Magento SEO: Internationalization and Extensions
In this series, we have covered all of the useful steps and
techniques required to make your Magento installation SEO friendly. In this final article, we’ll cover some SEO considerations to keep in mind while deploying the same Magento installation over multiple countries and/or languages.
We’ll also take a quick look at some useful Magento extensions which will help enhance the SEO of your store.
Multilingual SEO Considerations
One of the superb features of Magento is its support for multiple websites, multiple stores, and multiple languages. This means you can have a single
installation of Magento and use it for several websites. From there, each website can have
different stores, and each store can be in different languages. This makes Magento a giant of a CMS.
Choosing the Domain Structure
While deploying multi-language stores, one important consideration is to ensure that each translated version of the page has a unique page
URL. This way, search engines and website users can identify that this is the
translated version of a page. With Magento, we can easily change the base URL of
each store to accomplish this.
There are different domain structures which are used for
multilingual stores. One way is to deploy a different country code top-level
domain for every store view (such as http://myexamplestore.fr,
Another way to do this is to have the same country code top-level domain, but use different sub-domains for different
language stores (for example, http://fr.myexamplestore.com,
http://in.myexamplestore.com, etc.) Yet another way
is to use sub-directories for different language stores (for instance, http://myexamplestore.com/fr, http://myexamplestore.com/in, etc.)
There are pros and
cons for each method, and you should carefully consider which approach is best for
you, and then stick with it. Changing the domain structure after complete
website deployment is quite a hectic and time-consuming task which is best avoided.
Deploying the Domain Structure
Using different country code top-level domains can be expensive and complex, as you’ll have to buy
different domains and perform complicated server and vhost adjustments. The
other two approaches—using different sub-domains and sub-directories—should be
relatively easier to implement, and thus are often preferred. In this tutorial, I’ll
cover the steps for setting up the sub-domain and sub-directory structure.
The first few steps are relatively simple:
- Set up a regular Magento installation in the root directory.
- Create a new folder in our root directory to
match the name of the language, for instance “fr” or “in”.
- Copy Magento's
into it from the Magento installation root.
- Enter the following code at the end of the
SetEnv MAGE_RUN_CODE fr (for French store) SetEnv MAGE_RUN_CODE in (for Indian store)
To find the store code for each store, go to System > Manage Stores. Here, you’ll see the list
of Store View Names. Open the Store View Name for the required store (in this
case, French, Indian, etc) and you’ll find the box labeled Code.
Similarly, find this:
$mageFilename = ‘app/Mage.php'; and change to
$mageFilename = ‘../app/Mage.php';.
Next, go to System > Configuration, and in the
top-right corner, you’ll see the Current Configuration Scope drop-down. We can customize
our store view by clicking on our store view (for example, French).
Uncheck the Use Website checkbox next to each of the text boxes to enable editing.
In Base URL, we’ll enter the full URL path of our store view including our
/fr/ subdomain, and by adding
Now go to your cPanel, create a new
sub-domain, and direct it to the related subdirectory you have just created. For
instance, create a sub-directory http://fr.myexamplestore.com
and point it to the
fr directory. If you wish to implement a sub‑directory structure,
this last step won’t be required.
Making Store-Specific Configurations
Once you have the right domain structure in place, you can
make store-specific configurations quite easily.
For each store view, Magento
lets you change the name, the description, the page title, and the meta description for all
categories. Similarly, for each product, you can edit its name, description, short description, and meta information. And for each CMS page, you can
edit its content, its meta information, its page title, and its URL Key values. While
entering all these values, make sure that you are working in the right
store view. The store view drop-down is visible in top-left corner of the page.
Some Useful Magento SEO Extensions
Though the steps advised in this series are sufficient for
making your Magento installation SEO optimized, there are still some
useful SEO extensions that are available for Magento, each of which makes it easier to deploy and
maintain Magento's SEO.
Ultimate SEO Suite by AheadWorks
AheadWorks is one of the top Magento extensions company,
producing several quality extensions for Magento fans. Ultimate SEO Suite by AheadWorks is a superb SEO extension, which supports multi-store
support. It helps you set up canonical URLs, and automatically converts long URLs into canonical URLs. It helps you split your
sitemap into smaller and more manageable files. If you are also using the AheadWorks Blog extension, this Magento extension becomes a must have, because it will SEO
optimize your store blog as well.
Magento SEO Module by BlueClaw
This is another excellent all-in-one Magento SEO
module. Magento SEO Module by BlueClaw gives you complete control over your
store’s robot.txt file, canonical tags and layered navigation settings, and lets you
adjust page titles with appropriate redirects. Another great feature of this
module is its simplicity and ease of use. If you want to rely on SEO extensions
to manage your website’s functionalities, this is one of the extensions you
SEO Suite Pro Magento Extension:
If above mentioned Magento extensions are not giving you your required
functionality, then you should try this extension as well. For a one-time fee of
$149, in SEO Suite Pro Magento Extension you’ll get an excellent all-in-one package for most of your store’s SEO
needs. SEO Suite Pro is a feature-rich extension; besides handling most of the basic stuff, it also handles advanced things like SEO-friendly URLs, RSS
feeds, extended sitemaps, product tags, etc. If your initial SEO efforts are
paying off well in terms of sales growth, and you want to invest in
your store’s SEO to further increase your profits, this is the module you
Magestore SEO Plus
Magestore is another A-player in the Magento market. They have
launched 39 excellent extensions thus far, like One Step Checkout, and
Affiliate Plus. Most of their extensions are best-sellers in their categories. Magestore
claims SEO Plus is the fastest and easiest to configure SEO extension in the market. It lets you generate URL, title, keywords, description for a tag's
product list, search results, and filter pages. It also allows the use of URL
rewrite, cache rewrite and canonical links to link filter pages to the main page.
The price of this extension is $99.
That’s all, folks! If you have followed the whole series
closely, you should have a fair understanding of all the tools and tactics you
can use to make your Magento installation super SEO-friendly. Now it’s up to
you how effectively you use these skills for driving more sales and revenues
to your Magento store.
There are many resources I consulted while writing this
series, and it won't be possible to list all of them here, but there are some
I cannot avoid mentioning. Here they are:
- Magento SEO, The Definitive Guide by Yoast
- 5 Duplicate Content Issues for Magento
- Improving Magento SEO With Sitemaps
- Boost the Speed of Your Magento By Inchoo
- Adding Rich Snippets to Magento Products by Groove Commerce
- 16 Best Magento SEO Extensions For An E-Commerce Website
Perhaps the most important reference, which not only helped
me conceive the idea of this series, but also helped a lot in setting up a
blueprint for this series, was an excellent book by Robert Kent called Magento
Search Engine Optimization. I would highly recommend it to everyone who wants
to learn more about this topic.
Source: Tuts Plus