How to improve your website SEO in Joomla website

How to improve your website SEO in Joomla website

In this post we will show how we can improve the SEO in websites made with Joomla 3. We are going to review various aspects that influence the optimization of our website for indexing in search engines. The post is focused on Joomla 3, but it can be used to a great extent for the other versions of Joomla.


Let's start by defining exactly what SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
The importance of SEO
An improvement in the SEO of website implies an increase in its visibility in the various search engines, that is, our pages will appear more times and higher in the results of the users of these search engines.

This in turn causes an increase in the traffic of our website, which generally will mean a greater number of objectives achieved (more sales in the case of an online store, more contacts received in the case of a simple corporate website, etc.). Come on, SEO will help us achieve the final objectives of our website, and it will do so by increasing its traffic.

We already understand what it is, and what it is for. Now we are going to see how to carry it out on websites made with Joomla 3.

What to do to improve the SEO in joomla website?

Although the first thing we have to consider to improve this aspect of our website is to generate content that interests our audience, it is also important to take into account a number of things, and follow a series of guidelines that will make this content indexed by search engines in a more optimal way.

We are going to review 10 steps that I consider important to improve our positioning.

1. Enter the appropriate meta-data: description and keywords

The meta-data serve to provide information to search engines about the subject matter and content of our website.

On the one hand, the description is the paragraph that the search engines show just below the title of each link in the results. In this case, in addition to giving information to the search engine, with a good description we can increase the number of people who click on our link once they have viewed it on the search results page. Therefore, it is important to express the content of our page in a concise and summarized way.

Search result 'hosting joomla' in Google.

For their part, keywords simply provide information from our website to search engines. It is convenient not to put more than 10 approximately, since if we do it it could be detrimental to the SEO of our pages.

To establish this meta-data in Joomla 3 we will do the following:

We will go to the Joomla Global Configuration, accessing our administrative panel> System> Global Configuration> Site. Once here, we will look for the fields "Site meta description" and "Meta keywords". These are the two fields that interest us. What we set here will be the site metadata, which means that all pages will inherit this metadata, unless we explicitly specify it in the corresponding menu item. The following screenshot shows how the Joomla Global Configuration should be set.

Meta settings in Global Configuration Joomla

Of course, we will change the "Site Meta Description" and "Meta Keywords" to our own.

Here it should be noted that the Robots option must be set as "Continue with indexing", in order for our content to be indexed correctly by search engines.

We can also set this metadata independently on each page, in order to define this information more precisely independently on each page. To do this, we will go to the corresponding menu item settings> Advanced Options> Metadata options. Once here, we will specifically set the “Meta Description” and “Meta Keywords” fields for this particular page.

Setting the specific metadata for a page in the menu item

Menu Item meta

The values ​​that we put here, will overwrite those of the Global Joomla Configuration on the corresponding page. Generally, we can establish the metadata of all the pages generated in Joomla, if the page is generated by some other component, possibly it also allows us to do this operation

It is a good idea to set the metadata for the Global Configuration, and then set the metadata for each of the corresponding pages.

2. Enable friendly urls in your Joomla 3

It is very important to have friendly urls enabled in your Joomla. The friendly urls will allow our website to generate clean addresses, containing relevant words in them. This is a very important aspect for the SEO of our website.

To enable the friendly urls in our Joomla 3:

Rename the file "htaccess.txt" to ".htaccess". This file must be located at the root of our website.
Once the file is renamed, we go to the administrative panel of our Joomla 3> System> Global Configuration> Site. We will see that there is a section "SEO Configuration", which we must leave as shown in the screenshot:

SEO configuration in Joomla 3

SEO Global Configuration Joomla

We will see that now the urls are generated in a much cleaner way. Our urls have gone from being like this:

http://www.mywebsite.com/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&Itemid=57

to be like this:

http://www.mywebsite.com/contact

which is very beneficial for the SEO of our website. This will allow us to define the urls with relevant words in them. By default, Joomla will build the url automatically from the Title of the menu item, but we can define the url manually ourselves through the "Alias" field. Once again, this is extensible to any page generated by our Joomla or any component that we use and has support for it.

Setting the 'Alias' of a menu item in Joomla 3
Joomla menu items alias

In the example in the screenshot above, the page generated would be:

http://www.mywebsite.com/joomla-templates

As we can see, the part of the url is defined by the "Alias" field. It is advisable to let Joomla generate the urls automatically from the title, however, if we are advanced users, we can define and optimize our own urls through this field.

3. Create a Google Webmasters Tools account

Through Google Webmasters Tools you can have control of how Google is indexing your website, or if there is a problem related to this. It is very convenient to create this account to manage various aspects related to SEO from here. To create an account, we must:

Access this link to create the account. We can also open it from an existing Google account.

Once the account is created, we have to add the website to be able to manage it. For this, we can use the option "Add a site".

Google Webmasters Tools page that allows us to add a new website

To add a new website to our account, we will have to verify it. In this way, Google will know that the website is our property. To verify the website we will have to upload an html file to the root of our website. The process of uploading the html file is very simple, simply download it from the Google Webmasters Tools account (it is a .html file with the name made up of a long string of alphanumeric characters), and upload it from your PC to the root of your Joomla website with any file manager or FTP client.

Once the account is verified, we already have control of it, and basically we can carry out the following operations:

Indicate the website map
Review the keywords for which Google users come to our website
View statistics and indexing errors from the Google robot
Etc.

In this post we are not going to detail the function

4. Generate your website map

The website map is a file where the urls of our website that we want search engines to index are located. Generating this file in Joomla 3 is very simple through extensions such as jSitemap.

