Tested: Is Joomla Good For SEO In 2022?

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joomla seo check

Final up to date on February 1, 2022

That is the fifth submit in our sequence the place we check the on-page Search engine optimization of the world’s hottest CMS methods.

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

This time we’re turning our consideration to Joomla. Particularly, Joomla 4 which was formally launched in August 2021.

Learn on to find:

  • how properly arrange for on-page Search engine optimization Joomla is out of the field,
  • how one can configure your Joomla web site to rank greater in Google

Let’s get began with a abstract.

In Abstract: Is Joomla good for Search engine optimization?

Joomla is an open-source CMS. You’ve received full entry to the underlying code and may also create your individual plugins/extensions to switch the system’s core performance.

Joomla 4

So with some coding chops (and the posh of time), we might wager that there’s nothing you’ll be able to’t do to completely optimize your Joomla web site.

However with that being stated, on this sequence, we’re specializing in the out-the-box Search engine optimization performance of the foremost CMS methods. Give or take a couple of plugins/extensions, we wish to preserve our palms (and web site) moderately clear.

Earlier in 2021, we examined Joomla 3. And whereas we favored it general, there have been undoubtedly a couple of gaps within the CMS’s Search engine optimization performance.

The excellent news?

Joomla 4 (and one tremendous cool Search engine optimization extension) has just about plugged all of them.

Every little thing we like to manage for on-page Search engine optimization can now be configured in Joomla’s admin space. And we had been additionally impressed with Joomla 4’s out-the-box velocity — with solely minimal tweaks required to get a formidable rating on Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Every other enhancements?

Whereas not Search engine optimization-related, we felt that Joomla 3’s backend regarded dated and drained. And we consider this was one of many causes for the decline in Joomla’s recognition and market share over time.

google trends - joomla vs wordpress

So we’re happy to say that Joomla has fully revamped the admin space for model 4.

joomla 4 admin

The modifications are primarily beauty (and we do nonetheless have some grumbles about grouping of choices), however we really feel the slick new look ranges the enjoying discipline considerably with WordPress and is probably going to assist appeal to new customers to the platform.

JoomlaShine has a pleasant breakdown of the admin interface enhancements here.

In abstract, Joomla 4 is a giant step ahead from Joomla 3 and is now an excellent selection for Search engine optimization.

joomla 4 seo

How we examined the Search engine optimization capabilities of Joomla

Like WordPress, it’s troublesome to check Joomla in isolation as a lot of its Search engine optimization efficiency will likely be right down to particular person configurations (i.e. host/server) and decisions (templates/extensions).

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

Right here’s what we did:

  1. We arrange a small check web site on a Digital Ocean server with the identical specs because the server internet hosting our earlier WordPress check web site
  2. We added demo content material much like our different check websites
  3. We tried out 3 Joomla Search engine optimization extensions (and settled on one)
  4. We examined 2 of the preferred Joomla themes (Helix Final, and Joomla 4’s default Cassiopeia template)
  5. Exams included handbook assessment, operating the positioning by means of our personal Search engine optimization audit device, and testing utilizing third-party instruments corresponding to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix.

Which Joomla Search engine optimization extensions did we strive?

Whereas testing each Joomla 3 and Joomla 4, we bought and road-tested three Search engine optimization extensions:

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

So which can we advocate?

4SEO.

It’s as shut as you’ll get to a WordPress Search engine optimization plugin like YOAST for Joomla. You’ll get snippet previews (a characteristic missing in lots of different Joomla Search engine optimization extensions) and full management over all the important thing on-page Search engine optimization fundamentals.

4SEO

Fairly merely, Joomla 4 and 4SEO go collectively like peas and carrots.

Any downsides?

Form of. Sadly, 4SEO is a premium extension. So that you’ll must pay for it.

Our desire would have been to make use of a free Search engine optimization extension. However sadly, we had been unable to seek out one which gave us anyplace close to the extent of Search engine optimization management we had been in search of.

Be aware: In the event you’re nonetheless on Joomla 3 (you must actually improve!) we’d advocate going for sh404sef.

Joomla Search engine optimization: The great, the dangerous, and the ugly

Earlier than reviewing Joomla’s management of on-page Search engine optimization elements, let’s run by means of among the Search engine optimization highlights (and lowlights) of the platform.

Good: Joomla 4 is lightning quick out-the-box

Joomla 3 was fairly quick…

…however Joomla 4 leaves it within the mud.

With out putting in any third-party extensions, our check web site (when operating on Cassiopeia) scored 99/100 on PageSpeed Insights cell.

joomla 4 pagespeed

What did we do to optimize the positioning’s velocity?

Not a lot. In truth, all we did was allow Joomla 4’s wonderful inbuilt caching. See this guide for learn how to do it.

Be aware: Joomla 4 is tremendous quick out-the-box. However poorly optimized templates, or sub-optimal server configurations might nonetheless gradual it down. So take a look at our web page velocity optimization information for a ton of suggestions.

