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Future-Proofed Magento SEO at Imagine 2015
Future-proofed SEO
for Magento stores
About me
• Working in SEO / digital for over 8 years (in-house, agency +
consulting)
• Working with Magento for the last 5 years
• Specialise in Magento SEO (mostly consulting & auditing)
• Work as part of a consulting group
• Mostly work on audits (SEO, analytics, paid search, performance
optimisation and Magento code audits)
Overview
1.0 Getting the basics right
2.0 Magento configuration &
technical SEO
3.0 Future-proofing your visibility
Getting the basics right
The fundamentals of on-page SEO
Build SEO into your page templates
• Lots of reviews
• Reviews based on customer-
focused metrics as well as
just written content
• Useful / relevant reviews get
more visibility
• Good product content
• Product videos and lots of
images
• Q&A content from Facebook
Be more strategic with UGC
• Product reviews are important for injecting unique content into
product pages
• Split test your emails, timing and incentives to improve CR%
• Try and build relevancy and usefulness into your algorithm
• Integrate with your ESP and add sales data to monitor CR% and
deliverability metrics
• Give someone ownership
• Good use of space means more review content
Better site structure / architecture
• Try and build out high quality pages for secondary queries
• Complete a keyword discovery
• Add in rankings & landing page data
• Complete a gap analysis to identify pages required
• Create new pages (make sure you add content, otherwise you’re
just creating lots of thin pages)
Product-level duplicate content
• Having a single product feed (or single fields) for your site, resellers
and affiliates is a risk
• Don’t let affiliates and resellers use your review content
• Try to avoid using supplier copy
• Use the canonical tag for very close variants of products
(configurable and individual variants)
• Avoid using blanket content for the sake of it
Be careful with your robots.txt file
• Avoid the ‘standard’ robots.txt that is included in lots of blog posts
• Blocking all your dynamic pages with robots.txt can impact products
that are hidden behind merchandised products
• Don’t block your CSS and JS files
• Use the robots.txt strategically for crawl budget (for things like
search and multi-select layered nav pages)
Utilise rich snippets
• Easy opportunity to generate more clicks from existing rankings
• I usually recommend price, rating and search as a minimum for
ecommerce sites
Magento Config & Technical
Getting the setup right
Get your canonical tag implementation right
• Magento provides option to enable canonical tag on product and
category pages only
• Canonical tag should be on every page
• Not on CMS pages and homepage by default
• Make sure you’re not absolute referencing things like tracking URLs
• Canonical tag will only work for close variants
Keep an eye on URL rewrites
• Can cause frequent URL changes, especially on products (mainly
appending numbers)
• Make sure you check this after doing upgrades
• Can cause issues with redirect loops and crawlability
• CSV uploads can over-ride URL key
• Older /catalog/ URLs can get indexed because of rewrite issues
Be vigilant with indexing of low quality pages
• Layered navigation pages
• Search pages
• Pagination
• Session IDs
• Sort / order pages
• General site filters
• Duplicate /review/ pages
Watch out for duplication from secure pages
• Https variants of pages often get indexed with Magento
• This can be a very annoying duplicate content issue
• Two easy ways to resolve this:
– Canonicalise https pages to http equivalent (depending on size of site)
– Apply a redirect with exclusions for pages that need to be secure
– Ensure that links from account / checkout pages etc are pointing to http
versions of pages
A focus on layered navigation
• These pages should not
be indexed
• Don’t listen to people who
say they’re valuable for
long-tail
• Replace filters with volume
with static pages
• Don’t be fooled by search
friendly URLs
Split out your XML sitemaps
• More necessary for larger websites
• Gives you more visibility over issues (for different types of pages)
• I usually suggest at least product and category page sitemaps
• You could split out by categories
• Create an index sitemap if you do this
International SEO with Magento
• Having separate stores isn’t enough alone
• Use the hreflang tag (there are a few good modules available via
connect)
• Create separate Webmaster Tools accounts
• Localise content where possible
• Avoid using IP redirects (they still cause issues!)
Other things to think about
• Invest in performance!
– Google say it impacts rankings
– More importantly (in my mind) for crawl efficiency
• Think about mobile early
– Either do responsive or do your mobile site properly
Future-proofing your visibility
Be pro-active (not re-active)
with link cleanup
Focus on smaller numbers of
top tier coverage
Crawl your site regularly and
after releases
Process for discontinued
products / redundant pages
Make sure your site passes
Google’s mobile test
Invest in data! (rankings,
visibility, competitors, mobile
etc)
To summarise…
• Be vigilant with what you’re allowing Google to index
• Be aware of how Google’s accessing your website (check your logs
regularly)
• Don’t forget the basics (UGC, site structure etc)
• Keep a close eye on mobile
• Lastly, invest in SEO (by far the best CPA / COS if done properly)!
