Examined: Is Joomla Good For search engine optimisation In 2021?
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Examined: Is Joomla Good For search engine optimisation In 2021?


joomla seo check

That is the fifth put up in our sequence the place we take a look at the on-page search engine optimisation of the world’s hottest CMS methods.

We beforehand coated WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy.

And this week we’re turning our consideration to Joomla.

Disclaimer: The exams on this article are primarily based on Joomla 3. They had been carried out shortly earlier than the very current launch of Joomla 4. The Joomla 4 changelog states, that it consists of search engine optimisation enhancements. Therefore, the outcomes would possibly already be outdated. We’ll observe up with an replace.

That mentioned, learn on to find:

  • how properly setup for on-page search engine optimisation Joomla (Joomla 3) is out of the field,
  • how one can configure your Joomla website to rank larger in Google

Let’s get began with a abstract.

In Abstract: Is Joomla good for search engine optimisation?

Joomla is an open supply CMS. You’ve bought full entry to the underlying code, and may create your personal plugins/extensions to switch the system’s core performance.

joomla

So with some coding chops (and the luxurious of time) we’d wager that there’s nothing you can’t do to completely search engine optimisation optimize your Joomla website.

However with that being mentioned, on this sequence, we’re specializing in the out-the-box search engine optimisation performance of the key CMS methods. Give or take a couple of plugins/extensions, we wish to preserve our fingers (and web site) fairly clear.

The excellent news?

Joomla does tick a lot of the on-page search engine optimisation bins. You’ll want not less than one extension. However that’s no completely different to WordPress, the place you’ll have to put in an search engine optimisation plugin like YOAST to completely optimize your website.

So what’s the unhealthy information?

Effectively, Joomla’s search engine optimisation extensions are simply not in the identical ballpark as their WordPress counterparts (though that will quickly change – see “Which Joomla search engine optimisation extensions did we strive?” beneath).

You can management a lot of the components you want to management. However the course of is relatively unintuitive and cumbersome. Every part is simply going to take you longer to optimize than it could on a WordPress website.

And usually, that’s the sensation we’ve with Joomla as a CMS. Whereas the entrance finish is ok, the again finish feels dated, drained — nearly like an deserted undertaking (though it’s not).

In accordance with W3Techs, Joomla nonetheless has a 3% CMS market share. However we suspect that market share is principally made up of legacy websites, as a fast look at Google Traits exhibits us Joomla’s recognition has been on a severe decline for not less than the previous 10 years.

google trends - joomla vs wordpress

However let’s circle again spherical to the query at hand:

Is Joomla good for search engine optimisation? Sure.

Though you would possibly lose a little bit little bit of hair whereas optimizing your website.

And while you’re accomplished, you’ll most likely ask your self why you didn’t simply select WordPress like everybody else has since 2010….

Earlier than shifting on with some element, right here’s a fast abstract of what you may and might’t do with Joomla.

Joomla SEO Scoring

How we examined Joomla for search engine optimisation optimization

Like WordPress, it’s troublesome to check Joomla in isolation as a lot of its search engine optimisation efficiency can be all the way down to particular person configurations (i.e. host/server) and decisions (templates/extensions).

However as with our earlier exams, we tried to maintain extensions/plugins to a minimal, configuration to as near “out the field” as potential, and opted for standard templates.

Right here’s what we did:

  1. We arrange a small take a look at website on a Digital Ocean server with the identical specs because the server internet hosting our earlier WordPress take a look at website
  2. We added demo content material just like our different take a look at websites
  3. We tried out 3 Joomla search engine optimisation extensions (and settled on one)
  4. We examined 2 of the most well-liked Joomla themes (Helix Final, and the default Protostar)
  5. Checks included guide assessment, working the location by means of our personal search engine optimisation audit device, and testing utilizing third get together instruments comparable to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix.

Which Joomla search engine optimisation extensions did we strive?

Selecting an search engine optimisation extension for our Joomla take a look at website was harder than we anticipated. Why? As a result of there’s no actual neighborhood consensus on what the present finest extension truly is.

Moreover, whereas our choice would have been to make use of a free search engine optimisation extension, we discovered that it was solely premium extensions that gave us anyplace close to the extent of search engine optimisation management we had been on the lookout for.(and there was one other, very current fly within the ointment that we’ll cowl beneath)

So ultimately, we bought and tried out the three extensions beneath:

  1. Joomla sh404sef
  2. Firecoders Route66
  3. 4SEO

Essentially the most promising was/is 4SEO, which is made by the identical individuals who make sh404sef.

