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Shopware 6: The Latest SEO Features

Shopware 6

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The time has finally come – following its introduction at Shopware Community Day 2019, some initial assessments can finally be made of Shopware 6. What can the new shop system do compared to its predecessor Shopware 5? Which SEO tips and tricks can already be revealed? Martin Ritter of the german full service ecommerce agency WEBneo explains all in this blog post!

What Kind of SEO Measures Does Shopware 6 Offer?

Let’s start with meta information, which is crucial for SEO. Meta information should be informative, keyword-optimised and tailored to the potential customer as well as adapted to the respective Shopware site. The meta information in Shopware 6 can be maintained locally for each product or category, and comprises the title tag, the meta description and the keywords.

Meta Title

  • The meta title of your Shopware site should generally contain the focus keyword and be between 60 and 70 characters long. This allows the user, and, for the purposes of indexing the website, the Google Crawler, to see directly what to expect on the site.
  • In Shopware 6, the standard template for product meta titles is structured as follows:
    {product name} | {shop name}
  • The standard template for category meta titles, meanwhile, looks like this:
    {category name}

If you want to make any changes, you’ll have to modify them individually.

Meta Description

The meta description is particularly important for potential customers. Here shop operators have the chance to entice the user to visit their site in a short and informative text of no more than 160 characters. It’s important to place the keyword here as well as a so-called call-to-action that urges the searcher to click on the link and have a look at the offer behind it.

Don’t forget the call-to-action and the character limit!

Whereas the previous version permitted 150 to 240 characters, there is no longer a character limit in Shopware 6. Nevertheless, shop operators should not exceed 160 characters because if they do, the text will be cut off in the Google search results (SERPS). Incomplete text offers little value to potential customers. Beyond that, you can be sure that your competition is making sure that their meta information is optimised. So make sure you pay attention to the character limits specified by Google to prevent potential customers from going to a competitor whose complete and informative meta description with call-to-action is much more appealing.

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Of course, Shopware 6 also offers the option of integrating SEO texts via experience worlds.

Generally speaking, SEO texts should populate the most important pages of your shop. The idea is to create user-friendly content that brings added value to the reader. Write about your products, their features, their uniqueness and their functionality, or what exactly your shop stands for. The better and more informative the SEO text, the more likely it is that users will stay on or even convert to your site and send positive user signals to Google, which in turn will position your site better in the long run.

You can create an experience world in Shopware 6 and assign the layout to the desired category. Among other things, the experience world can now be individually designed with text and graphics and populated with the desired SEO texts.

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Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to assign data between the additional field and the experience world. Simply put, an additional field is an extension of the data record. This field can be used to expand the standard information on a product or category as desired. Beyond that, you can link the information stored in the additional field to a text field in the experience world, so that the content of the text field is always taken from the associated additional field.

In future, however, it should be possible to create an additional field for products and categories and to incorporate its data into the text blocks of the experience worlds. It would then be possible to create variable experience worlds for all categories or products.

Search Engine Optimisation for Images

In terms of SEO for images, Shopware 6 is much more versatile. In addition to the name of the image, we can now also modify the alt text and the title. This was not possible in Shopware 5.

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SEO URLs

URLs are another decisive factor for Shopware SEO. These are also included in the Google ranking of your website. That’s why you should always make sure not to create “cryptic” URLs that are far too long and include question marks, exclamation marks, etc. In the previous version of Shopware 6, you could configure the URLs individually. Currently, it is possible to set SEO URLs at category and product level globally using templates. The variables used for this purpose are predefined by Shopware and are therefore very easy and intuitive to use.

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URLs are another decisive factor for Shopware SEO. These are also included in the Google ranking of your website. That’s why you should always make sure not to create “cryptic” URLs that are far too long and include question marks, exclamation marks, etc. In the previous version of Shopware 6, you could configure the URLs individually. Currently, it is possible to set SEO URLs at category and product level globally using templates. The variables used for this purpose are predefined by Shopware and are therefore very easy and intuitive to use.

As you may know from Shopware 5 and earlier Smarty templates, the new template engine “Twig” also offers the opportunity to use different filters and functions for our template variables. So for example, we can use the filter "lower" to display our SEO URLs in lowercase format.

Experience World in Place of an Error Message

Shopware 6 also has a feature that allows you to integrate an experience world via the shop’s master data to appear in the event of a 404 error. Non-accessible pages are usually simply displayed as 404 or 410 error messages. However, these are neither nice to look at nor do they inspire confidence in potential buyers. So simply redirect non-accessible pages to an experience world instead!

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What Measures Are Possible With Shopware 6, but Cannot Be Solved via the Admin?

Redirects let the Google bot know that URL paths in the shop have changed. This is important because it saves crawling budget for your website. The Google bot uses a combination of the Google index and the redirects to update the index. If redirects are not set up, the Google bot has to completely re-crawl your website the next time it visits it.

Just like in the previous version, redirects need to be integrated via a line in the .htaccess in Shopware 6. If you set up redirects manually via .htaccess, then check them directly afterwards! This way, you avoid the danger of redirect loops which would make your landing page inaccessible.

What Can Shopware 6 Not Yet Do At This Time?

Now that we have spoken about new features, let’s have a look at where there is still potential for optimisation in Shopware 6.

The well-known SEO router from Shopware 5, which could be used for global SEO settings, can no longer be found in Shopware 6. As a consequence, a whole range of features have been omitted. The disadvantage is that other functions like the popular SEO-noindex Viewports/Queries and the option to remove capital letters from the URL have fallen by the wayside. Likewise, the SEO settings that were originally made centrally have either been split up or outsourced.

What SEO Opportunities Can We Look Forward to in Shopware 6?

Meta Element for Geographic Shop Targeting

Shopware 6 will enable the implementation of the “hreflang” meta element in the future. By using this link attribute, Google understands the geographic target of the online shop. This is of particular importance for Shopware shops that target an international customer base, as Google will provide the user with the appropriate language version or regional URL.

Tracking and Cookies

Encouraging optimisations have also been made in the area of Google integration. A simple integration for tracking visitors is possible in Shopware 6, while simple event tracking (checkout, login, etc.) is also new. Cookie bar integration will be another new feature added in the future. Among other things, cookies can be used to recognise users who have visited your site before. Cookies make it easier for customers to browse your shop by removing the need for them to re-enter their login details, or by recognising what they have purchased in the past, for example.

Newsletter Opt-Out

Shopware 6 now also offers an opt-out option. This is a procedure in which advertisements (usually newsletters) are sent to the customer, or personal data is stored if the customer does not actively object. Customers can also unsubscribe themselves from the mailing list if they no longer wish to receive your newsletter.

Try Shopware 6 for Yourself!

Shopware 6 offers many new features. A lot has changed and some things have been removed from the software entirely. We hope we have been able to give you an insight into Shopware 6 and to give you a taste of the new shop software! Of course, it is impossible to list all the new functions, because Shopware 6 is simply too extensive for that. So we recommend trying it out for yourself! Make use of the demo shop and get started. Only by testing it yourself will you truly discover all the new features in Shopware 6!

About the Author

Our guest author Martin Ritter is Managing Director at German online agency WEBneo. The full-service agency specialises in the fields of online marketing, web design and, of course, e-commerce. Accordingly, WEBneo has implemented numerous Shopware shops and knows exactly which Shopware features matter most.

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