We probably do not have to start with the obvious thing – saying how important search engine optimization is for your e-commerce – but we will do it anyway. SEO is the key to success for every online store – it allows you to attract new customers and make your offer more visible to your regular clients. Sitemap is the most important Magento solution designed to support crawling of all pages in your online store, including also the ones, which would be otherwise ignored by Google bots. Learn how to use the Magento Sitemap to your advantage and improve search engine optimization of your website with a few simple tricks.
Generating Google Sitemap
Magento Sitemap is useful not only to you, but also to your customers, who can quickly overview the content of your website and evaluate whether it is relevant to their search or not. In Magento the Google Sitemap is an XML file, which includes all URLs with some additional information about each one of them. To create a Sitemap, go to Catalog => Google Sitemap and click on “Add Sitemap”. You will be asked to provide the name for the Sitemap. The default name is “sitemap.xml”, but you can add more info to it. In the next step you will be asked to specify the path for the Sitemap and the store, for which you are creating the Sitemap. Click on “Save & Generate” to create the Sitemap. Now you have created the Google Sitemap, but you still have to submit it to the search engines. The easiest way to do it is to add the following line to the robots.txt file: “Sitemap: http://name-of-your-store.com/sitemap_location.xml”.
Relevant Titles and keywords
To provide Google bots with hints about the content of your pages use the most important keywords for titles and descriptions of all pages in your store. If you have hundreds of products in your catalogue, it is sometimes easy to forget to change the name of a few of them. To solve this problem, Magento provides you with a useful tool designed to create generic, but relevant titles and descriptions. From the Configuration menu choose Design => HTML Head and provide Default Title and Default Description for all your pages.
Setting the priorities straight
As we said before, sitemap.xml contains not only the URLs of the pages, but also additional information, such as the frequency of updating the Sitemap and the frequency of informing Google about the update, as well as the priority set for each page. This way you can inform Google which of your pages are more important and which are not. For example, if you run a big online store with multiple items, it makes more sense to set higher priority and frequency for categories than for particular product pages. If, on the other hand, your online store is best known for one of its products, you might want to set a high priority for that specific product page. Do not be afraid to experiment – test how different changes of the content of sitemap.xml affect the visibility of your website in search engines. Want more useful SEO tips? Contact a Magento development company to receive professional advice.
Marta Gromadzka is a writer and editor with a wide variety of experience, including writing for websites internationally and editing books on many different subjects and in a variety of formats. Magecom ecommerce solutions