If you are reading this post, you’ve definitely selected Joomla as your content management system. You must have designed, or bought, and developed a rich template for your new Joomla website. But is your Joomla website SEO optimized?
For your information, the standard Joomla version is not much SEO friendly. Hence, if you want your website in Joomla to rank higher, you have to perform a few steps or techniques in order to make it SEO friendly.
We’ve termed this process as Joomla SEO!
Doing SEO for Joomla site is something, which you can’t do overnight. Here is our list of the finest Joomla SEO tips that can help you get amazing ranking results.
Tips to do SEO for Joomla Website:
1. Start by Selecting the Right Server:
Undoubtedly, it is important.
For example, if you use an IIS or Windows server for hosting the Joomla website, you will end up in frustration. It is because your Mac would end up without delivering results.
The primary reason for this is that rewriting never goes well with the rewrite module used by IIS. Also, it can lead to issues with the configuration and installation.
Simply, I suggest establishing your Joomla website on an Apache server that is installed with mod_rewrite. It will also be great for your SEO components.
2. Research Well for Topic and Keyword:
Focus on keywords specific to your target niche. Include long-tail keywords in the content. Use synonyms and phrases of target keywords.
Do keyword research using the Google Keyword Research Tool to find appropriate keywords and their synonyms for your website. Also, consider keyword suggestions by Google mentioned at the bottom of the search page.
3. Turn htaccess.txt to .htaccess:
You would want to enable URL rewrite to make the URLs more attractive than they begin. Hence, you are required to rename the htaccess.txt file to .htaccess. This is the version used by Joomla.
4. Include SEO Friendly URLs:
Though built-in support for SEF URLs is available, it is suggested to use dedicated SEF component. One good example is sh404SEF, that lets you create SEF plugin as well as monitor the requests of generating 404 errors.
Also, it gives built-in support for titles, H1 tags, other Google-friendly SEO techniques. It supports Meta descriptions as well.
5. Rewrite URLs:
Within Joomla, set ‘search engine friendly URL’ and select ‘use URL rewrite’ option to ‘yes.’
This setting removes all dynamically generated aspects from the URL. Also, it replaces the alias menu item, which you use on that particular page.
With URL rewriting setting, you can remove /index.php/ from the URL. The balanced settings are left more to the discretion. You can turn on the option to include the site name in page titles, especially if the site includes lots of content. It is best to micro-manage everything and create separate titles.
6. Focus on Improving Organizational Structure:
Google loves content that is organized in a logical manner. If you have too much content, organize it into categories and sub-categories.
Organize the content into a viable hierarchical structure and place similar content into ideal categories. This makes it easier for end users and Google to understand the content. Make sure the categories you create makes sense for the content.
7. Use Joomla Categories in the Best Way:
You can create different Joomla specific categories. There are various tutorials, tips and tricks, SEO tricks, and modules that you can create for Joomla content.
Once you have defined the categories, you must create a menu structure that is optimized. You can link menu items to each parent category. This way, you can create an awesome top-down structure.
8. Avoid Deep Link Structures:
It is good to organize the content into different categories and sub-categories, but don’t delve too deep. It is enough to have a few categories and sub-categories.
Also, avoid making too wide categories. It can make your navigation complex. If your users get confused they will spend less time on the website. This will send negative signals to Google as well.
9. Design Internal Links for Page Ranking:
Internal links are of two types – first to entice readers to read content written by you, second to use the links for passing page rank from one page to the other. If one of your pages had a good rank, the same can be passed to other pages via internal linking.
It is a good technique to rank new content fast because content immediately avails ample of good links. An important thing to note is that each URL that you intend to get page rank must be displayed at the menu link.
10. Design Excellent Sitemap:
Create an efficient sitemap and design a link to it. Make sure you utilize a component so that when you add more content to the site, it automatically adds to the sitemap.
It is not vital to create the sitemap, but equally vital is to keep it updated with new content. You can also check recommendations from google webmasters to know why it is vital to design a sitemap.
11. Submit to Google Search Console or WebMaster Tools:
Once you have designed the sitemap, you must submit the same to the Google Webmasters. It is an excellent tool that lets you monitor how your website is performing in SEO.
You must check Google WebMasters often and clearly understand what all is going on. It is not worth to buy a 100 million of other directories. Rather, focus on Google only.
12. Enhance Page Titles:
This is one of the most important factors to rank. Google gives high importance to the title tag. You can influence page ranking and create a major impact with adequate page titles.
Create a title that is relevant and optimizes the same for SEO. Of course, you can always use a Joomla extension in order to avail further help.
13. Focus on Improving Meta Descriptions:
You can avail great SEO rankings if you create an efficient title and Meta description. Also, Meta description improves the CTR and lets you achieve greater results in SEO ranking.
