Beef up your Magento SEO - Heart Internet Blog - Focusing on all aspects of the web

As far as e-commerce platforms go, Magento is one of the most popular and search engine-friendly content management systems available. While there are plenty of SEO techniques that can be implemented within Magento, you can also save time and make things even better with the right tools.

Ranking higher than your competitors is a must for any e-commerce site. If you’re not properly optimising your website, you’re losing out on brand impressions, clicks, and sales. Things like preventing search engines from indexing your site, duplicating content, stuffing keywords on pages, not filling in meta data, and more can harm your site and prevent it from ranking high in the search engine results.

We’ve found some of the most effective SEO extensions and tools to help get your store’s SEO in shape, helping to increase its visibility in search results and generate more relevant search traffic.

All-in-one SEO tools

All-in-one SEO tools for Magento

We know that running an e-commerce site is a lot of work. With the right tools, you can save time and optimise your site. These all-in-one tools help you tackle the most important site optimisation tasks, from creating sitemaps, to adding canonical tags, to creating breadcrumbs, and more.

CreareSEO

This free extension helps you with the most common SEO tasks, from creating unique meta data for each product page to disabling the meta keywords tag (which Google now doesn’t include in their rankings). It can also create breadcrumb navigation to make things easier for your customers, and labels images to help with image searches. Plus it supports structured data to help search engines better understand the content on the pages, including logo and organisation mark-up.

Advanced SEO Suite

If you have an online store with hundreds or thousands of products, this extension saves you an immense amount of time, fully automating tasks such as creating URLs, adding meta data, and building sitemaps. Along with the detailed SEO work it can do across your site, you can also set up unique SEO data for specific templates, brands, and categories, making it even easier to target your audience to your products. This extension does cost money, but you do get a free year of updates as well as 30 days of free support.

SEO Suite Pro

This comprehensive set of tools helps you work on the most common optimisation tasks, including sitemap indexing, rich snippets optimisation, duplicate content issues, and easy management of the robots.txt file. It is a paid extension, but you do get life-time support and updates added completely for free, and it is compatible with a range of other Magento extensions.

Search engine crawling and indexing

Search engine crawling and indexing for Magento

When you create a new website, one of the first things you want to happen is to have people find it. Typically, however, you’re stuck waiting around for the Googlebot to crawl and add content to the Google index.

It’s vital to help search engines index your site as well as possible, and these Magento extensions help to ensure that everything is indexed correctly.

Breadcrumbs for Product Page

Breadcrumb navigation is vital for any e-commerce site. Not only does it help your customers navigate through your site, it also helps search engines get a clearer picture about your site’s structure. This free extension adds breadcrumbs to all your product pages quickly and easily.

Category URL SEO Free

Using descriptive words in URLs also gives search engines insight into the type of searches the page would be relevant for. For example, /cat1/subcat1/subcat2/tyres would tell you that the product page contains tyres, but does it contain bicycle tyres, car tyres, wheelbarrow tyres, or something else? With this extension, you can take full control over your site’s URL structure, making your URLs descriptive, unique, and relevant, like /bicycle-tyres.

Solving duplicate content

Solving duplicate content in Magento

Search engines reward something that is nearly impossible to fake – unique content. And if you’re not careful, even if you have unique content on each page, your site might be serving up that content on slightly different pages, which can harm your rankings.

Canonical URLs

This extension not only adds the canonical URL at the top of your website pages, it also shows you all the available variations for a particular URL and lets you choose which one is the canonical URL. This makes it easy to point search engines in the right location every time. You need to like them on Facebook to download the extension.

Rich snippets for easier searching

Rich snippets for easier searching in search engines

By giving search engines a summary of your product pages, they have a clearer picture of what you’re offering.

Rich Snippets Suite

This extension allows you to control the product information that Google displays in the search engine results, including things such as product images, reviews, descriptions, and more. It also gives you control over Twitter Cards, a new feature that lets you attach more product information in tweets about your product, and Pinterest Rich Pins for easy Pinterest information.

Google Rich Snippets

If you want to focus on Google alone, this extension gives you all the rich snippet information you need for Google, including product parameters, breadcrumb navigation, and category-structured data. Highlight your products in Google search results and make it easier for your customers to find exactly what they need.

Improving loading times

Improving loading times in Magento

You already know how vital it is that your site loads quickly. Every second your customer is waiting is another second where they could leave. Thankfully, there are a range of extensions that improve loading times for your site.

Fooman Speedster

JavaScript and CSS files are often the reason why many sites take a long time to load. This extension combines multiple files into single JavaScript and CSS files, making for fewer HTTP requests to your server. It also compresses the files, cutting down on size for even faster loading.

Compress JPEG & PNG images

Your e-commerce site hosts hundreds or even thousands of product images, which can prevent your pages from loading quickly, especially since Magento creates multiple images in different sizes each time you upload one image. This extension uses TinyJPG and TinyPNG to compress those images, reducing JPG size by 40-60% and PNG size by 50-80%. You will need to get an API key from TinyPNG, which will allow for approximately 100 images to be uploaded and compressed for free.

Full Page Cache for Magento

Magento’s loading time can be a problem for customers, as it needs to load everything before someone can use the page. This extension fully caches the page, making it load faster and minimising the server load. It also reduces the size of JavaScript files, which contributes to a faster page rendering.

Better usability

Better usability for Magento

If you’re not making usability a priority on your website, you’re only driving visitors away. The more difficult your site is to use, the less likely your visitors become paying customers. And there are plenty of extensions to help you make your site even easier to use.

Menu Manager PRO

Improve your site’s navigation quickly with this extension, including the ability to add images in the menu, change what actually goes into your menus, such as products, categories, or internal pages, divide your menu into columns, and match the menu with your site’s design. This extension comes with one year of free updates, an expanded user guide, and the option of paying for full design integration with your site.

Search: Smartest Instant Search

One of the easiest ways to point customers to exactly what they want is through an instant search. This extension gives you a search box on your site that can include instant results, autocomplete suggestions, and product or category directed search, so customers not only find individual products, but they can go straight to the category to browse further.

Automatic Related Products

Cross-selling related products is a great way to bump up your sales. While you can do it manually for each product, that can be a lot of work if you have hundreds or thousands of products. This extension automates the process, allowing you to define particular rules for related products and then choosing which products the rules apply to. It also comes with 90 days of free support, and a 50% discount if you choose to upgrade to Magento 2 at some point.

One Step Checkout

Make it even easier for your customer to finish that order with this convenient extension. Instead of the six stages Magento makes customers go through, you can now have all the stages on one page, and choose the layout to make it even easier for customers to go through the process. The extension also loads the checkout process faster, with a responsive design for even easier navigation and purchasing through mobile devices.

 

These are just some of the Magento extension we found that can help your site. Make sure to test them and find the ones that work best for your needs, whether you’re just starting out or managing a massive superstore.

Did we miss any good extensions for Magento that you recommend? Share it in a comment below.

Swifticons by Darius Dan for Smashing Magazine.

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