- Written by Dan Maynard
What does a kids piano web page have to do with Joomla and good SEO? Continue reading to find out. But first of all let's dig in and provide some context.
Joomla is one of the two most popular CMS (content management systems) currently in use by webmasters, with Wordpress being the main competiton. Many users find that Joomla is actually easier to use right out of the box, and it has proven to be a popular choice among website owners brand new to the world of running a website. The fact that the CMS is so easy to use is what has made it such a popular choice, and there are many standard templates that Joomla users are able to utilize for their website.
One of the benefits of using the Joomla CMS is the fact that most of the standard Joomla templates are designed to be as search engine friendly as possible. Search engine optimization plays a huge role in the success of most websites, as it is the best way to drive traffic to any website according to Dan Maynard, SEO consultant with a Saskatchewan video company.
However, when using Joomla for improving your search engine rankings through SEO, you will find that Joomla is not automatically created to improve a website's SEO. In order to make Joomla an effective CMS for improving search engine rankings, it is necessary to install a number of plugins and extensions in addition to the CMS. Like a finely tuned piano, the right mix of Joomla plugins/extensions can help make your on-page SEO sing harmoneously.
Here are some of the best extensions and plugins that can be installed in order to improve the search engine rankings of a Joomla website:
JoomSEO is a bot designed specifically for making the content of a Jooma website for search engine friendly. Every time content is added to a Joomla website, the extension automatically creates the meta descriptions and keywords, inserts heading tags into the titles of the content, changes the page title, and much more.
The extension is easy to customize, and is used by most website owners as a means of being able to upload regular content without having to adjust the various SEO aspects of the content manually in order to save time. Some of the features that can be customized include:
- The selection of heading tags
- Database caching preferences
- Converting Microsoft Word symbols and characters into SEO-friendly characters
- Meta replacement text
- Front page titles
- Whether to disable or enable elements of the front page
- Sticky words used to provide more weight for the keywords
- Characters and words that are not good to add to the keyword
- The ability to hide, override, or show content titles, the first paragraph, the name of the site, the keywords, and more.
- These are just a few of the JoomSEO features that can be altered by users to make their Joomla CMS even more search engine friendly.
SEOSimple is an easy Joomla plugin to use, and is one of the best plugins for any website with regularly updated content. The first block of text of any post is taken, and it is set as the meta description tag's value in the head of the page. This improves the ranking of the page, as search engines look for pages that have relevant meta description tags. The plugin is great for beginners, and it can easily be customized in a number of ways:
Users are able to customize the way the meta description of the front page is used. It can be generated using the description Joomla automatically uses for the entire site, or it can be generated according to the content of the front page.
- The page title can also be configured in a number of ways, which gives users the ability to determine what information the title will provide about their site.
- The title tag of the front page itself can be customized, also with the purpose of varying the information that users can display in their front page's title.
- The ability to use the "noindex, follow" command for Category pages ensures that the website will not be penalized for displaying duplicate content.
- For any user new to the world of Joomla and SEO, this is one of the best extensions to use to improve search engine rankings easily.
The SH404SEF extension is a unique one with many amazing features to help improve search engine rankings of any Joomla website:
- QR codes can be automatically created by the extension.
- Tags using HTML 5 are created for the purpose of improving the SEO of various elements.
- Canonical headers can be generated for any PDF files.
- Users are able to receive support in a number of languages.
- Short URLs have been reworked.
- Any 404s can be quickly and simply redirected to the best SEF URLs users set.
- The extension works well with AceSEF and JoomSEF to ensure that the website is compatible with SEF URLs.
- There is support for Google Analytics integrated into the extension.
- The caching system has been designed to help websites load much faster.
- These are only a few of the excellent features offered by this efficient plugin, and Joomla users will find that they are able to improve their search engine rankings thanks to the upgrades made to the latest version of the SH404SEF extension.
The SEO Generator plugin is designed to generate descriptions and keywords automatically for every article on the site, and it does so be extracting some of the text of the content and the article title to ensure that they are relevant. Users are also able to customize the configurations for the title, the keys for Google webmasters to verify the site, and the meta tags used for robots.
There is an excellent feature of this plugin that enables users to include the meta data descriptions and keywords for each article, as well as the ability to edit that meta data as the article is edited. The pages can also be connected to each other with the Related Articles tool, but the plugin goes further than that. When an article is created on the Joomla site, the extension actually chooses the best descriptions and keywords for the content. Users are able to blacklist keywords that are overused, and they are able to select specific keywords that will have the most effect on their page's search engine ranking.
Beyond the Extension - Good Content Still Reigns
If you were to ask any web site visitor what the most important aspects of a web site, the answer most commonly espoused would be good content. Not only is good content a necessity for readership, it is also a ranking factor in search engines like Google.
Google looks at several factors -- more importantly, the average time spent on a web page and the bounce rate. While time spent is easy to understand, bounce rate is not as readily understood. Essentially bounce rate is simply the ratio of the number of times a page is visited where the visitor "hits" the back button without visitng another other page on the site versus visiting other web pages on the site after the initial page.
Getting Your Bounce Rate Down with Good Content that Engages the Reader - An Example of a Piano Page Engagement
So what does constitute good engagement that gets reades to stay on the page? Simply knowing what the visitor wants.
How do you know what the visitor wants? The best method is to ask them. Or really listen to the questions your visitors ask when they send you email.
If we were to look at an example, then this piano related kids piano page provides excellent information that satisfies visitors needs. Essentially, it engages because it creates curiosity, introduces a problem and provides a solution in the headline and subhead.
We know we are on target for solving a visitor's problem because of the many emails that have been received point to a common problem. Visitor time spent on the piano page has been shown to approximate 13 minutes per session with a bounce rate of 23% on average, contrast that with de facto standard bounce rate of 50%. The page clearly provides value.
So while extensions/plugins can help with your Joomla project site, one must always craft a web page that will be read much like the kids piano page illustrated above.