In e-commerce, search engine optimization, or SEO, is a continuous effort aimed at increasing the quantity and quality of traffic that comes to a web store through organic search engine results.

Simply put, accurate optimization helps merchants:

  • promote the web store without paid ads (organic results)
  • attract target customers (quality traffic) and
  • encourage customers to click through from those search engine results pages (quantity of traffic).

SEO is a sophisticated dish. That’s why a proven recipe can save the day if you want to do the job quickly and with yummy results.

Previously, we reviewed default Magento 2 functionality for SEO. For a quick introduction, you can check these comprehensive infographics.

While out-of-the-box Magento 2 features can be a solution in many cases, merchants often want to go an extra mile and search for additional tools to improve their positions in SERP. Just google Magento SEO extensions and look at the diversity of offerings on the market.

The bitter truth, merchants pick SEO extensions from different vendors and due to compatibility problems have tech indigestion instead of a robust SEO set.

This is exactly the reason we decided to come up with a comprehensive SEO toolkit that will extend the needed Magento 2 functionality altogether.

Now, let’s explore:

  • what’s inside the toolkit,
  • why you need it, and
  • how to use it to your advantage.

 

Amasty Seo Toolkit ingredients

#1. Seo cross linking

Cross Linking is an SEO technique that implies interconnecting website pages with each other using keywords.

SEO Guide

Say, you have a home page and two pages – one selling chocolate bars and another one – chocolate sweets. The first page is optimized for the Chocolate Bars keyword. On the homepage, you say that you sell Chocolate Bars and link it to the first page using a relevant keyword. On the second page, you say that chocolate sweets are good but your Chocolate bars are better as they are both good and big and, again, link it to the first page. As a result of such cross linking, search engines understand that the first page is indeed about Chocolate bars

In e-commerce, cross linking is used to:

  • improve the information architecture of the store;
  • suggest readers relevant and useful content and make web store navigation convenient;
  • point customers to the pages you want them to visit;
  • spread link juice around the website.

Be cautious! Though cross linking is used to improve ranking, take it in reasonable amounts. Improper cross linking can do only harm. For example, if you interlink irrelevant pages, search engines will penalize you for cheating. In addition, too many though relevant links will disturb both the reader (shopper) and Googlebot, so keep to a reasonable limit.

The above means that accurate cross linking can be a real challenge if you have a rich product catalog. The Magento 2 Cross Linking add-on helps you automate the process with due regard to caution measures. You can manage external and internal links, how they should open and which keywords should be used, set limits per page, and many more. This way you achieve more precise and effort-saving results.

Check this guide to learn how the key features of Magento 2 Cross Linking work in detail.

#2. Rich snippets

Google Rich Snippets are the type of structured data that is most helpful for online retailers.

SEO Guide

Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page that Google Search uses to understand content. As Google wants to serve only relevant content, the logic is simple: the better it understands your page, the higher ranking you get. 

Rich snippets highlight particular data on a page for Google and this way help it deliver more informative descriptions in search results. For example, a product page description can include breadcrumbs to accurately display the category it belongs to or stock availability and price to draw only relevant traffic to your website.

As a result, you can:  

  • enhance the web page visibility in organic search;
  • get higher rankings in search results;
  • increase CTR (click-through rate);
  • decrease the bounce rate.

The Amasty Rich Snippets module includes the most popular types of structured data with retailers, which you can learn by following the examples in this guide.

#3. SEO-friendly URL

That’s not a secret that search engines don’t like duplicate content. However, some Magento configurations can lead to content duplication (for example, if you have the same product featured in two categories). This can damage the correct indexation of pages and decrease the chances that shoppers will find your product in Google search.

SEO Guide

 How can duplicate content damage a web store?

Search engines

  • don’t know which page version to index;
  • don’t know whether to direct the link metrics (trust, authority, anchor text, link equity, etc.) to one page or divide them between several versions;
  • don’t know which version to show in search results.

Shop owners lose rankings and traffic.

To keep each product’s URL unique, Amasty designed a special extension. The Unique Product URL module allows configuring multiple related parameters, such as

  • including/excluding categories and subcategories in product links;
  • modifying breadcrumbs to display a current URL or the last visited category;
  • defining conditions for creating exclusive product URLs;
  • redirecting visitors to canonical URLs.

This guide explains in detail how every feature works.

#4. Meta tags templates

Though meta tags don’t appear in the page content, search engines read them so as to understand what a page is about and promote more relevant search results. In addition, potential customers see metadata while browsing the web. So, filling it correctly is crucial for a web store optimization.

SEO Guide

Keep to an optimal length of meta data to make sure Google will display it correctly. For example, the title tag should ideally fit a 600-pixel space, which is around 50-60 characters. The year 2018 brought some mess to the limits of the meta description length. First, it was extended from 155 to around 320 characters. Then, it was cut again. Now, the figure varies and Google sometimes displays descriptions up to 300 characters. To be on the safe side, keep close to the previous limit. 

Online shops reasonably have a lot of pages, which makes it hard to accurately complete all the metadata around the website. Meta Tags Templates allows working with metadata individually and in bulk by applying templates to categories or certain products.

Read here how to do it quickly and accurately.

#5. XML Google sitemap

In e-commerce, XML sitemaps have particular importance. The more accurate you set it up, the faster and more efficiently Googlebot crawls new and updated versions of your product pages, and the faster you start attracting relevant potential buyers.

SEO Guide

 A sitemap contains a list of all pages on a website and this way tells search engines about the organization of content. Googlebot and other web crawlers read sitemaps so as to crawl a site more intelligently.

An XML sitemap built in line with the standard sitemap protocol, helps Google understand media-rich pages that include, for example, images and videos.  See below for an example of such a sitemap. 

An example of the XML sitemap.

Amasty’s XML Google® Sitemap allows generating XML sitemaps by tweaking quick and flexible settings. It focuses on the aspects that are especially important to bring more traffic to an e-commerce website. For example, the module allows including images and links from various locations (category pages, product pages, CMS pages, extra links). Also, the extension has the Hreflang tag feature to hint Google at the language of content and help it guide shoppers from different locations to relevant store views.

Let’s configure an XML sitemap to make it clear how the extension works.

#6. HTML sitemap

An HTML sitemap is a well-structured text representation of your web store menu. Unlike an XML sitemap, this one can be viewed on the website and therefore helps:

  • customers to easily find the category (topic) they were unable to reach via site search;
  • merchants to improve their web store ranking as search engines reward user-friendly websites.

The Amasty HTML Sitemap covers the gap in default Magento functionality and allows generating a sitemap in seconds by picking categories and CMS pages that you want to exclude. It comprises some advanced features aimed at SEO and user convenience. For example, you can define meta tags and the page crawling order to help search engines. Or else, you can automatically exclude out-of-stock items and add a search box to make the sitemap transparent for shoppers (see the screenshot below).

An example of an HTML sitemap.

Perhaps, the key benefit is the ease of configuration in a single menu – check this guide and demos to test.

Conclusion

Well, now you know the six ingredients that make up good Magento 2 SEO. Though every module solves a particular problem and can be used by itself, a complete SEO toolkit will work much better just like pizza Margherita tastes better as a whole than tomatoes and mozzarella taken separately. And for sure, don’t try to replace mozzarella with some low-quality cheese. That just won’t be Margherita any more.

Special thanks to Darya Yermashkevich who helped us bring this post to life.