With over 174,000 merchants still using the original Magento, the question arises whether or not the Magento 2.0 upgrade is truly an improvement. We want to put this question to bed, once and for all, but we also suspect that the real question at stake isn’t about user interface or features, but rather, whether Magento 2.0 is still competitively packed with powerful SEO features that allow merchants to increase traffic to their websites and product pages.
We’ll discuss both of these aspects of the Magento 2.0 upgrade.
Improvements over Magento 1.0
Now that we’ve told you there is a question, we are going to tell you the improvements in Magento 2.0 make the answer to this debate completely obvious.
The update is relatively new, and there are currently 8,171 websites using Magento 2.0, with nearly half in the United States and United Kingdom. There are a handful of websites using Magento 2.0 ranking in the top 10,000 sites, but the vast majority are in the top 100,000.
We believe that businesses who have remained with version 1.0 have not had the time or resources to switch: the benefits of Magento 2.0 are clearly worth the upgrade.
Let’s start with speed. Some claimed the original Magento was slower than many other eCommerce platforms. Since it was slower for both editing and for visitors, the slowdown hurt SEO too.
But things have changed. Big time.
Magento 2.0 greatly improved site speed. The Magento 2.0 paid attention to the issues that drove away users from the first version and ensured that 2.0 would no longer see the same speed problems.
Part of the speed boost comes from advanced caching.
The free version of Magento 1.0, Magento Community, did not have a full page-caching feature. It was primarily meant for small-scale transactions, so merchants carrying out large volumes in small periods were getting hit with slower speed load times. Since each transaction would have to reload the page over and over, the process would overload the system.
Magento 2.0 requires Mysql 5.6, the newest version of MySQL, which ensures better query processing, re-indexing, and caching. Magento uses these processes to make sure that all inventory, store information and product data are running their most current versions after each update.
Magento 2.0 also requires an updated version of PHP, also aiding in the speeding up of caching mechanisms. With faster page load times, merchants will likely see an improvement in search engine rankings and overall site usability from the visitor perspective.
Magento 2.0 started including full page caching to help render key pages on merchants’ sites in the free Community version, and not just the subscription based Enterprise.
With site load speed concerns quelled, Magento 2.0 is loaded with additional SEO features.
Magento 2.0 SEO Essentials:
In addition to the big speed benefits, there is a lot of active development around Magento 2. The Magento team has confirmed that there will be quarterly releases and updates for Magento 2, giving this platform the extra bonus of regular bug fixes based on user feedback, meaning that Magento 2 will only improve over time.
And don’t forget the plug-ins.
Magento 2.0 is open source, so merchants are able to add a wide variety of third-party SEO solutions to attract more shoppers.
Magento has an advantage over other eCommerce platforms because open-source means that, whether a third-party solution or custom solution is built from scratch, you won’t have to upgrade your service or accrue any additional costs.
Here are a few of our favorite SEO plugins for Magento 2.0:
SEO Suite Ultimate
This plug-in makes SEO easier. The interface simplifies work with meta tags, rich snippets, navigation, and reporting. Meta tags and rich snippets are yielding increasingly better search engine results, and with SEO Suite Ultimate you can give them the attention they deserve.
The rich snippet feature can help skyrocket your sales by enabling web crawlers to accurately understand product descriptions.
Your meta descriptions include everything from color, manufacturer, product SKU, brand, and much more, providing a rich level of detail that helps search engines send you better traffic and gives you a huge edge on competitors who do not have this feature.
SEO Suite Ultimate also allows you to make your own templates for URL keys that are compatible with multiple languages. This makes creating category pages much less of a headache. Since most category and product URLs are usually dynamic or non-search friendly by default, this addition allows Magento 2.0 users to take advantage of competition that is allowing their URLs to stay in their non-search friendly design.
SEO Suite Ultimate also creates Google compatible XML sitemaps, saving merchants from the painstaking process of manually creating an XML sitemap.
Advanced SEO Suite
If you are not experienced with FTP or backend programming, this SEO Suite is meant for you.
A vast majority of online retailers have extremely limited experience in the backend and FTP of their site. What makes Advanced SEO Suite special is that it is loaded with canonicalization tools that allow you to do everything from implement product canonical URLs, cross domain canonical URLs, pagination, and noindex/nofollow tags without code.
For even a user experienced with backend and FTP, this process can be incredibly useful and timesaving. Instead of implementing them all yourself, you check a box. The plugin takes care of everything else.
And for those of you who play with robots.txt, the user interface for this is a big improvement over most other plugins.
When is two not better than one?
We recommend making the switch to Magento 2 based on the SEO advantage of Magento 2.
We also believe this to be the most salient aspect, as SEO is directly related to web traffic and, for eCommerce merchants, revenue.
The out of the box SEO features are enough to make Magento a competitive eCommerce platform by itself, but with the addition of other third party solutions, there is no limit to what merchants can accomplish.
Find out how to Automate your Magento Order Fulfillment process with the Magento + Floship Integration here!
Floship Guest Post – About the Author
Ronald Dod is a partner and CEO of Visiture, LLC. After founding Grey Umbrella Marketing, an internet marketing agency which focuses on Search Engine Optimization for eCommerce businesses, he merged with Visiture to create a full service search marketing offering for eCommerce businesses.
His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the search marketing landscape and use data to make more effective decisions to drive new traffic and conversions.
He holds a Masters in the Science of Marketing from Florida State University and is certified in Google Adwords & Analytics.