This guide looks at the different Magento SEO modules currently available and provides a comparison of the different features. The intention behind this post is that it’ll provide guidance on which module is best suited to you and your store.
Magento has lots of different Magento SEO modules available – I’m only going to focus on the following as they’re the most commonly used ones and the ones they I have experience of using personally. I previously released my own SEO module, called MageSEO, which did really well, however I found supporting it the trickiest part. Because I was using the development team from GPMD (a Magento agency I co-own), I found that where developers were working on sprints and supporting ecommerce stores, I wasn’t able to commit to SLAs, response times etc. This became more of an issue as upgrades etc became available, so we recently decided to stop supporting the module.
There are lots of considerations around selecting an SEO module, particularly with things like conflicts with other modules, the support that’s provided as standard (and as non-standard), the quality of the code etc.
CreareSEO is a widely module because it was one of the first decent modules to provide a solution for some of the most common Magento SEO issues as a free extension.
One benefits of using CreareSEO is that it’s a lightweight module, so there’s less chance of conflicts with other modules and general technical complications. A lot of developers prefer working with modules like this and then building functionality on top of it (e.g. hreflang or more complex technical requirements).
Some of the key features of CreareSEO include:
- Ability to block dynamic pages
- Options around applying redirects for discontinued products
- Ability to edit the robots.txt and .htaccess files
- Options around canonical URLs
- Ability to create and manage an html sitemap
The CreareSEO module is available for free on Magento Connect.
MageWorx are a highly regarded module provider within the Magento community, having created lots of extensions that are used by merchants of all sizes. I’ve used this SEO module on lots of projects and it’s generally the one that I recommend.
MageWorx is one of the more expensive options, at $249 (CE) and $499 (EE), however it also has a lot more features and functionality than the other modules and can help to reduce the amount of development work required in order to get certain things in place (e.g. hreflang, configurable product canonical setup, structured data markup etc). They also provide the option of having it installed, which can be useful for merchants who don’t fully understand the settings.
Some of the key features for this module include:
- Hreflang support (with multi-store)
- Ability to configure meta robots directives based on regular expressions
- Robots.txt editor
- Structured data support (with lots of freedom around configuration and how it’s outputted)
- More control over XML sitemaps
- Options around canonical tag implementation (e.g. trailing slashes, https / http etc)
These are just a few of the features that I tend to use the module for.
One of the main benefits of using this module over the others is the amount of control you have in the back-end, making everything more manageable for the merchant. You’re able to quickly and easily change how key technical SEO aspects are setup and implement and manage advanced features, such as product canonicalisation. Another key plus of MageWorx is they have really good support (although granted I’ve worked with them a lot more than the other companies).
The product canonical URL feature is very useful for merchant using configurable products alongside simple products and bundled products, as it allows for a canonical URL to force the URL of the configurable product on the simple variants of that product (e.g. colour or size variants).
The hreflang feature is also very useful – as this can be very complex to implement and it has a lot of room for error. The config is again managed in system > config and there are lots of settings around the language / country codes and where the tags are used.
You can find out more about the MageWorx module here.
Although it’s not as comprehensive as the MageWorx module, Mirasvit also helps to eliminate a lot of core Magento SEO issues, particularly around dynamic pages being crawled and indexed. It’s slightly cheaper than the MageWorx module ($149 for Community Edition and $248 for Enterprise Edition).
Mirasvit has lots of options – although I would say lots of them are not going to be used by larger merchants (things like switching layered navigation URLs to be ‘search friendly’). I’ve used the module before and it does have a lot of the core functionality, but it’s less manageable than MageWorx and it doesn’t support hreflang, amongst other things.
Some of the key features for Mirasvit are:
- More control around canonical URLs (including options around cross domain canonical URLs)
- More control around URLs across the store (including dynamic pages)
- Pagination options
- Structured data support
- Advanced options for using variables (e.g. set meta description to use a short description variable)
Mirasvit also recently released their Magento 2 module, which is a key requirement for lots of merchants looking to upgrade soon or who are already using Magento 2.
The Manadev layered navigation modules are used by lots of Magento merchants, which can often cause lots of issues with dynamic pages being indexed (as the URL structure is changed and lots of people don’t realise these need to be handled). This module, however, provides all of the layered navigation functionality, as well as SEO options to prevent issues with over-indexation.
The module is currently selling for $99 and is only focused on layered navigation and product filtering.
Key features of this module include:
- Options around canonical URLs for filtered pages
- Ability to noindex certain filter pages (with rules)
- Ability to changes URLs of filter pages (which can help with blocking them)
- Enhanced layered navigation
You can find out more about or buy this module here.
Like MageWorx and Manadev, Aheadworks are a well known module company who are heavily involved in the Magento community. This module isn’t as widely used as some of the others, but it does have some good features around canonical URLs (including forcing canonical URLs and assigning XML sitemap URLs based on canonical URLs).
I don’t have much experience with this module, but you can find out more here.
My opinion on SEO modules for Magento
There are lots of other Magento SEO modules, these are just the ones that I’ve used via client websites. There are lots of considerations when you’re selecting a module – if you want the one with the most features (and you actually need them), then I’d recommend MageWorx, which is the most comprehensive. However, if you have a big site and prefer not to rely on third party modules, you could use a more lightweight option or implement the features yourself in this instance.
If you want to make the SEO side of things more manageable, MageWorx or Creare would be my personal recommendation, but if you have very strong, responsive developers or you have a really big site, I’d probably just implementing via your development team.