I’d like to write a SEO tips and tricks article. I’m sure my SEO techniques work well enough but if you can improve on them please let me know. Everyone knows that the real key to good SEO after your site is ‘optimised’ correctly is new content but here are my top tips for Joomla website SEO. I hope you find them useful:
Use Google to help you find keywords associated with your business. When you type words in the search bar Google suggests other keywords that you could use. Google Keyword Tool is a great resource for researching keywords for your business. It allows you to analyse a word to see how many people search that word on a monthly basis in a regional area.
Personally I thinks it’s better to optimise for keyword phrases rather than individual words, as people are more likely to specify their searches to ‘web designer Melbourne’ rather than just ‘web designers’.
Google prefers to show its customers more localised returns by displaying the local search returns in a map in the right hand column. When you scroll down the map actually goes over the paid advertisements.
If you haven’t got a Google Account it’s worth creating one to access all of the tools Google has to offer. For your account page you can create a Google Places listing for your business. You can add business hours, payments terms and the categories you want to be found for and it’s free. Everything counts.
Browser page titles
Each web page should have it’s own unique browser page titles and be no more than 70 characters long. Include keywords in your browser page title. In Joomla the browser page title is either controlled by the Menu or the Title of your page/item. If you are creating a menu item to link to a single page you can control the browser page title by clicking Menus.
Select the link to edit
Click ‘Parameters System and enter the keyword rich page title in the Page Title field.
If you are viewing an article which is in a category the browser page title is taken from the title of the page you are viewing.
Ensure each page has H1, H2 and p tags. Remember to include keywords in your page titles. When I’m setting up a Joomla site, I prefer to use K2 for creating my pages/items and write my page titles on the page using the H1 tag. There should be only one instance of a H1 tag on the page otherwise it looks like spamming.
Every image should have an ‘alt’ and ‘title’ description so that the search engines know what it is. Ensure your images are optimised before uploading them to your website to ensure faster loading times.
This is easier to do once you have a few pages on your site. When writing articles link keywords in your text to other relevant pages – a bit like Wikipedia. This makes it much easier for people to get around your website with having to go up to the menu and drill down for info. Internal links also rank as well as some external links to your site.
When looking for backlinks sites you really want PR1 sites. These are Page Rank 1 sites that allow you to write on their blogs or create an account where you can add a backlink. Remember the anchor text is the most important part of the backlink as it should be descriptive and include your keywords. The link would probably work better if linking directly to the page the anchor text refers to.
Example: Web Designers Melbourne
Ideally you want your backlink to be placed on an ‘important’ page on a well ranked site. Don’t use backlink farms. Your website will take a serious nosedive if you do. Create the backlinks slowly over time and be patient.
SEO Friendly URL’s in Joomla
When creating your Joomla site it’s best to use the Search Engine Friendly URLS. If you’re server is Apache you will need to change a file name on your server. In the root folder locate htaccess.txt and change it to.htaccess
If a.htaccess already exists I usually delete it and rename the htaccess.txt and use that.
When you have done that login into your Joomla website and go to:
Site / Global Configuration
Ensure the ‘Site’ tab is selected and you will see the SEO settings on the right.
Search Engine Friendly URLs – Yes
Use Apache mod_rewrite – Yes
Add suffix to URLs – No
Now all of your URLs will have easy to read URLs.
Articles / Items
When writing an article (or Item in K2) you need to fill out the ‘Metadata Information’. The description box is the short description people see when searching pages in Google so write it well and concise. The ‘Keywords’ field is self explanatory. Add keywords and phrases separated by commas.
In the Robots field enter: ‘index, follow’
In the Author Field enter: Your name and keyword. It can’t hurt.
Don’t forget the H1, H2 and alt tags when writing your article.
When your site is ready you should create a sitemap.xml file. Google search xml sitemap creator and you’ll find a site to help you create one of these. When it’s complete download the sitemap.xml file to your computer and upload it to your server. Now login to your Google Account and click Webmaster Tools. Add your site to your Webmaster Tools
Submit your sitemap to Google
The best way to submit your site to Google is not through a Submit URL but through your webmaster tools. Click ‘Diagnostics’ in the left column. Then click ‘Fetch as Googlebot’. Here you can add the main him page and any other key pages on your site. Google will find your other pages but it’s good to let them know about your key pages.
Your site should have a robots.txt file that tells visiting search engine robots which pages they should look at.
This is mine as an example:
Google Analytics Code
Log into your Google Account and go to Google Analytics. Create the right analytical code and put this code in your index.php file just before the tag. This way you can track the search terms people are using when arriving at your site along with lots of other information.