Joomla SEO Checklist - Search Engine Optimization for Joomla
Common Search Engine Optimization tasks for every site.
- Keyword Research and Analysis
- Competitor and Related Site Analysis
- Content Analysis (Check duplicates with copyscape and check relevance)
- Page, Category Level, and Article Level Onpage SEO Analysis (through Web CEO or iBusiness Promoter)
- Current Link Architecture Analysis
- Old Link Architecture Analysis (through Archive.org's Wayback Machine)
- Onpage SEO Checklist Preparation (if you don't plan to do it yourself).
General Search Engine Optimization tasks that are not page specific.
- Install and Modify Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs (Choose among JoomSEF, SH404SEF, SEF Advance, etc.)
- Rename the htaccess.txt file to .htaccess.
- Configure or update SEF for other plugins like: VirtueMart, SOBI, etc.
- Mod Rewrite (htaccess) for SEF and old/broken links and create 301 Permanent redirect, so that no link juice spills out of your site or you miss none on other sites.
- Elliminate the duplicate URL problem with SEF. However, most SEF Components now come with the feature to redirect duplicate URLs to one URL.
- Dissolve the Pagination problem that affects the site after installing SEF with default configuration.
- After fully implementing SEF URLs, use HTTrack Website Copier to cache the SEF URLs. Because after implementing SEF, the URLs individually create 404 errors.
- Install Web Analytics Scripts (Google Analytics, Statcounter, etc.)
- Install Canonical URLs to direct all files properly to neWWW location. If you are satisfied with non-WWW URLs, then it will do you no harm. But, be consistant.
- Install Joomla Sitemaps Plugin (Joomap, LiveMap, SEF Service Map) or make one from XML-Sitemaps.com (if your site has less than 500 pages)
- Submit site and sitemap to Google Webmaster Central and verify the site,
- Optimize your RSS feeds, enable subscription, "Publicize Your Feed" with FeedBurner
- Implement multilingual capability if required.
Search Engine Optimization tasks specific to pages.
- Install the Joomla SEO Patch, so that you have the full freedom to tailor custom Meta Information, like - Keywords and Description Meta tags.
- Switch Title Tag Placement from "Site Name - Article Page Title" to "Article Page Title - Site Name". i.e. bring the most important keyword first. Also make sure that your <title> tag is the first tag after <head> tag.
- Ensure that each article's Short Description or Summary is the Description Meta Tag. It's not cool to auto generate the description meta.
- Install JoomSEO Metabot to generate automated keywords on the fly. However, don't automate other onpage SEO features.
- Alternatively, if you have less pages in your site, don't automate. It's always better to have hand-coded strategic keywords in the Keywords Meta
- Commonly use Robots Meta to Index and Follow (index,follow) the pages that are important for you.
- Alternatively, make sure that the duplicate contents in the site have Robots Meta saying "noindex,follow" (tell Google not to index, but to follow).
- Use noarchive, noodp, nosnippet, etc. in Robots Meta, if you are bugged by scrappers or don't like the result you see in Google. Otherwise, leave it.
- Use country, language, and encoding Meta Tags for Local Search Engines.
- Install Canonical Plugin to show Canonical Metatag in Pages. Joost De Valk has one in his Yoast blog. For Joomla 1.5, you can use the plugin by Jeremy Wilken.
- Try to avoide unnecessary Meta Information from page
SEO for Link Architecture
- Analyze Link Architecture and determine plan for relevant link structure for proper link juice flow.
- Integrate Nofollow for pages that are totally irrelevant. Strategically implement Page Rank Sculpting or Siloing and other Nofollowing techniques.
- Use various XFN Relationship Tags for links in the Joomla site that are duplicate (rel="canonical"), similar/related (rel="me"), dependents/partners (rel="friend"), external (rel="external"), irrelevant (rel="nofollow"). This is not proven that these XFN Relationships other than Nofollow will affect SEO. But, it's always worth it to be ready for the future.
Joomla Template Customization - SEO Copyediting
- Call the page title ($myPageTitle;) at the top and at the bottom of the page.
- Use bread-crumb or pathway to link to respective category page
- Use related page module to generate a set of links to the related pages from the article level page. e.g. for VirtueMart, you can use related products module or show products that says, "You may also be interested in these products".
- Plant H1 tag for Page Title in the Body Tag for the most important keyword placeholder.
- Configure the site with H2 and H3 Tags for other important keyword placeholders.
- Social Media Optimize (SMO) the site for greater shareability.
- Copywrite/rewrite the duplicate contents, if your site has contents copied from other sites.
- Optimize CSS for outlook and the greater freedom to use Bold and H1, H2, H3 tags.
- Use a site layout heavily based on CSS and <div> or tableless CSS.
- W3C Validate the site without any warning or errors. However, for Joomla, this can be a tough job.
- Outsource the Java Script to external files as much as you can before the </head> tag.
- Clean up unnecessary Markups, e.g. use of <b>, <span> or <h1> in blank space is not necessary.
- Reduce the Code : Content Ratio as much as you can.
- Optimize the Images for the search engines.
- Create and activate a compelling 404 Error page. Remember to copy Google's 404 scripts from your Google Webmaster Central account and paste it in that page.
- Remember that Multilingual Optimization with Joomfish also needs tweaking for other components and plugin as well.
Thanks to MarketingGossip