Sometimes it’s easy to forget, but WordPress isn’t the best choice of CMS system for every business. The three most popular choices include WordPress of course, then Joomla next, and finally Drupal. If you need something a little bit more advanced or something with more technical knowledge, Joomla is a good balance between WordPress and Drupal. I recommend visiting here to learn about the benefits of each system and what they can mean for your SEO and your overall website so you can make the decision that’s right for you.
If you decide that Joomla has what you’re looking for (as many e-commerce websites do), then it’s on to the next step: Plugins. Plugins work the same way they do with WordPress and help to make things easier to manage, customize, track, etc., so an SEO plugin is crucial. The question is, of course, which one?
Top 6 Joomla Plugins to Help Improve Your Joomla SEO
Below are some of the most popular Joomla plugins of the last few years for SEO optimization that will likely transfer over into 2016. It is recommended you only download one SEO plugin, but the great thing about plugins is that you can try them out and then uninstall them and re-install others if you’re unhappy. Some of the following come at a price, but others are free and might be a good starting point:
This plugin (sometimes referred to as EFSEO) lets you control your metadata manually and automatically, which is likely very important if you’re a website that wanted to the advanced features of Joomla in the first place. It allows you to change things like title, description, keywords, etc. without having to go into the backend of your website. You can set maximum number of characters for your data, create word counters, and more.
This is definitely one of the most popular options to help you create SEO friendly URLs for all of the pages on your Joomla website. While its main job is to help you create and manage your URLs—URL caching, support, duplicate management, advanced SEF URL management, etc.—it also has features to help you manage your 301 redirects and keywords. This plugin has been around since 2006 so it is definitely a staple for many businesses, but don’t worry, it’s updated regularly. The last update was October 2015.
This plugin actually works very similarly to the EFSEO plugin discussed above because it focuses on customizing Meta data from the front end each webpage. It makes it easy to setup nofollow attributes, automatically pull a description, and more. It’s considered one of the easiest to use and it is definitely a must-have for a lot of companies. According to the plugin’s download page, it generates Meta data on the fly but does not save that data to the content’s Meta data fields, meaning these fields can be used to override the auto-generated meta description.
This plugins helps you monitor the requests that are sending out 404 errors to readers so that you can make sure you have no broken links or pages. It can also help you avoid duplicate content, track social sharing numbers, view and use Google Analytics data and reporting from the backend so that you know what posts are doing well, need work, etc., and many more. Some say the plugin has a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to it it’s considered one of the most useful (and therefore still most popular).
This plugin allows you to generate keywords and descriptions automatically (again, very similarly to what some of these other plugins can do). You can also edit the metadata as you edit your actual article if you don’t want content pulled automatically. A few other cool features include alerting you to and removing the most common words used in your content, adding top words into the keywords section, and ultimately creating a Keyword-Blacklist for you specifically. I highly recommend clicking the link above to learn more.
XMap was previously the popular Joomla extension, but that plugin has since been deleted and made room for the new OSMap. This one may not be quite as popular, but I added it to the list because it’s different than the others. This plugin helps you create a sitemap for visitors, which a site owner can use on the site’s menus. This also helps Google understand the crawling process. Once you have created your map you simply login to Google Webmaster Tools and then submit the website sitemap so that Google can index your pages. Creating a sitemap is crucial for all websites (WordPress included), and this plugin is completely free.
Of course there are many more plugins available for Joomla for SEO. Check out the official Joomla plugin directory here to search for more specific options or read up more on the choices mentioned above. Then, let us know some of your favorites in the comment section below, and if you’ve ever used any of the plugins mentioned above, we’d love to hear about your experience!