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Magento SEO checklist: Ultimate guide [Free checklist download]

In the rapidly evolving digital marketplace, a staggering 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, highlighting the undeniable importance of SEO for e-commerce sites. For Magento 2 store owners, this means leveraging every SEO advantage is not just beneficial—it’s crucial.

In this guide, we’ll explore a meticulously curated Magento 2 SEO checklist designed to enhance your store’s visibility, drive organic traffic, and ultimately, increase your conversion rates. Whether you’re a seasoned SEO strategist or new to the e-commerce domain, these actionable insights will empower you to optimize your site effectively and secure a competitive edge in the digital marketplace.

Download Free Magento SEO Checklist

  • On-page, off-page, technical SEO
  • Content management and link building
  • Performance Tracking Template
    Magento SEO Optimization Checklist Download

    What is Magento SEO and why is it important?

    Magento SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the process of optimizing a Magento-based online store to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords and phrases. This is important for several reasons:

    • Increased Visibility: Higher rankings in search engines mean that your online store is more visible to potential customers who are searching for products or services that you offer. This increased visibility can lead to more organic traffic and, consequently, more sales opportunities.
    • Better User Experience: SEO best practices often align with improving the overall user experience of your website. This includes factors such as faster page load times, mobile-friendliness, and intuitive navigation, which can lead to higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
    • Cost-Effective Marketing: While paid advertising can be effective, it can also be expensive, especially for highly competitive keywords. SEO offers a more cost-effective way to drive targeted traffic to your online store by optimizing for relevant keywords and phrases that potential customers are using in their searches.
    • Long-Term Benefits: The effects of SEO are long-lasting and can continue to provide benefits for your online store over time. Once your website achieves higher rankings, it can maintain those positions as long as you continue to follow SEO best practices and keep your content relevant and up-to-date.
    • Competitive Advantage: In the competitive world of e-commerce, having a strong SEO strategy can give your online store a significant advantage over competitors who are not optimizing their websites effectively.

    Magento on-page SEO checklist

    On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. For Magento 2 stores, focusing on on-page factors is essential to improve visibility and drive sales. Here’s a detailed look at each checklist item for on-page SEO and how to effectively implement or improve them.

    1. Optimized Title Tags

    Ensure every page on your Magento 2 site has a unique title tag that includes your primary keyword. Title tags should be concise (50-60 characters) and descriptive. Use the Magento 2 backend to customize title tags for each page, product, or category. You can also set default title tag by:

    • Navigate to Content > Configuration under Design.
    • Select your current theme and click Edit.
    • Scroll down to HTML Head where you can set default title tags and customize them for specific pages.

    2. Meta Descriptions

    Each page should have a unique meta description that acts as an ad copy, compelling users to click through from search engine results. Keep it under 160 characters and include relevant keywords. In Magento 2, you can edit meta descriptions under the SEO settings of pages, products, and categories.

    • For product pages, go to Catalog > Products, select a product, and find the Search Engine Optimization section. Here, you can edit the Meta Description.
    • For CMS pages, navigate to Content > Pages, select a page to edit, and then find the Search Engine Optimization section for meta description adjustments.

    3. Header Tags

    Proper use of header tags (H1, H2, H3) helps organize content on your page and makes it easier for search engines to understand the hierarchy and relevance of your content. Ensure your primary keyword is in the H1 tag and use subsequent headers for structuring content. Magento 2 allows for editing the HTML of pages, where you can insert header tags directly.

    When editing or creating content (like CMS pages or product descriptions), use the WYSIWYG editor to select text and format it as Heading 1, Heading 2, etc., to ensure proper header tag usage in your content.

    4. Keyword Optimization

    Research and identify primary and secondary keywords for each page. Incorporate these naturally into your page titles, headers, content, and meta descriptions. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can aid in keyword research. Ensure not to overstuff your content with keywords, aiming for a natural flow.

    5. Product Descriptions

    Write unique and engaging product descriptions for each item, incorporating relevant keywords. Avoid manufacturer’s descriptions to prevent duplicate content issues. Magento 2’s product information section is where you can edit and optimize product descriptions.

    • Navigate to Catalog > Products and select a product.
    • In the Description field, craft a unique, keyword-rich description. Use the WYSIWYG editor for formatting and including keywords.

    6. Image Alt Text

    Each image on your site should have descriptive, keyword-rich alt text. This improves accessibility and helps search engines understand the content of your images. In Magento 2, you can add alt text directly in the product images section under SEO settings.

    • Go to Catalog > Products and select a product.
    • Under the Images And Videos section, click on an image and fill in the Alt Text field with a descriptive, keyword-focused caption.

