If you own a Magento store, you’ve probably heard that replacing the default Magento layered navigation with a SEO optimized version will yield you enormous results for your SEO strategy. When we get a request from a Magento store owner to give him SEO optimization tips, the first thing we do is check if he still has the default layered navigation and if he doesn’t we advise him to get a SEO optimized version of it. Integrating SEO layered navigation is the biggest SEO optimization step you can take and we highly recommend it to any Magento store owner. The best Magento layered navigation extensions are the following. We’ve listed them in a table for you to checkout, and we will explain what makes each extension so good later in this post.
|Magento Layered Navigation by Aheadworks||$$$||5.0 out of 5.0|
|Magento Improved Layered Navigation by Amasty||$$$$||4.9 out of 5.0|
Why use SEO Layered Navigation for Magento?
Well, you’ve read our opinion on integrating an improved navigation extension to gain a huge SEO boost, but what are these boosts and why should I implement such an extension in my Magento store?
Clean SEO friendly urls
The default navigation that comes with Magento has really ugly filter urls. They look something like this: “electronics.html?cat=12&color=23&megapixels=91&price=100-200“. With the SEO friendly urls your urls will transform in SEO friendly filter urls that look like this: “/electronics/silver.html“. They look clean, and very organized which is what search engines like Google love.
AJAX layered navigation
Using AJAX for your layered navigation filters is another great SEO improvement. Search engines can’t read AJAX, but humans can. The links in the SEO Layered Navigation menu are brought in via AJAX, so that they are ignored by the search engines instead of using the default HTML filters which will add around 30-40 more links to your category page.
You might be wondering: Whats the advantage of this? Well, it gives you a SEO boost because you’re limiting the number of links on your page, in order to limit PageRank dilution, and you’re channeling that PageRank to the most important pages on your site. The lesser links you have on a page, the more powerful the ones are that you do have on your page. This means that the links to other category’s and products become more powerful.
Specify indexation level
Another great advantage of using an improved layered navigation extension for Magento is because it lets your speficy the level of filter indexation. Normally, all filter pages are indexed in Google. This can give you some very nasty content duplication errors which will significantly lower your rankings. With a layered navigation extension you can say to Google or other search engines: you may index the filter pages on the first level (1 selected filter). This could mean that you’re on the category pages of socks and you’ll select the color red. This new page “/socks/color/red/” will get indexed. If you add another filter, for example size, your filtered page won’t get indexed. This prevents duplicate content on your site.
Create custom titles & descriptions (biggest advantage)
This might be the biggest reason for choosing a layered navigation extension for Magento. Normally all your filter pages would have the default category title. If you are on the category page of socks, it won’t matter which filter you select, the category description, title and meta data stays the same. With these custom filter titles, descriptions and meta data you can change the title and description depending on the filters that the customer selected. This is a huge SEO win because you can make more pages with unique content, and rank from more branded and specific keywords. You can now make a page that has red socks, blue socks, grey socks etc. This is by far the biggest advantage of using an layered navigation plugin for Magento and if you use it right it will increase your traffic tremendously.
The Best Magento Layered Navigation Extensions
Below is a thoroughly researched list of the best layered navigation extensions for Magento. All of these extensions have been tested by us on more than a hundred Magento stores. We hope to discuss each one thoroughly but if we missed something or you still have a question, hit us up via the contact form or in the comments section below.
This is the extension that came the best out of the test with a score of 5.0 out of 5.0. This means that this extension is the ultimate layered navigation extension that your Magento store needs. We have installed it on a big part of our client’s websites and with this extension we generally get the best results in terms of customer experience and a SEO boost. All the good stuff we listed above is included in this extension, and much more. It has been created by Aheadworks, which is a leading Magento development company and a Magento Silver partner. Here are some of the other benefits of this extension:
- Quick AJAX based filtering (no page reloads)
- Speed up products search
- Motivate your customers to come back
- Solr search engine support
This extension is the second one on our list with a score of 4.9 out of 5.0. Although it finished second on the list, it’s still a very good layered navigation extension that will help your store in a few different ways. It’s a 5 year old bestseller and it has made the Magento Bronze partner famous amongst developers. It’s highly reliable and gets the job done, which is very important if you have a big Magento store. Here are some of the best features of this extension:
- Ajax Layered Navigation
- Shop by brand
- Price filters & sliders
- Clean SEO Urls
- Multiple attribute selection
- Very advanced SEO options
So there you have it. Our current list of the best layered navigation extensions for Magento as of this moment. You can bookmark this page, as we are constantly searching for new and better extensions that we will add later on to this list. If you still have a question about this list, don’t hesitate and drop us a line via the contact form or comment section below.