The dangerous: Search engine optimization parameters configured in separate admin space

That is extra of a touch upon the 4SEO extension, quite than Joomla itself. And both manner, it’s hardly a deal-breaker.

However in an excellent world, we’d have favored to have seen the choices for configuring a person web page’s on-page Search engine optimization stored inside the article admin panel, quite than in a separate admin space.

Be aware: we must always level out that in case you’re modifying pages on the entrance finish this isn’t a difficulty as 4SEO helps entrance finish modifying. And anyway, we’re most likely nitpicking…

The ugly: Out-the-box many fundamental Search engine optimization settings are buried

In the event you’re not utilizing an Search engine optimization extension like 4SEO, it’s straightforward to overlook fundamental Search engine optimization settings because of the manner Joomla’s normal management panel is organized.

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

browser page title

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

meta description

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

On-Web page Search engine optimization Fundamentals: How does Joomla measure up?

Now let’s flip our consideration to manage of among the elementary on-page Search engine optimization elements.

Does Joomla cowl all of them?

Just about. We’d have favored to have seen higher management of templating for titles and meta descriptions. However apart from that, Joomla 4 with the 4SEO extension put in has you coated.

Right here’s our abstract once more.

joomla 4 seo

Be aware: having management of an Search engine optimization rating issue is just not equal to its optimization. Search engine optimization 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 web site. See our Search engine optimization audit information for extra info on learn how to absolutely optimize your web site.

Search engine optimization Titles and Meta Descriptions

Management in Joomla: sure

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

The excellent news is, you’ll be able to set web page titles and descriptions in an out-the-box Joomla 4 set up. However you’ll must know the place to look.

The Search engine optimization title (which Joomla calls “Browser Web page Title”) is tucked away on the (VERY) backside of the choices panel…

Edit Article > Choices > Browser Web page Title

browser page title

…whereas the meta description setting is bundled below the “Publishing” tab.

Edit Article > Publishing > Metadata > Meta Description

meta description

We expect it will make extra sense to maintain these collectively. However no biggie.

In the event you’re utilizing 4SEO, you’ll be able to set a customized web page title and meta description for any web page within the extension’s admin space.

It will overwrite any earlier metas set natively in Joomla for the web page. And also you’ll additionally get a SERP preview for each cell and desktop.

Parts > 4SEO > Choose web page

4seo metadata

Candy.

In the case of templating titles, sadly, there’s no straightforward approach to do it.

You possibly can select to incorporate your web site identify in your titles as a prefix or suffix in your web site’s international configuration.

System > International Configuration > Search engine optimization

joomla 4 site name

However once more, this will likely be overwritten in case you’ve set a customized title for a web page utilizing 4SEO.

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 (instructions here).

Be taught extra about Search engine optimization 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.

Earlier variations of Joomla did assist search engine pleasant URLs. However the course of was a bit fiddly and you’d most likely have wished to make use of an extension to handle them.

Happily, Joomla 4 has made the method of enabling (and managing) search engine pleasant URLs rather more simple.

Your first step is to allow “Search Engine Pleasant URLs” and “Use URL Rewriting” within the Search engine optimization panel of worldwide config.

System > International Configuration > Search engine optimization

search engine friendly urls

As soon as enabled, you’ll must rename htaccess.txt (present in your web site’s root listing) to .htaccess in case you haven’t finished so already.

htaccess

After which you should use the “Alias” discipline to set a search engine pleasant slug for a person article.

Be taught extra about URL slugs/permalinks

Canonical URLs

Management in Joomla: sure

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

However in case you have a sequence of comparable pages in your web site — i.e. concentrating on the identical key phrases, or with very small variations in content material — there could also be occasions whenever you’ll wish to set a canonical (grasp) URL.

This helps to keep away from duplicate content material points.

You possibly can set a customized canonical URL for any web page within the 4SEO admin space.

Parts > 4SEO > Choose web page > Canonical URL

canonical url

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 identify=”robots” content material=”index, comply with”> – index this web page please Google
  • <meta identify=”robots” content material=”noindex, comply with”> – ignore this web page please Google (however comply with 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. Nevertheless it doesn’t do any hurt to have it in place.

Joomla 4 permits you to set this within the “Publishing” tab of an article’s edit display screen.

Edit Article > Publishing > Metadata > Robots

Or alternatively, you’ll be able to management the robots meta tag in 4SEO.

noindex page

Be taught 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 primary 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 frequently</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.

joomla 4 headings

Because it ought to!

Be taught extra about heading tags

Structured knowledge (aka schema)

Management in Joomla: sure

Structured knowledge (also called schema) will 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 may also be used to point out further search options (wealthy snippets)

In the event you’re not acquainted with structured knowledge and its impression on Search engine optimization, we advocate studying our wealthy snippets information.

You’ve received 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, corresponding to this one from tassos.gr (free and paid variations accessible).

However you may as well handle schema with 4SEO.

