Joomla being SEO Friendly

25 comments
Joomla is an excellent CMS, but when it comes to search engine optimization, you need some time to tweak it the way it needs to be. I have spent lots of time doing it and would like to save your time. So I compiled a little tutorial for Joomla SEO

How to make Joomla truly SE friendly?

This is not an exact tutorial, so you are doing it at your own risk. I am just posting what has worked for me and what not.

1. Think about SEO from install on

Firstly you will need to install some extensions, to prepare Joomla to be serving URLs the right way. We will use SEF patch, openSEF and Joomap.
Important: Do it immediately after installing a fresh copy of Joomla.

2. Install Joomla SEF patch

This will patch Joomla core and enable you to add keywords and description in every menu and content item of your site. It will also make titles show the correct way. That’s what Google and other SE want! File is located in our Webmaster Center. Instructions and Homepage. (Takes you to Joomla At Work)

3. Install openSEF component and make it work

  1. Enable it. Site > Configuration

 

 Go to SEO and Click Yes for Search Friendly URLs.

    2. Change .htaccess from integrated SEO to 3rd party SEO

    3. Install openSEF. Go to Installers > Components

Select your file from hard disk, Upload and Install.

For troubleshooting go to this forum.

4. Configure OpenSEF with these instructions.

OpenSEF will basically rewrite your internal Joomla like urls to external that are SE and User Friendly.
Here is a video how to configure openSEF.
IMPORTANT: Once you launch your site, DO NOT CHANGE your content item names and category names, because your URLs will also change. And this breaches Google’s guidelines and WILL, I repeat WILL hurt your rankings.

So make sure once you set your urls and content to leave it that way for good.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT THING: If you will be using components, check if there are OpenSEF extensions for these components. This will make these components SE friendly too. Check this great forum about this matter. I use Docman and it has been producing me lots of junk urls. Installed extension and now works GREAT!

5. Install Joomap

Joomap is a next step to Joomla SEO. It will create a sitemap for your site and a XML sitemap that will feed Google spider. It automatically creates XML file every time a new item is added.


1. Download it from our Webmaster Center .
2. Enable it by creating a menu item which points to this component.
3. Configure it by going to Components> Joomap



Configure which menus you want to include in the sitemap.

  1. Configure the way it will display information; you can even exclude items or categories.


5. And the important thing: Submit your XML sitemap to Google Sitemaps. You will find your sitemap address in Back-end Administrator in Joomap settings. Once you enter it into Google, it will automatically pick up changes.
Be careful: set your live path in configuration.php in joomla with www before your domain. Also make it the same for Google Sitemaps. They have to be the same or Google will show errors in your sitemap.

6. Joomla Seo and Content:

Make sure to delete all unused content items and menu items by default Joomla installation. Clean it so you won’t have problems later.
Each URL needs to have proper Meta tags for Joomla seo (keywords, description), title and consistent use of H1 and keywords in text. Thanks to SEF patch, you can now manually configure each page Meta tags.

7. OpenSEF Friendly URL tweaking:

Once you click on all your links site wide, OpenSef will compile a list of Search Friendly URLs. Because of Joomla Nature - it produces several duplicate ids and id items, you will have to manually set only one URL to be used, and set others off. Don’t delete them, just turn all cases with the same external URLS off, just leave one to be used. I don’t know why, but sometimes it worked only if i selected case with id and itemed in the name of internal url, instead of those having only id in the name of internal URL.
Here is a video how to manage URLs with openSEF .

Conclusion

Joomla CAN is SEO friendly. That is what worked for me. If you have any suggestions or comments let me know.

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