Archive for May, 2015

How to Remove the Trailing Slash from a URL

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by

The trailing slash (also known as the slash that you see at the end of URL links) creates a common problem when optimizing websites for duplicate content. For instance, while elieandmai.com and elieandmail.com/ will both link to the same webpage, search engines will still divide link authority over the links, which means that the website will receive far less value.

In order to remove the trailing slash, you’ll have to implement a 301 redirection to the page with the trailing slash. This can be done with a few lines of code in the .htaccess file allowing you to redirect all incoming traffic without a trailing slash to the same URL.

This can be done with a few lines of code in the .htaccess file allowing you to redirect all incoming traffic without a trailing slash to the same URL.

elieandmai-trailing

(make sure domain.com is replaced with your root domain)

If you decide to redirect all pages with a trailing slash to an URL without trailing slash, the following code will do this for you:

elieandmai-trailing2

Explanation of this add trailing slash .htaccess rewrite rule

The first line tells Magento that this is code for the rewrite engine of the mod_rewrite module of Magento.

The 2nd line sets the current directory as page root.

A Comprehensive Approach to Magento SEO

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 by

In this blog post, you’ll learn how to develop an effective keyword strategy for your Magento website, some general Magento admin panel configurations to make it more Magento SEO friendly, how to create the robot.txt and sitemap.xml files, and how to set up Google Analytics for a Magento store.

One of the hallmarks of Magento, which distinguishes it from other eCommerce CMSs, is the extent of customization it offers. In Magento, unlike most other eCommerce CMSs, we have the flexibility to customize every page, every product, and every snippet of code within its framework for search engines.

In this series, we’ll cover all the fundamentals you need to know to best equip your Magento website to rank well in search engine result pages, giving a boost to your sales and revenues.

All SEO optimization campaigns start with effective planning of a keyword strategy. This is also true when it comes to eCommerce platforms. While planning a keyword strategy for an eCommerce platform, we have to maintain an effective balance between three important factors:

  1. Relevance means that the page optimized for specific keyword(s) should have relevant content on it.
  2. Purpose implies that the content of the page should also direct users towards the ultimate purpose of the website, i.e. to drive sales.
  3. Structure means that page’s authority from an SEO perspective is inversely proportional to its depth in the website structure. Therefore, the homepage has more authority than a product or CMS page. Hence, a homepage should be optimized for more broad and competitive keywords, while the pages deep in the website structure should be optimized for more specific and less competitive keywords.

rp_magento-seo.png
To have an effective keyword strategy, we have to consider each of these three factors. We have to ensure that our keyword resides on the page with enough strength to enable to it to perform, and we also have to guarantee that it is sufficiently relevant to the page’s content to keep the visitor engaged. This should all help in accomplishing the main purpose of the website.

7 Common Magento SEO Mistakes

Monday, May 18th, 2015 by

7 Common Magento SEO Mistakes

When dealing with Magento store’s SEO, these are the 7 most common Magento mistakes that you may encounter. Some of these are inherited from the development stage of your projects. This checklist will be useful for anyone launching a new store or checking their live site.

1. Homepage title “home”

The homepage is usually a CMS page. Go in there and change the title of the page into something more suitable such as “Blue Widgets Online Store – Example.com”.

2. Using “default description” field

System > Configuration > General > Design > HTML Head > Default description – Leave this blank or you’ll have such a mess of duplicate descriptions on your store that don’t really describe the given URL that it will be unbelievable. Also, please make sure your meta keywords are not “magento, magento commerce” etc.

3. Not turning on rel=canonical

Save yourself from lots of duplicate content issues. Turn canonicals on for both products and categories.

4. Logo title and/or alt “Magento Commerce”

Logo, usually in the top left of your website. Don’t have it say “Magento Commerce.” This is a very common mistake.

5. Forgetting to turn meta robots to “index, follow” and remove robots.txt disallow after a move from staging/dev site to the live site

System > Configuration > General > Design > HTML Head > Default robots “INDEX, FOLLOW”.

Sometimes people leave this as noindex, nofollow on dev server and forget to change it when they migrate to the live server.

6. Having a default layered navigation

Layered navigation is a hell for the SEO. For more detailed explanation on this issue, read this guide on how to handle Magento layered navigation SEO issues.

