Common SEO issues that Crop up while using Magento
Like a number of companies who build in e-commerce platforms, I have recently created a new website using Magento. As with any CMS system, a good understanding of its operation is needed to really get the best out of it.
My aim in this post is to help you to avoid making these mistakes in the first place and learn from ours. So we’re taking a look at some of the most common SEO issues we’ve had arising from a Magento website installation, so you can avoid them in future.
The Issue – Dynamic Filter Pages, Review Pages and Indexing
The Solution – Robots File.
One of the most common technical issues that people face with Magento are dynamic filter pages. Site owners can find that thousands of them end up indexed by search engines. The most effective way to resolve the issue is using meta robots rule.
Review pages can be tricky depending on the plugin you are using and the structure of your site. For example, you could get a duplicate content issue when displaying review content on product pages. Resolving this is reasonably simple – you need to disallow the /review/ directory in the robots.txt file and then submit a removal request for the folder.
According to searchenginejournal.com, another common issue for Magento users is search pages finding their way into Google’s index. Eliminating this issue is simple: You just need to disallow the directory in the robots.txt file.
Magento used to employ non-search friendly URLs by default and some URLs are commonly indexed by search engines leading to, yep you guessed it; duplicate content issues. By disallowing these pages in your robot.txt file, then doing a removal request for the folder in Google Webmaster Tools, you can avoid these little issues arising.
Accessibility of the Server
The Issue – Dropping Offline
The Solution – Better Hosting Package
Now, mgt-commerce.com have written extensively on this issue. Your site can suffer a reduced performance in search engines if your Magento shop drops offline from time to time, through hosting or server issues. This can often be the case if you have a cheap shared hosting package, so it is worth considering spending a little bit extra because your SEO ranking is important – the extra cost will pay for itself when you are ranking higher in Google.
Slow Page Load Times
The Issue – Poor User Experience
The Solution – A More Careful Set Up
Don’t make the mistake of thinking a page load time around 1 second is great. Mgt-commerce.com again supports growing body of evidence that fast web pages get a higher ranking in search engines. Magento needs a perfect setup and configured server to deliver all pages as fast as light (around 200 milliseconds). I’d strongly advise giving this the time and attention it deserves during your set up stage, it’s an important piece of the SEO jigsaw.
A Magento SEO Video
Remember, all CMSs out there need to be properly configured to work their best, they are not as simple as one might hope. Once set up correctly, Magento is a fantastic e-commerce platform, hence it being the most popular ‘go to’ platform. It is a dedicated e-commerce system that it is classed as enterprise level software, which is an attraction to e-commerce users. In addition, it has a lot of features than other e-commerce simply platforms don’t have.
In summary, the most effective ways of resolving duplicate content issues is either by using meta robots rules or disallowing the pages in your robot.txt file then doing a removal request for the folder in Google Webmaster Tools you can avoid these problems. To resolve server issues it is recommended to spend a bit extra on your shared hosting package.
There are a number of discussions on the Moz Q&A Forum about SEO/ Magento issues. If you have faced other SEO issues when installing a Magento website, what issues have you faced? Let us know in the comment box below and we can begin a discussion here.
About the author:
Kristin Hodgkinson, Marketing Manager at Direct365, writes about the SEO issues that can be brought about when using Magento.