Wednesday, 26 December 2012 19:36

Target: SEO Friendly Joomla! website!

Written by Lilit Asatryan
 
 
Bang2Joom Blog: Target: SEO Friendly Joomla! website! Bang2Joom Blog: Target: SEO Friendly Joomla! website!
You browsed Google.com and searched J! extensions, opened the first ten results in a new tab, but stopped on the seventh as you got to bang2joom.com. Amazed at the design, you seek further to J! templates page and "Make your own professional Joomla! e-commerce site with this easy-to-use Joomla! 2.5 template for VirtueMart!"

Bang-Baaaang! You found it! Your dream of having your online store as ebay.com got renewed and you urged to buy B2J Wooden Wall template. You installed it, submitted the content, managed the pricing, added some touch with B2J's super customized template and you are waiting. . . Hmm, seems like you are having some issues? The visitors, you thought, were going to boom into your website and get your products are not even showing up? Guess what, they certainly would, but they don't find your website as you did when surfing for Joomla! extensions ;) See the difference. SEO works miracles! In order to get visitors to your website, you need to bring up your website to the position where it really will perform satisfactory. Here are some SEO guidelines for you to make your Joomla! website SEO friendly thus building a direct link between your website and your possible buyers/visitors.

Choose the best possible hosting!

Before going on let me advise you to have your Joomla! website set up on an Apache server. Note: Have mod_rewrite installed!

Change htaccess.txt to .htaccess



You really need to rename the htaccess.txt file to .htaccess - which is the version used! and mod_rewrite. The main reason for this is to have URL rewriting enabled to make these URLs SEO friendly.

SEF URLs and URL Rewriting – YES!!!

The first thing J! user needs to do is to enable SEF URLs and URL Rewriting. To do so, go to your J! Global Configuration and change the "Search Engine Friendly URLs" and "Use URL rewriting" to "Yes". What Search Engine Friendly URLs setting does ? It replaces the URL with the alias of the item for the webpage. The URL Rewriting setting removes the /index.php/ from the URL ( For the current setting to operate properly, have mod_rewrite enabled and just should have a .htaccess file).

Remove "/images/" in Robots.txt file

What is the Robots.txt file? This is one of the most important files in the root directory of your server which may allow/disallow the robots to access or index any content in the images folder. If you have properly SEOed images, they may become reasons for a traffic load coming to your website. So, in order to allow Google to search your image directory, you should remove this line from your robots.txt file: Disallow: /images/

J! Components you got to have

A must-have component for any Joomla! website! Get JCE Editor, it's totally free with many cool features. It's great - you need to test it yourself! Another one J! users should have on their website is the sitemap component which will generate the XML sitemap

Improve your load time! Use Alt Tags & Image Dimensions

We know how load time can affect on our visitors, having both positive and negative! So you need to make sure your website is super lightweight and it loads fast. With the amazing (and my favorite :) JCE editor you are able to add alternate text in order to describe the image, it also adds dimensions. What this gives us? Before the images gets loaded it loads a space for it, thus affecting the web page's load time. You can easily add dimensions and alternate text in the Image Manager within the Image Properties.

Manage Your Meta Data

Today, different SEO experts have vast views on whether the meta keywords matter or not. Personally, we at Bang2Joom fill in not only meta descriptions and title tags, but also the meta keywords. If you think alike then you need to check the SEO Boss – a great component to use! Filling meta data was time-consuming: I used to navigate each item to edit the meta data. SEO Boss was a right decision! This cool component brings a screen allowing you to edit your website's meta data right from the interface!

Redirect : www <-> non-www

To redirect from non-www to www, you need to insert manually in your .htaccess file by adding the following: RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L] And, to do the vice versa (from www to non-www) add the following:
RewriteEngine OnRewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} www.yourjoomlawebsite.comRewriteRule (.*) http://yourjoomlawebsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]


Be Consistent When Linking Internally

You are not all mighty when others link to you, but you are the guy when it concerns the internal linking. Make sure you link consistently to internal content on your website. Create your links to the version you've chosen: www/ non www. You need to always keep in mind to link to a single version of a webpage.

What to do to speed up your Joomla! website?

Make Browser Caching flexible

You can instruct your browsers which content parts of your website needs to be cached and for how long! We would advise you to have following code to the bottom of your .htaccess file. Feel free to custom the code per your website needs.
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"


Gzip? Yes!

First of all you should have mod_gzip installed in your server. The next step is the Global Configuration and then Server. You are there! Enable the Gzip Page Compression and tick "Yes" option. What does this give us? It compresses the codes improving the load time.

Cut down the Image sizes

Cut, Cut, Cut the image sizes! ) Seems simple, but it's a big deal . Cut down your websites' image sizes and allow your website load faster. If you are not into using Photoshop, then use Google's Page Speed and download the needed versions for your images.

Ta-daaaaaaaam! Must-Have SEO Components B2J recommends

These are the components which we recommend but not reveal.
Sh404sef – easy to configure, this component is great for your website powered by Joomla! Make your website SEO friendly and not only...
Xmap – amazing sitemap component which generates XML/HTML sitemaps for your Joomla! website.
JoomSEF - JoomSEF comes in a free version for you to test! Sure it's not as mighty as sh404sef.


SEO is real, you just need to act logically and take the best possible approach when it comes to optimizing your Joomla! website.

Care for SEO to get high rankings and good results!

There are many ways to make your Joomla! website SEO friendly, such as keyword research, having titles with targeted keywords, content rich site, suitable H1 , H2.... header tags, optimizing images, meta tags, navigation structure,internal and external links, SEO friendly urls, and more and more. So, I save this all for the next blog about SEO targeting mainly content.

Just a nice SEO start for your Joomla! website.

These are some useful of the tips and tricks used for optimizing a Joomla! website, but I am sure there are many others out there, comment and let us know if you tried some!

 

 
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