7 common Magento SEO mistakes

7

When dealing with Magento store’s SEO, these are the 7 most common basic mistakes I encounter. Some of these are inherited from the development stage of your projects. I hope this checklist will be useful for anyone launching a new store or checking their live site:

1. Homepage title “home”

If I had a dollar for every Magento store out there I’ve seen with a homepage title “home” I’d be a rich man. The homepage is usually a CMS page. Go in there and change the title of the page into something more suitable such as “Blue Widgets Online Store – Example.com”.

2. Using “default description” field

System > Configuration > General > Design > HTML Head > Default description – Leave this blank or you’ll have such a mess of duplicate descriptions on your store that don’t really describe the given URL that it will be unbelievable. Also, please make sure your meta keywords are not “magento, magento commerce” etc.

3. Not turning on rel=canonical

Save yourself from lots of duplicate content issues. Turn canonicals on for both products and categories.

4. Logo title and/or alt “Magento Commerce”

Logo, usually in the top left of your website. Don’t have it say “Magento Commerce”. I’ve seen that a lot of times.

5. Forgetting to turn meta robots to “index, follow” and remove robots.txt disallow after a move from staging/dev site to the live site

System > Configuration > General > Design > HTML Head > Default robots “INDEX, FOLLOW”.

Sometimes people leave this as noindex, nofollow on dev server and forget to change it when they migrate to the live server.

6. Having a default layered navigation

Layered navigation is a hell for the SEO. For more detailed explanation on this issue, read my guide on how to handle Magento layered navigation SEO issues.

7. Building a sitemap with sample products and sample categories

I’ve seen this one as well. Check what’s in your sitemap.xml before you submit it to Google. No sample products please! :)

Can you name a common Magento SEO mistake number 8?

If you need any help, we can do a Magento SEO Assessment for your site.


About Toni Anicic

eCommerce Consultant

SEO. Professional gaming. Home-brewed beer. Magento Certified Solution Specialist.

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79 comments

  1. hi have gone by your video to put seo on my site and have gone to google crawl url.how long will it take for it to show up on google 2 week still not a thing showing up is there other videos that i could look at i went of the seo starters video

  2. Great Article!! I’m having some really bad duplicate content issues with my store. I have removed the index.php from all the URL’s as this was causing some issues, but I see that the sitemap.xml’s output is still including the index.php URL’s for sitemap. Any Idea how to omit the “index.php” from the sitemap’s URL??

    1. Could be a number of things. Are you sure a new sitemap has been generated since you removed the index.php part from the URLs?

  3. Do we need to add product tags in Magento?? To my understanding it is the customer who needs to add the product tag. Does it have a plus effect on SEO or negative effect?

  4. Hi,

    I’ve 3 Magento stores, but I’m facing a problem with one of them. When I search on Google “Name of my store” the first result of my Magento store is from a CMS page and no my home page, as it supposes to be.

    I’ve checked everything as listes here, update my robots.txt, update sitemap and upload it to Google Webmasters, but no way… The first result is a CMS page… Could anyone give me glue?

    Thank you

  5. I have 60 products in a category, each one have 2 links to a products (1 image and 1 is text). It’s a good ideas to have nofollow in the img link and have only a link in the anchor text?
    Thanks

  6. I shared a post on FB for my site, kmtactical.net It pulled up the page header image, but under the image, it included a “product description” which read, “Beats for sale – Hip Hop – R&B – POP – Club Music. Any help to adjust this to ready actual item phrases?

  7. Hi,

    I have struggled to build my store and almost completed as we have faced many issues that make us delay building the site.

    I found your article and found it what you are good at.

    I would like to have a professional advice for what I have to do as next step to succeed in online business and wondering how much cost I I need for it as I have limited budget.

    Your kind reply would be appreciated.

    Best regards,

    SadayoshiMiyakuni

    1. Hi Sadayoshi,

      thank you for your comment, I’d love to see how we can help you out. I have sent you an email with more details and we can continue the conversation over there.

      All the best,
      Aron Stanic

  8. HI…
    System > Configuration > General > Design > HTML Head > Default robots “INDEX, FOLLOW”.

    Sometimes people leave this as noindex, nofollow

    if i leave it as noindex, nofollow and do the custom seo of everypage and every category than the search engine index it or not?

    Thanks

  9. Thanks for making it as a simple and clean point. We made 1 mistake but now we make it correct. thanks Toni for your nice and very informative article.

    1. It is unlikely that adding an extension will result in Magento speed improvement. Maybe removing some :)

      There could be a 100 different things that are causing your Magento based online store to be slow. To determine which factors are affecting your speed the most and how to improve it, I’d suggest a Magento technical audit.

  10. SEO# 8, Don’t forget IMG ALT tags (Image Label in Magento).

    These can either add to the keyword use IF needed OR add terms not used elsewhere. Remember that they are used as image titles so they need to make sense. ALT tags are also good general practice

    Comment on SEO #1: I’ve seen both amateurs and professionals use page titles poorly (Title = Home, Welcome, Index, and NOTHING). Authors of page building systems never stress this or include prompts telling the new user -THIS IS HOW GOOGLE WILL LIST YOUR WEB SITE!

  11. Hi Toni,

    Thanks for these SEO tips for Magento. We are a dutch developer team who developed a new on-page SEO plugin for Magento: ReloadSEO.

    I think this plugin can really help Magento users writte better content and rank higher. You can check it out at:
    ReloadSEO

    Would love some feedback!

  12. Can you set product tags to noindex? They cause duplicate content issues when I run a site audit. Is this a common problem in Magento?

    1. Actually it’s not very common because in most cases Magento stores don’t use product tags. You should set them to noindex, but there is no admin config for this, you need custom coding.

  13. Once I have finished big SEO entry How do I check for blank general and metadata fields in Magento, in case I missed any. :)

  14. How toxic for seo is it to have a sitemap with sample products? Our site is only about 15 pages but the sitemap has 190!
    Is this an issue?

    1. You should also set up 301 redirect so that those pages dont exist for the visitor. Did you check other variations as well such as www and non-www version of the same?

  15. An eCommerce website being deprived in SEO approach can’t expect good visibility anymore; tips shown herein sound pretty much valuable! (Isn’t it good to follow something that is to us is a proven result?). Facts displayed on homepage title, description (yes, Meta keywords & logo saying no “Magento”), canonicalization, sitemaps (with no sample products) and much more – just seems to get highly optimized by search engines (and reversibly, suiting to searchers’ queries) so far.

  16. SEO-friendly eCommerce platform would rather mean optimizing the products, whatsoever sold along the website, in an effort for search engines and therefore the end users to see and follow.

    Spencer Yao says something very clever about it. Powerful SEO features will hence include SEO-approachable URLs, Meta Data, Page Title, Sitemap, Easy-to-Follow Navigation Structure and much more as listed here.

    Yes, how Analytical tools’ been helpful to promotions, should be well understood and utilized. An importance of higher site performance with good loading speed should also stay uncompromised – and something more and more to go along…

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