Joomla SEO Basics for Beginners

Joomla SEO Basics for Beginners

What is Joomla?

Contrary to what many of you might think, Joomla is a software and is not a programming language like PHP, Javascript or HTML, although you may put in all that to use while creating a website with this content management software (CMS). It is ideal for building any type of website (even portals) and if used wisely, it can bring better rankings for websites in search engines.

Sure, but how?

The way Joomla is designed leaves very little to guesswork and worries about losing settings following an update. All that makes adjusting SEO output a cakewalk; more so since everything overridden gets saved in the html (a custom folder). This ensures overridden is not overwritten, which further allows creation/adjustment of a template to yield maximum performance with the search engines.

The basics of SEO: Achieving a good placement for Joomla websites

SEO is more organic than being just on-page as a process, starting from keyword (terms/phrases) research and then moving on to building a web site that's search engine friendly. It also incorporates building links and all the three parts are paramount for building a SEO-friendly Joomla website. You will need:

  • A good template
  • Robots.txt file
  • A sitemap
  • Search Engine-Friendly URLs
  • Body tags.

Your Joomla website - like any other SEO friendly websites must contain:

  • A meta-description within 150 characters.
  • A good architecture.
  • A link to its home page.
  • Breadcrumbs (a hyperlink in a trail, showing the pages that lead to the current page).
  • Category links and if needed, section links.
  • H1 tag within 70 characters (within title) comprising keyword(s)/phrase(s).
  • Subtitles comprising keywords/phrases.
  • A great text vs. code ratio.
  • Content (or article) near to closing head tag.
  • Unique content with evenly distributed and appropriate keywords/phrases.
  • Properly named images (with alt attribute and folder name). E.g. img src="/red-ferrari-enzo.jpg" alt="Red Ferrari Enzo for sale"
  • 150 kb max page size.
  • Minimum CSS and javascript.

Why should there be .htaccess and robots.txt files?

Because search engines, before crawling a website, shall try finding them. Robots.txt (also the htaccess.txt) are obtained when the Joomla archive is unpacked; they stay in the root directory. The robots.txt are the vehicle for giving the search engines the instructions they must follow and do not index the pages that are not included in this file. Therefore, it will be wise not to include single page urls in robots.txt (poses an indirect security risk); instead, put in the folder that
includes this file.

Additionally, the robots.txt file must specify the location of the sitemap to the search engines, so include the following into it:

User-agent: *

And also if you want to take place in image search results, do not forget to remove completely: Disallow: /images/

Closing notes
Following the above shall make your website come up fast; however, for further studies on what exactly means what, there are other articles in this website that can enlighten you quite bit. All you need is a bit of patience and the tenacity to use the search box.