Store Optimization in Magento ®: Basic Requirements

Any online store whether it is a usual blog or a big eCommerce site should be optimized for Search Engines.

Let us review how to do Magento ® store optimization for Search Engines and how to create robots.txt correctly for this eCommerce Platform.

Basic Store Optimization Requirements

As admitted by many reliable sources, Magento ® is one of the most open eCommerce systems for quick optimization. That's why the best online stores use it for their business. To be able to fully realize their business on the Internet it is very important to pay particular attention to the site optimization. In order to get maximum impact with minimum effort you need to do the following actions:

1. Configure Magento ® for work with Search Engines;

2. Write the file robots.txt;

3. Optimize your pages with products and sections.

Optimization of Magento ®

First of all, you should go to the admin panel of your Magento ® store and enter the System section. Then access the Configuration – Web – Search Engine Optimization subcategory. Please set ‘Use Web Server’ to ‘Yes’.

In the section, Url Options set the option ‘Add Store Code to Urls’ to ‘No’, and the option ‘Redirect to Base URL if requested URL doesn't match it’ should be set to ‘Yes’. Save the changes. Now you need to configure your store header in Magento ®. Go back to the main admin page then move to System – Configuration - Design.

In that section, we need ‘HTML Head’ tab. There you need to add specific text. Do the following:

  • In the line ‘Default Title’ insert: Packt Publishing Technical & IT Book Store;
  • The lines Title Prefix and Title Suffix, Miscellaneous Scripts should be left empty.
  • Default Description text is written according to your web store direction. Here you should specify your business type and description of your work. The text should contain no more than 160 symbols - this is the limit of symbols accepted by the majority of search engines.
  • The line Default Keywords can be filled with your store keywords or left empty since you already use the Default Description.
  • In the line Default, Robots choose INDEX, FOLLOW.
  • The field Display Demo Store Notice should be set to ‘No’.
  • In the field ‘Logo Image Alt’ add ‘Packt Publishing Technical & IT Book Store’.
  • Fill the line ‘Welcome Text’ if you wish.

The text we used is a sample, you can replace it with whatever you need.

Catalog Optimization

This is another very important point of Magento ® site optimization. You may change the product paths to avoid creating duplicate content. In order to configure this catalog, go to System – Configuration – Catalog - Search Engine Optimizations. The product catalog configuration page will open. Here you need to choose the following options:

Autogenerated Site Map – Enable
Popular Search Terms – Enable
Product URL Suffix - .html
Category URL Suffix - .html
Use Categories Path for Product URL’s – No
Create Permanent Redirect for old URL’s if key changed – Yes
Page Title Separator – none
Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Categories – No
Use Canonical Link Meta Tag For Products – No

Save the changes and go back to Catalog, then to Manage Categories. Here you need to configure the following options:

Meta Description: add the description that will be displayed by the search engines in the search results;

Page Title and Keywords – leave blank;

URL Key: add as many keys as possible in this line. Many professional SEO specialists advise using such words as "the" and "for";

Product Optimizations: here you can add descriptions for your products;

Template Optimization: you can leave this line as it is since it is already fully optimized for being recognized and indexed by various search engines.

The configuration of robots.txt file

Now there is the final step to be made for maximum optimization of your Magento ® web store. We advise you to use the file with the following content:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /index.php/
Disallow: /*?
Disallow: /*.js$
Disallow: /*.css$
Disallow: /checkout/
Disallow: /tag/
Disallow: /catalogsearch/advanced/
Disallow: /review/
Disallow: /app/
Disallow: /downloader/
Disallow: /js/
Disallow: /lib/
Disallow: /media/
Disallow: /*.php$
Disallow: /pkginfo/
Disallow: /report/
Disallow: /skin/
Disallow: /var/
Disallow: /customer/
Disallow: /catalog/
Allow: /catalogsearch/result/?q


Naturally, for each web store, this file will have a different description, you can change robots.txt any time you need. After this file is created it should be uploaded to the site root directory on the hosting server.

Please share your recommendations and feedbacks regarding Magento ® sites optimization. You may contact GoMage specialists if you need assistance. Please also review extensions for Magento ® that we offer.

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