SEO & Joomla

Joomla SEO

If your website was built using Joomla, then you will hopefully already be experiencing some of the many benefits that Joomla offers such as:

  • Easy installation
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Security
  • Multiple extensions
  • Multiple design themes
  • Multi-lingual support
  • and many more!

However, whilst Joomla has an impressive list of advantages, they are all pointless if nobody ever lands on your site. That requires traffic, and the #1 source of that for most websites is the search engines, and in particular Google. For those who are searching on Google to ever know your Joomla website exists you need to be ranked highly for specific keywords, which is where SEO for Joomla websites comes into play.

Joomla SEO has many elements to it that are similar to SEO for websites built using other CMS systems such as WordPress, and there are also aspects that are unique to Joomla websites. So, if you want to optimise your Joomla website for Google and the other search engines, here is how you can do it.

Joomla SEO Basics

There are some elements of SEO relating to Google’s ranking factors (which number well over 200) that will apply to all websites, including those built using Joomla. These are often further broken down into SEO which is on-page, and over which you have total control, and off-page, which might require the support, assistance, and goodwill of other services and website owners.

  • Reliable Hosting: Using a reputable and reliable hosting company should be a no-brainer. No website, Joomla or otherwise, can hope to be ranked well if it is regularly offline due to hosting issues such as downtime.
  • Fast Page Load Speeds: This again will rely a lot on your hosting company and their ability to provide you with a server that is capable of loading your website’s pages almost instantly. Load speeds are also influenced by the coding of your website and the elements which, if they are not optimised, can slow your website down considerably.
  • External Backlinking: Google’s analysis of the number, and more importantly, the power and authority of the links coming into your website from other sites play a significant role in where you rank, so an effective backlinking strategy is essential to help your Joomla website’s SEO. Bear in mind, a small number of high quality backlinks are more beneficial than lots of spammy or poor quality backlinks
  • Internal Linking: By optimising the internal links within your website, you can distribute some of the authority coming into your website from external backlinks. Internal linking also helps Google’s algorithms to better understand the relevancy of each page to specific keywords, which plays a role in those pages ranking for those keywords when they are entered as search terms on Google.
  • Keyword Research: Another core SEO task which Joomla website owners must carry out is keyword research. This will highlight opportunities for you to rank for high volume, low competition keywords, as well as assessing the level of SEO required to compete for the keywords which are the most competitive.
  • High Quality Content: No amount of SEO will improve your ranking if the content on your website is sparse, irrelevant, and poor quality. Google is obsessed with those using their search engine having a great experience when they click through from search results to a website. If you wish to rank well it is therefore essential that the content on your Joomla website is the very best it can be with regards to quality and relevance.
  • Google Integration: There are a number of key actions you need to take with regards to integrating your website with Google. These include creating a sitemap and adding your website to Google’s Search Console so that your website is indexed correctly and in a timely manner.

SEO Specific To Joomla

Every website CMS or platform will have SEO that is specific to it and Joomla is no different. What this means is that there are certain optimisations you can make which are particularly effective at improving the ranking of a website that has been built using Joomla. Here are the main ones you should focus your SEO actions upon if your website uses Joomla.

Canonical URLs

One issue which can negatively impact your SEO is that Joomla may generate multiple URLs for the same page. One example is that if a page is rendered as a pdf, Joomla may create a URL for each resized version of that pdf. This can appear to Google as duplicate content on your website which is something you do not want to happen as it can damage your rankings.

The solution is to use canonical URLs throughout your Joomla website. Canonical URLs basically tell Google which URL for a page it should index, and thus it will ignore the others and prevent them from appearing to be duplicate content. The simplest way to achieve this is by using an extension (see below).

Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs

When you install Joomla and start creating pages, the URLs it creates are unfortunately not always search engine friendly. By that, we mean they do little to tell the search engines the relevancy of any page. Compare these URLs for a dog training book:

[A] www.yourwebsite.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=68&itemid=145&display=1

[B] www.yourwebsite.com/your-books/dog-training-book

Which do you think is going to give the search engines a better chance of identifying what a page is about and subsequently rank it for ‘dog training books’? Obviously, it is option [B] and so, within Joomla, you need to ensure that you generate SEF URLs, and once again the use of an extension is the quickest and easiest way to achieve this.

The Best Joomla SEO Extensions

If you have ever heard the term ‘plugin’ when a WordPress website is being discussed then you should know they are tools and software which can be added to a website to enhance just about every aspect of how it operates. On Joomla websites they are called extensions and below we have listed the top extensions which can help boost your SEO.

SH404SEF

It might not have the sexiest name but that has not stopped this Joomla SEO extension from becoming one of the most popular amongst Joomla website owners.

Key Joomla SEO Features

  • Metadata management
  • Creating structure data
  • SEF URL management
  • Social media sharing
  • Excellent website security
  • Google Analytics integration

DOWNLOAD SH404SEF

RSSEO

You may have noticed that eye-catching names are not exactly a priority for those who create Joomla SEO extensions, but again, it is no barrier to providing excellent Joomla SEO features.

Key Joomla SEO Features

  • Google Analytics integration
  • XML and HTML sitemap creation
  • Metadata management
  • Page indexing
  • Error page management
  • Competitor SEO tracking

DOWNLOAD RSSEO

Easy Frontend SEO (EFSEO)

This Joomla extension is one that those who are less technically minded will like due to its ease of use, and it is especially useful for setting up and managing the metadata within your Joomla website.

Key Joomla SEO Features

  • Metadata management
  • Canonical URL management
  • Automatic mode
  • Defines global attributes (title, robots etc)
  • Metadata word and character counter
  • Optimisation warnings

Download Easy Front End SEO

SEO Generator

This extension will be of particular interest to those who think they may need help in establishing what keywords they should be targeting and optimising for:

Key Joomla SEO Features

  • Very easy to set up and use
  • Automatic metatag generation
  • Metatag customisation
  • Works with multiple languages
  • Keyword generation
  • Keyword blacklist generation

Download SEO-Generator

Route 66

This extension utilises Yoast SEO content analysis data, and thus it can provide you with key information as to how you can boost your Joomla website’s SEO and search engine rankings by improving your content.

Key Joomla SEO Features

  • Integration with Google Analytics
  • Yoast SEO content analysis
  • Page speed optimisation
  • SEF URL creation
  • Instant Facebook articles
  • XML sitemap generation

Download Route 66

Canonical Links All In One

Hopefully, you will have read the section about the need to create canonical URLs when you are using Joomla, and that we mentioned it can be done use an extension, well here it is:

Key Joomla SEO Features

  • Easy to use
  • Specific link removal
  • Canonical links creation
  • Canonical links override
  • Permanent redirect option
  • Automatically updates

Download Canonical Links All in One

And finally…

It is essential that you are aware that given Google has over 200 ranking factors, no single SEO action is likely to send your Joomla website racing up the search engines. Also do not expect shortcuts or black hats tactics to get you there either. Instead, a properly planned, methodical and effective SEO plan utilising the information above has a much greater chance of you seeing your Joomla website achieve the higher search engine rankings you are looking for.