Having a blog on your website is great for both user experience and SEO. You can create content that is going to provide your customers with more value and answer their questions. Before you start writing your content, you need to set up your blog on Magento 2.
By default, Magento 2 doesn’t have a blog. So you have two options: 1. to connect to a WordPress blog or 2. to enable a Magento 2 blog extension (Magefan is one of the best ones out there). For reference throughout this guide, we will be using Magefan as an example.
Implementing a WordPress Blog on Magento 2
Connecting to a WordPress Blog
1. If you are integrating a WordPress blog to your Magento 2 store, you need to download an extension to do this. Fishpig is the most popular extension that is used for this connection.
2. When the file has been downloaded, you will then need to extract the files to a root directory – you may need some help from your developer to do this.
3. Log into your Magento SSH account, head to the root directory and run the following commands:
php bin/magento module:enable FishPig_WordPress
php bin/magento setup:upgrade
php bin/magento setup:di:compile
php bin/magento cache:clean
php bin/magento cache:flush
4. Once the commands have been run, go into the Admin section on Magento and click on WordPress. Then, click on settings. You will then need to enter your blog URL and the path to your WordPress installation directory to build this integration.
5. The final steps are to log into WordPress and head to the dashboard. Click on General, which is located under the settings section. You then need to change the site address to “/blog”.
When all these steps have been completed, the integration should be complete.
Creating a New WordPress Blog Post
If you have a WordPress blog, the set-up of a new post is very simple. To add a new post on WordPress, simply head to Posts and Add New Post. You can create the title and URL and add the categories before you start adding content.
Creating New Content
The next step would be to add your content. Find out our top tips on how to write an SEO-friendly optimised blog article. It’s important to write content that is going to provide value for your customers while also improving the search performance of your Magento 2 store.
In some blog index pages, there are snippets of text so that readers can get an idea of what to expect from your article. On WordPress, the first 55 words are shown from your article. You can change this setting on the Reading tab in the backend of the blog.
Optimising Images For Your Blog
Images are a great addition to any blog post. It gives the reader something else to digest and can help to improve the user experience.
Make sure to optimise the alt text for each of your images and to include your targeted keyword.
One of the final steps is to choose a featured image, as this serves as the preview image on the blog index page.
Using a Blog Extension on Magento 2
How to download an extension on Magento 2
If you don’t have a WordPress blog and prefer to use an extension, follow our tips on how to set this up, whether you use Magefan or another extension.
Download the extension file. There are several ways to integrate this within Magento 2. Either install it via the Composer or install it using an archive and FTP.
Creating a New Post
1. To start creating blogs on Magento 2, you simply need to head to Content > Blog > Posts.
2. Click on Add New Post, and then you can decide on the title, URL & more.
3. You can also choose the category the blog post will be under. For example, if you were a fashion retailer, you can have an indexed category called “Fashion Tips” and create blog posts under that category.
4. You also need to choose an author, whether it is the company name or an employee (you can then create a section explaining more about the author – great for building trust).
It’s time to add SEO-optimised content. Content is essential for SEO, and your blog is a vital part of the strategy. It can help to improve search presence, improve authenticity with Google and retain customers.
Blog extensions, including MageFan, will have a section called Short Content, which allows you to put a portion of your content in to be shown on the blog index page. You will want something enticing to encourage your customers to read your blog articles.
Images and Featured Images
Having a blog is a great way to create longer content about a wide range of topics. However, it is also recommended to include imagery to give readers something visual to look at.
By default, images are compressed when uploaded to Magento 2. You still want to make sure that the dimensions are correct for your images. This is to ensure that it improves user experience, especially for mobile. It is worth checking the specifications of your Magento 2 blog extension.
Featured images are extremely important for your blog post, as it acts as a preview on the main blog post page. Once you have chosen all of your images, you need to write optimised alt text, including your targeted keyword.
By implementing these steps for your images, you can help increase the SEO value of your Magento 2 site and improve user experience.
Now for some final tips and tricks that apply to both a WordPress blog and a Magento 2 extension.
Setting the Correct Publishing Date
Setting the publishing date of any blog article on Magento 2 is something that needs to be considered. By default, as soon as you press publish, that blog post is live. If you want the blog post to go out on a certain date in the future, make sure that you choose the correct date before saving the post.
Sometimes content teams may create lots of blog posts in one go. So, by having the same publishing date across all these blog posts, you may risk it looking spammy. It is advised to stagger these dates for consistency. We also recommend avoiding putting the published date within the copy or URL so that it doesn’t look like old content.
How to Optimise Your Blog Title Tags & Meta Descriptions in Magento 2
Title tags and meta descriptions are an important part when creating a blog post. It gives Google more of an understanding of what your blog post is about and gives readers a short snippet on the search results page. By optimising them, you can improve the search presence of your Magento 2 store.
On WordPress, with a plugin, you will be able to edit the title tag and meta description on the same page where you create your content. Yoast SEO is one of the top plugins to use for this – it also has many other features to explore. The same applies to any Magento 2 extension you use, you can edit the title tag and meta description on the same page you create the content.
Before you write any content, it is worth noting that there is a limit to how much you can fit into the title tags and meta description. You can use this handy tool to check the length of the title tags and meta descriptions.
Within the title tags and meta description, it is recommended to include your targeted keywords. The description should also have a killer call to action to entice your customers to read your blog post.
Add to Navigation Menu
Linking your blog from the navigation menu helps Google understand the site architecture of your Magento store. It allows Google and other search engines to look at the link between pages on your site. User experience is also improved as it is easy for your customers to find your blog.
The Importance of a Blog Layout
The layout is extremely important when it comes to your Magento 2 store, as it is key for user experience. That applies to your blog. It is good to have a mixture of copy, imagery, and any other elements that will suit your article.
We advise breaking up your content into different sections and making use of headings, which helps Google understand your content. Too much white space or content in bulk, won’t retain your readers for long. Both WordPress and Magento 2 extensions offer great flexibility when organising the layout of your blog post.
If you are looking for something specific, you may have to ask a developer to add some code within the backend.
Creating a Related Products Widget in Magento 2
At the end of the blog posts, you can even add a “Related Products Widget” to add more dynamic elements to your Magento 2 site. Most blog extensions, including Magefan, allow for this, and you can even set your own rules for certain blog posts. For your WordPress site, a developer should be able to create custom blocks or add plugins underneath the content for this type of widget – however, you want to check that this won’t affect site speed.
Related product widgets are a great way to provide a subtle CTA for your blog posts. Even for blog posts that aren’t product specific, you can give your readers something to consider once they finish reading the end of the post.
Whether you use a WordPress Blog or an extension, follow our top tips on how to implement a successful blog on Magento 2. You can start writing content that your customers are going to enjoy reading and increase your search performance.
If you would like to learn more about how to make the most out of Magento 2, read our handy Magento 2 guide. We cover the fundamental SEO elements to take into consideration, which also apply to blogs. Now, all that’s left to do is to implement the steps above to start your new blog!