It’s a comparatively new extension that’s as shut as you’ll get to a WordPress search engine optimisation plugin like YOAST for Joomla. There’s first rate snippet previews and you’ll management most on-page search engine optimisation components:

4seo interface

However as promising because it seems to be, sadly we discovered it a little bit buggy to advocate at this stage. We’ll be maintaining a tally of it although, and suspect will probably be our Joomla search engine optimisation extension of alternative after we come to replace this text.

Route66 from Firecoders additionally seems to be the half (with some good on-page evaluation stories), however was missing a few of the fundamentals.

So ultimately we settled on sh404sef, which has a lot of the performance we’re on the lookout for and has lengthy been one of the vital standard Joomla search engine optimisation extensions.

sh404sef

And it’s sh404SEF we’ll be utilizing in our examples beneath.

However there’s an issue:

Weeblr (the corporate behind sh404SEF) just lately introduced that the extension might not be appropriate with Joomla 4 and can not be up to date.

Which implies if you wish to use it, you’ll most likely want to stay to Joomla 3 for now.

We advised you choosing a Joomla search engine optimisation extension was powerful!

Joomla search engine optimisation: The nice, the unhealthy, and the ugly

Earlier than reviewing Joomla’s management of on-page search engine optimisation elements, let’s run by means of a few of the search engine optimisation highlights (and lowlights) of the platform.

We’ll begin with a optimistic.

Good: Joomla is fairly quick out-the-box

Our Joomla take a look at website carried out properly in Google’s PageSpeed Insights, scoring an admirable 95/100 when working the Helix Final template with minimal configuration.

joomla pagespeed insights test

Notice: the structure shift subject above was because of internet fonts and could be a comparatively simple repair.

The truth is the one actual pace optimization we did was to activate Joomla’s inbuilt caching module — which is actually a couple of clicks.

So with some tweaking (and the correct alternative of template) a website working on Joomla ought to have the ability to cross Google’s Core Net Vitals exams with flying colours.

Or in different phrases…

…in case your Joomla website is sluggish, it’s most likely your fault, not Joomla’s!

Dangerous:  Lack of an all-encompassing search engine optimisation extension

For the time being we don’t really feel there’s a single Joomla search engine optimisation extension that features all of the performance we wish. Which leaves us having to put in a number of extensions to completely optimize our Joomla website.

However we do have excessive hopes for 4SEO from Weeblr. And we’ll be maintaining a tally of it because it matures with Joomla 4.

Notice: when you’ve got any options for Joomla search engine optimisation extensions that we would have missed, then please tell us within the feedback and we’ll have a look.

Ugly: Out-the-box many fundamental search engine optimisation settings are buried

For those who’re not utilizing an search engine optimisation extension like sh404SEF, it’s simple to overlook fundamental search engine optimisation settings because of the manner Joomla’s customary management panel is organized.

For instance, on an article, the search engine optimisation title is buried proper on the backside of the choices tab…

joomla seo title

…whereas the meta description is situated below the publishing tab.

articles meta description

Wouldn’t it make extra sense to have these in the identical place?

On-Web page search engine optimisation Fundamentals: How does Joomla measure up?

Now let’s flip our consideration to manage of a few of the elementary on-page search engine optimisation elements.

Does Joomla cowl all of them?

For essentially the most half. Though visible suggestions (i.e. snippet previews) and templating choices are missing, not less than when utilizing sh404SEF as your search engine optimisation extension of alternative.

Right here’s our abstract once more.

Joomla SEO Scoring

Notice: having management of an search engine optimisation rating issue just isn’t equal to its optimization. search engine optimisation audit instruments like Seobility provide recommendation on learn how to correctly optimize every aspect, and discover errors in optimization which can be holding again your website. See our search engine optimisation audit information for extra info on learn how to totally optimize your web site.

search engine optimisation Titles and Meta Descriptions

Management in Joomla: sure

A web page’s title continues to be one of the vital essential on-page rating elements. And a well-written meta description may help you get extra click-throughs (though Google received’t all the time use it).

Natively, Joomla enables you to set customized search engine optimisation titles (referred to as “Browser Web page Title”) and meta descriptions for pages within the “Menu merchandise” panel.

Menus > Your Menu > Choose Article > Web page Show > Browser Web page Title

browser page title

Menus > Your Menu > Choose Article > Web page Show > Metadata > Meta Description

meta description

Or when you’re utilizing sh404SEF, you may set search engine optimisation titles and descriptions (which is able to overwrite the native title) within the Titles and metas panel.