    7. URL Structure

    Use clear, descriptive URLs that include keywords for your pages. Avoid long URLs and ensure they are easy to read for both users and search engines. Magento 2 allows you to customize your URL keys for products and categories in the SEO settings.

    • For products, within Catalog > Products, select a product and find the Search Engine Optimization section. Here, you can set a custom URL Key that’s descriptive and keyword-rich.
    • For CMS pages, navigate to Content > Pages, select a page, and under Search Engine Optimization, set a custom URL Key.

    8. Internal Linking

    Create links between pages on your site to help search engines crawl your site more effectively and improve page authority. Use descriptive anchor text that gives an indication of the linked page’s content. Review your site content regularly to identify opportunities for internal linking.

    While editing content in the WYSIWYG editor (for both product descriptions and CMS pages), highlight the text you wish to turn into a link, click the Insert Link icon, and enter the URL of the target page within your site.

    9. Content Quality

    Publish high-quality, relevant content that addresses the needs of your audience. Use tools like Google Analytics to understand what your audience is looking for and update your content accordingly. Regularly update your blog, product pages, and category pages with fresh content.

    Regularly update your CMS pages (Content > Pages) and product listings (Catalog > Products) with fresh, high-quality content that engages your audience and provides value.

    10. Mobile Responsiveness

    With mobile-first indexing, ensuring your Magento 2 site is mobile-friendly is crucial. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check your site’s mobile responsiveness. Magento 2 themes are generally responsive, but always test your site on various devices and browsers to ensure optimal performance.

    Magento 2 themes are designed to be responsive. Ensure that the theme you choose or custom design is tested across devices. Use the Content > Design > Configuration menu to select and configure your theme settings, keeping an eye on responsiveness.

    11. Page Load Speed

    Site speed is a critical factor for both SEO and user experience. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to analyze your site’s performance and follow the recommendations provided. In Magento 2, optimizing images, leveraging browser caching, and minimizing JavaScript and CSS files can significantly improve load times.

    • Optimize images before uploading by resizing them and using compression tools.
    • Enable caching by going to System > Cache Management.
    • Use Magento 2’s built-in JavaScript and CSS minification (under Stores > Configuration > Advanced > Developer).
    • Consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) by configuring it under Stores > Configuration > General > Web > Base URLs (Secure).

    Magento off-page SEO checklist

    Acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites is a cornerstone of off-page SEO. It signals to search engines that other websites consider your content valuable and trustworthy.

    • Create high-quality, shareable content on your Magento 2 store that provides value to your audience.
    • Reach out to industry bloggers, websites, and influencers, offering your content as a resource.
    • Participate in relevant forums and online communities, contributing helpful insights and including links back to your content where appropriate.

    Read more: Why are backlinks important for SEO?

    13. Social Media Engagement

    Social media marketing doesn’t directly contribute to SEO rankings, but it increases visibility and traffic to your site, which in turn can boost your SEO efforts.

    • Create profiles on major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn) for your Magento 2 store.
    • Share new products, promotions, and content regularly to engage with your audience.
    • Encourage your followers to share your content by adding social sharing buttons to your product pages and blog posts in Magento.

    14. Influencer Collaboration

    Collaborating with influencers can drive traffic, enhance your brand’s visibility, and generate valuable backlinks to your Magento 2 store.

    • Identify influencers in your niche with an engaged audience.
    • Reach out with a proposal for collaboration, such as sponsored content, product reviews, or giveaways.
    • Work together to create content that includes backlinks to your Magento 2 store, benefiting both parties.

    15. Content Marketing

    Sharing engaging, informative content beyond your site can attract backlinks and highlight your brand as an authority in your field.

    • Develop a content marketing strategy that includes blogs, infographics, whitepapers, and videos relevant to your audience.
    • Distribute your content across various platforms, including industry blogs, news sites, and content aggregators.
    • Use social media and email marketing to promote your content to a wider audience.

    Read more: The COMPLETE Guide to Content Marketing Strategy!

    16. Guest Posting

    Writing articles for other websites in your industry can introduce your brand to a new audience and create valuable backlinks.

    • Identify blogs and websites in your niche that accept guest posts.
    • Propose topics that are relevant to their audience and offer value.
    • Include a bio with a link back to your Magento 2 store and, if possible, incorporate relevant links within the content of your post.

    17. Online Reviews

    Positive reviews on external sites enhance your business’s credibility and can influence potential customers.

    • Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and industry-specific review sites.
    • Respond professionally to all reviews, thanking customers for positive feedback and addressing any concerns raised in negative reviews.
    • Display testimonials on your Magento 2 site to build trust with prospective customers.

    18. Local Listings

    For Magento 2 stores with physical locations, local SEO can drive traffic both online and in-store.

