If you’ve ever wanted to know how Joomla Onsite SEO should be optimized, check out this In this Joomla Onsite SEO post, we would like to show you the Top 30 Joomla Onsite SEO tips so you can stay ahead of your competition. guide.

The Joomla CMS does a great job of handling Joomla SEO out of the box. However, there are many things to consider when optimizing your Joomla website for optimal Joomla Onsite SEO results. In this Joomla Onsite SEO post, we would like to show you the Top 30 Joomla Onsite SEO tips so you can stay ahead of your competition. Although we are going to talk about some Joomla specific points in this post there are still a lot of other points that are applicable for any website or other CMS solutions such as WordPress and Drupal.
We hope you find this information helpful and you can use it for your own Onsite Joomla SEO efforts.

 

1. Joomla SEO Settings

In your Joomla global configuration, you will find your basic SEO settings.
We normally do not enable these settings while in the development of the website. This is because we would like to see the non-sef URL that shows the item ID numbers for the pages we are working with if we need them.
If you enable the second setting (Use URL Rewriting) and your site does not work then chances are that your hosting company does not have mod_rewrite enabled on your server. This is required if you do not wish to have /index.php/ in the middle of your SEF URLs.
We always leave the suffix setting to off as there is not any SEO benefit to enabling this. It is purely a personal preference setting.
Unicode aliases are not needed for most sites unless you are dealing with multilingual websites.
We always include the site name after the page titles. Never set this setting to “Before” as it will have a negative effect on your SEO rankings.

joomla seo settings

 

2. Joomla .htaccess File Update

A change to the default Joomla .htaccess and web.config files were made in Joomla! 3.4 to disallow directory listings by default.
If you previously had a .htaccess file and you used the one-click updater in Joomla then your original .htaccess file is left untouched. You will need to update it to the new version though. The htaccess.txt file should have been overwritten and contain the latest changes. Simply copy any custom redirects or changes you may have added to your old .htaccess file and add them to the newly updated htaccess.txt file. Then remove your old .htaccess file and rename the htaccess.txt file to .htaccess and you’re all set.

htaccess updates

 

3. Robots.txt File Updates

Since Joomla version 3.3 there has been an update to the robots.txt file.
If you have updated your Joomla 3 website using the one-click updater, you may not have read or understood the notification about the robots.txt file that was updated. In Joomla version 3.3 there were two new directories added to the Joomla file structure that needed to be blocked.
The following two files were added to the robots.txt file:

bin
layouts

Also, Google now requires additional directories to be accessed in order to verify the mobile-friendliness of your website.
The following blocked directories have now been removed from the file:

images
media
templates

You should see a new file named robots.txt.dist that contains these changes. Please use these changes to update your robots.txt file.

robots file updates

 

4. Joomla WWW Redirects

If your Joomla site is accessible with or without a www-prefix is a matter of duplicate URLs. Google will consider it as two different websites.
Google Webmaster Tools asks you to specify how you want Google to index your site, with or without www. So you should make sure your Google Webmaster Tools accounts are updated properly.
Add the following code for non-www to www redirect in your .htaccess file. Obviously, you should change mysite.com to your own URL:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^mysite.com [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ //www.mysite.com/$1 [L,R=301]

 

5. HTTP vs. HTTPS

There are PROs and CONs to using SSL certificates on your website that you should be aware of.

PROS
Google provides a minor ranking boost to sites that use https URLs.
Secure URLs provide visitor confidence & added trust which will increase conversions.
SSL is an absolute must For eCommerce websites
The Joomla CMS handles HTTPS URL very well

CONS
SSL certificates can be costly
Secure URLs can take a slight speed hit. This is likely why Google now provides a rank boost to offset the speed decrease.
Using secure URLs site-wide can cause some caching issues depending on how your site is set up and the extensions and plugins used.

 

6. Joomla Internal Links / Anchor Text

Imagine that your website is a bucket. You have put all your efforts into the things inside of that bucket. When the search engines come along you want them to stay inside of your bucket as long as possible and to learn as much about your website as possible. To do this you need to have internal links so related content can be easily identified.
Look for long-tail keywords and phrases in your articles that you can internally link to other content within your website.

 

7. Joomla External Links

Just as we previously stated, imagine that your website is a bucket. Every new external link that you add to your website puts a hole in your bucket (website). So how do we stop these holes from happening? Use the rel=”nofollow” tag in your links. So for example if you were to link to a 3rd party website like Amazon we would create the following link using the nofollow tag:
<a href=”//amazon.com” rel=”nofollow”>Visit Amazon.com</a>

Joomla CMS also provides a simple way to do this from the menu items as well. When you create a new menu item, click on the Metadata tab and you will see the Robots dropdown list with multiple options for follow and nofollow for your menu item.

external links

 

8. Joomla Image Alt Text

Now that Joomla allows your images to be accessible by search engines it is much more critical than ever to make sure your images are optimized and descriptive.
Don’t use generic image names such as DCMIMAGE10.jpg
It is much better to name the file: yellow-lamborghini.jpg

An example of how an alt tag is used could be:
<img src=” images/yellow-lamborghini.jpg ” alt=“My Yellow Lamborghini Dream Car“>

 

9. Optimize Your Joomla Page Titles

When you create menu items you can keep the menu text to a minimum as in our example here. But we also want the search engines to know more about what this menu item is linking to. So in the Page Display tab, you will be able to set the Browser Page Title as well as the Page Heading text in order to better define what your link is about.

optimize page titles

 

10. Optimize Videos

Most websites do not take advantage of using videos to increase conversions and drive traffic to their websites. When you optimize your website using videos you could see a large increase in not only visitors but conversions as well.
According to KISSmetrics, website visitors are 64 to 85 percent more likely to convert or make a purchase after watching a product video.
In 2015 and beyond, small businesses should regularly submit optimized videos not just to YouTube but to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr as well.

 

11. Improve Website Speed

Your website speed is a critical factor in your search engine rankings. There are a few things that you can do in order to get the most benefit to speed up your Joomla website.

  • Only install what you need! This is a huge problem in the open-source CMS world. There are so many plugins and 3rd party features available that a site owner can easily load up their website with junk they do not need. Keep your website and database as lean as possible. When adding a new extension to your website ask yourself if you actually need it, will it provide ROI, what overhead does it add to your website.
  • Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help increase speed on a medium and large website.
  • Use Caching Where Appropriate.
  • Optimize your images to keep the sizes as small as you can. There are many websites and software tools available for this that you can search the web for.
  • Use A Good Hosting Company. Site speed is one of the most important things to consider when selecting a hosting company because site speed is an important ranking factor.

 

12. Calls To Action

Keep in mind that “read more” links and call to action buttons are also considered internal links. These items should not use generic terms such as “read more” but they should for example say “Read more about the top 30 SEO tips for Joomla”. It is much more descriptive and turns this text into a long-tail keyword phrase.

 

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