Joomla and SEO: How to Improve Your Website Ranking through Proper Optimization?

Joomla and e-commerce have grown hand in hand since the early days of the web. With so many updates and algorithm changes rolling out from all directions, SEO has become a huge concern for most webmasters. However, for Joomla websites, search engine optimization is the second nature. This site building platform comes with a huge option of SEO friendly and flexible templates, which are ideal for seller websites and portfolio sites.

How to use Microdata for SEO?

Recently, the topic of Rich Snippets or Microdata has been taking the Joomla world by storm. It might be a little advanced for new users, but they work like magnets for bots and real human users. Google loves the use of Microdata since it can structure your data and this will help the bots find a direction in your website content. It will also help your site get brownie points from Google and ratings/reviews from your users.

Usually,Schema.org standardizes the syntax, and your tags have properties assigned to them. It helps the leading search engines including Google and Bing understand your site's HTML code. It will take some time to bring in the great results you want to see. Some of the research from Ithaca SEO shows that almost 30% of all users are likely to go to a site that has microdata.

Microdata options for Joomla versions

If you are using Joomla 3.2 or below, you will see options to enable microdata. It is the first version that has given some extent of support for microdata. If you are using Joomla 3.3, your microdata is probably just hard coded to your core code. We are hoping that there will be changes which will allow users to switch the micro-data on and off according to need. In case you cannot see any microdata on your HTML, you may have template overrides that you need to disable. Take a look at your folder – templates\Your_Template\html\com_content\article. You should be looking for the default.php file here. You will also find many plugins for Joomla 2.5 and above, which can add microdata or rich snippets to your website.

What happened after the Fred update?

Ever since the recent (unconfirmed) update from Google in March 2017, SEO has gone topsy-turvy for most websites and blogs. A lot has changed in the world of blogging, guest blogging and authorship. Google had stopped showing authorship data since 2014. However, off late, keyword use and optimization of authorship data has no impact on SEO whatsoever. You may be writing Shakespeare’s biodata for all Google cares! Some of the bloggers do report connecting their Google+ page to their blogs or using a Gravatar account helps. You can try either, but the latest report states that neither of them has any effect on Google rankings.

Your focus should be on local SEO

Local SEO has gained a tremendous impetus, thanks to Fred, the unconfirmed update. Most of the sellers are trying to sell to a local crowd that relates to a common language, purchasing power or culture. For that, you do not need to work on optimizing content for the whole country or even the entire state. For example – if you are a dentist in Ithaca, you do not need all internet users from all over New York know that. People from Binghamton drive all the way for one dentist’s appointment. You need people of Ithaca, either Northwest or Northeast, wherever your chamber is located to know about your practice.

So let’s get real here. You need to optimize your business for your local target audience. It is great if you have started by registering your business on Google My Business. Next, you need to focus on local SEO. Submit the same, correct NAP to your local online directories including Yelp, Yellow Pages, Superpages, Manta, Foursquare, Angie’s List and Yahoo Small Business Directory.Also, include your opening and closing hours, website address (if any) and contact information to get a better ranking. It will help you gain high credibility as well. As of the latest updates, businesses with a prominent online presence are ranking better and scoring more brownie points from Google.

Scoring brownie points from Google

One easy way to score for local results is to use your location in more titles, subheads, and alt-tags for your images. Geo-tag all your images before you share them across a bunch of social media platforms. Do not forget to use microdata for your address. You can use it as a plugin. Alternatively, you can use a custom HTML module that has a pre-written (but verified) code for the address module of your website.

Running website SEO audits with Joomla

Sometimes, why our sites do not perform well online, remain a mystery to us. Since website owners usually pay a bunch of money to SEO companies to optimize their site, it becomes very frustrating when the result does not show up in the CTR or conversion rate. Joomla sites have the advantage of running an SEO audit with free as well as premium tools to end this seemingly unsolvable puzzle. These audit tools will help you understand how well your site is coping with the most recent updates from Google and how well you SEO team is performing in terms of optimization efforts.

These tools are also great if you are trying to manage your SEO on your own.

Ryte.com for your 100% on-site SEO

WebCEO: Full SEO Analysis Service

Moz: Full SEO Analysis Service

SemRush: Full SEO Analysis Service

Woorank: on page SEO reviews

All 5 of these tools are 100% verified for Joomla users. You can always check the use of keywords at all the correct places, the density of your keywords or key phrases and the micro-data distribution using these audit tools.

SEO and Joomla have been friends for a very long time. Therefore, optimizing Joomla sites to suit your SEO needs is quite easy. This becomes much easier when you have a few tools like these to help you out in a tight situation.

Author bio: Timothy Rush is a digital marketing expert. He has been working with many leading Ithaca SEO companies, to perfect their local SEO plans.

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