Search engine optimization is one of the key factors for any online store. SEO is the process of optimizing factors on a website to both search engines and users.In essence, SEO is what you have to do so that search engines be able to understand the content and structure of your website. The more information search engines crawl your site, the more chances your website can be indexed and ranked higher. Ranking higher increases your traffic and having higher traffic equals more orders which equals more profits.

Luckily, Magento 2 has a lot of options that help improve the onpage SEO of your ecommerce store.

SEO settings for Magento 2

1) Homepage Title and Meta Tags

Homepage is one of the most important pages of a website. A homepage is likely to rank higher than any other pages of a website and it should contain most important keyword of your online store. Title of the home page and H1 of the home page are one of the most important on-page elements and by default in Magento 2 they are set as ‘Home Page’. Make sure you change this and include your most important keywords in place of title and H1. Title of home page can be changed from Content -> Pages -> Homepage -> Edit

Meta description and meta keywords can be changed on the Search Engine optimization tab.

2) Product Page Optimization

  • Meta Tags for Products

Product pages are most important for eCommerce sites.Importance of meta tags cannot be overestimated. Product page meta elements consists of title, meta description and meta keywords. It is very difficult for eCommerce stores with thousands of products to make meta elements for each and every product. Magento 2 has an awesome inbuilt feature to tackle this problem.They are applied on a global level. You can dynamically set meta description, meta keywords and title of a product under Stores -> Configuration -> Catalog  

  • Seo-friendly Urls For Products

There is nothing new here. A product URL in Magento 2 is created in accordance with the SKU you’ve specified. But you can change or edit the URL if you need. In Magento 2 you will see it in Products  -> Catalog -> Edit Product -> Search Engine Optimization

3) Meta Tags and Seo-friendly Urls for Categories

Meta data for categories can be set up on a category level at Products -> Categories -> Search Engine Optimization. Here you can also choose a URL for the category according to your needs.

4) Canonical Catalogue Settings

Canonical tags are used to solve duplicate content issues. In eCommerce canonical tags are mostly used to solve problems of duplicate product content and avoid indexing of filtered category pages. Magento 2 provides canonical tag feature if you want to implement on filtered category and product page. This can be accessed from Store -> Configuration -> Catalog -> Catalog -> Search Engine Optimization

Remember canonical tags are used to solve duplicate content issues, if your filter pages serve different content, it is not wise to use rel=canonical tag. If you do not want your filtered pages to get indexed, you can use meta noindex tag.

5) Control of Site Indexing – Robots.txt

Robots.txt and meta robots tell the search engines which site pages should be indexed and which should be ignored. Thus, you can reduce duplicate content issues and hide technical data (e.g. reports or core files) from unwanted indexation. That will help you secure your site data and plus, a well-planned indexation contributes into your overall SEO success.

Magento 2 has inbuilt feature to edit Robots.txt from admin panel. It can be accessed from Stores -> Configuration -> General -> Design. Robots.txt is one of the most important and most overlooked parts of SEO. A lot of people make mistakes while implementing robots.txt on an eCommerce store. Magento 2 has made it easier to edit it right from the admin panel. There are various things which should be taken care of while implementing robots.txt to your eCommerce store.

6) Rich Snippets in Magento 2

Rich Snippets is a great way to make your SEO strategy more efficient, by making your site look visually attractive in Google search. As a result, you can improve CTR by up to 40% and eventually raise sales.

There are different rich snippet elements you can implement on the site: breadcrumbs, star ratings, video thumbnails, price, category, etc. By default, Magento 2 is equipped with basic markup data tools in product pages. You don’t have to configure anything to get rich snippets. Magento 2 misses a key rich snippets feature ‘Availability’ which is an important attribute for a product. Make sure you add Availability attribute if you think it is important for your store.

7) XML Sitemap Generation

XML sitemaps allow Google to easily identify and crawl the URLs on your site and they are still a core feature in Magento 2.0. The second step in a basic setup is enabling their generation.Magento 2 provides many useful settings when it comes to generating an XML sitemap, you can find them in Stores -> Configuration -> Catalog -> XML Sitemap

8) Magento Redirect

If you skip this aspect of store optimization, your visitors are likely to end up on a ‘404 – not found page’, which can cost you a big amount of lost sales. By default, the older versions of Magento utilize a 302 ‘temporary’ redirect. In order to make the most out of your link value, it’s better to use a 301 redirect. You can either do it with the built-in redirect system or resort to some 3d party extensions.

Some commonly used types of the redirect:

  • 301 Moved Permanently: 301 Moved Permanently is a permanent navigation of 90-99% link juice to the navigation page. In most cases, 301 redirects are the best method to perform redirections on a web page.
  • 302 Found / Moved Temporarily: It is temporarily redirecting 0% link juice and in many cases, we should not use.
  • Meta Refresh: Meta Refresh is a kind of redirect that is executed on the page level, not the server level.

Magento 2 allows you to easily make 301 and 302 redirect (without editing an .htaccess file). You can find them in Go to Marketing -> URL rewrites -> Add New.

These were all the SEO settings you need to take care of before making a website live on Magento 2. If you have any questions related to SEO settings in Magento 2, do comment below, we will love to answer it.

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