Parts > sh404SEF > Titles and metas

You’ll be able to both rapidly edit titles and meta descriptions from the record display screen, which is helpful when you may have a number of article titles you want to replace…

title tag bulk edit

…or click on on a particular article for extra choices.

title tag edit

Both manner, you received’t get a preview of how your snippet will look in search. So that you would possibly wish to use our free snippet preview device to check your titles and meta descriptions earlier than enhancing in Joomla.

snippet generator

In terms of templating titles, sadly there’s no simple option to do it.

You’ll be able to select to incorporate your website title in your titles as a prefix or suffix in your website’s international configuration.

System > World Configuration > search engine optimisation Settings

name in title

However once more, this can be overwritten when you’re utilizing sh404SEF.

And naturally, if you wish to write some customized code, you’re free to create a customized title (or meta description) format in your template (directions right here).

Notice: natively you too can set titles/meta descriptions within the admin part of an article, which we already coated within the “good, unhealthy, and ugly” part.

Study extra about search engine optimisation Titles and Meta Descriptions

Web page slug / URL

Management in Joomla: sure

We advocate creating quick, descriptive, 2-3 phrase slugs, together with the first key phrase (or phrase) for every web page. Use hyphens to separate phrases.

Joomla helps search engine pleasant URLS natively (the method to activate them is detailed right here), however we’d advocate utilizing an extension (comparable to sh404SEF) for simpler administration.

Study extra about URL slugs/permalinks

Canonical URLs

Management in Joomla: sure

On smaller websites you most likely received’t want to fret about this.

However when you’ve got a sequence of comparable pages in your website — i.e. focusing on the identical key phrases, or with very small variations in content material — there could also be occasions while you’ll wish to set a canonical (grasp) URL.

This helps to keep away from duplicate content material points.

For those who’re utilizing sh404SEF, you may set a customized canonical URL within the web page’s search engine optimisation panel.

Parts > sh404SEF > Titles and metas > Choose web page > Edit url document

canonical url

Study extra about canonical URLs

Index management (robots meta tag)

Management in Joomla: sure

The robots meta tag instructs Google to both index (1), or to not index (2) a web page:

  • <meta title=”robots” content material=”index, observe”> – index this web page please Google
  • <meta title=”robots” content material=”noindex, observe”> – ignore this web page please Google (however observe the hyperlinks on it)

You don’t really need the primary one as (assuming your web page meets their high quality requirements) indexing is Google’s default motion. But it surely doesn’t do any hurt to have it in place.

Joomla enables you to set this within the “Publishing” tab of an article’s edit display screen.

indexing options

Study extra about index management

Heading Tags (h1, h2, h3 and many others)

Management in Joomla: sure

Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, and many others) assist Google perceive the construction and subject(s) of your web page.

They need to be correctly nested.

For instance, an h1 tag would typically be the principle subject (degree 1), an h2 may very well be a subtopic (degree 2), and an h3 may very well be a sub-sub subject (degree 3) and many others:

<h1>Pets</h1> (subject of the web page)

<h2>Goldfish</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring on your goldfish</h3> (subtopic of goldfish)

<h4>Clear your fish’s tank often</h4> (subtopic of caring on your goldfish)

<h2>Cats</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring on your cat</h3> (subtopic of cats)

Joomla helps a full vary of heading tags from H1-H6.

heading tags

Because it ought to!

Study extra about heading tags

Structured information (aka schema)

Management in Joomla: sure

Structured information (also called schema) may help Google perceive:

  • the kind of content material on a web page (i.e. recipe, assessment, product, article),
  • the entity behind the web site (i.e. group),
  • and will also be used to indicate further search options (wealthy snippets)

For those who’re not acquainted with structured information and its affect on search engine optimisation, we advocate studying our wealthy snippets information.

You’ve bought a number of choices for together with customized schema in your Joomla web site and pages.

First up, there are a number of specialised extensions, comparable to this one from tassos.gr (free and paid variations out there).

structured data extension for joomla

However if you wish to decrease extensions, you too can generate web page particular schema markup, then use sh404SEF so as to add it to an article.

You should utilize this free device to generate a variety of schema markup. For instance, beneath we’ve created schema markup for an FAQ web page.

schema faq

Then merely copy and paste the customized schema code into the “Backside of HEAD SECTION” field within the sh404SEF admin panel of the web page you wish to embody it.

Parts > sh404SEF > Titles and metas > Choose web page > Uncooked content material

sh404sef head

Not the cleanest resolution on the planet maybe, nevertheless it does the job.

