SEO Basics

Following is a list of joom3 articles on SEO Basics and how you can apply them to your Joomla 3 site.

Illustration of children's wooden blocks

There are many, many things you can do to a website to improve the Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, for your website.

With a Joomla site, there are several steps that you can take for improved SEO and hopefully higher rankings with search engines such as Google and Bing. There are also other steps to take to improve traffic to your site that go beyond search engine results. 

Each page of your Joomla website will have a <title> tag in the <head> section of the document.

The contents of the <title> tag is what will show up on the browser tab and what will show up as the clickable page title in a list of search engine results. It will also shown as the title of a shortcut if someone bookmarks the page for their browser's shortcuts. This title tag is important to your users so they know what the page contains and it is important for Search Engine Optimization, SEO.

The meta description is found in the <head> section of the HTML document that the browser uses to create your web page. It will look something like this:

 <meta content="Joomla makes it easy to add a unique meta description to every page on your site. The meta description is found in the head section of your web page. name="description">

When a visitor goes to a Google search page, they type in a search phrase in the text box. Google takes the words from this search phrase and compares it to its vast database for the internet. Google then displays an extensive list of pages that contain this search phrase.

When displaying your site in the result list, Google may or may not display the <meta> description that you have set up for that page. It depends on if the words in the search phrase are located in your description. If not, Google will pull content from your web page that does contain these search phrase words.

In regards to SEO, keywords are the words, or combination of words, that a user will most likely type into a search engine form field to search for a web site.

Some visitors will be savvy about their searches and type elaborate phrases, others will use very general phrases. Some visitors from a certain region of the country may use one word, while someone from a different region may use a completely different word. If your business only reaches out to people in a certain area, you need to be sure to add that area in your keywords.

There are ways to use the HTML tags on your web page to improve your Search Engine Optimization, SEO. These tags are things like heading tags <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc., paragraph tags like <p> and even the alt="" attribute for image tags.

Search engines place more importance on the content in <h1> tags than the content in <h2> tags or <p> tags. On the other hand, the search engines will penalize your site if it overuses heading tags. This is why it is important that you outline and organize your content by placing heading tags in appropriate areas. It is not just good for search engines, it make your site more readable and useful to the visitor.

Beyond what you can do with the settings in Joomla to aid SEO for your site, there are other steps you should take to improve your rankings and visitor flow.

Some of these steps are quite simple, others will need to be thought through and implemented with care. Here is a list of steps with explanations, that you should consider when first setting up your web site and as you add additional pages.

How many other sites have links to your site? Incoming links can be crucial to your site's rankings with the search engines. 

If lots of other people are linking to your site, the search engines figure that you must be important. It is a popularity contest of sorts.

How do you know if you have incoming links and where they are coming from?

If you have your site associated with Google Analytics or Google Webmaster tools, you can view which sites have links to your site. You can also see how many people are reaching your site from those links.

There are certain things that you should not do and things you should watch out for with your site if you are concerned with Search Engine Optimization. Some common mistakes that people make when creating, editing or reorganizing their Joomla website can harm their search engine rankings and make it more difficult for visitors to find their site.

Here is a list of a few things that can cause problems with SEO and your Joomla site.