To generate the website map, we will go to the administrative panel of our Joomla> Components> jSitemap. Once there, go in Configuration put the settings as you like. The assigned menus will define which urls on our website will be indexed.

JSitemap PRO Control Panel

Installing it immediately results in sitemap creation (HTML and XML in 4 flavours: plain, Mobile, Images and Google News and even Video).

Once this is done, we make sure that Google will crawl our website and index our pages, with which they can appear in their search results.

5. Analyze your website traffic with Google Analytics.

Another very interesting Google service, and an aspect that we should not overlook is Google Analytics, through which we will be able to access statistics on our website traffic. Broadly speaking, with Google Analytics we can control the visits to our website. The tool is very powerful and will allow us to carry out many other operations related to the analytics of our page, but this post does not aim to detail the operation of this Google service.

To integrate Google Analytics on our website, it will be as simple as creating a Google Analytics profile, and later integrating the profile code in our Joomla. Once you have the code add it in index.php of your template. Our templates have already the option to add the code in the template settings.

With this simple operation, we already have Google Analytics integrated on your website. We will start recording visits in a few hours, how long it takes for the Google service to detect visits to our website. From that moment on, we can enjoy the full Google service to analyze our website traffic.

6. Eliminate duplicate urls on your website

Duplicate urls are urls on our website that point to the same content. This is detrimental to the SEO of our website, so we should avoid this circumstance as much as possible.

A very simple way to avoid duplicating the contents of the entire web is to redirect requests from our web from without www to with www (or vice versa). Normally, our website is visible whether we put the domain name with www or without www in the browser, which causes the entire website to be duplicated, something that is not desirable at an SEO level.
To solve it, it is as simple as adding the following code to the beginning of our .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine on RewriteCond% {HTTP_HOST}! ^ Www.mywebsite.com RewriteRule (. *) Http://www.mywebsite.com/$1 [R = 301, L]

Replace "mywebsite" with the real name of your domain, and you will see that if you try to access any address on the web without www, you will be automatically redirected to the same address, but with www at the beginning.

This is what is called a redirect, and thus we will avoid the problem of duplicate urls due to the problem of www.

7. Generate content on your website through a Blog or News section

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, we must be clear that, regardless of the optimizations and configurations that we carry out in our Joomla, the traffic on our website comes when we generate content that interests our audience. It is very important to focus the content we generate well, so that we think about capturing the audience that really interests us on our website.

A practical example to explain the previous paragraph would be the case of an online store where computers are sold, for example. In the Blog section of this website, it would be convenient to generate content related to this specific topic, such as computer analysis, comparisons, history of computers, or opinion articles. In short, any related content that is of interest to the person who is intended to buy from the online store.

8. Correctly use html tagging in your content

When writing our content on our Joomla website, we must take into account the correct use of html tagging in order for it to be beneficial for the SEO of our website.

In our editor, we will see that we can use different headings (Heading 1 or h1, Heading 2 or h2, bold or strong, etc). A good use of these headings and html tags is to assign them to the titles of the subsections on the pages, and that these contain relevant words and are concise.

In the case of this post, the title of each of the keys to improving SEO is wrapped in a 3 or h3 heading. In this way, in addition to highlighting these titles aesthetically, we get Google to pay special attention to the phrases and words that appear in them: for example: “8. Correctly use html tagging in your content ”.

The objective is that the words or phrases that are included in the headings and bold type of the pages of our website are relevant, because the search engines pay special attention to these html tags.

9. Check the weight of the images of your articles

Another aspect to take into account that we are going to review in this post is the weight of the pages on our website, that is, the size they occupy. Keep in mind that there is a direct relationship between the size of a website (that is, the sum of all its elements) and the time it takes to load.

Something that search engines also value is that the web loads quickly, and here the weight of the images that we include in our articles is very significant. An image that is not optimized on the web will cause a significant increase in the loading time of the page, something that can be detrimental to our positioning.

There are several options to optimize the images before publishing them on our website. Many image editors such as Gimp or Photoshop have the option to "Save for the web", which will allow us to save our images with a reduced weight, and maintaining their quality.

The desirable weight of the images you publish in your articles should be around 15-90KB.

10. New HTML5 tagging and new templates

This is going to be the last point to be discussed in this post. The new Joomla templates are implemented with HTML5 technology, technology that has new tags that will benefit the SEO of the websites that use them.

The effect that is achieved is that each of the parts of the page is interpreted by search engines for what it is, with the use of tags such as:

header (web header)
menu
article (article body)
etc.

This concept is called the semantic web, because it allows search engines to understand the structure of the web through the tags mentioned above, and to give importance to certain contents over others in their indexing.

With the new templates in HTML5 with Joomla 3 we can enjoy these features that improve the SEO of our website. This labeling is done by the template internally, so we will only have to create our articles normally, and it will be the template that introduces these labels that will provide the semantic meaning to our content.

In addition to the new html tagging, the new templates generally have mobile support as well, as many of them implement Responsive Design. This is an advantage, since in addition to optimizing SEO, we will have our website adapted for tablets and smartphones.

Conclusions

We come to the end of the post. In conclusion, it is worth summarizing the set of things that we must take into account when improving SEO and thus increasing the traffic of our website with Joomla 3:

  • Generate content of interest that attracts the appropriate audience to our website. This is the best way to capture people's interest, and get an impact on the internet.
  • Configure Joomla SEO properly and use friendly urls.
  • Generate the website map.
  • Avoid duplicate urls on our website.
  • Choose the appropriate template, with HTML5 support and responsive design.
  • Check the weight of the images of our articles, as well as the headers and bold type used.

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