Study extra about structured information and wealthy snippets

Picture search engine optimisation

Management in Joomla: sure

The three most essential components of picture search engine optimisation are:

  • Alt textual content (description of the picture for display screen readers and serps)
  • File measurement (smaller = quicker = higher)
  • File title (we advocate utilizing descriptive file names)

Joomla’s customary WYSIWYG editor helps alt textual content (they name it “description”)…

joomla alt text

…they usually received’t mess along with your filenames. So so long as you employ a descriptive filename when saving earlier than importing to Joomla, that’s what you’ll get.

Close to optimizing picture file sizes, you’ll need to deal with that another way.

Your choices are to both:

a) make certain your pictures are compressed earlier than importing, or

b) set up an extension to compress your pictures for you

For those who go for choice b, then the Picture Recycle extension ought to do the trick.

image recycle extension

Study extra about picture search engine optimisation

HTTPS

Do Joomla websites run over HTTPS? sure

HTTPS has been a confirmed Google rating sign since 2014.

And in 2021 there’s actually no excuse for any website to nonetheless be working over HTTP. However any search engine optimisation advantages, it’s unsecure.

Ensuring your Joomla website runs over HTTPS is your (or your hosts) duty.

Study extra about HTTPS

Robots.txt file

Management in Joomla: sure

A robots.txt file lets you cease search engine bots from accessing sure areas of your website.

For instance, you might need a bit with user-generated content material that you simply don’t need crawled or listed by Google.

Since Joomla is self hosted, you should utilize FTP to immediately edit your robots.txt file.

Study extra about Robots.txt

XML Sitemaps

Generated by Joomla: sure

An XML sitemap helps Google discover (and index) all of the pages in your website.

You received’t get an XML sitemap natively in Joomla, however there are many extensions that can show you how to create and handle your sitemap(s).

JSitemap (paid) is fairly complete.

jsitemap

Study extra about XML Sitemaps

Are Joomla websites cell pleasant?

One phrase reply: sure

When designing your Joomla website there’s a superb probability you’ll be specializing in the way it seems to be on desktop.

However cell visitors overtook desktop visitors in 2017. And Google now prioritizes the cell model of your website for crawling and indexing.

Most Joomla templates are cell pleasant. And if yours just isn’t…

…then it’s time to discover a new one!

If Google does discover any points with the cell model of your web site, they’ll let in Search Console.

mobile issues - google search console

So preserve an eye fixed out.

In conclusion: Joomla is nice for search engine optimisation, however feels dated

Joomla has been round for a very long time, and has a comparatively massive neighborhood.

So it’s no actual shock that there can be an answer (be that with an extension or some code tinkering) for many technical search engine optimisation duties that you simply wish to full.

However whereas there’s nothing you may’t do with a bit of data, time, and possibly cash (most good extensions are paid) we do really feel that many duties are unnecessarily convoluted.

We don’t like having to put in a number of extensions to get what we’d like accomplished, and we’d fairly every part was managed in a single space (i.e. you handle the metadata for an article in an article, fairly than in a separate part).

And total — as we intimated in our introductory abstract — the platform simply feels drained and dated to us. Joomla used to have the sting on WordPress when it got here to managing a number of content material sorts, part particular templating, and managing person privileges. However we predict WordPress has now bridged that hole. Which leaves us questioning what Joomla’s present raison d’être truly is?

However ruminations over the platform’s future apart, and getting again to our deal with Joomla’s search engine optimisation capabilities, it’s positively going to be potential to get your Joomla website totally optimized and rating larger in Google.

So when you’re working a Joomla website, our suggestion is to:

  • run a full search engine optimisation audit (you may observe this search engine optimisation audit information),
  • allocate time to fixing points and optimizing your website (the place potential),
  • focus in on creating top quality content material that helps your customers and totally solutions their search queries,
  • construct your website’s authority by incomes top quality backlinks (take a look at our really useful hyperlink constructing techniques)

Subsequent up we’ll be evaluating the search engine optimisation professionals and cons of every CMS we’ve reviewed in our sequence in a roundup put up, the place we’ll additionally reveal one of the best CMS for search engine optimisation in 2021. Join our electronic mail record beneath to observe this sequence, and for hundreds extra recent search engine optimisation suggestions, tutorials, and guides straight to your inbox.

PS: Get weblog updates straight to your inbox!

David McSweeney

David is our chief editor for knowledgeable search engine optimisation content material at Seobility. Unsurprisingly he loves search engine optimisation and writing. He combines 20+ years of expertise in search engine optimisation with the fervour for educating you guys learn how to optimize your web sites the correct manner.



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