Many of those who want to sell the top products and services through the internet now choose Joomla. For those who are new to it, Joomla is one of the most popular and fruitful CMS which many of the website owners and marketers love to choose. They get a lot of handy designing and development tools and solid support on aesthetically and functionally crafting their online platform to showcase the products and services in a user-friendly way.
One needs to understand that the countdown timer for business conversions through websites is now taking its final breath and the new-age customers are more excited to instantly pull out the credit card if they find something interesting on the first peep to your website. This is where Joomla becomes your trustable partners.
SEO on Joomla
Wait a minute! If you already launched your website on Joomla by completing the basic installation, hundreds of your prospective customers may stare at the search results on Google and other search engine results pages to find and reach to you at the first place. A raw Joomla site is not out-of-the-box SEO friendly.
If you find it so, no need to be worried about it. In the latest 3.3 update, Joomla comes up with a lot of exhilarating SEO-friendly tools and features to take you to the top. Here, we will try to explore Joomla SEO in more detail.
Many factors are coming across our minds while thinking of SEO like onpage optimization, off-page optimization, content optimization, image optimization, etc. Here, we will stick to the most important on-page SEO aspects, which are counted as the most important basic SEO essentials.
- Selecting an appropriate web hosting
At the first point, performance is the No.1 aspect which may affect the fate of your site. Even if you own and aesthetically pleasing and fully featured website, with a poor performance at the consumer end, you may find them bouncing as soon as 5 seconds. Recent surveys show that an average internet user takes only lesser than 5 seconds to hit the back button if they do not get it loaded or finding a site not appealing to them. From this, we can assume the primary measure of SEO success is a performance to hold your visitors’ attention and hold them back from hitting the back button.
To meet the performance goals, it is essential to choose the right professional hosting company, which can surely make a big difference. There are plenty of Joomla specialized hosting providers. With the diversity regarding cost and services, it may be a bit difficult to choose one instantly, but take your time and be sufficiently knowledgeable before choosing your best hosting partner. Next, let’s explore some technical on-page aspects.
- Renaming htaccess.txt
Developers should know that ‘.htaccess’ is the configuration file used on the Apache web servers. The doubt you may be having at the first point is why you should think of changing htaccess.txt to new .htaccess to enjoy SEO advantage?
- The reason is that you may have to do the URL rewriting for making the most search- engine inferable URL.
There are many other social curation tools also which you can use to enhance SEO value of your Joomla website.
- Enabling search engine friendly URLs
A Search Engine Friendly URL is one that is capable of making sense to the users as well as search engines to understand the content of your website. URLs are meant to explain the path or point to a particular web page. Many studies have shown that the click-through rates are high if the users can find easily understandable URLs on search engine results, which sounds to be sensitive to them based on their search phrases. Some studies have shown that the static URLs score better over the dynamic URLs on search engines.
Regarding Joomla SEO, the users can create and parse website URLs in various formats as the SEF URLs (from Joomla 1.5 on). In Joomla 3.3, you can simply switch on the SEF URLs and the URL rewriting options right from the control panel.
If you want to custom control the Joomla URLs in an advanced way, different Joomla SEO tools available at the JDE (Joomla Extension directory). The other recommends SEO tools to help you out in this include SEF Advance, sh404SEF, JoomSEF, etc.
- Configuring the robots.txt file
Joomla also offers the features of a disallow rule to be used at image directory during the time of initial installation of the robots.txt file, which gets auto-generated. The file contains instructions for the search engine. Why this option is included is because Joomla gives a high priority to your privacy.
For example, at the time of the first installation, one may be having the important images saved in the folder for pictures. With the initial setup, you set the search engine not to index with a kickstart. However, when you are fully set to attract a sizable traffic from the images, you can simply access the root directory for templates and then remove the below instruction from the file named robots.txt.
- Disallow: images
You also need to note that from with the update of Joomla 3.3, the Disallow option was ruled out from folder ‘images.’
- The Alt text attribute
Images will surely attract much traffic to any site, and regarding SEO, this is best served with the alt text attribute. This is not only a tip for Joomla, but for all CMS platforms. Search engine crawlers as such will not be able to view your images, but interpret these ideally through the alt text attribute, so how to do it at best?
When an individual internet user sees the picture of a laughing baby on the web page, it is easy for that person to understand what is going on. Search engine crawlers do not realize it as humans do. To make them understand, you need to use the alt text as ‘laughing baby.’ In doing so, if someone searches with the key term laughing baby for images on search engines, the spiders can instantly pick up your image and show it up. This way, you can easily attract organic traffic. You can actually use the JCE editor, which comes with the full range of options to make images friendlier to the search engines as well as users.
You can also take the leverage of redirecting canonical URLs, browser caching, create a customized XML Sitemap, Gzip compression, enabling microdata and many other such measures to ensure the best SEO value for your website.