Magento is an extremely powerful E-commerce platform that is implemented by a vast amount of popular brands and retailers in all various niches.
Nevertheless we continue to see serious issues, which both small and large retailers tend to face. One of the most common problems is Magento’s performance, which can be as a result of the CMS being so cumbersome. There is a number of options that can be done to improve the performance (such as using browser caching, optimizing JS and CSS and using compression), but smaller retailers especially seem to struggle in this area due to resources.
1. Common technical problems people tend to see is issues with Magento rewrites
Non-unique URL key entries causing URLs to change
This is a common Magento SEO issue that leads to –numbers (-1 or -2 and so on.) being added to your URLs. This can be caused by another page using the same URL you are inputting as a separate product or it could be that the given URL has been used in the past.
Magento’s default behavior is to add a rewrite and append the number at the end of a URL.
To solve this problem, you need to delete the rewrite entry against the previous URL. In case this needs to be completed for a large amount of entries, we would suggest taking this action alongside a developer. Please note to be very careful, because deleting incorrect rewrites (or all of them) can cause very serious problems.
Duplicate content issues caused by /catalog/ URLs being indexed
If you have an early version of Magento installed or if you have changed the option in the configuration, you could be using an “out of the box” Magento (pre-rewrite) URLs, which look like this:
This issue can also appear if you have deleted the Magento rewrite table (or some specific entries), which would change your existing clean URLs without applying redirects or a rewrite to the previous one.
A large amount of /catalog/ product URLs often exist in parallel. In modern implementations the descriptive URLs are served by default. If you would like to check if you have this problem simply use the following search operator:
This command will show all applicable URLs that have been indexed from your website and include the /catalog/ folder.
This issue can generate over 1000 duplicate versions of your product pages that may become indexed.
To solve this issue we recommend working alongside a developer and use canonicals.
2. Pagination, bad canonical tag implementation, duplicate products etc.
Pagination issues in Magento should be fixed with rel=“next” and rel=“prev”:
More details here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1663744?hl=en.
Also, like with product pages in Magento we recommend all filtration (dynamic) URLs to be canonical to its upper level category or subcategory pages.
3. Internal and external duplication;
Magento e-commerce stores usually suffer from internal and external duplication because products have similar descriptions. For on-site duplication issues it is usual to use meta robots tags as it works and meets the criteria to submit manual removal requests in GWT.
If it’s a large and established website, multi-faceted filters or session IDs that can result in a vast amount of dynamic URLs being generated, we recommend to use the robots.txt to prevent issues with crawl budget.
The optimum option is good canonicals implementation, however this may not always work and will take a long time to fix any existing issue.
4. Poor use of static pages (relying on filter pages rather than creating quality landing pages)
On extremely large e-commerce stores there is a mass of static catalogue pages that can be used for gaining organic traffic.
Quality content written for each of these pages and their optimization can boost your website’s presence within SERPs and therefore, traffic, sales and revenue improvements.
To sum everything up: Magento is very customizable in terms of SEO and installing extensions can even solve some routine issues. Nevertheless, Magento needs advanced programming skills to solve complex issues on large e-stores.
International Online Marketing Consultant at Promodo
Stan’s expertise covers search engine optimization, search engine marketing, website analytics and competitors analysis. He has worked with over 50 international projects in multiple niches including ecommerce stores, gambling projects, software companies and massive ads and Q/A portals. Stan is an experienced speaker and a reader at online marketing schools since 2014.
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