Within the instance under, we’re going to make use of 4SEO so as to add FAQ schema to a web page. We’ll begin by including a brand new rule and giving it a reputation (for our use).

Parts > 4SEO > Structured Knowledge > New Rule > Title & Ordering

faq schema name

Subsequent, we’ll choose which circumstances will set off the rule.

On this case, we’re selecting a selected URL (yoga-classes). However you possibly can additionally select to point out the schema on all pages, particular classes, and even on particular dates.

Parts > 4SEO > Structured Knowledge > New Rule > When to run

joomla 4 schema

And eventually, we will select which kind of schema to show (i.e. FAQ web page, occasion, recipe, and many others), and the way it is going to be constructed (CSS selectors, shortcodes, or customized values).

Parts > 4SEO > Structured Knowledge > New Rule > What to do

joomla 4 structured data

It’s fairly intuitive and covers many of the widespread sorts of schema markup you may wish to use in your web site.

The complete course of is documented here.

Be taught extra about structured knowledge and wealthy snippets

Picture Search engine optimization

Management in Joomla: sure

The three most vital components of picture Search engine optimization are:

  • Alt textual content (description of the picture for display screen readers and engines like google)
  • File dimension (smaller = quicker = higher)
  • File identify (we advocate utilizing descriptive file names)

Joomla 4’s normal WYSIWYG editor helps alt textual content…

joomla 4 alt text

…and so they gained’t mess together 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.

Almost about optimizing picture file sizes, you’ll need to deal with that differently.

Your choices are to both:

a) be certain your photos are compressed earlier than importing, or

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

In the event you go for possibility b, then the Image Recycle extension ought to do the trick.

image recycle extension

Be aware: Joomla 4 consists of lazy loading for photos out-the-box, which is unquestionably going to assist with preliminary web page load occasions. However we’d nonetheless advocate compressing and optimizing your photos.

Be taught extra about picture Search engine optimization

HTTPS

Do Joomla websites run over HTTPS? sure

HTTPS has been a confirmed Google rating sign since 2014.

And in 2022 there’s actually no excuse for any web site to nonetheless be operating over HTTP. However any Search engine optimization advantages, it’s unsecure.

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

Be taught 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 web site.

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 use FTP to instantly edit your robots.txt file.

Or, in case you’re operating 4SEO you may as well edit the file within the admin space.

Parts > 4SEO > Search engine optimization Instruments > Robots.txt

joomla 4 robots

Be taught extra about Robots.txt

XML Sitemaps

Generated by Joomla: sure

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

And the excellent news is, 4SEO will robotically create a sitemap on your Joomla web site.

Parts > 4SEO > Sitemaps

4seo sitemaps

Even higher? You possibly can exclude particular pages from the sitemap with the clicking of a button.

Parts > 4SEO > Pages > Sitemap checkbox

exclude page from sitemap

Be taught extra about XML Sitemaps

Are Joomla websites mobile-friendly?

One phrase reply: sure

When designing your Joomla web site there’s a great likelihood you’ll be specializing in the way it seems to be on desktop.

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

Most Joomla templates are mobile-friendly. And if yours is just not…

…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 a watch out.

In conclusion: when mixed with the premium 4SEO extension, Joomla is a superb selection for Search engine optimization

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

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

Once we beforehand reviewed Joomla 3, we had been important of the drained admin interface and gaps in Search engine optimization performance. And we felt that every one issues thought-about, WordPress was most likely a better option for Search engine optimization, and customarily as a CMS.

However Joomla 4, when mixed with the premium 4SEO extension has (in the primary) crammed the Search engine optimization gaps, and the slick new admin interface goes to make it rather more interesting to new customers.

On prime of that, it’s tremendous quick.

Fairly frankly, after spending the previous couple of years in a slumber — permitting the competitors to march forward — Joomla looks like a undertaking that’s alive once more.

And with the precise data and a strong Search engine optimization technique, there’s no purpose your Joomla web site can’t rank extremely in Google.

So in case you’re operating a Joomla web site, right here’s what we advocate:

  • run a full Search engine optimization audit (you’ll be able to comply with this Search engine optimization audit information),
  • allocate time to fixing points and optimizing your web site (the place potential),
  • give attention to creating high-quality content material that helps your customers and absolutely solutions their search queries,
  • construct your web site’s authority by incomes prime quality backlinks (take a look at our really helpful hyperlink constructing techniques)

Within the different components of this sequence, we reviewed the on-page Search engine optimization of Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy and WordPress. And we’ve in contrast the Search engine optimization professionals and cons of every CMS in a roundup submit, the place we additionally revealed the most effective CMS for Search engine optimization in 2022.

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David McSweeney

David is our chief editor for knowledgeable Search engine optimization content material at Seobility. Unsurprisingly he loves Search engine optimization and writing. He combines 20+ years of expertise in Search engine optimization with the eagerness for instructing you guys learn how to optimize your web sites the precise manner.



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