Put Meta description where it makes sense. They are vital to increase SEO ranking, overall ROI, and click through rate. In addition to this, write a description for the website that is SEO optimized. Moreover, your website Joomla Robots must be set to index so that search engines indexing can happen.
14. Select non-www. or www. and Redirect:
Unlike WordPress, Joomla does not automatically redirect the website to www.version. It is because this can pose a canonical problem that has to be corrected manually through the .htaccess file.
Therefore, you can redirect to www by including the desirable code to the .htaccess file.
15. Optimize Robots.txt Files for Images:
There are various ways where you can utilize the images to make an SEO-friendly website. But it all depends on how Google indexes your images.
The most important optimization that is needed is to eradicate the disallow images folder within robots files. You must open the robots.txt file and eradicate images so that search engines do not index the images.
16. Define Images with Alt Tags:
Another vital thing to consider for SEO Joomla is to incorporate Google alt tags. Such tags get huge relevance by the search engines. Just make sure that the image name makes great sense for the content, keywords, and context that you want to rank for.
In order to rank for Joomla SEO, the first image must be the same as the keyword. The remaining images on the page must follow the same keyword that is rich naming convention.
17. Mention Image Dimensions:
It is best to define image dimensions. This lets you have enough space on the website, even before the image is loaded.
Also, it helps manage the website loading speed. It offers website the ease to load faster and gain higher SEO rankings.
18. Improve Website Loading Speed:
You must enable content as well as URL caching in Joomla. This will boost the website loading speed. Enable Joomla to allow browser caching. This can be done by making necessary changes in the default settings.
Browser cache must be in the ‘set’ mode and the plugin must be enabled. Allowing GZIP compression supports in improving the load times. It is because it compresses the website content. Moreover, optimize the size of the image for reducing load time by utilizing Google’s Page Speed Tool.
19. Link Internally on a Consistent Basis:
For Joomla, a major problem can be posed by duplicate content. Hence, you must combat the situation by ensuring that you link on a consistent basis to internal content.
You can create links to either non-www or www version.
20. Create a Mobile-Friendly Joomla Website:
A robust ranking signal was made by Google in 2015 related to mobile-friendliness. If your website is mobile-friendly, it will be favored by the search engines.
This implies that if your website is not mobile-friendly, it may get a negative ranking signal. Hence, make necessary changes and create a responsive website that passes Google’s mobile-friendly test.
21. Design a Blog:
It is great for a website to have good-quality content. This is vital for better SEO rankings. It is recommended to post at least two blogs in a month. And if you can post more, it is better.
You must find interesting topics to write content about. The topics can be from common customers. Also, you can run Google Adwords tool or leverage autocomplete feature in order to research numerous blog topics.
22. Optimize the Contact Page:
The contact page of your Joomla website must have some key details to help you link your business with other listings around the web. It is vital to include name, phone number, and address of your business.
It is a great idea to embed Google Map to the contact page for linking your business locally.
23. Create Rich Content:
It is essential that you create separate pages for each service, location, and product offered by your business. Avoid clubbing all of them together one single page. This will offer more content pages to Bing and Google to crawl, which are more specific to what your business does.
Moreover, diversify the entire content particularly when working with numerous locations. Write separate content for each page that is engaging and unique.
24. Optimize Footer:
It is wise to include the name, phone number, and address of your business on the bottom page and link the same to Google+ account. You can include microdata to offer Google an extremely rich reading of the business. Use this to enhance rankings of other pages linked to your business.
25. Optimize Title of Browser for Keywords:
One great feature of Joomla 3 for SEO is that it lets you customize the page titles for a specific page to whatever you want. If you wish to target particular keywords for particular pages, you can do it easily using this feature.
The title of the browser is great to place keywords to enhance the SEO of the existing page. The thing is that it is done on the menu level and not on the content or page level. For the page level, you have to use an external component.
This can be done by following these steps:
- A search menu item that you want to optimize.
- Click on Advanced Options.
- Find the ‘Title for Browser page.’
- Insert title that you want to show. Use the target keywords you need.
- Close, save, and refresh that page.
26. Install Xmap:
It is one of the best components for a sitemap for Joomla. It flawlessly generates HTML and XML sitemaps for the website. There are various plugins available for Joomla like sh404sef and Virtuemart.
You can create a new sitemap using Xmap. Select the desired menu items and establish priorities. Save the settings. You can now create a menu item for the HTML sitemap and grab this link for XML sitemap to include to Webmaster Tools.
27. Use SEO Plugin Extensions from Joomla:
It can be easier to practice Joomla SEO by using one or more Joomla SEO extensions. You can avail a third party Joomla SEO extension to implement SEO settings. SEOSimple and SEOBoss are few good Joomla SEO extensions.
Hope this post is useful. It is important that you develop content and website that is helpful to the users and which they want to share and visit. There are more ways to Joomla SEO but as of now, start with these best ones.