Setting up and managing a website with Joomla is easy and flexible. However, when it comes to the productivity of the website, being visible on the internet becomes a priority. Search Engine Optimization [SEO] entails the techniques to boost your rankings on search engine result pages. SEO is a multi-faceted process, and one can say that it starts right the moment you start planning the website. While there are some general content-based guidelines for optimizing your website for search engines, Joomla helps you manage the technical aspect of SEO pretty easily.
Search Engine Friendly URLs
The spiders or bots which search engines use to crawl over the web were first designed in the good old days, when web pages were written in HTML, and stored with meaningful URLs. However, with Content management systems (CMSs) like Joomla, the web pages are generated on-the-fly meaning, that they have URLs like www.example.com/index.php?option=mod_content. While these URLs are necessary for features, but they aren’t crawled and indexed well by search engines. So, what is needed is a URL like www.example.com/example/this-is-my-page.html.
To have this in Joomla, you would need to install the SEF (Search Engine Friendly) Joomla extension, JoomSEF. You can find information on the installation process in Joomla’s official website. Besides this, you should also need to make sure Apache mod-rewrite module is installed in your Joomla hosting server.
Choosing a Search Engine Friendly Template
With such a variety of templates available for Joomla, one might get confused which one to choose. Certainly, if you are aiming to make some serious business from your website, buying a template would be far better option. Even hiring someone to design a template for you would be costlier, but would pay back more. However, looks are never enough. There are many beautiful flash websites, but almost invisible to search engines. Why? Because, when a spider parses through a webpage, it looks for content. If the content, however great, is wrapped with glossy templates, it won’t be indexed with the search engines.
Choose a template, which along with looking good, has enough contents visible to spiders.
Generating a Sitemap
This is crucial to increase the efficiency of spiders and crawl rates. Sometimes, owing to the design of the site, some pages are left unlinked or ‘orphaned’. Even if a spider reaches your website, it doesn’t crawl over those orphan pages. To avoid this, generate a sitemap. The Joomap component helps you generate a sitemap compliant with standard tags. Once you have this sitemap file, you can submit these to search directories. A Google webmasters tools, for example, have the option for submission of sitemaps.