8 Essential SEO Tips for Joomla You Must Know
Updated on Dec 2018
SEO is a vast topic that required hundreds of techniques, strategies, and profound knowledge if you want to do it right. However, like almost anything, you will always find a closer path to your goal. These 8 Joomla SEO tips will significantly boost your ranking in a short time.
I promise it will be worth 5 minutes of your time.
1. Enable Search Engine Friendly URLs and URL Rewriting
For any Joomla user, old or new, you may have heard this tip millions time before.
However, it still works like a charm, easy to implement and bring immediate impact to your SEO effort.
Enable Search Engine Friendly URLs will get rid of meaningless URLs in your site, such as:
Moreover, it will change the URL to be more readable, and shorter like http://joomlashine.com/blogs/seo-tips
That will allow search engines to take the URL into account when indexing your website, as well as makes it more user-friendly.
How to turn it on?
Actually, you don’t have to do anything, in recent versions of Joomla, you can see the feature is enabled by default. However, for some reason, if you still see your URL is unreadable like the example above, please follow these steps.
You also may notice there is a setting called “Use URL Rewriting”.
Turn it on, it will get rid of the prefix “index.php” in your URL, however, in some circumstances, you may see it not work. In that case, please refer to this SEF URLs article for a completed guide.
2. Install a Good Sitemap and Submit to Webmaster Tools
One of the most important parts of SEO is to create HTML/XML Sitemap files to make sure that Google knows about all pages on your site within the crawling process.
There are many free applications for you to create a sitemap if you don’t have one. You can search in Joomla extension directory or simply use this online free version of xml-sitemap.com. It’s effective and very easy to use.
Read more: How to submit sitemap in search engine.
3. Improve your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Page Titles and meta descriptions are often ignored by many users. It does not get enough credit it should have.
In search engine result pages (SERPs), page titles and meta description is the first thing a user sees. It’s like a billboard of your content. The more appealing your title is, the more chance a user clicks on your link.
Not just for users, title and meta descriptions are also for crawl bots. If those two are well optimized for SEO, the bots will understand your content better, knowing what topic and keyword on which article is focusing.
Speaking of optimization, here are some best practices for creating title and meta description.
- Always include keywords.
- Create a description which makes sense, ideally for each page.
- The title and description must not be longer than 70 and 160 characters respectively.
- Avoid using stop word (a, an, the, etc).
4. Optimize your Images
Getting traffic through your image is popular now a day when users more and more prefer visual search. Therefore, you better to get started to optimize your image.
Method? Starting with an alt tag is a good idea.
An alt tag provides a text alternative to an image, which is a way to describe an image for the bot and who cannot see the image. Bots and other site readers will read the alt tag as an alternative to the image itself.
A strong alt tag should contain 4-8 descriptive words and include at least one keyword.
Good alt tags are essential not only for search engines to give these tags relevance, but also to make sure the name of the image makes sense.
Apart from optimizing your alt tag, you should also concentrate on the following things:
- Reduce your image size for better load speed: Tinypng is a proper freemium application for this task.
- Creating unique images with proper branding will get searcher attention.
- Use JPEG format for colorful images and PNG for text, wordy images.
5. Optimize your Robots.txt File
The robots.txt file instructs search engine bots where they can and cannot go on your website. In other words, you are telling these bots (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) what they are allowed to “see” on your site and what is off limits.
Therefore, a tip for you is you better remove the Disallow on the images folder in the robots files to allow images to be indexed. Get search by image could bring a lot of traffic to your site.
Another tip is including your sitemap in your robot.txt file. By this method, your site will be indexed much faster. To include your sitemap, please do as the following picture:
6. Use Joomla SEO Plugin Extensions
Using SEO plugins is the shortest way to make sure your content is optimized for search engines.
Currently, there are many powerful SEO plugin extensions. However, in my experiences, I would recommend some best ones in the field
This native Joomla 1.5 - 3.x plugin automatically generates keywords and description for each article by pulling text from the title and the content to help with SEO. It also gives you the ability to set different title configurations, robots meta tags and Google webmaster verification keys.
This SEO extension makes sure your Joomla site follows recommended search engines optimization guidelines. From duplicate content management to analytics, and including social networks connector, a handy 404 error page and more. They handle the tedious work automatically, and provide tools so that you can do the rest!
Like sh404SEF, this SEO extension focus on making your URLs SEO friendly and handle meta tag in your Joomla site.
7. Enhance your Joomla site speed
Back from 2010, Page speed has been considered as a ranking factor of Google, but it only focuses on desktop page speed. In July 2018, Google levels up their game with “Mobile Speed update”.
In a plain word, the faster your site load in a mobile device, the more chance you get higher in search ranking.
Therefore, enhance your Joomla site speed now if you do not want to fall behind. For this matter, we have some basic tips for you:
- Enable Joomla Gzip in Global configuration
- Enable Joomla Cache in Global configuration
- Optimize your image size
- Using optimized template and extension like JSN template.
Check out this article to know more detail about optimizing your Joomla Page Speed.
8. Content is king
I save the most important one for the last. Content is king. It is simple as that.
80% success in SEO comes from your content.
Although you have optimized every SEO checklist, falling to make your content useful for your reader is causing all your SEO effort worthless.
Let’s remind you what’s the ultimate goal of Google:
"To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
In other words, they want to deliver to searcher the best useful content for each keyword query.
Therefore, try to invest more time in creating a useful article for your audient. There are many ways to create great content, but I have some real experiences to share with you.
- Know who is your audiences
Don't create some contents out of thin air because you like it. Research your audiences, know their confuse and use suitable words to solve it.
- Be unique, create original content
Copy and paste will generate duplicate content, and Google now smart enough to detect it. You can read as many articles as you like, but only to understand the topic better.
- Format your content for an online reader
Avoid wordy paragraph, use bullet point when possible, attached images, video in your content to make it more interesting. A logical and easy-to-navigate outline is also a must.
- Share your content
If no one reading your content, then how does Google can judge it useful or not. If you spend 1 hour to create your content, then please spend the next 10 hours to make it spread.
- Write as you speak
You don’t need to use academic or jargon words to make your content sound professional. It only makes your reader harder to understand what you say. You can try to read it out loud after finishing to see if the content is easy to follow.
Beside 8 Joomla SEO tips above, you should refer to community support from Joomla forums, blogs, and Youtube tutorials for more SEO practices.
That’s not all; a good theme also plays a role in SEO.
Professional Joomla templates provide users with tons of backend customization config options, but also are responsive and fit most web-enabled devices and mobile browsers with ease.
I believe a professional template is good for SEO because the design is clean, with proper heading and text formatting, clean HTML code, as well as no spammy links hidden within the template that are harmful to SEO. Besides, an excellent template is a great way to make visitors stay longer in your site.
JoomlaShine provides a source of free Joomla templates for users worldwide.
You can pick any of our themes with good SEO and choose your own perfect Joomla template.
Those are some powerful SEO tips and tricks for Joomla websites. If there is any suggestion or question, please comment below.