Powerful Joomla SEO Tips to Fire UP Your Search Engine Rankings

Investing in Joomla is one of the smartest moves you could ever make as far as the SEO of your website or CMS is concerned. As a webmaster, Joomla provides you with a fantastic set of SEO configuration tools that allows you to fine tune your website for greater search engine results.  As much as you have the tools, you still need to learn a few tips and tricks to maximize the available tools. Without wasting much time, let me take you through some proven tips to fire up the SEO of your website.

1.)Enable Gzip

If you want to improve web page load times, I highly recommend that you enable Gzip compression.  To enable Gzip, navigate to Global Configuration and select the Server tab. Under this tab, select “Yes” to enable page compression.  For the best results, I encourage you should do this once your site is fully set up. Take note that file compression will only work if mod_gzip is already installed on your server. Alternatively, you can enable it from your hosting control panel if your hosting provider supports Gzip compression.

2.)Optimize Your Images

I have no doubt that Image optimization is a rule that cuts across the board, whether you are using Joomla or any other CMS. For the sake of website load time, it is not advisable to use “heavy” images when you can use smaller and more effective images. If you are downloading images from the web, you might want to consider Google Page Speed Tool and other minor tweaks to improve the page load times.

3.)Create a Sitemap

As a webmaster, I have no doubt that an XML and HTML sitemap is a powerful tool in your hand.  Search engine bots crawl and index pages that you have listed in your XML sitemap, so you cannot afford not have one. To simplify your work, I suggest you use Xmap, which is a useful sitemap component that generates both XML and HTML sitemaps for your Joomla website.  Besides helping you create a powerful sitemap, this tool also allows you to add XML sitemap links to Webmaster Tools.

4.)Use Relevant Keyword Strategically

Keyword Density and Keyword Prominence still play an integral role as far as search engine ranking is concerned.  You have to factor in keyword density when optimizing your webpages for the search engines.  A good way to about it is to use targeted keywords in the 1st and last paragraphs and the top 3 words in the meta-keywords and title tags of the page.  

5.)Use  Nginx Server 

 I am sure you are wondering, what is the correlation between the choice of a server and Joomla SEO?  Let me elucidate on this important aspect. The choice of a server determines the performance of your website. Though Apache is” tried and true”, it doesn’t seem to match up with Nginx which I consider “light and clean”. Nginx is fast and efficient in serving static content and what makes it exceptional  is that it consumes memory. It also  matches and supersedes Apache server in terms of benchmark features.

6.)Change your htaccess.txt to .htaccess

To make your URLs more attractive and search engine friendly, you should rename the htaccess.txt to .htaccess so that you can rewrite URL. Make sure that you have enable mod_rewrite so that you can rewrite the URLs. You can change the settings under Global Configuration by selecting “Yes”. If you so wish, you can also choose to select the option that will include your site’s name on page title tags especially if you have a lot of content.

7.)Leverage Browser Caching

I don’t want to drag you through the intricacies of browser caching, but for the sake of SEO, I strongly suggest that you leverage your browser caching.   Leveraging your browser cache allows the browser to cache specific content on your website for a given period of time. You can simply do this by adding the code below to the end of your .htaccess file.

ExpiresActive On ExpiresByType text/html "access plus 1 seconds" ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 years" ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 months" ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 months" ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 1 months" ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 1 months" ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access plus 1 months" ExpiresByType image/ico "access plus 1 months"

8.)Turn off PDF Links 

Since Search engine index PDF links, you should turn the, off otherwise you may lose page rankings or worse still, get penalized for duplicate content.  Do not be get carried away by the fact that PDF links rank high in search engines. As much as they do, they don’t have menu links and this means end users will only be directed to a dead end, in other words, they cannot navigate from the PDF to your website.

9.)Use Social bookmarking links 

Although different people have mixed views on social bookmarking, I have no doubt it still remains a great resource for webmasters who want to maximize on sharing in social media spaces.  Social bookmarking can help improve your visibility and rankings considerably, if used properly. 

10.)Configure Meta-data

As a rule of thumb, I don’t want you to forget the most important step; configuring meta-data for your Joomla site. You already know that all search engines bots crawl and use the meta-data to determine the relevance of search requests at any time.   

When creating pages, you should include the following in your pages:

  • Title Tags 
  • Description Tags 
  • Keywords Tags 
  • Heading Tags
  • Relevant Page Content 

Also, use proper navigation links and keyword density in the page content.

Additional Tips

  • Clear global configuration metadata
  • Choose www. or non-www. and Redirect
  • Enter a full description for sections and categories
  • Remove "/images/" from the Robots.txt file
  • Be Consistent in your internal Linking

Final Thoughts:

As you can see, there is a whole lot you can do to strengthen your on-site Joomla SEO. I believe that much work has been cut out for you since you already have a robust set of Joomla SEO configurations to kick start your SEO today. I also urge you to be cognizant of algorithm changes and the broad mindset of major search engines when optimizing your Joomla site.  My parting shot is that these Joomla SEO tips are by no means conclusive. If there is anything that you can do to improve your site rankings today, don’t hesitate to do it.