Driving Traffic to Your Web Site
with Search Engine Optimization
October 16, 2010
URLs that contain text like
engines that such pages are dynamically
that is, created on the fly. Search engines downgrade
URLs Search Engine Friendly
To turn on SEF URLs, follow these steps:
As a super administrator, choose Site
Global Configuration to
open the Global Configuration
In the SEO Settings pane, click the Yes radio button in the Search
Engine Friendly URLs section
Click the Apply or Save button. Then view your site in a browser, and
click a link. (
You can find SEF plug
ins in the
(http://extensions.joomla.org/). Just search for
SEF. One popular,
in listed in this directory is sh404SEF. You install
ins as you do any other
** Simply selecting the Yes radio button in the Global Configuration page doesn’t
always work on all servers, however. When you tell
to use SEF URLs and then try
clicking menu items on your site, you may get 404 errors (“page not found”) because
uses to rename URLs aren’t working. In that case, you need to
take a few more steps. If you’re using the Apache Web server, you can use the
module to instruct
to rewrite URLs in
First, find out whether your Apache installation includes
, follow these
Create a small test script named phpinfo.pho with these contents:
This script executes the
function, which displays information
about your PHP
Upload phpinfo.php to your Web server.
Navigate to the file in your browser. You may have to set the phpinfo.php file’s
protection levels on the host server to executable, just as you would to execute any
Locate the apache2handler section in the page that appears
If you don’t see
in the Loaded Modules section, it isn’t
To get the
module loaded, you can edit the Apache file named
you find in the apache/conf directory. In particular, look for the boldface line in the
Remove the # at the beginning of this line to uncomment it. Then add this
is ready to go.
is available, you can configure
to use it by renaming a file in
(Remember that you need to do this only if the SEF URL
option in the Global Configuration page breaks the URLs on
your site.) Follow these steps:
Look in the directory where you installed
Rename this file .
When Apache restarts, your
file takes effect.
Voila! SEF URLs
should work for you now.
Unlocking the Secrets of Keywords
You help search engine users find your site by telling the search
engine spiders what
keywords to want them to index your site on.
Then, when people
search for those keywords, the search engine
can bring up your page.
Finding keywords to use
How do you determine what keywords to use? All kinds of helpful
keyword tools are available online, including these:
SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool
Just enter a topic, and the keyword tool suggests keywords that you
can use to let people search for your topic.
Adding keywords as metadata
After you’ve settled on your keywords, you can tell
to add them to
your pages as metadata.
Metadata (data about your Web page) is stored
your page in <meta> HTML tags, and search engines read those tags.
You can place information in the <meta> tags that you want search
engines to know, such as what keywords you want users to find your page
they search the Web.
You can use as many keywords on a page as you want, but Google
recommends using no more than 20 per page.
To enter keywords for an article, follow these steps:
Click the article in Article Manager to open the article
Click the Metadata Information bar on the right side of the page to
open the Metadata Information pane.
In the Keywords text box, enter the keywords you want to assign to the
article, separating them with commas (see Figure 11
Click the Apply button to save your work, or click the Save button to
save your work and close the article
Keywords are only one type of metadata you can add to a page. You can
also enter the following types of metadata in the Metadata Information
** More: see P. 259 (279 / 364)
The main source of free
many of the developers would be very pleased if you
donated to them) is http://extensions.
can also reach the
extensions site from
www.joomla.org by clicking the Extensions link in the
horizontal navigation bar on the site’s front
Another thing that makes the site so great is that each
extension has user
feedback ratings. If you see an
extension with four or more stars and many votes,
many people have found it to be a good one. On the
other hand, if you find an extension with many votes
and zero stars (as you will), don’t use it.
extensions fall into three categories: modules, components, and
Modules usually display their content on the periphery of a page.
front page usually contains many modules and a single component.
The modules include the top menu, the menus on the left side of the page,
and the Who’s Online and Polls sections on the right side of the page.
Notice that all these modules are on the periphery of the page. The
component, by contrast, is in the center of the page, displaying the actual
Modules accept little or no input. A typical module is read
the Who’s Online module) or accepts only minimal input (such as the Polls
module). A component can accept all kinds of input, from article
submissions to user comments in a forum.
Modules have a simple administrative tool.
You manage a module with
Module Manager, which typically offers only a few basic parameters, such
as where the module appears on the page. A component, on the other
hand, can have a very complex administrative interface complete with
many tabs and screens.
Modules tend to be smaller than components.
The most basic difference
is that modules usually are designed to be smaller than components.
** Components and modules can work together. The Search module is one
such example. You enter a search term in the module, and it displays the
Grooving with plug
ins are the most heavy
you the greatest
power and control.
ins often work on both the data that users send to
and the data that
sends to users. An
example would be a special type of WYSIWYG editor that
accepts data from users as they edit the text and that
ins can focus on either the front end or the back end.
ins, such as those for online shopping
carts, have very complex
You can use numerous plug
, installing them
the same way that you do modules and components.
See details about installing on P.269 (289 /
Top tens P.281 (301 / 364)