How to make your website easily digestible for both users and search engine robots?
By applying crucial SEO settings, of course.
One of the most in-demand extensions for our customers is Improved Layered Navigation for Magento 2. Many Magento store owners implement it to boost their store navigation experience. However, not everyone knows how to use it all for SEO.
Therefore, we’ve decided to help you with that and described the main SEO settings in the complete guide.
Layered Navigation is a basic extension for any Magento 2 site. It allows your store visitors to browse the product catalog in a more comfortable way.
However, without the necessary settings, it won’t help your store ranking. What is more, by leaving the settings intact you can face the next glitches:
- too long URLs: You know that search engines have standards for website URL parameters. Some of the Google standards require keeping a simple URL structure appealing to users with proper punctuation;
- filtering results crawling: As long as search engine robots crawl and index filtering results, multiple unnecessary pages appear in search;
- similar content: Besides, the multiple filtering results lack unique meta tags and content.
All these problems, and a a big number of useless pages in particular, can result in low ranking in search results. With a correct configuration of the navigation module, you have all chances of avoiding these problems.
What is more, in comparison with the first version, we enhanced the Improved Layered Navigation for Magento 2 SEO functionality and made it more convenient.
For instance, now you can configure SEO-friendly URLs just using the Enable setting:
The point is, by default, Layered Navigation makes the URLs of filtered pages cumbersome: /men/tops-men.html?activity=9&size=168, which is due to Get parameters. Therefore, we need to make them user- and SEO-friendly: /men/tops-men/small-red.html.
Paginated content improvement is also worth mentioning. Now the Render Prev/Next tags on improved navigation pages setting allows automatically assigning right prev/next tags to the pages like p=2, p=3:
Read more about all the module features here.
Thus, to avoid the duplicate content issue and make each page of your website unique, you should choose one of the SEO strategies described below and make the required adjustments.
Read on to find out how to get it right.
Choosing your SEO strategy
Solution #1: Block everything from indexing
While being a newbie to Magento 2 SEO, you can simply block all filtered pages from indexation, following and this way avoid their effect on your site ranking.
For this, you need to change SEO settings for each filter.
E.g: Say, you have a ‘color’ filter that you need to block from indexation and following. Then you should go to the SEO settings of the filter and choose the Never option in the Allow Google to INDEX the Category Page with the Filter Applied and Allow Google to FOLLOW links on the Category Page with the Filter Applied configurations:
Once the options are chosen, don’t forget to save them and clear the cache.
However, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions as there are filtered pages on your site that are likely to be Googled by your clients.
E.g.: Let’s say you know that visitors will come to your store for green carpets. Then you want this page to be indexed and followed. This is where our Custom Page functionality comes into play.
What is a Custom Page?
It is not a page in the traditional sense. These are the rules for changing the content of a page depending on the filters applied. For instance, when a visitor chooses a green color in the carpets category, he or she sees a corresponding H1 Title and description. The category image also changes accordingly.
These pages are indexed and followed by default as the content is unique. Such a page can be created and set up here:
Turn to the user guide to find more information about the Custom Page settings.
Solution #2: Add brand pages indexing
Visitors often choose products using a brand filter. Therefore, pages filtered by brand are suggested to be followed and indexed. These configurations, as well as SEO-friendly URLs, can be set up on the Settings page of a specific brand.
Tune a new or existing brand page using available options:
- Decide on the Slider Options for the brand. Determine whether this brand should be shown in the brand slider, choose its position and image:
- Specify a meta title, a description, and keywords for your brand:
- Define the brand page content:
- Besides, you can set up canonicals simply by selecting Brand Filter Only in the Canonical URL configuration:
Here Keep current URL, URL Without Filters, First Attribute Value, Current URL without Get parameters are also applicable and good for SEO.
For example, the URL Without Filters option is the most sought-after by our clients. This is because, regardless of the number of the applied filters, the canonical will direct the robot to the page without filters. This means that only one page is indexed by search engines.
Find more information about the difference in settings here.
Solution #3: Let filtered results be indexed, but make them more appealing
We’ve already described the Custom Page settings used for the page content changing. With the help of our extension, you can make the page title, description and metadata change upon filtering. This can be achieved with the filter options described below.
To find the options, go to the Stores > Configuration> Improved Layered Navigation menu and define whether the title, description, and the metadata of the selected filters should be added differently and, if so, specify what attributes should change the title and description:
Once it’s done, in the Add Filter Description setting, you can choose where you want to insert the title:
- Before Category Name
- After Category Name
- Replace Category Name
- Do Not Add
Such filters can be enabled for index/follow without any SEO risks. With the above functionality, you shouldn’t worry about the duplicated content issues ever again.
What can you do if you set pages to be indexed, but they aren’t? The answer that you’re looking for is here.
Best SEO practices
Let’s sum up all our tips from above, the best SEO practices for layered navigation:
- use custom short URLs
- enable SEO-friendly URLs feature
- close from crawling filtering results
- use custom pages for the most common search results instead of filtering result page
- add brand pages to indexing
- use the Filter Description settings
- get rid of duplicate content by using the canonical tag.
However, if you think that you need more personalized tips about website optimization, our SEO specialists are ready to audit your store and give you personalized advice. They will help you make improvements that can bring your business to the next level. Learn more about the Amasty SEO audit or talk to our specialist (the first consultation is free).
Feeling better about your SEO knowledge?
No doubt. However, site optimization is a challenging task and sometimes it is more effective to entrust the work to professionals. If you feel confident about your skills and are looking for a complete solution to boost your SEO strategy, have a look at our SEO Toolkit.
In turn, we are continuously striving for the improvement of our modules functionality. So, if you have any ideas on this one, drop us a line below.