Feel free to ask me questions
Twitter: @paulnrogers
https://paulnrogers.com
Email: paulrogers21@gmail.com

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Future-Proofed Magento SEO at Imagine 2015

  • 3. About me • Working in SEO / digital for over 8 years (in-house, agency + consulting) • Working with Magento for the last 5 years • Specialise in Magento SEO (mostly consulting & auditing) • Work as part of a consulting group • Mostly work on audits (SEO, analytics, paid search, performance optimisation and Magento code audits)
  • 4. Overview 1.0 Getting the basics right 2.0 Magento configuration & technical SEO 3.0 Future-proofing your visibility
  • 5. Getting the basics right The fundamentals of on-page SEO
  • 6. Build SEO into your page templates • Lots of reviews • Reviews based on customer- focused metrics as well as just written content • Useful / relevant reviews get more visibility • Good product content • Product videos and lots of images • Q&A content from Facebook
  • 7. Be more strategic with UGC • Product reviews are important for injecting unique content into product pages • Split test your emails, timing and incentives to improve CR% • Try and build relevancy and usefulness into your algorithm • Integrate with your ESP and add sales data to monitor CR% and deliverability metrics • Give someone ownership • Good use of space means more review content
  • 8. Better site structure / architecture • Try and build out high quality pages for secondary queries • Complete a keyword discovery • Add in rankings & landing page data • Complete a gap analysis to identify pages required • Create new pages (make sure you add content, otherwise you’re just creating lots of thin pages)
  • 9. Product-level duplicate content • Having a single product feed (or single fields) for your site, resellers and affiliates is a risk • Don’t let affiliates and resellers use your review content • Try to avoid using supplier copy • Use the canonical tag for very close variants of products (configurable and individual variants) • Avoid using blanket content for the sake of it
  • 10. Be careful with your robots.txt file • Avoid the ‘standard’ robots.txt that is included in lots of blog posts • Blocking all your dynamic pages with robots.txt can impact products that are hidden behind merchandised products • Don’t block your CSS and JS files • Use the robots.txt strategically for crawl budget (for things like search and multi-select layered nav pages)
  • 11. Utilise rich snippets • Easy opportunity to generate more clicks from existing rankings • I usually recommend price, rating and search as a minimum for ecommerce sites
  • 12. Magento Config & Technical Getting the setup right
  • 13. Get your canonical tag implementation right • Magento provides option to enable canonical tag on product and category pages only • Canonical tag should be on every page • Not on CMS pages and homepage by default • Make sure you’re not absolute referencing things like tracking URLs • Canonical tag will only work for close variants
  • 14. Keep an eye on URL rewrites • Can cause frequent URL changes, especially on products (mainly appending numbers) • Make sure you check this after doing upgrades • Can cause issues with redirect loops and crawlability • CSV uploads can over-ride URL key • Older /catalog/ URLs can get indexed because of rewrite issues
  • 15. Be vigilant with indexing of low quality pages • Layered navigation pages • Search pages • Pagination • Session IDs • Sort / order pages • General site filters • Duplicate /review/ pages
  • 16. Watch out for duplication from secure pages • Https variants of pages often get indexed with Magento • This can be a very annoying duplicate content issue • Two easy ways to resolve this: – Canonicalise https pages to http equivalent (depending on size of site) – Apply a redirect with exclusions for pages that need to be secure – Ensure that links from account / checkout pages etc are pointing to http versions of pages
  • 17. A focus on layered navigation • These pages should not be indexed • Don’t listen to people who say they’re valuable for long-tail • Replace filters with volume with static pages • Don’t be fooled by search friendly URLs
  • 18. Split out your XML sitemaps • More necessary for larger websites • Gives you more visibility over issues (for different types of pages) • I usually suggest at least product and category page sitemaps • You could split out by categories • Create an index sitemap if you do this
  • 19. International SEO with Magento • Having separate stores isn’t enough alone • Use the hreflang tag (there are a few good modules available via connect) • Create separate Webmaster Tools accounts • Localise content where possible • Avoid using IP redirects (they still cause issues!)
  • 20. Other things to think about • Invest in performance! – Google say it impacts rankings – More importantly (in my mind) for crawl efficiency • Think about mobile early – Either do responsive or do your mobile site properly
  • 22. Be pro-active (not re-active) with link cleanup
  • 23. Focus on smaller numbers of top tier coverage
  • 24. Crawl your site regularly and after releases
  • 26. Make sure your site passes Google’s mobile test
  • 27. Invest in data! (rankings, visibility, competitors, mobile etc)
  • 28. To summarise… • Be vigilant with what you’re allowing Google to index • Be aware of how Google’s accessing your website (check your logs regularly) • Don’t forget the basics (UGC, site structure etc) • Keep a close eye on mobile • Lastly, invest in SEO (by far the best CPA / COS if done properly)!
