is countless quality content in English for Google to choose from, but other languages are not that well-equipped.
This leaves you a big opportunity to capitalize on this front, by investing in multi-language versions of your site. The more appeal it gets, the better traffic it attracts.
Magento 2 is thoroughly prepared for internationalization as MNCs (namely Coca-cola, Nike) have nailed their ship in this dock. It’s a crime to not make use of it.
#3 BERT – A new look into keyword defining
Keyword research is undoubtedly one of the best Magento SEO practices.
2019 marks the birth of BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) that opens a new challenge and of course, an opportunity, to keyword research.
More than ever, Google breaks down the query due to the user intent. For example:
Conjunction words (such as: to) previously bear no searching value, which results in Google showing post of US citizens requirement to travel to Brazil, not vice versa for “2019 Brazil traveler to use need a visa.”
But now, this type of word is taken into account to show the most accurate result to the search.
This is not to say that the old keyword research is going out of style. In fact, it strengthens the importance of keywords and brings out more selling value out of it.
Such focus on intent will require more human interaction which ultimately results in a better understanding between you and your intended customers. And by doing so, you begin and build a relationship with them which then can be monetized.
Here are some notes you should consider.
Pay attention to discovery and association
As mentioned, BERT has introduced a new take for keywords as queries: more flexible, more ‘human’ and natural and immediately answer search questions.
Besides, Google also heavily promotes the answer box that features the frequently asked questions with the keyword that the user entered.
That’s why you want to jump on this boat with content that broadens into similar or related aspects of said topic. It will better your chance of ranking as well as traffic gains through the search engine.
Keyword stuffing vs. UX
Of course, repeatedly adding keywords all over your page would call for punishment from Google. However, including keywords in the answer is a direct and natural way of writing that fits the narrative.
Just like common human interaction, we tend to repeat the object of the question in our answer. Do the same thing to your writing, it will make it loud and clear as well as easy to understand.
This will result in better UX overall and that’s what you want for the best Magento SEO practices.
#4 Link Building: SEO’s landscape 2020
At any given time, link building is always an inevitable part of best Magento SEO practices.
But the landscape is changing fast and there is something you need to bring before jumping into the water.
You can read up on my full guide to SEO link building.
But in this article, I will focus on mainly two approaches: one is timeless and one is up-and-coming.
Ethical is fundamental
Google and search engines have improved their calculation in terms of ranking to weed out the contribution of black hat link building.
Namely, Google Penguin – an algorithm that targets shady link building initiatives. And being marked by Penguin will harm your site significantly.
Penguin will lower your ranking and result in a downward trend of organic traffic.
Therefore, only build links ethically.
Featured list and citations
This tactic is arguably the easiest and an all-time-favorite way to get a backlink. All you need to do is search and ask.
Find the stockist websites that are near your business. Offer them your link as “hey, I also provide this product, your audience might find this useful!”
The next step is to enlist your business on search engines: Goole, Bing, Yahoo, Apple (yes, voice search is a thing now and you want Apple’s users to be able to find your business).
And you can find these featured opportunities faster and easier with White Spark.
They do offer a paid plan but you still can get a lot of things out of the free account.
This is a (sort of) spin-off version of broken link building. It’s newer, better, and more effective.
Instead of seeking out links that no longer work, we will focus on the article that mentions us. There will be 2 scenarios when we spark the reclaim action:
- They don’t link to us.
- They link to an irrelevant page from our website.
Using Ahref, you can easily find out the prospects for this act.
In Content explorer type in your brand name. You can use the filter as follow:
- Published time: To stay relevant.
- Languages: To be more localized.
- Only live links: We want to contact these people.
- One page per domain: To stay content.
- Add filter: Allow the search to be more close to your intent, recommended using the DR filter.
And here is the template message you want to shoot out:
My name is *blank* and I’m from *your brand*.
Thank you for mentioning my site in your article! *link*
I think adding a link to my site *link* as well will make your readers happier!
(If you want them to link to another page: I think this page will be a better suit to your content!)
Let me know if there is anything I can help you with in terms of content.
And that is it.
#5 Consolidate SEO efforts with teams and tools
If you think SEO is solely a marketing division business, it’s time to change.
As any business goes, there are at least three parties (built-in and outsourced) involved in SEO: the marketing, the engineering, and the R&D. As one makes decisions, one does the execution and one sets the vision.
So here’s another Magento SEO strategy for you.
Smoothen the communication
Buttering the communication between all parties that take part in Magento SEO strategies is a must. You need to set the bar and the rule to make the announcement: clear to understand, easy to question and encourage feedback.
One of the methods you should consider for your business is SMEs (subject matter experts). To find the one that can solve the puzzle as well as establish communication with them.
How you work with the tech team will differ from the R&D department.
Balance out workload and responsibility
SEO for Magento eCommerce as joining efforts of these three divisions is a solid model on working and checking back.
For example, R&D can make a decision to focus resources on a specific product, therefore, initiate an SEO action to promote said goods.
However, if either the marketing team (due to search volume, keyword difficulty,…) or the engineering (for the feature of products/ associated content) disagrees, the plan will better be reevaluated.
This module also makes use of all the resources within your budget by targeting tasks to the one that is most suitable for it. Everyone gets happy for doing what they’re good at and free to attribute their input.
That’s how you create a good SEO strategy.
Choose the right tools
At its core, SEO for a Magento website is a human job, however, you can make it easier with the help of well-coded extensions.
Luckily, Magento has a vast inventory of third-party services with amazing support all around the corner. Free features such as Yoast SEO Magento 2 is a good start if you have a limited budget for SEO.
At this step, I highly recommend you to choose a reliable provider over anything else. Investing in extensions with great customer support will elevate the extension performance.
After picking up your trusted source, find/voice your need to them. Choose the one (or several) that suits your SEO plan.
I do want to plug our all-in-one SEO extension right there. It covers the entirety of an SEO from start to finish. More than that, we also give you a free SEO audit for your website.
Bonus strategy: A/B testing
You can’t blindly pour all your resources into one pot. Magento 2 SEO optimization asks for testing and tweaking along the way to find your sweet spot on the search.
Other than that, the benefits these tests come with is truly intriguing:
- Improve sales from based traffic
- Save times and efforts
- Lower bounce rate
- Make the change(s) count
- Satisfy customers and visitors
What is A/B testing?
This term refers to a test in which you compare 2 versions with 1 variation against each other. From there, you can determine which one performs better and proceed to implement on a large scale.
How to implement A/B testing for SEO?
There are two main types of variables for SEO A/B testing: technical and conceptual.
Technical A/B testing refers to the effort of SEO for Magento eCommerce regarding the engineering of a site, namely URL structure.
Here you can test out cluster topics and divisions to measure and compare their result in traffic and turnover.
On the other hand, conceptual A/B testing concerns the core of the website: text and visualization.
For this, you can see how different versions of sales copies behave. Testing out metadata and rich snippets. Counting on added multi-media for selling potential.
The sky’s the limit. You can test every single one of the SEO variables against the web crawlers and customers. With the easy 6-steps above, you can gather better evidence for your SEO action plan forward.
Wrap Up of Best Magento SEO Practices
We’ve run over 5 best Magento SEO practices for Ecommerce in 2020. According to the constant flux of customer behaviors and search algorithms, it’s best to keep monitoring and updating your SEO plan for the best.
In the meantime, you can visit our SEO extensions inventory to help your journey of putting your product on the map.
Any other SEO trends you want to share? Let me know in the comment below.
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