How to Make a Joomla Website More SEO Friendly

If your website has been developed using Joomla and you are not doing well in the search engines…you are not alone.

In fact it is all too common to find Joomla websites that do not appear in the search engines at all!

This is because there are several flaws in the way the CMS has been developed.

And although Joomla is a great CMS, it certainly doesn’t perform so great when it comes to SEO.

But why doesn’t a Joomla website rank well in Google? Surely if a webpage has content on it and it is keyword optimised it will rank, right?

Unfortunately this isn’t the case. And although there are tons of Joomla SEO tutorials out there that will help you on your way, Joomla just isn’t the right CMS if you’re trying to get free traffic from Google.

And here is why…

Duplicate Meta Descriptions

Something Google have been very vocal in expressing their dislike for is duplicate meta descriptions. And out-of-the-box Joomla comes with a meta description that is not relevant to the website. Many webmasters who do not understand the technical ins and outs of Joomla will leave the meta description as the same throughout the site thinking this is the way it should be done and thus get penalised by Google.

Unfriendly URLs

Another big problem in Joomla SEO is unfriendly URLs. Because out the box Joomla does not create URLs that are friendly to the search engines. And any good SEO will tell you that the URL of your webpage is one of the most important ranking factors in Google. So this is an issue Joomla really needs to overcome if it ever wants to compete with the likes of the major CMS platforms out there.

Sitemap Issues

Sitemaps and Joomla are not exactly the best of friends. The way that the Joomla CMS works is not really set up to work with a sitemap at all. And so often times, creating a sitemap will actually give you more problems than not having one will. Many SEOs will actually delete the Joomla sitemap all together to avoid submitting any wrong URLs to Google.

Joomla Still Uses Meta Keywords

Although Google announced over 10 years ago that the meta keywords tag is no longer to be used, Joomla for whatever reason still uses it. And because it is available for webmasters to use, they often do. The problem with this is that although it won’t necessarily negatively affect your rankings in Google, you are literally giving away all of the keywords you wish to target in the code of your website. Meaning anybody that knows how to view your code, which isn’t exactly hard to do, can see everything you are going after and copy your whole content marketing strategy.

Joomla Doesn’t Give A Warning When You Have Robots Set To “no-index”

Unlike WordPress (when using Yoast SEO), which will give you a warning if you have the robots file set to not index your website, Joomla will not say a word. Leaving many webmasters unable to understand why the entire site does not show up in Google at all. This is by far the most common reason why Joomla websites do not do well in SEO campaigns, because a lot of people completely miss this step. And it’s easy to understand why.

Joomla Is Slow To Manage

Unlike many other popular CMS’s, Joomla is very difficult and slow to manage. This is because Joomla was never originally intended to be used in the way it is today. Which is why all the confusion about menu items and articles and modules comes about. This adds precious time to any SEO project.

If you imagine over the course of a year, all the time that is spent looking for modules and articles and menu items…and you had that up – that’s a serious amount of time wasted.

The Bottom Line On Joomla & SEO

So in summary Joomla is not the best cms to use if you’re trying to build a website that will rank well in Google. It can be done. But it’s not easy.

If you are looking to create a website that ranks well on the search engines you would be far better off using a CMS like WordPress or Squarespace as they are much easier to use and have been developed around the changes in the search engines over the past 10 years.

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