Joomla is widely used Content Management System (CMS). With its popularity it becomes important to optimize sites created in Joomla. Following are a few basic tips to start optimizing pages created in Joomla:
1. Turn on Joomla Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs
Joomla is unduly one of the best Content Management Systems (CMS) that allows you to do almost anything with your website. But when you are using Joomla, remember that SEF (Search Engine Friendly) URLs are not on by default, you need to change that. Why is it important to have SEF URLs? You may need this if you have a site that creates pages automatically using PHP Java or some other page creating generator. These dynamic pages (page updated from a database) put information in the URL address line which is a set of name value pairs inserted after '?'. Search engines will hesitate if they find a URL which has a '?' and usually your page does not get indexed in this case. SEF URLs are one of the many techniques used to place this dynamic information into the URL so that the search engine adds dynamic pages and they get indexed without any problem.
2. The Joomla sh404SEF
Download and install the Joomla sh4040SEF plugin (component). You can set up your own custom URLs if you do not like the automatic ones with the help of this plugin. Meta tags, title tags can all be manually set as well. It also provides advanced security functions.
sh404SEF is the best Joomla SEO plugin. You can make Joomla SEO friendly with this easy to install and use plugin.
3. Good Page Titles and Clean URLs
You have turned on SEF URLs and have successfully installed & activated sh404SEF. Now Joomla will produce nice and clean URL names that humans and search engines can make sense of. But many times your URLs will get long and messy because Joomla automatically uses all words in your page to create a URL for the page. So ensure that you have a good page title and clean URL when creating pages with Joomla.
4. Insert H1 tags in Joomla
Inserting H1 tags in Joomla is considered an old school SEO concept and people usually tend to take it for granted. H1 tags in a website are given more weight my search engines, particularly Google.
5. Duplicate Content Issue
Joomla creates duplicate content issues (like many other CMS). The sh404SEF plugin alleviates some of these issues, but not all. A primary case of duplicate content in Joomla is when you publish PDF or print icons on pages. Search engines will index the PDF and print icons link as well and what you do not want is your PDFs ranking above your page content (PDFs are like dead ends which will not drive any traffic to the homepage). The best option here is not to publish.