    • Claim your business listing on Google My Business and ensure your information is accurate and comprehensive.
    • Submit your business information to local directories and mapping services.
    • Ensure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all listings to boost your local SEO efforts.

    Magento technical SEO checklist

    Technical SEO focuses on improving the technical aspects of your website to help search engine spiders more effectively crawl and index your site, which can lead to better SERP rankings. For Magento 2 stores, here’s how to approach each technical SEO checklist item with a brief introduction and actionable steps:

    19. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

    SSL encrypts the data exchanged between your Magento 2 store and its visitors, securing personal information. It’s also a ranking factor for Google.

    • Purchase an SSL certificate from a trusted authority.
    • Install and configure the SSL certificate on your web hosting account.
    • Ensure Magento is configured to use HTTPS by default. Navigate to Stores > Configuration > General > Web and set “Use Secure URLs” in both the Admin and storefront.

    20. XML Sitemaps

    An XML sitemap helps search engines better understand the structure of your site and discover new pages.

    • Generate an XML sitemap in Magento by going to Marketing > SEO & Search > Site Map. Add a new sitemap if one doesn’t exist and configure it to include products, categories, and CMS pages.
    • Submit your sitemap to search engines through their respective webmaster tools (like Google Search Console).

    21. Robots.txt

    The robots.txt file tells search engine bots which pages or sections of your site to crawl and which to ignore.

    • Edit the robots.txt file in Magento by navigating to Content > Design > Configuration. Select your website and find the Edit robot.txt File option.
    • Ensure you’re not disallowing search engines from crawling important content, and consider disallowing pages that are not valuable for search engine indexing.

    22. Structured Data Markup

    Structured data helps search engines understand the content of your site and can enhance your listings in search results (e.g., with rich snippets).

    • Use a tool like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to generate the appropriate HTML.
    • Add the structured data to your Magento 2 pages manually or by using extensions that automate schema markup for products, reviews, and other content.

    23. Canonical Tags

    Canonical tags prevent problems caused by identical or “duplicate” content appearing on multiple URLs.

    Magento 2 automatically generates canonical tags for products and categories. Ensure they are enabled by going to Stores > Configuration > Catalog > Catalog > Search Engine Optimization and setting “Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Categories/Products” to “Yes”.

    24. 404 Error Management

    Managing 404 errors improves user experience and helps conserve link equity, which might otherwise be lost.

    • Regularly monitor your site for 404 errors using tools like Google Search Console.
    • Use Magento’s URL Rewrite tool (Marketing > SEO & Search > URL Rewrites) to redirect broken URLs to relevant pages.

    25. Mobile Usability

    With Google’s mobile-first indexing, your site must be mobile-friendly to rank well.

    • Choose a responsive Magento theme that adapts its layout to different screen sizes.
    • Test your site’s mobile usability with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool and address any issues.

    26. Site Architecture

    A well-organized site structure improves crawlability and enhances user experience.

    • Organize your content into logical categories and subcategories.
    • Use Magento’s category management features to structure your products in a way that’s intuitive for both users and search engines.

    27. Crawl Error Resolution

    Resolving crawl errors ensures search engines can efficiently index your site, impacting your rankings positively.

    • Use Google Search Console to identify and fix crawl errors.
    • Address the errors by correcting broken links, adding redirects, or improving your site’s navigation.

    28. Language and Regional Tags

    For multi-language or multi-regional Magento stores, correctly using hreflang tags helps search engines serve the correct version of your content to users based on their language and

    • Implement hreflang tags in your site’s HTML or sitemap to indicate alternative language versions of a page.
    • Magento 2 does not natively support hreflang, so you may need to add these tags manually or use an extension that facilitates their implementation.

    Take it easy with Mageplaza’s free Magento SEO checklist

    Mageplaza has created a comprehensive SEO checklist tailored specifically for Magento 2 merchants. This checklist not only outlines all the essential SEO practices you need to implement but also comes with manageable worksheets that make tracking your progress a breeze.

    Our downloadable SEO checklist covers all facets of SEO—ranging from on-page and off-page strategies to technical optimizations. Here’s what you can expect:

    • Detailed Tasks: Each section of the checklist is broken down into detailed tasks, ensuring you don’t miss any critical steps in your SEO journey.
    • Priority Levels: Understand which tasks are crucial and should be addressed immediately versus those that can be scheduled for later.
    • Progress Tracking: The accompanying worksheets allow you to log your work, track progress over time, and pinpoint areas that need more attention.

    Take the first step towards optimizing your Magento 2 store for better search engine visibility. Download Mageplaza’s SEO checklist today, complete with management worksheets, and start your journey to the top of the search results.

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