A Review of 4 Popular Joomla SEO Extensions

Joomla is the second most popular content management system (CMS) after WordPress, used for website development. It is robust, very flexible, secured and can be used to build websites ranging from the simplest to very complex websites. Joomla also has a large community of developers who support its users with components, plugins and modules. These three are simply called extensions and actually define the look and feel, the usability and functionality of a Joomla website.

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Like other web-building software, Joomla is designed to be search engine friendly. It has its in-built Search Engine Friendly (SEF) capability, you have the option to turn on Search Engine Friendly URLs and can choose to add website branding or not. But beyond the in-built Joomla SEO capability, there are plugins which can boost Joomla's capacity to feature a website prominently on search engines. This post will look at five of those plugins, there pros and cons. They are actually applications that you cannot do without if you are to do well with Joomla in the highly competitive world of the internet.

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What is SEO

We will adopt the definition of Rand Fishkin which serves our purpose quite aptly. He defined Search engine optimization (SEO) as "the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic that you earn through the organic results in search engines".

This definition underscores three components: Quality of traffic, quantity of traffic and organic results. Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they're coming to your site because Google search engine results presents you as a resource for web hosting when you are actually only involved on website hosting and not providing any learning resources, you will find that you get the traffic but they won't be quality traffic. It is better to attract traffic who are interested in products that you offer.

Quantity of traffic. Having the right interests click your link from the search engine results pages (SERPs). Organic results. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don't have to pay for. These come from several sources including links and referrals.

Now that you know what SEO means, you probably have an idea on why websites should be properly optimized. Let's look at some of the gains of SEO and why it should be taken seriously.

Why is SEO important

In January 2016, I held a discussion with a the CEO and developer who manages a large company website. Neither he nor his employer believed in the power of SERPs and how it can turn round the business fortunes. Their focus was on developing modules and functionalities and leaving out a key aspect as SEO. SEO is important and will remain so. According to Google, 94% of all clicks accounts for organic search results and 90% of users never look beyond first page of Google.

There are several reasons why you should continue to invest in SEO. We will take a look at some of them in this post.

1. It still works - Recent updates to the search engine algorithms have reduced the impact of old fashioned search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, like using keywords and link exchanges, notwithstanding, SEO still works and makes a huge difference. Meta data, including the title and headings affect rankings. Although Google claims that descriptions do not affect rankings, the fact that they still appear in search results is an indication that they still matter.

These statistics will tell you how much search engine results page (SERP) do matter today.

  • 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
  • 90+% of searches are done on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, with Google getting 65-70% of all searches.
  • The first 5 listings on page 1 of search engine results is the hot zone - about 95% of searchers click in this area ONLY as it's considered the most relevant and trusted of all results. If you're not in the top 5, your listing is unlikely to get clicked.
  • 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results - if they don't find what they want there, they refine their search and try again.

SEO techniques will continue to work, at least, it is not expected to stop working soon. Based on the way search engines appear to be evolving, it is not likely that SEO will cease to be effective any time in the foreseeable future.

2. It is cost-effective - When compared to the costs of other forms of online marketing such as PPC advertising, social media marketing, or purchasing leads for an email marketing program, SEO provides fairly good ROI.

3. Search engines generates greater market share - More customers now check online reviews prior to making a purchase, and this number is only expected to increase. It is estimated that between 70-80% of customers check online reviews before a purchase. It may not take so long before virtually everyone will be searching for products and services online.

3. Your competitors are doing it - Given that search engines generate more traffic than advertising, companies are competing for search engine positions and make continuous efforts to gain ranking positions. If your SEO efforts do not make you gain an improved position, then you are losing ground to a competitor. You can't let your competitors outsmart you and so you've got to make efforts to gain ranking positions.

4. SEO brings credibility to your business - When people make searches and find your business withing the top 10, first page, it is definitely a sign that Google is telling the customer to check out your page. That gives some credibility to your business. You may not know that ranking high is like getting an endorsement from Google but that is what you actually get with doing your SEO rightly and gaining ranks.

5. SEO brings business visibility and branding - People conduct searches not just once, find what they need and that is it. No! You will rather find that they refine their search terms, search over and over. Each of the results places the websites on their mind and if your website features prominently in the search outcomes, you will find that you will be gaining a higher level of mindshare. The implication of this is that if you can continually show in all these search results, you will continue to gain more and more mindshare with each potential customer. Chances are that they will eventually click through to your website, and since you are continually displayed in all their search results, they will trust you to some extent. That registers your brand as trusted and gives you good business through good visibility in the search engine result pages.

Indispensable Joomla SEO Plugins
 

Extension Overrides Joomla! core files which can break functionality Basic URL rewriting, no plugin obligation Generating URLs from backend automatically Static XML sitemap file Dynamic XML sitemap link Configurable internal links Social Bookmarks Unicode (UTF-8) URLs website
AceSEF No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Joomace
ArtioSEF No Yes No No No Yes - Yes Artio
SEFAdvance Yes No No No No No - Yes Sakic
sh404SEF Yes No No No No - - No SH04SEF


Overall, all five plugin do have great features and will serve the basic purpose of improving your site SEO. For any Joomla website that is serious about SEO, it has to use any one. They are great and I have seen them used on numerous websites particularly sh404SEF and AceSEF. I have used AceSEF quite often and on nearly all the Joomla websites I have developed.

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