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SEO Optimisation

SEO Optimisation

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process of optimising your website with the goal of improving your rankings in the search results and getting more organic (non-paid) traffic.

The history of SEO began in the 1990s when search engines emerged for the first time. Today it’s an essential marketing strategy and an ever-growing industry.

You don’t need to know ALL the factors and the exact algorithms Google uses to rank your website but you need to understand the key components of SEO.  The tree most important factors are usually considered to be:

  1. Technical aspects
  2. Content
  3. Quality backlinks.

In this article we are concentrating on the technical aspects and working with Joomla.
 

Enable Search Engine Friendly URLs (SEF URL)

If you don’t want your URL to look something like this:
https://yoursite.com/index.php?option=com_view=item&id=124:yoursiteseo

It’s hard to read not only for humans but for search engines too. Being ‘URL friendly’ is one of many factors for your site to get a high ranking on search engines like Google.

If Consult.PW set up your site, we’ve probably already done this for you.  When your site was set up, the search-engine friendly URL setting was activated.  This ensured that URLs were optimised for all Search Engines.

If you manage your own site be sure to enable Search Engine Friendly URLs in the Global settings.  After that, all of your URLs will be shortened, and be much easier to read.

URL Re-direct

Joomla has built-in SEO settings and there is an additional setting allows for URL re-writing.  This provides more control over key words that appear in your site URLs.  This tool requires the use of the re-write engine on the Consult.PW server.  If Consult.PW manage your site a new .htaccess file was written for you.  Please do not modify or delete this file.

If you manage your own site, you will need to change the .htaccess file manually.  The instructions for this will depend upon the way the host server is configured.
 

Analytics

If you previously operated a self-managing site, the analytics data was supplied by Webalizer via the Consult.PW server console.  To assist with monitoring your site to improve SEO you can request a Google Analytics account is set up for your site.

NOTE: Consult.PW will monitor this if you have a full or part-managed site.  If you would like access to the statistics, please provide us with the email address used for your Google account.

Robots.txt Optimisation

The purpose of a robots.txt file is to inform the search engine bot about the files that you don't want to index.  By default, images are not indexed.  If your site has many relevant images, they will be re-named and the robots.txt file edited to include the images folder.

Gzip Page Compression

Gzip Page Compression speeds up page load times by increasing the compression of site code. This feature is available on the Consult.PW server and will be activated if appropriate.
 

Analytics

If you previously operated a self-managing site, the analytics data was supplied by Webalizer via the Consult.PW server console.  To assist with monitoring your site to improve SEO you can request a Google Analytics account is set up for your site.

NOTE: Consult.PW will monitor this if you have a full or part-managed site.  If you would like access to the statistics, please provide us with the email address used for your Google account.

Robots.txt Optimisation

The purpose of a robots.txt file is to inform the search engine bot about the files that you don't want to index.  By default, images are not indexed.  If your site has many relevant images, they will be re-named and the robots.txt file edited to include the images folder.
 

Gzip Page Compression

Gzip Page Compression speeds up page load times by increasing the compression of site code.  This feature is available on the Consult.PW server and will be activated if appropriate.
 

Meta data Management

All the meta data descriptions on your site should not exceed 160 characters.  In Joomla, the meta data is entered via the menu structure.  If you create articles or blogs, it is possible to generate additional meta data using third-party systems.  If you have a part-managed or fully-managed account, a program such as SEO Boss or similar is installed.  You can access the control panel for this from the Components/SEO Boss menu.
 

Sitemap

A sitemap is a document that lists all the URLs of your website that search engines can crawl.  If your site is small (less than 20 pages), it would have been set up to use an external on-line site map.  You can view the XML and HTML versions of your site map from the Components/Site Map menu.

As part of the SEO optimisation, an integral site map may be installed as a Joomla component.  This generates an XML site map automatically, so you do not need to manage this component.  This means that any changes made to your site will be picked up more quickly by ‘spiders’.

 

Search Engine Re-submission

Once the keywords have been optimised, your site will be submitted to search engines via an online submission.  This process should happen automatically over time but it does no harm to

Google discontinued their URL submission tool in July 2018. Now, the only way to submit your website is by adding your sitemap in Search Console as part of your Google account.

For Bing, an XML file is placed in the root folder of your site. (BingSiteAuth.xml).  Please do not delete this or the record of searches on Bing will be removed.

Other tips for improving SEO

Use a Google Account

If you don’t already have a Google account, we suggest creating one as soon as possible.  This will give you access to Google Analytics and allow you to re-submit your site for indexing. 

This also provides a Gmail address to ensure that you will receive alerts if there are any issues to an alternative email address.

Consult.PW

Based in leafy Hertfodshire

07887 800822