7. Building a sitemap with sample products and sample categories

Check what’s in your sitemap.xml before you submit it to Google—amd avoid the sample products, if you can.

A Complete Guide to Title Tags in Magento

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 by

As you may already know, the title tag is one of the most important on-page elements for SEO. The title tag is as the word indicates the title of the page (If you dont know about title tags, read this article on how to write good title tags). Magento does not optimize the title tags by default and you should make some basic changes to insure that your site is properly search engine optimized.  Making these changes can significantly impact your key word ranking.

Adding A Title Tag Suffix or Prefix

SEO best practices dictate that you should include your website name at the end of your title tag. This is really very important for brands who have retailers competing for their keywords and because it also helps with branding.

You might see a title tag like this:

#Important Keywords# | #Brand Name#

To get set up your store title tag suffix or prefix navigate to in Magneto to:

System > Configuration  > Design and add your prefix or suffix, in our example

| Magento SEO

title-tag-suffix-and-defualt-title

For CMS Pages – Change the Title Tag via XML layout

Once you have added a title tag suffix, Magento will append this title tags for all the pages of your site. If you have some pages you don’t want the suffix to be included on, such as the home page, you can overwrite it by using XML layouts.

For example, if your homepage is a CMS page, you should navigate to the page and go to Design > Custom Layout Update XML. 

In the custom layout field insert the following code:

<reference name=”head”>
<action method=”setForcedTitle”><title>Account Dashboard</title></action>
</reference>

For Category and Product Pages – Change the Title Tag in the Backend

Simply navigate to the category and product page you want to update and type in the title tag field.

change-title-tag-category-magento-1024x532

 

 

SEO Trends for 2015: What’s Coming Next

Saturday, May 9th, 2015 by

You’ve seen and observed the SEO trends in 2014. We’ve outlined a few of them below.

1) Become one with your link profile

Two weeks ago, Google said that it was rolling out a humongous “Penguin” punishment, the third of its kind, and that it had already been rolling out for over three weeks. In case you missed it, the Penguin penalties are the primary reason for websites to get kicked off the first pages in Google—something that’s extremely difficult to recover from. There are a lot of great websites that were hit by negative CEO, courtesy of their competitors. The good news is that Penguin 3 also worked to re-rank websites, so if they were previously penalized, they had a chance to be spared any further punishment.

2) Use content to prove to Google you’re real

In our previous post, we showed you how to build a great content strategy for your website, with the assumption that Google helps real companies outrank regular sites. This follows an ongoing methodology of Google that’s been going ever since the Vince update and up to the latest Panda update.

3) Be mobile and be fast… or don’t be

We talked about how a website that isn’t mobile compatible or loads slowly is going to be on Google’s evil side. To back us up on this one, Google released two revolutionary aspects of a mobile user experience. The first one is a new Webmaster Tools feature that allows you to track the mobile UX of your site. Understanding that mobile is growing at an amazing pace, Google now lets your witness the visual errors that might have occured for users browsing your site on the go—everything from small fonts to “touch” elements being too close.

What’s next?

What’s coming next year? We’ve outlined a few of our upcoming ideas below.

1) Adding social layers to a website

We all got used to Google Analytics telling us the location and number of people who visit and perform actions on our site. Then, platforms such as KISSmetrics came along to help us understand even more about who performed these actions. This year, it seems that the next hit will be to dive one step deeper, putting a face on each and everyone one of our visitors and getting them to know each other.

2) Visual content will replace plain text

We all saw the immense rise of visual content. The increased use of infographics and videos instead of plain text articles and mega-successful websites that are based on GIFs alone are showing us firsthand just how vital visual is becoming.

3) Pre-secure yourself from negative SEO trends

There’s a certain irony that search engines are becoming more and more sophisticated, up to the level of a real-life artificial intelligence machine—and a negative SEO is still putting millions of websites in danger. Negative SEO, of course, stands for a competitor or any other person that is trying to de-rank you. It’s as simple as paying a foreign provider $5 to build thousands of black-hat, automated links to your site. In 2015, businesses will need to work a lot harder to defend themselves against negative SEO, with an emphasis on securing their link profile, in order to prove to Google that they’re a real brand.