Why is Magento 2 a lot better for SEO?

There are numerous reasons why Magento makes a great platform for eCommerce businesses. It’s reliable, user-friendly, secure and rich in functionalities. Plus, it allows you to build customised solutions that follow your business growth.

Magento also has advanced SEO support features, which enable your products to rank well on major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Given the fact that up to 93% of online activities begin with some type of search query, it’s of great importance to remain visible and utilise organic traffic for attracting new customers.

When Magento introduced Magento 2, things became even better, SEO-wise.

What changed with Magento 2?

1. Magento 2 SEO features for metadata

  • General SEO rules
  • Meta title
  • Meta description
  • Image optimisation

2. Unique Content

  • Canonical Tags for Categories
  • Canonical Tags for Products
  • Canonical URLs

3. Control of site indexing

  • XML sitemap
  • Robots.txt

4. Other useful changes

  • Search engine optimisation for specific products
  • Google Analytics and Magento 2
  • Google Adwords and Magento 2

1. Magento 2 SEO features for metadata

General SEO rules
When it comes to SEO priorities, every store administrator first has to enable SEO rules within Magento 2. These rules define the way metadata for categories, products and separate landing pages will be configured. Once you define a rule, you can name it and decide to which pages or website segments you wish to apply it (see Rule Info). You also need to regulate the principles of the rule (see Conditions). Doing so is rather easy and user-friendly: simply browse through the drop-down menu to find the conditions you want to set.

Meta title
Meta title is one of the key SEO elements, given the fact it’s of massive importance to search engines. For your online store to show up on the search engine results page for relevant queries, you have to optimise your meta title. What’s great with Magento 2 is that you can edit your title tags across all pages – if you wish to add something at the beginning or the end of the title tag. This is now possible with Title Prefix and Title Suffix (see HTML Head), and it’s rather convenient and time-saving. For instance, you can easily add your company name at the end of your title tag, to ensure proper brand visibility in organic search.

Meta description
Meta description tag should be appropriately optimised with relevant keywords as it serves as a brief description of your products. Here, you may want to try out the following Magento 2 SEO feature: Products Fields Auto-Generation. If you have a lot of product pages, this feature can help you set templates for them, all at once, which is pretty neat. However, be cautious since they are applied at a global level, meaning you can’t change the descriptions for products that are found within specific categories (e.g. men’s, women’s, kids).

All the metadata you create can be reviewed (see Preview in Rule Information). The centralisation of this type of data gives you an excellent top overview, which makes a manual opening of each product page a thing of the past.

Image Optimisation
To ensure proper visibility of your website, you should create relevant Alt text for each image. In Magento 2, it is possible to add alt attributes (see Alt Text in Product). You should also optimise the size and format of your images for faster page load times. Unfortunately, Magento 2 does not have a built-in image compression feature, but you can easily find a lot of free tools for image compression online.

2. Unique Content

Canonical Tags for Categories
You can enable canonical tags for categories by following this path: Stores > Configuration > Catalog > Search Engine Optimization. Unlike Magento 1, in Magento 2, allowing this setting will ensure canonicals are applied to sorted and filtered pages. Tags will also be used to paginated results, which is why you may want to consider adding Prev-Next tags.

Canonical Tags for Products
Just like with categories, enabling canonical tags for products is possible under Stores > Configuration > Catalog > Search Engine Optimization. Keep in mind it’s not yet possible to customise your canonical tags, but existing options enable you to minimise duplicated content.

Canonical URLs
As the store administrator, you can choose whether or not you wish to include canonical URLs to Meta Header Tags. If you’ve marked certain pages as “noindex” to signal search engine crawlers those particular pages should not appear in search results – you should prevent canonical URLs for them for best SEO results.

3. Control of site indexing

XML sitemap
In Magento 2, there are many useful setting regarding your XML sitemap (see XML sitemap in Stores). Some of the important innovations include automatic adding of images, directly to the sitemap, as well as the convenience of submitting the URL of your sitemap to robots.txt. On the downside, there is no way to include or exclude particular pages to your sitemap.

With Magento 2, Magento has truly outdone itself. One of the best SEO improvements in Magento 2 is undoubtedly the new option of editing your robot.txt file without ever leaving the admin panel (see Search Engine Robots in Stores). Here, you can choose if you wish your pages to get indexed or not. Default settings are set to “index, follow”.

4. Other useful changes

Search engine optimisation for specific products
Magento 2 is very easy to use, and it enables admins to change structured data directly to control the online visibility of certain products. You can edit the details about your products and then preview how your products will look on the search results page. Within Magento 2, you can expect your description to be evaluated in real time, and you will also get suggestions on how to improve your content. In Magento 2, all product pages are by default described with microdata, which helps you optimise for rich snippets in Google search.

Google Analytics and Magento 2
For eCommerce businesses, tracking traffic and performance of your product pages is everything. Luckily, Magento 2 has made it easier than ever to track your store in Google Analytics. All you have to do is enable Google Analytics and add a tracking ID (See Admin > Tracking info in your GA account).

Google Adwords and Magento 2
Since Google Adwords is another thing eCommerce businesses rely on when it comes to reaching new customers and optimising conversion channels, Magento 2 has enabled merchants to implement Google Adwords and access crucial information more conveniently.

Magento 2 SEO checklist

Now that we’ve covered the most important Magento 2 SEO features, it’s time for you to roll up your sleeves and get down to business. We have created a checklist for you so you can be sure you’ve got everything covered:

  1. Start by enabling SEO rules within your Magento 2 admin panel
  2. Product page optimisation: take care of meta tags for products (use Fields Auto-Generation and Product configuration page)
  3. Create SEO-friendly URLs, both for products and for categories (customise your URLs and set default metadata for store view)
  4. Optimise title tags, utilise the Prefixes and Suffixes feature (e.g. boost your brand visibility by adding your company name at the end of title tags)
  5. Optimise your images for better visibility in Google Image Search (add keyword-rich Alt text)
  6. Enable canonical tags for products and categories
  7. Control your site indexing by editing your robots.txt file within the admin panel (set “index, follow” for pages you want to rank)
  8. Submit the URL of your XML sitemap to your robots.txt file
  9. Optimise your products for search by editing their details (take advantage of Magento 2 suggestions in order to improve descriptions or optimise for rich snippets)
  10. Integrate Google Analytics and Google Adwords for a better top overview

Make sure to tick off everything from this checklist to get started with SEO for your Magento 2 store.

If you need help with launching your eCommerce business or you want to increase your brand awareness and improve your online visibility – contact Best Response Media today, the right Magento SEO agency.

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