9 Magento SEO Hacks for Retail Sites

:: Jyoti Mali, TIS India ::

The Magento platform is pretty optimized for search visibility on its own, but as any retailer knows, search engine optimization (SEO) for ecommerce is much different than, say, for an information publisher or service provider.

This is because online retail shops can have high bounce rates, low time on site (after all, the goal is to get visitors to buy quickly) and duplicate content (as products may appear in multiple places). For these reasons and others (like sheer competition), retailers will want to check out these Magento hacks for ecommerce websites to get their sites ranking higher and searchers clicking through more.

Web Configuration

The first step in the quest to optimize the website's content and SEO pattern is Web configuration. This means that website should be transformed to obtain maximum responses from the SEO content. For maximizing the Magento site, one should start with the SEO options themselves. Beginners should go to System on admin panel and follow the order from Configuration- Web- URL. In here, they will need to amend the setting of 'Add Store Code to URLs' and change it to 'No.' Next, go back to the Settings tab again and instead of going to URL, visit Search Engine Optimization. Here, put a 'Yes' to 'Server URL Rewrite'. The former action will get rid of all the unnecessary words from the URL, and the latter action will remove 'index.php' from the URL.


The next one on the list of Magento SEO hacks for ecommerce websites is the robot.txt file. SEO experts should allow the search engines to crawl the website to obtain sufficient information about the activity. For this reason, they need to enable the robot.txt file to ensure that they support robots crawling on the site.

Product pages

Products are the core of the business, and therefore, one needs to project them adequately on the site, like with informative and straight-to-the-point content. This will include all the details of the product, without stuffing these descriptiosn with keywords. Do not crowd it with excessive content or information. This can be a negative point for both the search engines and users. Secondly, give extra attention to the metadata section to fit in enough information of the products in question. Also, work on the URL key to having a more search-engine friendly system.

Fast theme files

Another rather important aspect of an ecommerce website is the theme files. Remember, SEO experts are inclined to websites that load faster and give a smoother performance. Thus, when the website can load and present the theme files quickly, it attracts more traffic. The faster the site, the more prominence it will get on the market.

Header settings

For the ecommerce website, design and structure play an important role in getting traffic. Two broad ideas could be used here. First, beginners should know the importance of keywords and its placement. On search results, it has been observed that the words placed at the beginning of the listing have more clicks. Second, retailers will want to choose a good title for the website and remove the default one in 'Magento Commerce'.

CMS pages

Content management is necessary for a successful ecommerce site. If one chooses Magento for an ecommerce website, then they would be provided with very simple and useful CMS functionality. One big advantage of the CMS services would be the ability to control pages. The first task would be to provide sufficient and relevant content to each of the CMS pages. Further, write a meta description for each of the different CMS pages. Now, this is a tricky one. This description should be luring enough to encourage users to click on the page. For some out of the box ideas, refer to the search engines to see what competitors are using.

Category optimization

Now it's time to face an important topic: category optimization. There are three important points to be kept in mind here. First, is the Meta description. Putting some exciting and attractive content is a must for generating traffic. Next is the page title. It would be a good decision to keep this tab empty and later fill it in with the category name. Third, comes the URL key. For this segment, one will need to choose a small but keyword-rich title. Try to omit words like 'and' and 'the'.

Clean up the code

One of the key things that tend to impact the Magento SEO content is a clean template. For this, get rid of the external JavaScript and CSS files that might be clogging template form. Also, this ensures that the search engines are not required to download these every time, which can slow down the site.

XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps are another valuable tool in the quest to generate traffic on an ecommerce website. It might not give or contribute to a good rank, but it will help to get it indexed at a greater speed. It is more like a manner of informing the search engine of the content and where it is placed. Moreover, keep on updating XML sitemaps with changes in the website inventory. About the Author:

Jyoti Mali is the head of digital marketing at TIS India, where she leads strategy for multi-channel digital advertising for in-house accounts & agencies globally. Being a Google Analytics Certified (IQ) Professional & Ecommerce Analytics Qualified Consultant, she loves playing with Analytics and helping clients with actionable insights.