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Background

 

Zakwatch is a retail brand for watches, jewelry and accessories. Since its lauch in 2014, Zakwatch.ch has managed to become one of the biggest stores of its kind in Switzerland. The brand is strongly committed to the domestic market, and has big loyal customer audience.

Zakwatch was launched by Allaleen – a Lucerne-based company specializing in brands development and distribution. Adhering to creative approach, founders of Allaleen are constantly seeking ways to provide one-of-a-kind experience to their customers.

Willing to improve the store’s online presence before the upcoming Christmas holidays, Dominik Meier, a co-founder of Allaleen reached out to MageWorx. After a short discussion, it was agreed to combine the functionality of MageWorx’s SEO Suite Ultimate with skills and hands-on experience of the  MageWorx SEO team. This combination is called a MageWorx Advanced SEO Configuration Service.

 

SEO Configuration service?

 

A pioneer in Magento development, MageWorx was one of the first companies to utilize the SEO potential offered by the Magento platform. The SEO Suite Ultimate is considered one of the most (if not the most) advanced Magento SEO extensions to date.

MageWorx SEO Suite Ultimate is a sophisticated toolkit designed to cover all important on-page SEO* activities. Packed with dozens of useful features, it helps online merchants to improve their website visibility, enhance indexation, reduce duplicate content issues, ensure more effective and more efficient website indexation.

SEO Suite Ultimate comes with a free basic configuration. In our case, the client wanted to save time and add more “Swiss precision” to the basic setup. Therefore, Dominik decided to purchase the advanced configuration service, which is exclusively designed for this extension.

*On-page SEO are practices aimed at optimizing web pages’ content and elements to attract more relevant traffic and achieve higher search engine rankings.

 

Challenge

 

During the initial SEO audit of Zakwatch, MageWorx SEO team discovered a number of issues that were affecting the store’s performance and overall SEO value. While not being overly “threatening” separately, altogether they were hindering the website’s SEO progress.

  • When analyzing the HTML improvements report in the Google Webmaster Tools, the team found numerous issues with Meta Description and Title tags:

    – Duplicate meta descriptions: 706
    Short meta descriptions: 692
    Duplicate title tags: 521

    While duplicate content reduced the chances for the webpages to be properly indexed, short meta descriptions looked awkward on the results pages, which decreased the website’s CTR.
  • Errors in website data markup could lead to snippets being incorrectly displayed in the search results.
  • Hreflang alternate tags* were not present for multilingual store views (English and French), which could cause incorrect display of the website for the local audiences.
  • Lack of cross-linking led to less effective distribution of the website authority throughout its pages.
  • Poorly optimized layered navigation – absence of meta tags and canonical tags** caused less accurate search results and errors in webpage indexation.
  • Missing XML sitemaps for FR and EN storeviews made the search engines unable to see and timely index their pages.
  • Poorly configured URL parameters led to many unwanted unique attributes that had no practical sense and led to unnecessary indexation when multiple variations of the same URL served the same content.

That nasty URL parameter attribute will be “terminated”, resolving many further page indexation issues.
That nasty URL parameter attribute will be “terminated”, resolving many further page indexation issues.

  • Last, but not least – Robots.txt*** file was not configured.

To sum up, below are the key goals of the SEO Configuration team:

  • Perform a complete store audit
  • Fully configure the SEO Suite
  • Setup Bing and Google Webmaster tools

*Hreflang tags are meant to mark up pages that are aimed at different languages or regions.
**Canonical tags are used to set the originating source for duplicate pages so that the search engine could use it to resolve duplicate content issues and give all the SEO value to the source URL.
***Robots.txt is a file that is used to give indexation instruction to the search bots.

 

Store Audit

 

Over the years, MageWorx SEO team has been following best practices when it comes to SEO audit. The experience we have gained enables us to tailor these practices to the specific needs of each store.

