Before talking about search engine optimization, I would like to ask you one question: have you ever done anything strange to lose weight? Maybe you used a special belt or took a course of massage? I bet you have at least one story like that to share. And I’m sure the strange method you used didn’t bring any long-term results. The thing is that you just need to take up sports and have sensible eating habits to achieve great transformation of your body. That sounds simple, and everybody knows that it works, but still people tend to be lazy and prefer to search for incredible ways that seem to be much easier than eating more protein and cutting down on carbohydrates. But in reality other methods just don’t work.
Why am I talking about weight loss in the article about SEO? Because these two spheres are similar! Everyone wants high rankings and sales boost and most merchants know how to achieve these results but it requires lots of patience and work. Instead, many people invent new shady techniques to get quick gains. And they do help sometimes, but only to become an anchor which drags a site down because of Google guidelines violation (just like one takes on 4 kgs after losing 2 during a popular exhausting diet).
Having this in mind, I decided to make an SEO check list for every site owner who wants to achieve a long-term success in rankings.
1. Create relevant and unique titles and meta descriptions for each page on your site. Be especially attentive to the key pages of your store (these might be categories, products or special landing pages). If you have too many pages, save time by generating meta data if you want to.
2. Make sure that URLs of your pages are clear and user-friendly. So no session ids, no weird letters, numbers or anything like that should be present.
3. Regularly check your site for duplicate content and remove it. Here is a full guide on how to do that. In brief, write unique descriptions for all your products, noindex or canonicalize sorting/filtering pages and make sure all the redirects are in place.
4. Optimize images by adding alt tags and titles to them. This will let you get traffic from Google search.
5. Check if your robots.txt and sitemap.xml are present. If yes, make sure they are correct.
These are the main areas of on-site optimization that need attention if you want to achieve good results in terms of SEO. Additionally, you can add rich snippets markup to your products, run AB tests and create AdWords campaigns.
Here is an infographic which will show how to do the mentioned things in Magento 2: