Each of us knows about the importance of improving search engine optimization (SEO). You can read a lot of articles about how to optimize original Joomla templates on the Internet - but it's not the best way. You can save your time and have a better result with SEO plugins for Joomla. That's the reason why one of the most frequently questions now is: "Which Joomla extensions are good for SEO?"
First, I will note what you need to do to improve SEO of your website:
- On page
- Control Meta tags (such as title tag, description tag): the keywords in these elements will be shown up in search results. Search engines can know your site talks about what.
- Fix crawl errors: search engines will regard your website as a high-quality one and improve your ranking.
- Rewrite the URLs: The default URL can't help search engines to get information about the content of a page. You should rewrite the URLs, so that the friendly URLs allow your site to achieve better rankings.
- SEO article content: Not only the main page but also each of your articles can affect the ranking in search results.
- Off page
- Submit sitemap: get your website indexed by search engines in the way you want.
- Build back links: more links will generally lead to better search engine rankings and a better Google Page Rank.
- Check the traffic: monitor the visitors and improve your SEO continuously.
I have been testing various extensions to solve all of the above points. I choose tools for Joomla websites only. I didn't evaluate tools for general websites such as: SEO Powersuite, SEOmoz or Raven. Therefore, this article will give you six excellent SEO plugins which you can search for easily in Joomla extensions directory (JED).
Free SEO plugin for Joomla 1.5
- Create a site map
JM sitemap will help you to make an XML sitemap that is search engine friendly. In one of our articles: Six free must-have Joomla extensions - Have you installed them all? , we mentioned Xmap but JM sitemap is good, too, so you can consider it. There are 3 big reasons for you to use this extension: It's easy to use, it helps you control the menus to publish and it's free.
After you install it, you can go to the JM Sitemap components to choose the menus that you want use to create the sitemap. Then you go to the administration Main menu, create a Menu link for your JM sitemap. You should choose Default layout in this step to make a sitemap for all search engines.
Choose Default layout for site map
Visit link for your JM sitemap
The sitemap will be created automatically and your only work is to visit the link to see the result. By visiting the link, a "sitemap.xml" file will be created in the root of the Joomla directory and that's the Google sitemap generation for your website.
Your sitemap appears after using JM Sitemap
As you see, it's really simple and correct. You can click to download JM Sitemap.
Free SEO plugin for Joomla 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.5
- Set the title
- Choose description and title automatically
- Set ROBOTS meta
In my opinion, SEOsimple is the best Joomla SEO extension for all the Meta tags that are necessary in your website. SEOsimple helps the administrator to solve big problems: write a good description and show the title of website. Your title tag now is more flexible than ever with a lot of different ways to appear. You can arrange the positions of the Site title and Custom title so the keywords will be in the positions you want.
But the most wonderful thing about this tool is generating all Meta tags from the content. Of course you can write them all by yourself, but not all of us are good SEOers. With this function, it will help your website have a suitable title and description when you have no idea. You can use them as they are or change them as you wish.
The latest version has one more interesting feature for you: the ability to set ROBOTS Meta "noindex, follow" for category pages. You can configure all that settings in the Plugin parameters; check the code before and after using SEOsimple to see the differences.
Configure SEOsimple in parameters
Before and After using SEOsimple to generate Meta tags
You can click to download the latest package of SEOsimple.
Paid-for plugin for Joomla 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.5
- Manager URLs: rewrite, translate, detect multiple URLs...
- Customize metadata
- Insert H-level tags
- Redirect error pages: 301 redirect, 404 errors...
Sh404SEF was made to control URLs perfectly. Installation is easy: you just choose the zip file, click "Upload & install" and start using it. It can rewrite the URLs to be in a friendly format, translate URLs, control the characters, show categories or not, redirect 404 page, insert H1, H2, etc.
This plugin is so amazing that almost all administrators recommend using it. In fact, the Sh404SEF Control Panel has a lot of working tabs so Joomla beginners might find it a little bit difficult to use. However, the tabs are very clearly organized, so you can use it quite easily. And with this Joomla SEO extension, you can learn more about optimizing your website.
Advanced tab of SH404SEF control panel
Before and after using SH404SEF function: rewrite the URLs
You can buy Sh404SEF from anything-digital.com, the price of the tool is 39$ per year.
Paid-for SEO plugin for Joomla 1.5
- Optimize article content
- Choose keywords
- Help with links building
Now, I will discuss about the most important thing for a website. That's the content. ScribeSeo is the most famous SEO tool for the copy-writing. ScribeSeo helps you to analyze the quality of your articles and give you full recommendations to improve SEO score with only one click. With the report, you can control the primary keywords; check all the hyperlinks, the characters, keyword density...You can analyze your post right after publishing.
Full Analysis and Recommendations from ScribeSEO
Initailly, it was not a SEO plugin for Joomla websites, but now you can download and install it as a Joomla SEO extension. The installation of ScribeSEO requires you to insert an API key which you'll receive after you subscribe. There are 4 plans for you to choose from (for details please have a look at ScribeSeo plans) with prices starting from $17/month.
Free SEO plugin for Joomla 1.5, 1.6, 1.7
- Monitor traffic statistics
All the things you do to optimize your site will be for nothing if you can't see the result of the traffic changes. That's why you need J4age. It is built based on a popular site traffic statistics component - JoomlaStats. You can use this plugin to collect a lot of information about the traffic without installing Google analytics code. The installation has 3 steps:
It works as soon as you finish all the installation steps and information appears as colorful charts. Of course some will tell that Google Analytics is the best tool for statistics, and we agree. But in fact J4age is better for an amateur SEOers. Because this powerful Joomla SEO extension shows you all the must-have data : visitors, page impressions, referrers... in the main chart, you don't need to check all tabs and mix the data as you have to do in Google Analytics.
Summary year chart
Besides these tools, there are some other Joomla SEO extensions for link-buiding automatically such as Sitelinkx or Seo Links. SEO beginners can use them but I recommend that you build your back links manually, as this will be better for your website; the ranking will be safe and won't change too much as time passes.
* Another kind of plugins I think you will care is site verification. Verification doesn't affect your SEO but it helps you to be able to manage the data of your site. Not all of Joomla user are good at coding so you can use "Google Site Verification". It's easy to use and compatible with Joomla 1.5 / 1.6 /2.5. So now you can verify your site not only on Google but also on Yahoo, Bing, Alexa and Yandex.
Have you ever tested any of the above SEO plugins for Joomla? I hope that all these tools will be great solutions for your webpages. If you have other wonderful Joomla SEO extension, please tell me about them. I'm very glad to hear your ideas.
Note: The icon beside the name of tools means that JoomlaShine team choose to use it.
*: Thank you for your recommendation, Frank.