Helping you in SEO of your Magento Online Store

Helping you in SEO for your eCommerce Website
Have you created an online store in Magento? Yes, then it is created with an aim to earn good money and reputation online. Both things can be earned only when your Website will have a good rank in search engines, gets frequent appearance in search engine result pages (SERPs) for targeted & related keywords, and high visitors’ traffic. All these things can only be achieved with an organic and thoughtfully planned search engine optimization (SEO).  In this write up, we will discuss the steps and extensions to perform the effective and result-oriented SEO of your Magento Online Store.

Resolve non-WWW & WWW problem

First, you have to login at the admin panel of your Magento Website. Go to System > Configuration > Web. You will notice some options in the right hand side space at your screen. Expand the option titled ‘Search Engine Optimization’. Search Engine Optimization under Web in Magento Configuration Select Yes for ‘Use Web Server Rewrites’. It will allow Magento to use the rewrites done through mod_rewriter in .htaccess. Now, open your .htaccess file and add following code into it:

For redirecting www to non-www

RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.sample.com$ [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://sample.com/$1 [R=301,L]  

For redirecting non-www to www,

RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^sample.com$ RewriteRule (.*) http://www.sample.com$1 [R=301]  

Change in Magento Configuration

Come back to System > Configuration >Web in Magento Admin panel. Expand the options ‘Unsecure’ & ‘Secure’. Following is a screenshot of the same: Unsecure & Secure Options in Magento Configuration Both of the options have similar points, but we have to deal with the Base URL that is the URL of your Magento online store. Here, you have to enter the preferred non-www or www URL for which you have changed the .htaccess file. Check the URLs again carefully in both options. Click on ‘Save Config’ button in the top right side.  

Redirecting the index.php URLs to Root

By default, the path of Magento Admin Panel will be http://www.example.com/index.php/admin. It is not recommended to have this path or any other path through index.php for security reasons. You can redirect the index.php URLs to root with the following code in .htaccess. RewriteBase / RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9} /index.php HTTP/ RewriteRule ^index.php$ http://www.example.com/ [R=301,L] If you want to make change for sub-directory install of Magento then use following code: RewriteBase /magento/ RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9} /magento/index.php HTTP/ RewriteRule ^index.php$ http://www.mydomain.com/magento/ [R=301,L]  

Default Option – Not to be changed

Go to System > Configuration > Web and select URL Options. URL Options in Magento   This option helps you to add or remove the Store Code in the URLs. Mostly it has No. You can modify the other option ‘Auto-redirect to Base URL’ on your requirement. Go to System > Configuration > Catalog, you will see a list of options in the right hand side. Click on Sitemap, this will look like following. Sitemap option in Magento Configuration   Magento automatically creates a sitemap and provides above option to modify the sitemap. You can have a tree structured sitemap and also increase the minimum lines per page. The default value is 30 and after that, a new page will be created inside sitemap.

HTML Header Settings

Magento gives the title ‘Magento Commerce’ to your store by default. You can change the default title, add an icon, and have prefix etc. in Configuration for better responses from search engines. For this, go to System > Configuration > Design > HTML Head. It will look like as following for new installation. HTML Head in Design at Magento Configuration We suggest you to create a good title explaining your store working and to include keywords in it. These keywords will become the primary keywords and get more preference from search engines. In addition, you can add a favicon of your store to do brand awareness among visitors. This will again promote your logo, Store Company and Website. In addition, you can add the store name in the “Title Suffix”. This will add the store name at all pages on your Website. For example, adding ‘Shopper’ will make the title of a content page as below:

Blog Example Magento Online Store | Shopper

If you want to keep your Magento Online hidden from search engines then change the Default Robots to ‘NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW’ else stay with ‘INDEX, FOLLOW’ to get indexed.

Resolving Canonical URL problem

Two URLs will be canonical when there is a different between their structures. For example, following are canonical URLs:
  • www.example-magento.com/blog/
  • www.example-magento.com/blog
  • http://www.example-magento.com/blog
  • http://www.example-magento.com/blog/
All of the URLs are pointing to same location but search engines will count them 6 URLs and hence, can allege the example-magento.com to have duplicate content on six different pages. To avoid this, you have to install a Magento extension. Following are the two choices: We suggest you to use any one of above.

Meta Robots

Magento is a Content Management System that evolves and expands dynamically during its regular course of working. Due to this dynamism, few pages are created eventually either these are temporary in nature or does not required to be indexed. Few examples are Category Pages, Search Result Pages, Feeds, Login and Register Pages, and other error pages. The indexing of these pages can effect the ranking of your Website. So, it is required to disable their indexing. You can use following extensions to control the robots.txt and handle the indexing of non-content pages. We suggest you to use any one of above.

Search Engine Optimization

Visit System > Config > Catalog and you will find an exciting option named Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization in Catalog at Magento Configuration   You can configure it as per requirement.

Google Sitemap

In Catalog section there is a useful option Google Sitemap. Magento does not require you to do efforts in creating a sitemap. It will do automatically and gives you an option to submit this sitemap to Google. Visit System > Config > Catalog > Google Sitemap for this option. This will look like below: Google Sitemap option in Magento Configuration Select the frequency of updates in Products, CMS Pages, and Categories. If it is the new store then Categories will added on daily basis else on any other basis. We suggest you to select the actual frequency on which you can update the opted section. If you are selecting Daily frequency for CMS Pages then you have to update it on daily basis. Do you know why? Google will visit your Website on the prescribed frequency, check for changes, index them and develop its database to show your product/pages/categories in its search engine result pages (SERPs). If it does not detect any change then it can throw an error resulting into low Page Rank.

Conclusion

You can follow above options and steps to optimize your Magento Online Store for search engines and get it ranked fast. We request our readers to add their experience with SEO in Magento through valuable comments.  

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Ajeet Yadav
An established Technical Writer with MagentoJunction, a branch of Creativeweblogix. Ajeet Yadav is well-versed with PSD to Magento Conversion, Social Media, Content Management and SEO. He often opines on CMS's like Magento. To know more from him, subscribe to our Blog RSS or you can follow us on Google+, Facebook, Twitter also on Linkedin for updates on Magento.

2 Comments on "Helping you in SEO of your Magento Online Store"

  1. Krit says:

    excellent post as i was looking for tips to boost the SEO of my Magento web store. Thanks a lot for this great contribution..!

  2. Suzanne says:

    Free Magento themes? anyone? i need such free themes for better SEO by utilizing the tips give above..

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