How to Maximize Your Joomla Site for Search Engines - dummies

How to Maximize Your Joomla Site for Search Engines

By Seamus Bellamy, Steve Holzner

How you arrange the content of your page is just as important as metadata and SEF when it comes to optimizing your Joomla site. Following are some good optimization tips:

  • Avoid using too much PDF or Flash content. While many modern search engines can read PDF and Flash content, text is still king when it comes to optimizing your site.

  • Use a page headline. Consider using text from your page title (which is displayed in the search results) in the first text title on your page, which tells the search engine that people who click your listing in its search results will come to the right place.

  • Vary the site’s content. Don’t submit identical pages that use different URLs.

  • Vary your page titles. Don’t use the same title on different pages.

  • Get everything out in the open. Don’t use hidden or invisible text (text that’s the same color as the background) in an effort to cram more keywords into a page. Search engines will penalize your ranking if you do.

  • Give clear directions. Have a site-map page on your site, and use Joomla breadcrumbs. Make sure that spiders have an easy link trail to follow to every location on your site. You might also want to consider using XML site maps, which are easy to implement on your site through the use of add-ons that can be downloaded from the Joomla Extensions Directory (JED).

  • Make sure that your pages load quickly. If a page times out, it won’t be indexed.

  • Link to home. Make sure that all pages on your site contain links to the site’s home page.

  • Add intrasite links. Sites that have multiple pages linked to one another do better in search engine rankings. Make sure that all your pages are easily accessible via links so robots can find them.

  • Link to other sites. Search engines place great importance on links to other sites. The more sites that link to yours, the more important search engines consider your site to be.

  • Include a keyword in your site’s domain name. Select a domain name that includes your most important keyword.

  • Use keywords early and often. The earlier you use keywords in your <body> tags, the better. (Starting at character 1 is best.) You should put some of your keywords in the <body> element in bold with the <b> tag. Coloring them red is also good.

  • Switch the order of keywords on the page. Use a different order for your keywords in the body of a page and your keywords in the <meta> tags.

  • Put keywords in comments. If you’re going to use HTML comments, make sure that you use some of your keywords in them.

  • Put keywords in alt text. Include keywords in the alt attribute of images (the text that’s displayed when a user hovers a mouse pointer over an image). If you do this, just be careful not to “stuff” the image with keywords. You could be penalized for doing so.

  • Put keywords up front. Use the most important keywords in article titles, starting at character 1. But also use the keyword in the title in the body of the article; if you don’t, the spider may suspect you of keyword stuffing your title.

  • Limit keywords. Use at least five keywords in the body of your page, but don’t have too many keywords (known as keyword spamming).