At Alternative Marketing Connections, we use a variety of platforms to develop interactive and search engine friendly websites. We tend to prefer Joomla, however, because it is better than platforms like Wordpress for creating multiple sections of regularly updated content.
For example, a typical website we build has separate sections for news, blogs and testimonials. Wordpress is a great platform for smaller sites or sites with a single blog, but Joomla is much more flexible for larger sites of this nature.
However, Joomla does not come with all of the tools you need to create a search engine-friendly website. While it does have the ability to create search engine-friendly URLs (i.e., addresses with human language keywords), it does not include some of the other key components Google and other search engines are looking for. There are a number of free and low-cost plugins available for Joomla to solve this problem and make Joomla websites much more attractive to the search engines.
Here is a list of some of our favorites:
Joomla CKEditor - Having a good HTML editor built into any website is key to building technically correct pages. We replace the built-in text editor, TinyMCE, with JCKEditor. It takes some practice to use correctly, but we see better results and can more easily build technically correct and visually appealing pages with this editor.
Xmap - All modern websites need to have a sitemap - a file that includes a list of all the pages available on a website and how to get to them - and that sitemap should be registered with Google. By adding this feature to your website, you are giving Google specific instructions about where all the pages are on your site. Xmap dynamically updates your Joomla sitemap whenever you add new content, so whenever Google revisits your site, you can be sure the sitemap is up to date.
Joomla Tags - Having linkable keyword tags for your articles and a tag cloud are a very effective ways to give Google tools to cross-reference all the information on your website. Lilnkable keyword tags should match your keyword meta tags and also appear in the text of your article. These links will generate search results on your website based on that keyword. A tag cloud takes all the keywords you've identified in your articles and displays them in a list. All the keywords in a tag cloud are also linkable as search results on your website.
Joomla Tags is great way to accomplish both tasks. It allows you to generate keyword tags for each page and article in your site, either from the existing keywords in your meta tags, or independently. It then displays them as linkable tags on each page. Joomla Tags also includes a number of modules to display your site tags by most recent, most popular, and other criteria.
By adding these plug-ins to your site, you can turn Joomla into a Google and search engine-friendly magnet.
Do you use these extensions now? Do you have others you'd recommend? Please leave your comments and experiences below.
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