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Basic Steps to on-page SEO for Magento Website

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This article will show you the basic steps to optimizing SEO for Magento website.

1/ Install the Latest Version of Magento

Installing the latest Magento version is the first step that you need to do to optimizing SEO for Magento site. The latest version will bring the security updates, bug fixes and SEO improvements.

2/ Simplify Your URLs  

The best website URLs for SEP need to be clear of any codes. Simplify your URL making them friendly for prospects and search engines.

How to do: go to System => Configuration => Web => Search Engine Optimisation. On the left side click URL Options – then set Add Store Code to URLS to No. This step will will eliminate any product/category codes to be added in to your URL.

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3/ Rewrite Server URLs 

Remove index.php from your URLs can making them even more search engine friendly.

How to do: in “Search Engine Optimization” menu, set the “Server URL Rewrites” option to “Yes” to remove “index.php” from your URLs.

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4/ Add Custom Meta Tags 

To create a SEO friendly Magento site, you should add custom Meta tags for each page. Get rid of the default Magento commerce title and default description.

How to do: go to System => Configuration => Design => HTML Heads. Choose a custom title that best describes your store. Keep in mind to keep important keywords in the beginning of your title as search engines put a greater emphasis on them.

5/ Optimise Categories 

Magento provides powerful functionality that permits optimisation of category pages for each grouped product. To optimize for SEO, Meta description should have a keyword-rich and unique description that would be similar to those found on a search engine results page. Shouldn’t use “the”, “and” etc… in your URLs keyword.

How to do:

  • With category pages, to avoid duplicate content issues, go to System => Configuration => Catalog => Search Engine Optimisation and set “Use Categories” for product URL’s to No.
  • Now, let’s do the same for the categories. Go to Catalog => Manage categories. Fill the Meta Description, Page Title, and URL Key for each category separately.

6/ Avoid Duplicate Content 

Duplicate content really bad for SEO. When you want to show the same product in several categories, it is ideal to configure Magento accordingly as to avoid duplicate content penalties.

How to do: head over to System => Configuration => Catalog => Search Engine Optimisation and set Canonical Link Meta Tags for Products and Categories to Yes.

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7/ Optimise Magento Store for Speed 

To improve the page loading time head over to System =>Cache Management and enable all caching features. You can also reduce page loading time by minimising the amount of external files people can download from your server. This low speed optimisation feature is important because it can have a large impact on your site rankings.

8/ Optimise Product Images

Often product images are a neglected component of Magento SEO optimisation. Having a descriptive keyword-rich product image alt tag will provide better chances of visibility.

How to do: select Default Values in Choose Store Value => Images and optimise each image with relevant keywords. You should use meaningful description to be used as the “title” and “alt tag” for the given images; for example, use “sony-vaio-laptop.jpg” instead of “photo234.jpg”.

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9/ Generate a Google XML Sitemap 

Creating a site map allows search engines to easily index your site.

How to do: in the “Generation Settings” box, enable sitemap generation and change its frequency according to your store update frequency. This will allow Google to get your site’s most up-to-date sitemap that includes all new items.

You can also modify sitemap settings upon adding a new category, product, or page, so that your sitemap includes all of your new items, as shown below:

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10/ Add “Google Webmaster Tools verification tag” and “Google Analytics”

  • To add “Google Webmaster Tools verification tag”: click on System => Configuration => Design => HTML Heads. Put your “Google Webmaster Tools verification tag” in the “Miscellaneous Scripts” box as shown below:
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  • To enable “Google Analytics”: click on System => Configuration => Google API. Set “Enable” to “Yes” and type your Account Number in the box as shown below:
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