SEO Tips for Magento 188.8.131.52
The first place to start optimizing a Magento site is within the SEO Options in the website configuration. Go to System->Configuration->Web on the admin panel of the website. Under URL Options, you can change the setting “Add Store Code to URLs” to “no”. This will help to keep unnecessary keywords out of the URL. In the same section, under Search Engine Optimization, set “Server URL Rewrite” to “yes”. This will remove “index.php” from all URLs for the same reason.
In the metadata of your CMS pages, ensure that you have filled out the keywords and description for the page. Be sure to include at least 5 keywords that are relevant to both the page and your business and a detailed description about the page and your business. Search engines will use this data, in part, to determine how relevant a users search term is to your page and website. For the page content, remember my first rule of SEO: Content is King. I generally tell people to think of it this way. Your website is an employee who works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and never takes vacations. Tell this employee as much as you can about your company.
This might sound obvious, but these are sometimes the easiest ones to miss. Ensure that the robots.txt file allows robots to crawl the site. After all, if search engines cannot crawl your site, then all the work in the world is not going to make a difference.
The core of any online store is the products. There are a number of places that you can give your website a leg up on product pages. Remembering, my first rule, keep your content detailed, but don’t let it drag out. Make sure that you fill in the meta data section with detailed information about the product. This will be how many people find your store. Also update the URL Key. This will create a more search engine friendly URL for your products.
Images are often an over looked element in SEO. An online store will often have many product images so this is a section that will have more effect on a store than on other kinds of websites. Always try to use meaningful files names for your images. Something that describes what the image is. Also remember to use title and alt tags on your images wherever possible. This will help give spiders information about the page that they would not otherwise be able to get.
Go over your website a few times. Make sure that you do not have any duplicate content. This includes all CMS pages AND product pages. Resist the temptation to use the same content for different products. This will have the added benefit of giving your customers an individualized description of the products.
The tag structure of your pages should follow a basic format. On Product Catalogue Pages, use H1 tags for a Catalogue Name and H3 tags for the Product Names. These 2 tags tell spiders how important each piece of information on the page is. On the Product Pages, use H1 tags for the Product Name.
When building your template files, don’t include and CSS of JS in your code. Use external files, and include them. This keeps your code clean, and easier for spiders to crawl.
Fast Theme Files
Make sure that your theme files execute fast. This will have a double effect. It has long been known that spiders will give more weighting to faster sites. It has also been long known that customers favour sites that load quickly. This is one of the tactics Google used in their early days to gain popularity.
Optimize your PHP
While this is not specifically related to themes, I feel it is equally important to ensure that your PHP code executes quickly. Running speed tests and optimizing your PHP code will have an added effect on the speed of your site. It is also true that more efficient code tends to be less buggy and error prone due to the time and attention that is often given to the code.
Switch to A Better Web Host
If your website remains slow even after optimizing the code, using a caching plugin, and a CDN, it’s time to move to a better web host with faster servers. You might contact your host and ask them why your website is performing slowly on their server, but if they fail to provide you a specific reason, you can be sure that their servers are slow in the first place.
While choosing a new web host, make sure you don’t make the same common mistakes that most beginners do. A few of my favourite web hosts are: ASPHostPortal.com, UKWindowsHostASP.NET,DiscountService.biz. I recently reviewed ASPHostPortal.com and in my opinion they’re the best shared host out there out of the large lot of hosts I’ve tested. If you’re curious as to why I never had to switch to another host.