5 Essential Joomla SEO Tips For Beginners

July 30, 2010

Joomla

Joomla is not search engine friendly by default. You need to put some work into improving this. The main thing that you notice when you start your SEO work on a Joomla website is the URL or each page.

Joomla is not search engine friendly by default. You need to put some work into improving this. The main thing that you notice when you start your SEO work on Joomla website is the URL or each page. The page URLs produced by Joomla are not search engine friendly. They have always query parameters, which doesn’t give much information for search engines to properly index and rank those pages. When you do on-page search engine optimization, one of things you should pay a lot more attention is the URL of the page you want to optimize. It has to be informative and meaningful, well populated with keywords and preferably with “.html” extension.

1. Use Search engine friendly URL

To make your Joomla website’s URL search engine friendly, you have a lot of options. The first one is to use the default Joomla’s SEF plugin. By default this plugin is not activated, so you have to go to your global configuration page and activate that.

You can also use third party free or paid components that do the same thing with additional features. One of my favorite is sh404SEF.

2. Craft catch Page titles for all pages in your website

Most of the time, I see on Joomla websites with default title that say “Home”. This is the title of the home page. Mostly beginners don’t see that and the way you change that title also a little bit obscure at first. As you know, page title is one of the main on-site criteria considered by search engines when ranking web pages. So you should give your pages meaningful title with your main keyword included in it. To change this title, do the following:

a. Go to Menu Manager and click your main menu.

b. From the list of menu items, open the one that says “home”

c. Now on the right hand side of the screen there are a number of parameters you can change. Open “Parameters (System)” and change the field that say Page title to your desired homepage title and save.

3. Setup Meta data for every page in your website

Meta data may not have as much value in the eyes of search engines as used to have few years back but still you should do proper optimization work on them. When optimizing Meta data of a webpage. You should focus more on the description rather than keywords. You write good descriptions about your page, preferably 160 characters long. This description is the one you see on search engine result page under your title. So it has a lot of value to help your link in the search engine result page stand out. Of course if search engines cannot find relevant description in your Meta tag, they will try to extract some text from your article body on the page and use that as description on the search engine result page. However, you have the chance to decide what to put instead, so use this advantage to attract more visitor from search engines.

The major problem I see on lots of Joomla powered website is that they use one set of Meta description and keyword for all pages on the website. This is wrong! You should set up individual sets of description and keywords for every page on your website. You can still use the global configuration to set Meta data for the whole website, but you should add Meta data for every article you add from you’re your article manager page.

To add Meta data for an article you just wrote, look at the right section of Article [edit] page to find fields for entering Meta data.

4. Take advantage of 404 error page pages

Most often you see a Joomla website with the default 404 error page with small information about the error and a link to home page. You should setup a 404 page, either using some sort of plugin or setup one manually. Include valuable resource on this page to direct the user somewhere back to your website. Or include search form that can be used by the user to get back on track. Or use some of the phrases from users query on the previous page and produce a search result page yourself. The point here is to avoid users from being frustrated by the mean error page.

5. Insert H1 Tags In Joomla

It’s a good idea to make use of H1 tag as your article title decorator. It has some significance to wards convincing search engines that the page is actually about the keyword you have been mentioning starting from the page title. I know pages that do well without H1 tag, but who cares if you can get a little help on your SEO for little or no work. Go ahead and us H1 tags for your your articles’ Title.

Demissew has been working on the internet as a freelance web developer for nearly two years now. Not only has this author specialized in web development and SEO but also different technology products. You can also check out his latest website on Showerhead Filter and Anti Gravity Chair technologies.
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About Souvik Banerjee

Web Developer and SEO Specialist with 10+ years of experience in open source web development. He is also the moderator of this blog (www.rswebsols.com)

View all posts by Souvik Banerjee

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6 Responses to “5 Essential Joomla SEO Tips For Beginners”

  1. Link Building Services Says:

    Way you define here is quite informative and helpful 5 tips related to joomla and guys who are newly in seo they can also know more about some major points which helps to promote website well and with the help of such points they gain more about joomla also.

    Reply

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  3. zoldar Says:

    This is an excellent article, after just about finishing my first Joomla site, this is an excellent time to find this article. I cam here looking at your testimonial component and found a wealth of other information. Keep up the good work and if the testimonial component is as good then I will be making my donation.

    Reply

  4. Jason Johnston Says:

    Excellent article. Most of the other articles I’ve come across in this category give you simplistic pat suggestion without a solid seo reason. I like the fact that you took the time to craft a detailed, but straight forward suggestion. Thanks

    Reply

  5. Andrew Says:

    Great article there! Yup, sh404SEF is one of my favorite too. Works well for our website. It brings in the traffic and our EasyBlog blog component has been getting the right kind of exposure thanks to the right SEO in our Joomla website.

    Reply

  6. Amit Sharma Says:

    Excellent article, really would help SEO Newbies, should concentrate more on advantage of 404 error page pages. Can get more information on webmaster tool (Google webmaster tools).

    Reply

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