  • 29. Feel free to ask me questions Twitter: @paulnrogers https://paulnrogers.com Email: paulrogers21@gmail.com

Editor's Notes

  1. Worked in SEO / digital for over 8 years In-house for large and small retailers, agency for GPMD and Session Digital and then consulting I’ve been working with Magento for 5 years, mostly on SEO and analytics projects Now work as part of a consulting group with senior Magento developers to offer code and performance audits as well
  2. You should be looking to make all page types more relevant TWG a really good example for cat pages (IWC content, TWG, editorial content, buying guides, videos etc Appliances Online great example for products Great product content Lots of media content on the page (video and images) UGC content from Facebook and Q&A and also reviews
  3. UGC needs a strategy and can have a huge impact on organic An email and having a form isn’t enough Emails need to be tested, across different times, content, incentives etc You should integrate with ESP and use sales data to track deliverability and CR% I recommend BazaarVoice but Yotpo is also good Make sure you publish the review in-line and don’t lazy load them
  4. Architecture makes a huge difference to the breadth of keywords you’re able to target I’m going to go through a case study rather than give tips: Watch retailer, had brand, gender and type only I did keyword discovery (20k keywords) Pulled in ranking data and landing page data Did a gap analysis Copywriter on 3 month contract and create sub-variants against brand for gender, collection nad type amongst others Incremental increase of organic revenue for around 60%
  5. Canonicalise very close variants of products Have a second feed for resellers and affiliates if possible Don’t let affiliates and resellers use your review content, it’s a great source of unique content, especially if others are using your content Try to avoid using supplier copy Avoid using blanket bits of copy on all products (eg about the brand)
  6. There are two versions that people use – neither are great and one blocks CSS and JS file, which is bad Be careful with blocking pages because Google won’t crawl those pages and the links on the page, which can negatively affect crawlability If you have a larger site or have major duplication issues, then you should use the robots.txt tactically for crawl budget
  7. Easy to implement and great for getting more clicks
  8. OOTB Magento doesn’t use canonical, but provides option for cat and product pages You need to make sure you have it on CMS pages and the homepage too If you’re using things like tracking parameters or real estate tagging, make sure you’re canonicalising to the primary version, not the variant Canonical tag only works if pages are similar, otherwise they’ll still get indexed Canonicalise to configurable product if you have both
  9. URL rewrites can be a nightmare from a crawling perspective – can reduce how often Google will crawl your pages Can also cause URL rewrites Watch out for issues arising with upgrades, usually when you re-index CSV upload can cause issues with duplicate URL key Older /catalog/x pages often get indexed, make sure these remain rewritten
  10. You need to control what’s indexed Only quality pages with unique content should be indexed (or pages that have links) Things like layered nav, pagination, session IDs etc shouldn’t be indexed Some should be blocked using robots.txt (things like multi-select layered nav and search pages) Others I usually use meta robots to help with crawlability
  11. Keep an eye on https variants being indexed Two easy ways to resolve: canonicalise or redirect them These two routes will allow you preserve any link value
  12. These pages SHOULD NOT BE INDEXED Don’t listen to people who say you should just make the URLs static They’re thin pages that can cause big issues If you want to target the long-tail terms associated, create static pages in place of them
  13. Important for larger sites because of the URL limit (50K) More granularity around indexation I suggest splitting by product and category I like splitting by type too (eg a Bretiling-specific sitemap) Create an index sitemap if you do this
  14. Use the hrefalng tag Create separate GWT accounts (even for sub-folders) and set the GEO targeting Localise content if you can Avoid using IP redirects, as they can cause lots of problems
  15. Invest in performance – not necessarily because of what Google says – but because it’ll improve crawl efficiency Think about mobile – hopefully mobile friendly already, but keeping improving your mobile site If not using responsive – make sure you use the rel alternate and canonical tags
  16. Make sure someone has ownership of checking links Be vigilant with anchor text and link distribution Focus on relevance Remove links as you generate better coverage
  17. Stop trying to scale guest posting and buying links Just be more creative Start doing research, start being creative with products
  18. When my clients deploy, something usually goes wrong Setup monitoring to make sure your rel alternative and canonical tags are still in place Monitor changes to your robots.txt etc
  19. Just have a process My preferred route is to redirect back to parent category and display a message to the user (retaining link value) Don’t just let them 404 or leave them live without any information
  20. This is topical – but important
  21. Make sure you know what’s happening in your industry Put yourself in a position where you can diagnose drops and improvements This can be achieved very cost-effectively
  22. Invest in performance – not necessarily because of what Google says – but because it’ll improve crawl efficiency Think about mobile – hopefully mobile friendly already, but keeping improving your mobile site If not using responsive – make sure you use the rel alternate and canonical tags