Online merchants are constantly looking for innovative ways to drive motivated traffic towards their website. Since Magento Mondays is all about getting better results, we dedicate this post to search engine optimization (SEO): a practice often overlooked by new retailers. This week, we sat down with Guillaume Dupire, our in-house search engine specialist, to discuss SEO’s must-haves, and prevent costly omissions.

1. META TITLES

Writing catchy yet concise meta titles is crucial for SEO and social sharing. Meta titles are short descriptions of a page’s content, meant to ease users’ search process. Concretely, they help position your brand on search engines and favour click-through rates. Follow the  guidelines below to achieve better results.

  • Every page should have an enticing and exclusive meta title.
  • Limit yourself to 65 characters. Longer titles will be cut-off by search engines.
  • Write in Title Case and don’t forget to include keywords.

2. META DESCRIPTIONS

Located beneath meta titles, meta descriptions break down the content of your Web pages. Even though these explanatory paragraphs don’t affect search ranking, they do favor visitor acquisition and improve click-through rates. Before diving into the right wording, consider these ground rules:

  • Take the time to write informative and enticing copy.
  • Keep meta descriptions under 160 characters. Aim for 155.
  • Craft an original description for all pages and use keywords.

3. RICH SNIPPETS

The perfect complement to a solid title and description, rich snippets are great assets for SEO. This add-on enables you to showcase additional key information (reviews, price, pictures, address…) to searchers, while giving them a preview of what your page may contain.

  • Validate that your products are rich snippet worthy.
  • Mark up your website’s pages through Microdata, Microformats or RDFa.
  • Ensure the information displayed is up-to-date.

4. HREFLANG TAG

Dealing with English and French-speaking customers can be tricky. On top of creating content in each language, you must ensure search engines take the right customers to the correct version of your website. This is when the hreflang tag comes in.

  • Also known as rel=”alternate” this line of code can be placed in the on-page markup or the HTTP header.
  • Serving visitors in their native language from the get-go contributes to increasing their average time on the site and lowering your bounce rate.

5. SITEMAP

This repertory of your website’s content is the middle-man between the website, the user and different search engines. A sitemap is meant to guide search engines through the different web pages and maximize traffic.

  • XML sitemaps (invisible to visitors) are submitted to search engines to give information about what is on your website and notify them when content updates occur.
  • HTML sitemaps (visible to visitors) are meant to enhance your website’s browsing experience.

Learn more about our SEO process here.