When you are using Joomla to build your site and finding web hosting for Joomla, it is especially important to pay close attention to SEO. That is because of the characteristics of the platform. While Joomla is easy and convenient, you sacrifice a certain degree of control over your site, which means you need to use the tools you have to get the most out of your SEO potential. In this post, we will talk about how to do SEO well when you are using Joomla. While it is tuned to Joomla, many of these ideas depend on the basic principles of SEO, so even if you don’t rely on Joomla you can still benefit from reading on.
Fix The URLs
First of all, you need to turn on SEO-friendly URLs. This is off by default in most installations, and that is a major lapse. Before you turn on this option, your URLs will be long and complex, while afterwards, they will be short and simple. Not only does this make them easier to read for your visitors, but it’s also better for Google. The search engine will have more information about the content and nature of your page based on the URL, and it will reward this superior structure with higher SERP placement. You can find this setting in the Global Configuration menu.
Under The Hood
Next, address the meta tags in your pages. Titles and descriptions go a long way towards helping Google identify your content, which is always a good thing. Furthermore, the tags frequently appear on SERPs, so if you make them illustrative, then you will garner more clicks. That is because people can know much more about the content that lies behind the link if you add descriptive meta tags. It gives potential readers a preview of what they stand to gain from clicking on your link, and that extra motivation could place a lot more leads on your pages.
Speaking of site internals, you need to make sure that you have a developed and accurate sitemap. This is another way for Google to decipher the structure of your site. Google loves to reward sites with good organization and sites that give it information, so use one of the many plugins and free tools to make yourself a sitemap. Then submit the map to Google with the Webmaster Tools interface so they have it on file.
Working With Images
Images are a tough spot. First of all, you should make sure all of your images have alt tags. Anyone for whom the images don’t load properly for any reason will see the text of your alt tag instead. Make it short and descriptive. Next, ensure that you have changed your robots.txt file to let Google crawl your images. You don’t want that information to go to waste.
Images also bring on a new set of challenges when you consider mobile users. Sit down and test your site to make sure it is responsive. The images should display well and cannot be blurry, too large, too small, or otherwise distorted. Having your images load improperly on mobile browsers will drive away a lot of potential users and increase your bounce rate.
While on the topic of mobile-centric design, give other site elements the same treatment. Check your typefaces and ensure that they look good on all kinds of combinations of mobile browser and OS. Make sure your columns are not too wide or too narrow. There are so many little things that you might never notice if you don’t test your site thoroughly, so take the time to vet it properly. If you are using add-ons and plugins that claim to be fine with mobile devices, check them anyway.
You should make sure to use Joomla’s category tools. That is another important way to organize your site and its content. You can create multiple levels of categories. Ideally, you don’t want too many layers. Having one set of broad categories and then a set of sub-categories should be enough to cover a reasonable amount of content. Anything more tends to be too confusing, and you can use tags to get more specific. Joomla makes all of this easy, and is a huge boost both to your SEO standing and to readability for humans.
Having clear, simple design is a core value for SEO. Google can read your site more easily and so can your potential readers. Joomla and web hosting for Joomla have so many useful organizational tools that you can really increase your standing if you take the time to implement some good practices. These tips are just the beginning. There is a lot of potential in base Joomla and in the platform’s extensions. If you come into it with strong SEO knowledge, then you’ll find there are ways to take advantage of almost every SEO technique somewhere in Joomla.