Home Classroom Joomla Creating a website using Joomla – Part 10

Creating a website using Joomla – Part 10

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Joomla! SEO Tips and Tricks

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) may sound complicated and expensive, but there are a number of things you can do to improve your search engine ranking that won’t have you spending a cent or tearing your hair out. Here the 10 SEO tips and tricks for your Joomla sites.

1) Don’t install any sample data when you set up a Joomla! site.

When you launch your Joomla! Site, it’s very easy to forget to delete all the demo articles that come with it. That will give you pages, links and newsfeeds that are irrelevant to your topic. Delete your sample data and don’t forget to empty your trash as well!

2) Your Site Name should be your site’s name.

There can be a temptation to cram as many keywords as possible into the “Site Name” field. It doesn’t help and when users register at your site, they get an email saying “Welcome to Widgets, Buy Widgets, Cheap Widgets, Bargain Widgets!” You don’t want that.

3) Turn off your PDF links.

When we analyze Joomla! Sites, we often find PDFs ranking higher than the original pages. Because PDF pages have no menu links, they’re a dead-end. Users can’t move from the PDF to the rest of your site. So turn off those links.

4) Don’t waste your site’s link juice with lots of social bookmarking links.

Let’s face it, very few pages have a chance to hit the Digg home page or do well on Reddit, so only place those buttons on your best articles. Your visitors appreciate clean, uncluttered pages — and so do search engines.

5) Redirect the www and non-www versions of your site to the same place.

All you need to do is add this little piece of code to your .htaccess file.

Note: Replace MyDomain with your domain name and .com with your domain extension.

## Can be commented out if causes errors.
Options FollowSymLinks
# mod_rewrite in useRewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^MyDomain\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.MyDomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^.*MyDomain\.com [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.MyDomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

6) Turn on your cache.

Search in Google and you’ll see a size for each site. Smaller, faster sites are more popular with visitors and with Google. One easy way to make your site act small and load faster is to turn on your cache in Global Configuration.

7) Enter a full description for all your sections and categories.

These pages are great for organizing your site… and for improving Page Rank. If you organize your sections and categories carefully, your site becomes very easy for both people and search-engine spiders to navigate.

8) Less is often more

Having thousands of Joomla! pages indexed in Google isn’t always a good thing, especially if those pages don’t bring value. Some components, for example, can produce lots of extra pages that are completely worthless. One easy way to check if your site is putting garbage on Google is to search for site:mydomain.com. If you find pages that don’t have good content, you might want to remove them.

9) Empty your global configuration metadata.

I’m sure you’re all big fans of Joomla! But I’m equally sure that “Joomla! – the dynamic portal engine and content management system” doesn’t describe your site. Take it out.

10) Be confident.

Joomla! is a fantastic software that allows you to easily create lots of high quality pages that are great for your SEO. If you keep a close eye on your site and take the time to learn how Joomla! Works, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have top-flight search engine rankings!

 

Things not to introduce for your joomla web site.

Do not include hidden text within your web site. Some web masters have being known to include hidden text or targeting keyword to move up the rankings. Basically they hide the text from the real user i.e (white text on a white background) and so on. Google can spot this and will penalize your web site.

Loading pages with keywords avoid spamming the search engines by including lots of keywords which have little relevance to the content of you web site or make no sense if a real user was to visit and read the content on your web site.

Avoid Doorway pages. Do not use doorway pages i.e – individually optimization pages for specific search engines.

Avoid cloaking involves dynamically generating thousands of keyword rich web page’s using server side scripts which only the search engine Bots can see but the end user cannot. Some Webmasters have introduced this approach to gain a high ranking which may work in the short term but in the long term it will fail and your site ( domain ) will be banned or removed from the index.

Avoid automated submission web sites. You may have seen many SEO sites selling services which include submitting your Joomla web site to hundreds of search engines, FFA link farms and directories. If you do decide to use this service you could get banned for “spamming the search engines” I would strongly advise you avoid using such sites but instead manually submit your site to the relevant search engines Google, Yahoo, MSN and so on. Another approach is not to submit your site directly to the search engine but let them find you. This involves creating a linking strategy based on exchanging links with sites that are both established and have a good Page Rank. The Bot will then index the high ranking site and follow your link therefore indexing your web site.

 

So… What to do?

Create high quality keyword rich content

When writing content for your Joomla web site create it for users not search engines. Focus on creating content which is relevant to your web site i.e if you run a Joomla template site then focus on writing content for joomla templates. Also make use of your targeted keywords within the content and use H1 and H2 “bold” to highlight and reference keyword phrases. Use hyperlinks to reference the relevant web sites and also use anchor text.

Linking strategy

Think about who your target audience and web sites who have a similar interest to the service or content you are offering via your web site. Do your research, Search Google, Yahoo, MSN or visit the communities and build up a list of sites with similar interests. For example if you run a Joomla web site dedicated to Joomla open source then build up a relationship with other sites based on exchanging web links with them or news articles. Also when submitting your web link to a web site make sure the title and keywords relating to the web site are referenced in the web link, news article.

Title, description and Metatags

Joomla incorporates some very useful functionality which compliments your content to ensure the title, description and metatags are relevant to each specific document. Make sure you make use of the functionality available within Joomla.

For example once you have written your news item complete the following.

  1. Associate the news item with the relevant news category.
  2. Click on the Meta Info tab.
  3. In the description field enter a relevant, clear and concise Meta description which clearly reflects the content of the news item.
  4. In the keywords field you may need to add additional keywords.

Site Title Tag

The site Title Tag play’s one of the most important roles in achieving a high ranking web site. Search engines including Google, Yahoo, MSN and AltaVista place a lot of focus on the site title tag. From the Global configuration option via the Joomla Administrator you can change the site name, Global Site Meta Description, Global Site Meta Keywords.

Think about the following when creating your site title.

  1. Ensure the site title is specific and relevant to the content of your web site.
  2. Your site title ideally should be between 64 and 66 characters which make it Google friendly. Yahoo will accept up to 120 characters as per the W3 standards
  3. Add one or more of your targeted keywords in the site title.

Global Site Meta Description

  1. Write a brief description which clearly reflects the content of your web site
  2. The Meta description should be between 170 characters or 200 characters
  3. Include one or more of your targeted keywords which are included in your site title and keywords.

Keywords

Some Search engines do not give as much weight to the keyword metatag as the site title or site description but it is recommended that you make use of it.

  1. Avoid keyword stuffing i.e repeating your keywords.
  2. Add your one or more targeted keywords contained in your site title, site content within your Global Site Meta Keywords.
  3. Place your targeted ( most important ) keywords at the start of your Global Site Meta Keywords which give the keyword more weight.

Separate keywords with a comma and no spaces.

We highly appreciate your valuable comments after reading this article. Also, if you have any issues in joomla you could email to harsha@vishmitha.com or Supporting Forum to get our assist.

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Harsha Gomes is the Managing Director of Vishmitha.com and Winhost Inc. He is a past employee of CINTEC, Ministry of Economic Reforms&Science&Technology, Pathfinder Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, and Sannasa Media (Pvt) Ltd. He has experience in PHP,AJAX, Flex, HTML,CSS, Javascript, MySQL, Joomla, Payment Integration, Smarty, PHPBB, Magento, OS Commerce. He is an expert in developing websites using the CMS tool Joomla.

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