Generally speaking, SEO audit is aimed to ensure that:

  • The SEO value is not reduced by the indexation of the URL parameters
  • There is NO duplicate content or missing meta data

Before the start, our clients are asked to provide access to Google and Bing webmaster tools as well as the ftp and backend access credentials of the live website. Without these details, it would be impossible to carry out the detailed website audit and find the abovementioned issues.

Other activities include checking whether www or non-www domain is treated as the main one by Google. If the preferred domain is not selected, Google might treat both versions as separate websites, which will cause the SEO value split between the domain versions.

Essential thing is to check what pages have been indexed by the search engines. Duplicate URLs can be treated as the independent ones, which also leads to more relevant pages losing their SEO value.

 

SEO Suite Setup

 

The next step of the configuration service is to properly setup and configure the SEO Suite extension.

Issues resolved:

  • Meta Description and Title tags

To make sure there are no issues with meta tags duplication, the SEO team created and tested various SEO templates for product, and category pages. The templates were made for every store view in order to ensure that they have unique meta tags in the needed language. These templates will later be used to automatically fill empty meta data fields with unique SEO-friendly data.

  • Website data markup/Hreflang alternate tags

After fixing the errors with website data markup that were present in category and product pages, hreflang alternate tags setup was added for all store views, enabling correct search results view for English, French and German speakers.

Hreflang alternate tags setup
Hreflang alternate tags setup

  • Cross-linking

We asked Dominik to name 7-10 keywords important for the store. To understand what words are needed for the project, both the client and the SEO team need to be on the same page and understand what products and categories matter the most. In case with Zakwatch, the store was going to add additional views views for English- and French-speaking visitors. Therefore, the keywords had to be translated into all languages to take full effect. Eventually, the SEO specialist set up cross-links that:

  • Distributed the ranking authority throughout the website pages
  • Increased traffic for the preferred brand/product category pages
  • Enabled visitors to easily navigate to relevant SEO-targeted pages more often
  • Built a more convenient website navigation system

*Layered navigation – a way to navigate through content on eCommerce websites, enabling shoppers to narrow down product catalogue search results and adjust them according to various criteria.

 

Google and Bing webmaster tools setup

 

We’re almost done! A bit more optimization – and Zakwatch.ch will never be the same again 🙂

Here’s what we fixed and optimized at this stage:

  • XML Sitemaps

Creation and HTML and XML sitemaps is an obvious yet very important step for the SEO optimization. While HTML sitemap is suited for website visitors to easily navigate the website, XML one is created specifically for the search engine to properly index the website pages. The SEO specialist created separate sitemaps for all store views, enabling more accurate indexation for each of them.

  • URL Parameters

Indexation was turned off for the unwanted URL parameters in Google and Bing webmaster tools (almost 40 parameters for Zakwatch).

Zakwatch.ch URL parameters
Zakwatch.ch URL parameters

Canonical tags have been added for the layered navigation* which made the search results way more accurate. Filtered pages now got higher chances of being ranked separately by the search engines.

 

Result

 

It takes some time for the applied changes to be indexed by the search spiders. However, we have noticed that those curious spiders already detected some noticeable on-page SEO improvements. Thus, the planned goal has been met, and Zakwatch.ch managed to increase its traffic (and therefore the sales figures) before the Christmas holiday season.

As you see on the screenshots below:

 

Before:

SEO 1

One month later:

SEO 2

 

Testimonial

“A big thank to MageWorx for its professional, fast and kind support! We haven’t spent a single second in SEO before getting in touch with MageWorx. With MageWorx SEO Ultimate we not only have integrated a powerful extension into our system, but also let the specialists of MageWorx do the advanced configuration in order to get most of that powerful pack. Thanks to Ulyana, Arthur and the whole MageWorx team!”

Dominik Meier
Co-founder of Allaleen AG

* * * * *

A few final words. No matter how big your sales figures are, you can always get more with better SEO.

All that is left once the service is done is to follow the instructions outlined in the owner’s manual of the SEO suite for stable results. Want to save your time? Let our professionals do the job for you.




to learn more about how SEO Configuration service can help your store stand out!

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