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SEO & Magento: Enabling SEO and Adding SEO Content to your Magento Site

Magento & SEO: Enabling SEO Adding SEO Content to your Magento Site

 

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of ensuring that your website contains accurate and strategic page titles, keywords and phrases to increase the visibility of your website in organic/unpaid searches.

Magento is SEO compatible right out of the box, so there are a few things that you will want to do to optimize this content and make it even more relevant in organic searches.

This article will show you:

1)    How to manage SEO content on CMS Pages

2)    How to manage SEO content on category pages

3)    How to enable URL Canonicalization in Magento

4)    How to generate a Sitemap and submit it to Google via Google Webmasters

 

Manage SEO Content for CMS Pages in Magento

We first want to make sure that we have added adequate, and strategic, titles, keywords and descriptions to all of your CMS pages in the Magento backend. The reason that we recommend starting with CMS pages is because those pages are created first in the lifecycle of your website build, so they are often the first ones indexed by search engines.

Let’s get started. 

1)    You can access your CMS pages via the following path:  CMS—PAGES – MANAGE CONTENT

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2)    Here, you will see a list of your CMS pages, and you simply select the page that you wish to edit. In this scenario we are going to start with the home page:

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3)    Access the Page Information tab located on the left side of the page:

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4)    You will first want to update your Page Title. The Page Title is what displays at the top of the browser viewing the page. An example of how the Page Title looks in both Magento and a browser can be found below:

Magento View:

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Web Browser View (Google Chrome on Mac):

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5)    Simply update the Page Title field with your preferred title, and the changes will be reflected on your website. An accurate page title that matches well with the content and URL of your page will positively contribute to your visibility in organic searches.

In this step we are simply changing the page name to Demac Media to accurately represent the content and URL of the page:

Magento View:

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.44.51_AM.png

Web Browser View (Google Chrome on Mac):

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.37.21_AM.png

6)    Now that you know how to update your page title, it is time to add content to the Meta Keyword and Meta Description fields in Magento. Click on the Meta Data field on the left side of the page, and fill in your meta keywords and Meta description for that page:

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Meta Keywords are keywords that Google uses to sort the relevance of web pages in organic searches. The Meta Description on the other hand is a description that is shown on search engine results below your URL. An example of this can be found below:

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Be sure to add a Meta description to each CMS page on your website. If no Meta description exists in Magento, search engines will populate the description with other content from your website, and that content does not always correspond well with the page displayed.

 

Managing SEO Content on Category Pages

Just like your CMS Pages, you can control the page name, Meta keywords and Meta description for your category pages from Magento. We will follow a process similar to that of managing SEO content on your CMS pages with slightly different navigation and functions.

1)    Access your Categories in Magento via the path CATALOG – CATEGORIES – MANAGE CATEGORIES:

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2)    Then select the category for which you want to add/edit SEO content for:

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.38.14_AM.png

3)    When you select a category the basic information for that category is automatically displayed. To access the Meta information areas to add/update SEO content, scroll down to find the Meta Keywords and Meta Description fields:

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.38.42_AM.png

4)    Just like step 5 of the previous section, here you insert your preferred page title, meta keywords and meta description:

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.38.58_AM.png

Meta Keywords are keywords that Google uses to sort the relevance of web pages in organic searches. The Meta Description on the other hand is a description that is shown on search engine results below your URL. An example of this can be found below:

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.39.06_AM.png

Be sure to add a Meta description to each category page on your website. If no Meta description exists in Magento, search engines will populate the description with other content from that page, and that content does not always correspond well with the page displayed.

 

Enabling URL Canonicalization in Magento

EnablingURL canonicalization in Magento is the process of informing Google that multiple pages of your website have the same content, but different URL’s. Without enabling URL canonicalization you will have duplicate content on multiple pages with different URL’s, which a classic red flag for Google’s SEO crawling software.

You can enable URL Canonicalization in Magento through 2 easy steps:

1)     Access the configuration panel of Magento through the path SYSTEM – CONFIGURATION:

2)     Go to the Catalog section on the left side of the page and select Catalog:

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.39.18_AM.png

3)     Access the Search Engine Optimization tab, and select YES for the following 2 options:

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4)     Click on Save Config to save your changes. You have now successfully enabled URL canonicalization of your website.

 Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.39.31_AM.png

How to generate a Sitemap in Magento and submit it to Google via Google Webmasters

To have Google better index the content on your website for SEO, best practice is to submit a Sitemap to Google via Google Webmaster Tools. This Sitemap can be generated from the Magento back-end, and delivering it to Google will allow for your site to be more accurately crawled and categorized.

The next steps will show you how to generate the Sitemap from Magento, and how to submit that Sitemap to Google to more quickly prompt indexing of your pages content. So let’s get started:

1)    You can access your Google Sitemap portion of Magento through the path CATALOG – GOOGLE SITEMAP:

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.39.39_AM.png

2)    Select Add Sitemap located at the top-right side of the page:

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.39.47_AM.png

3)    Name your sitemap sitemap.xml and give it the path of “/”:

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.39.52_AM.png 

4)    Once you have specified the path and the file name, you will see your sitemap as a line item in Google Sitemap section of Magento as mentioned in Step 1 of this section:

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5)    Your Sitemap will look like this:

Screen_Shot_2013-07-26_at_9.40.12_AM.png

6)    To submit this site map to Google, login to your Google Webmaster Tools account and select Sitemaps from the Crawl category on the navigation menu on the left-hand side of the page:

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7)    Next, click Add/Test Sitemap, input the filename that you created from Step 2 above, and click on Submit Sitemap:

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8)    Now, go back to the navigation menu and select Fetch as Google from the Crawl subsection:

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9)    Click on the red Fetch button to fetch the Sitemap that you just submitted:

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10) Once you have done this you will see that your Sitemap fetch status is set to pending, and will quickly change to success with a green check mark. You will then want to click on the Submit to Index button:

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11) You will be asked if you intend to submit only the main URL for indexing, or if you wish for Google to index all pages linked to your main domain as well. For best practices we recommend selecting the URL and all linked pages option:

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12) Once you have submitted your Sitemap you have ensured that Google is fully aware of all of the pages on your website, and this will help Google to do a better job of crawling your site. 

 

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